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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wolfgang and Satisfying Endings

Remember Wolfgang?


My Austrian student who gets romance mixed up with stalking?

He had an interesting suggestion for the ending of Les Miserables that I must pass on to you (before I smack him upside the head).

When asked on a quiz how he felt about the ending, in which Jean Val Jean basically writes his last confession to Cosette and Marius before they arrive just in time to exchange apologies with him before he dies of a lonely, broken heart . . .

(SORRY about the spoiler for those of you who are only on page 1356?)

When asked on a quiz how he felt about the ending, Wolfgang wrote this little ditty:

"Valjean's death takes too long. He should have finished his letter writing and then fallen down the stairs."


There's more.


"I don't like the idea of Marius and Cosette showing up just in time to hear the truth before he dies. Seriously, that just doesn't happen!"

And falling down the stairs to your death does happen? Seriously, at least telling the truth should happen.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that Les Miserables is one of my favorite stories, soundtracks, broadway musicals, books, and 10th Anniversary Performances on DVD. I love everything about Les Mis (except the movies, which are like a ginormous shot of triptophan. YAWN! Probably because there are no stinkin' hot vampires).

But I confess, Wolfgang's 21st Century/MTV/GET-TO-THE-POINT-I'm-a-student/What-was-the-point-again? approach to the emotional ending of Les Miserables was just the kind of irreverent blasphemy I needed today.

Thanks for the smile, Wolfgang.

But as long as there are stairs involved could I offer an alternate ending?

Jean Val jean should finish writing his letter and then push Marius down the stairs to his death.

Now there's a satisfying ending!!!!!!!!!!!

26 comments:

Heidi Ashworth said...

Okay, I have so much to say about this. I have loved Les Mis since I read it when I was 15. The Hallmark Hall of fame movie version is pretty good (with Norman Bates as Javert) and the ending is very economical--after the wedding, Jean turns towards the cemetary and puts on his hat--this symbolizes his death. It cuts off at least 70 or so pages of the ending of the book. The stage musical was glorious, of course, and the soundtrack was my constant companion for several years. One New Years eve the Spouse and I sang the entire thing from beginning to end. Good times, good times. (BTW, one of the Spouse's great grandmothers did fall to her death on the stairs--it does happen, but probably only in the olden days when ladies wore heels even on their fuzzy slippers and there were none of those blue lights to show them the way like in the movie theaters.)word verifier: idiess, as in, don't get any ideas

The Crash Test Dummy said...

WoW! How amazing that you found someone to marry that would sing the whole musical front to back with you. Did you guys laugh at all, or was it serious? Did you sing Eponine or did he? ;)

I feel so bonded to you now.

So, since you've read it, what do you think of my idea to push Marius down the stairs? Did you ever feel annoyed an angry with him in the book? I saw the musical several times before I read the book so I was surprised by the ending.

I'm sorry about your spouses great grandmother. I imagine I'm going to get a lot of GG stories today.

Do you see my point about the differences between the movies and the musical/book? The music is so powerful and Victor Hugo's words are so incredible, but even though the story is good, the movie's fall short. Did you like the recent one. 10 year ago. It was fine. But no Eponine!!!

I've seen the beginning of the Normon Bates one, but they spend so much time on the galley's . . .

I have a short attention span. (Unless there are stinkin' hot vampires on the screen.)

Kristina P. said...

I think I am the only person on the planet, and definitely in Utah, who isn't enthralled with Les Miz. Meh.

Melanie J said...

I still have not seen any version of this or read it. What is wrong with me?

JustRandi said...

Maybe Jean Val jean should write the letter and then push Wolfgang down the stairs. I mean, not to his death or anything.
(Was that mean? I wasn't going for mean. I actually think he's pretty funny!)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I've on seen Les Miserables on stage...and I LOVE IT! I think pushing anyone down the stairs is just horrible...because it makes me think of Gone With The Wind and when she was pushed or tripped or fell down the stairs...so sad...so sad...I cried the first time I watched that scene.

Was Wolfgang going for creativity or morbidity? Is that even a word?

They should do Gone with the Wind as a musical and Star me...or you Crash since we are twinners...Your hair is longer, so probably you. And Edward from Twilight would play Rhett Butler, and we would give it a Twilightish twist in the musical and that way we would keep all Crash TEst Dummies attention spans...

and...

Wait, we were talking about Les Mis right?

Yea...I've seen it.

Verifier-pillia--translates to WolfGang is a Pill, but to the UPTEENTH degree so it is pronounced Pill-IA

Becky said...

I have to admit, I've never seen, read, or heard the music of "Les Miserables."

Um, hello?

Are you still there?

Emily Anne Leyland ( Art-n-Sewl) said...

