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August 06 2017



sometimes…………sketches that are lined………are worse 




Any recs for a Three Musketeers translation? Any absolute, this-is-Denny-awful antirecs? I think I need to just go for a copy soon and I don’t want to read the Worst Translation. :P 

!!!! I don’t know if you’re still looking for one, but the complete and unabridged translation by Lowell Bair is my absolute favorite!!! It’s very fun to read :D

Thank you, I am!:D 

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Direct democracy in the French Revolution (Maurice Genty)

The notion of direct democracy is opposed to the one of representative democracy. Being the ideal of the sans-culottes in 1793-1794, taken over from the outspoken patriots of 1789-1791, it corresponds to what one then simply called « democracy », more or less drawing inspiration from the ideas expressed by Rousseau in The Social Contract.

This conception rests on the principle that sovereignty, the exertion of the general will of the body politic, is inalienable, which leads to the refusal of the idea of representation : « The deputies of the people neither are nor can be representatives ; they are only commissaries ; they cannot conclude anything definitively » (The Social Contract, book III, chapter XV). This conception corresponds to the one of a sovereignty that is at the same time popular, individual and indivisible : each of the members of the social body has to contribute to developing the general will, which implies universal suffrage : « In order that a will is general (…), it is necessary that all voices are taken into account ; every formal exclusion destroys the generality » (ibid., chapter IV). Furthermore, so that the general will expresses itself, it is necessary that the votes are totally free : « when there are intrigues, partial associations, (…) one can say that there are no longer as many voters as there are men, but only as many as there are associations » (ibid., book II, chapter IV). On the other hand, the executive power cannot rest with the generality of the people, « because this power only consists of particular acts », it therefore returns to an intermediary body, the government, whose members, the magistrates, are only « simple officers of the sovereign » ; the latter only accords a commission to them (…) which it can limit, modify and take back when it pleases » (ibid., book III, chapter I), but it can « commit the charge of the government to the entire people or to the majority of the people (…). One gives the name democracy to this form of government » (ibid., chapter III).

It is these principles that were invoked by those who were accurately called democrats during the Revolution. Thus, on 5 September 1789, Pétion declared in front of the Constituent Assembly : « All individuals who make up the association have the inalienable right to contribute to the formation of the law, and if everyone could make their particular will heard, the assembly of all these wills would truly form the general will » ; but, he added, if the people needs to appoint deputies, « The members of the Legislative Body are the mandataires, (…) subject to the will of those from whom they receive their mission and their power ». The Parisian districts, in 1789-1790, shared this point of view, taking over the term mandataires in order to designate their deputies at the Hôtel de Ville ; these mandataires, named like this because they have received a mandate from their electors that was conceived as imperative, were at any moment responsible before their mandants and could be revoked by them ; they were not allowed to have any own opinions ; their assembly did not even have to deliberate, it was a simple « congress of commissaries – a term even used by Rousseau –  appointed in order to provide the harmony of the resolutions of the districts », according to a citizen from Saint-Phillippe-du-Roule, on 26 August 1789. The will, which is thus cleared, is therefore truly the general will and not the particular will of the districts. They also developed the habit of establishing ad hoc assemblies on specific problems, whose members, simple « commissaries », were charged with comparing the points of view of the different districts in order to bring out the highest common denominator.

The sans-culottes, after 10 August 1792, developed the habit of calling the members of the National Assembly itself mandataires. Their conception of democracy allowed them to justify the deposition of the legal municipality and its replacement by an insurrectional municipality on 10 August 1792, and its immediate reinstallation through revolutionary means on 30 May 1793, the latter, through the voice of its vice president, even acknowledging the legitimacy of this approach : « If the people has the right to institute, it also has the right to depose », he admitted. On the other hand, could Couthon say, during the September Massacres in 1792, that the people « legally [exercised] its entire sovereignty » ?

As to the national level, although the democrats could not obtain the principle of a popular ratification of laws from the Constituent Assembly, not even in the case of the Constitution, the Constitution of 1793 introduced the principle of the referendum upon demand by a sufficient number of primary assemblies.

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Unpopular opinion time! I’m going to have to disagree with Genty (and Soboul, who was if not the originator than at least a big proponent of this concept) and say that I don’t think the distinction between “direct democracy” and representation is a particularly operative one for the French Revolution. It erroneously assumes that the only kind of representation is the one that Duport described as “vouloir pour la nation”, i.e, where the will of the representatives (who are supposedly more enlightened than their electors) is substituted for the will of the people and once elected they should be entirely independent and uninfluenced by public opinion, protest movements, etc. (It’s also this conception that heaps praise on Boissy d’Anglas for refusing to interact with the demonstrators in Prairial Year III.)

