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Submitted on
September 20, 2009
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Enjolras Allows by ColonelDespard Enjolras Allows by ColonelDespard
'And turning gently to Enjolras, he said to him:

"Will you allow it?"

Enjolras pressed his hand with a smile.

This smile was not ended when the report resounded.'

- Victor Hugo, 'Les Miserables'

The final act of Enjolras' life, and the last thing Grantaire sees.

I don't think that Grantaire was an 11th hour convert to the Republican cause, and I don't think Enjolras believed that he was. He smiled and reached out to Grantaire for other reasons - in an affirmation of love and friendship.

Until this moment, Enjolras' death has almost been to a script he wrote. Extraordinarily powerful, and in accordance with his decision that their deaths would be worthy of their convictions. It's almost over...and then Grantaire intervenes. And rather than reject him and his intrusion, Enjolras grasps his hand with a smile.

So much must have been there, underneath that over-arching serenity. An almost beatific expression, perhaps...but can he have been so unconscious of the fact that there were a dozen guns trained on him, and his death is seconds away? I've tried to go with an open, welcoming, human expression, with a touch of the transcendent.
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xxFallen-Angel13xx Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2013  Student Artist
Um, I thought that it went like this:
'"Do you permit it?"
Enjolras pressed his hand with a smile. This smile was not ended when the report resounded.'
ColonelDespard Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
Depends on the translation - the original is:

Et, se tournant vers Enjolras avec douceur, il lui dit :
— Permets-tu ?
Enjolras lui serra la main en souriant.
Ce sourire n’était pas achevé que la détonation éclata.

"Permets-tu" can be translated along the lines of "do you permit it?" or "do you allow it?" "If you allow?" "If you permit?" or even, as per Denny's translation, "All right with you?”

Depends on the level of formality with which you want to invest the phrase with. I'm not particularly invested in any of the English translations (although I prefer something with slightly more gravitas than Rose's translation).
ColonelDespard Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
That should be Julie Rose, not Denny, who opted for "All right with you?"
DashieMoulinRouge Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013  Student Writer
zStars Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2010
This... this is stunning. I can't look into his eyes too long or I tear up. He looks so earnest, so peaceful, so... hopeful, almost. Like he knows his death will not be in vain. And don't get me started on the Grantaire bit. /sniff/
EntirelyInsane Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2010
That's the sweetest picture I've seen in forever. It's like he's reaching out to us *gropes back and is met with the cold, hard computer screen*
And this is simeltaneously one of the best and worst parts in the book. :( It's just completely added a different perspective for me, since you drew him smiling so openly here, moments from death. It's..deep. And beautifully drawn. I love how his hair ALWAYS seems to be blowing in a wind.)
HistoryKnightLS Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2009
He's getting there...
or perhaps, he already is.

I have nothing intelligent to say, other than you've captured this scene very well.
ColonelDespard Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2009
Yes...perhaps he's there.
phangirloftheopera Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2009
Gorgeous as always! It's a very lovely piece.

What a great thing to see before dying.
ColonelDespard Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2009
Thank you!

Poor Grantaire...he wakes, yawns, opens his eyes...and comprehends everything in an instant. The one thing he believes in, his one devotion, his one fanatacism, is about to be brutally destroyed in front of his eyes. If it wasn't for the fact that Hugo says he is transfigured, I'd think he was absolutely desparing.

That scene should be so desperately, irredeemably sad. Enjolras with his cause lost (at least for that day) and all the friends he loved so much dead before him, on the brink of the abyss himself. Grantaire waking from a deep sleep to the shock of seeing the man he adores about to die in a terrible way. But the two of them somehow save it. Sad, yes, but something else as well.
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