Though I also have some serious problems with the assumption that Rousseau (and in particular Du Contrat social) was the major inspiration for revolutionary political thought, Rousseau is correct in identifying this brand of representation as an usurpation of popular sovereignty. (So much so, that he invokes the British Parliament on several occasions when writing about it, and lo and behold, the British model is officially one of parliamentary and not popular sovereignty.)

Now, the phenomena Genty describes are real, and they are in complete opposition to this model of representation. But it’s worth noting that none of the actors at any time express a wish to stop electing a legislature. The challenge for sans-culottes and Montagnards alike is rather one of how to make that legislature responsive to and responsable before the people, or in other words, how to conceptualize and put into practice a form of representation that respects popular sovereignty. There were obviously disagreements and tensions about how this should best be accomplished, but I think it’s fairly clear that Montagnards and sans-culottes were on the same page about the principle, and it isn’t one of direct democracy in opposition to representation, but rather one of the coincidence of democratic practices and a certain notion of representation where the role of the representative is to channel public opinion (within the limits of the principles of the Declaration of Rights, of course) rather than ignore it.

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A story that began with these two pictures [one¦two] and very quickly spiraled out of control…

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Les Mis as untranslatable German words: Joly // Fingerspitzengefühl: 

intuitive empathy with things and people


Excerpts from “The French Revolution Romance”


Here are some excerpts from the book “The French Revolution Romance” (”法国大革命演义” in Chinese) originally posted by WhimoLee. (Click to read the original text.) This book was written by a Chinese writer as a fan fiction general introduction to the history of the French Revolution, with so many ridiculous depictions of literally everyone and wild historical inaccuracies. Hands down the funniest French Revolution book I’ve ever seen. Please keep reading. Believe me you really need to read this. :P

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Saint-Just bent down and carried Robespierre to the scaffold.

No one begged for mercy, and no one surrendered. They welcomed death like the knights in ancient times. At last, there were only Robespierre and Saint-Just left. Robespierre suddenly woke up and struggled to stand, and Saint-Just supported him with his strong arms. Robespierre regarded the people around with forgiving, gentle eyes before heading towards the guillotine.

I’m Slain 
I don’t even have Saint-Just’s strong arms to support me  
this is a Masterpiece, I need to read it all XD


Now listen to what happened: the event I am going to relate was almost a duplicate of the episode in connection with Soulié; and I will answer for it as being unique in the annals of literature.

There were some hundred lines in my play [Christine] which had to be altered, and which, to make use of an expressive vulgarism, had been empoignés (seized upon) at the first night’s performance; they were to be held up to hostile criticism, for they would not fail to be dropped on afresh at the next performance; besides some dozen cuts which had to be made and dressed by skilful and by fatherly hands; this needed doing immediately, that very night, so that the manuscript could be sent back the next morning for the alterations to be made at noon, and the piece acted that same night. Now it was out of the question that I, who had twenty-five guests to entertain, could do it. But Hugo and de Vigny took the manuscript, and, telling me to set my mind at rest, they shut themselves up in a small room, and, whilst the rest of us were eating and drinking and singing, they worked. They toiled for four consecutive hours with the same conscientious energy they would have employed upon their own work; and when they came out at daybreak, finding us all gone to bed and asleep, they left the manuscript, ready for the performance, on the mantelpiece, and, without waking anybody, these two rivals went off arm in arm, like two brothers!

Do you remember that, dear Hugo? Do you recollect that, de Vigny?

Alexandre Dumas, Memoirs IV.3, trans. Waller


My today is/was also positively terrible. Here’s to tomorrow, when presumably (hopefully) things will be Better!




Send me a fandom, and I’ll tell you who I’d:

  • Want as my mentor:
  • Bake cupcakes for:
  • Lend my books to:
  • Put thumbtacks on the chair thereof:
  • Have a crush on:
  • Pack up and leave if they moved next door:
  • Follow as captain of a ship:
  • Pick as my partner in a buddy movie:
  • Marry:
  • Want as my boss:
  • Sue:
  • Want as my best friend:


I don’t know, but it’s covering both horrors AND major problems! I would love for it to stop doing this to all of us why won’t it do that

can we all just go to bed early and maybe it will be Over

People already living in Sunday, is it a Better Day? Are there fewer Plagues, is the air feeling Less Cursed in some undefinable way?
:( Best wishes for a better Sunday!

thank you! The same for you, what a Day :[

I live in a different Timezone and my today is fine but my yesterday (the 5th) was monstrous. What is this.

amazing, does “August 5 2017” work out to be a nasty curse in some secret language??

D: oh no, I’m so sorry! Better get out a tapping table and ask the Spirit of the Sea or good old Vicky Large what other spirit you have offended

oh I’ll fight Victor Marius Stugo , I’ll throw down with the guy who wrote the Esmeralda backstory in Notre Dame ANY DAY

and then I’ll take a seven hour bath in antibiotics, because Yikés, Vic, but STILL
<3 why is today so hard on everyone



<3 Solidarity Against the Bad Saturday <3


today is a Curséd Day

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Send me to Mars with party supplies before next august 5th

No guys you don’t understand.

The soil testing equipment on Curiosity makes a buzzing noise and the pitch of the noise changes depending on what part of an experiment Curiosity is performing, this is the way Curiosity sings to itself.

So some of the finest minds currently alive decided to take incredibly expensive important scientific equipment and mess with it until they worked out how to move in just the right way to sing Happy Birthday, then someone made a cake on Curiosity’s birthday and took it into Mission control so that a room full of brilliant scientists and engineers could throw a birthday party for a non-autonomous robot 225 million kilometres away and listen to it sing the first ever song sung on Mars*, which was Happy Birthday.

This isn’t a sad story, this a happy story about the ridiculousness of humans and the way we love things. We built a little robot and called it Curiosity and flung it into the star to go and explore places we can’t get to because it’s name is in our nature and then just because we could, we taught it how to sing.

That’s not sad, that’s awesome.

*this is different from the first song ever played on mars (Reach For The Stars by Will.I.Am) which happened the year before, singing is different from playing

This is humanity

Happy Birthday, Curiousity.

August 05 2017

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Ranting through the centuries with Grantaire
Modern au & canon era

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Toleration and repression: prostitutes, prostitution and droit de cité in revolutionary Paris (1789-1799)

Clyde Marlo Plumauzille 

In 1791, prostitution was decriminalised. With the French Revolution, the toleration of this activity, denounced as the damnable but necessary part of urbanity, was born. At the intersection of the research on women, gender and sexualities, this theory proposes a history of the « femmes infâmes » during the Revolution in order to think the challenge to the new revolutionary – and later republican – order that was formed by prostitution, as well as the strategies that were implemented by its different protagonists – the legislator, the policeman and the prostitute. Being an empirical study, it relies on the contributions of the history of women and gender in the modern and contemporary era, the sociology of deviance and the study of public sexuality policies. Combining archives of social organisation, whether police-related, hospital or penal, printed sources and ego-documents, this work allows to bring to light a singular feminine universe of revolutionary Paris, but also to examine the Revolution by using Parisian prostitution as the sound box of the situated political, economic and sexual dynamics. Being a moral category, prostitution refers to the perception of a feminine use of sexuality that is incorrect and therefore immoral. Furthermore, in the trail of the pioneering work of the anthropologist Paola Tabet, it is a matter of examining the phenomenon of prostitution in situ, in the social and cultural global context which confers its transgressive signifier on it. From this perspective, the archives of constraint all at once allowed to comprehend the « minuscule lives » of these young women marked as prostitutes, and the fabrication of their exclusion « au ras du sol » in the republican cité. On the verge of this work, a simple question thus arises : what role did the Revolution play concerning the phenomenon of prostitution ? This has led us to examine the cadres of prostitutional experience. Have these been revolutionised ? Did the prostitutes possess a veritable droit de cité in revolutionary Paris ?

These studies proved to be particularly necessary as prostitution constituted an unthought matter, even a non-lieu of the history of the Revolution. The great historical studies of prostitution and of its regulation in the 18th and 19th centuries, those by Erica-Marie Benabou, by Jill Harsin or by Alain Corbin, have indeed systematically omitted the revolutionary period from their chronological division. In return, the absence of clear positionings of revolutionary historiography on the phenomenon of prostitution has given free rein to a licentious history of the unbridled passions of the Revolution, instead of which the prostitutes and the decriminalisation of prostitution have been erected as symbols. Also, although the history of the phenomenon of prostitution acquired a certain vitality since the early 2000s, this renewed interest has largely neglected the revolutionary period. This thesis responds to this historiographical impensé. It has thereby shown that if the Revolution, by the imposition of a liberal legal system, has decriminalised prostitution, it has also decisively contributed to its mise en administration by the police apparatus. Between tolerance, surveillance and repression, the latter contributed to instituting a category of young women from the popular classes into a licentious class placed on the edges of virtuous citizenship. By examining the hidden side of citizenship through the excluded which it produced, this study has highlighted the social, gender-related and sexual hierarchisations operating in the revolutionary dynamic.

In the modern city, public prostitution is particularly visible ; being integrated in the urban fabric, it does not form isolates. The decline of the great brothels, the decompartmentalisation and dispersal of the sex market into a multiplicity of small temporary centres in the capital, sustained by a crisis of female employment on an unprecedented scale, explains the salience of prostitution in the capital. Additionally, an undisciplined and extraverted Parisian youth reveals itself in its wake, which was galvanised by the vitality of revolutionary public space, and which would come to defy the codes of the regenerated society. A statistical study of the population of women who were designated as prostitutes by the police power reveals a zone of social vulnerability and of a popular, informal and subversive sexual culture. The sampling of around 2,200 women who were arrested in the capital as well as the one of 1,000 women imprisoned in the Salpêtrière and in the Vénériens by order of the police between 1793 and 1799 allowed to render the contours of a collective biography of this population. They were young unmarried women, aged 15 to 25, who, having left the family home in order to make a living, did not manage to lastingly gain traction on a Parisian job market in times of crisis and to « establish themselves », i.e. to marry. In other words, these young women did not dispose of the economic and social resources required by the practice of good revolutionary mores, they were not, they could not be these mothers and wives of citizens in virtuous conjugality. Between solitude, autonomy and precarity, these young women evolved alongside the great Revolution which failed to integrate them, and within which they did not find their place.

Unlike the monarchy of the Ancien Régime, the revolutionaries have evacuated prostitution from the realm of the Law by refusing to make the former a matter of legislation. Breaking with the proliferation of ordonnances royales of the Ancien Régime and their prohibitionist approach, the Constituents instituted, by their silence in the principal codes of law in 1791, the tolerance of this activate. Only the surveillance of sites of prostitution is prescribed by the Code de police, and the procurement of minors is suppressed by the Code de police and the Code pénal : the practice of prostitution itself is free. Having been decriminalised, prostitution, for all that, was not acknowledged or accepted by society, one could also speak of  a failed decriminalisation. Additionally, being an object of non-loi, prostitution nonetheless continued to be understood as a factor of trouble in Parisian public space, as such noting the prerogatives of the new regenerated police power. These ambiguities pertained to the precision of this new « en creux » legal system, which sanctioned the discretionary power of the police administration over prostitution. From 4 October 1793, which saw the Paris Commune promulgating a first decree that was resolutely repressive against the raccrochage of « women of ill repute », to the end of the Directory, which in fact ratified a legal definition of public prostitution as a « violation of good mores », this new regulatory power of the Parisian police over prostitution would come to define itself at the root of réglementarisme.

By these speeches and its practices of daily surveillance, punctual constraints, raids and control of the traffic in public space, the police administration made public women out of diminished citoyennes. The prostitutes thus continued to be stigmatised in the new regenerated society ; and this particularly as a result of the police practice which played an essential role in the definition of good and bad citizens based on the authoritative and security reaction of the years 1793-1794. In spite of the shortcomings of the revolutionary funds, we have been able to collect 640 records in relation to prostitution in the very incomplete archives of the capital’s police commissioners in the Archives of the Préfecture (1789-1799), around 200 surveillance reports (1793-1799) and over 2,200 entries on prostitution in the statistics of the central police administration of Paris (1796-1799) in the Archives nationales. Being archives of practice, of administrative routine and serial archives, these handwritten sources offer the possibility of a history at ground level where one can grasp at once the State and the individuals which it controls in action, on the spot. They have allowed us to examine the« administration de papier » of prostitution and to reproduce a chronology of the police work in the capital. The women that were targeted by this police, which was the « policy of the decent people », show the relations of domination which were exercised over a segment of the population because of its mauvais genre – they were exclusively young unmarried women, mostly migrants – ; because of its low economic position – they were mainly unemployed – ; and finally, because of its sexual practices – by making money out of their sexuality, these women went against the norms of bourgeois conjugality that was promoted by the revolutionaries. The economic and social issues relating to their prostitution, notably the employment and supplies crisis or the importance of female single life, were completely ignored in favour of a strictly police treatment of what was first and foremost considered an urban nuisance resulting from an undesirable and perverted population.

Nonetheless, if these stigmatising processes made diminished citoyennes out of these women, the fact remains that they were citoyennes despite everything, a new status that was by no means insignificant. By granting civic rights to women, the Revolution encouraged their speaking and provided them with a language and with specific practices of protest that allowed even the most subjugated and most excluded members of society to seize it. Thus, contrary to the systematic and arbitrary character of the repressive practices of « La Terreur » (1793-1794), those who were arrested for prostitution would write to their representatives in order to assert their citizenly identity and the rights and liberties which this implies. Placing the Republic in front of its contradictions, they emphasised that their condemnation does not fall under the category of an offence that is recognised as such, but of a way of living. If these women enjoyed only few resources in order to negotiate their droit de cité, they nonetheless had the right to negotiate it and, above all, considered themselves to be legitimate to exercise it. Finally, the revolutionary decade conferred a conditional and paradoxical droit de cité to the women practising prostitution. This process reveals the implicit logics of gender, class and sexuality which led the republican state intervention, outside of the law, and in the name of public order, to restrain the conditions of existence and the livelihoods of a juvenile and popular population which mobilised its anatomy as a strategy of survival.

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