Ooooh- love Les Miz. I never got to see it on stage in London. That is one of my goals. When I go back to visit we are soooo going to go see lots of the good shows in London. My lucky butt parents are always going to see good ones.

Pat said...

I love Les Miz .

But what grade did Wolfgang get, that what I want to know?

Funny Farmer said...

Add me to the Les Mis ignorance list.

OldBoatGuy said...

Such fate to go to prison over a loaf of bread!

I saw the movie, I was impressed that he took that poor little girl in and gave her a home and comfort, and she considered him her father, with a kiss!

"Bad Seed", she pushed the lady down the stairs.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Kristina, and Becky and Lisa and Melanie, and all of you who have not yet been indoctrinated, YOU. MUST. READ. THIS. STORY!

It will soon be one of the standard works, you know. Right up there will DaVinci Code and The Cullen's family proclamation.

I resisted the fad until I was 25, but once I was converted I've been spreading the gospel of Jean Val Jean ever since.

I hope they call me on a mission soon.

JustRandi, I love your idea about pushing Wolfgang down the stairs. He seemed pleased with it too when I ran it by him in class today too. As long as it's not to his death or his destruction.

Shelle, I love your idea too. Especially if it stars ME. You could be my body double for the dancing/singing scenes, and then I could come back on for the kissing scenes.

Pat, I can't tell you Wolfgang's grade. That's TEACHER/STUDENT confidentiality. But it's between maybe it's between an A+ and an A-

Ah, Old Boat Guy is full of compassion today. How sweet it is.

Aloha everyone! I'm done teaching my classes now! Everyone give me a high five!

Oh, and did you see my cute button? I'm giving thr first 100 away for free. Better grab it while you can.

Sandi said...

Well I was right there with ya, agreeing with everything you said, until you said that thing about the cullen family proclamation. Oh dear me, I think you have lost your mind!
p.s. I saw Le Mis at Tuacahn this summer and LOVED it- Eponine is my fav :)

Down with vampires!

Funny Farmer said...

"Shelle, I love your idea too. Especially if it stars ME. You could be my body double for the dancing/singing scenes, and then I could come back on for the kissing scenes."

Snort!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Sandi, you are frightening with your rebellious attitude. You are on the fringe and I'm worries about your personal salvation. Be careful what you DECLARE out LOUD on MY BLOG! I may have to request your excommuniation. :) ;)

Hey, I SAW LES MIS AT TUACAHN THIS PAST SUMMER TOOOOOOOO! Wasn't it amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! David Santos would think so too.

Eponine has always been my fav.

And I've seen it on Broadway 6 times and I thought Tuacahn was just as good if not BETTER! We took the kids and blew their little minds!

Star Struck I was! And Tongue Tied. And twisted.

Funny Farmer, while I was reading your comment I thought you were trying to steal my role. I thought you were playing my wicked step sister already. ;)

hee hee. Did you all know we're trying to be step-sisters. Fast and pray that our parents will fall in love so we can spend holidays together on the old boat.

Mariko said...

You can push me down the stairs, because I don't like musicals.
I'd probably like the book, I just never have read it yet.
Remember, I only read on the toilet, so it would take me a few years to get through this, at least.
This is even worse, because I liked the movie, since there were no songs.
Oh, and I can't STAND students and their need to be entertained attitude. I am so. sick. of it. What happened to the good old days where we were BORED and LOVED IT!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Yes, Mariko, the good old days . . . when life was boring and people liked it!

Sigh!

If you liked the movie, you'll love the book (and the musical, even if you don't like musicals.)

What's wrong with you anyway?

Annie Valentine said...

"To dream the impossible dream..." Oh wait. Wrong story. (Just admit that you totally freaked for a second there. Admit it!)

I love the way his photo looks like a mug shot from some poor European country where the sun shines everyday in the prison yard.

And YAY ME!!! Almost done.

Sandi said...

So where can we find this David Santos anyway?

Alyson (New England Living) said...

I saw Les Mis in England years and years ago and that little dude from Black Adder was master of the house. Loved it!

I'm still not beliving that Wolfgang has ever been in love. Or maybe love is a lot different in Austria.

Jami said...

In general, death either takes too long or is too quick, very inconvenient, if you ask me. Perhaps someone should explain the concept of good timing to Mr. G. Reaper.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Jami, that was so profound. It's so nice to have you back gracing our presence with your wisdom.

And Sandi, David Santos is back in my comment box on the butterfly post. Should we all go fill his blog with spam? I just bought a whole case at Costco.

Alison, I agree with you about Wolfgang. Love must be different in Austria. In fact I've never heard of an Austrian vampire so I bet they just rub noses and swap butterly kisses there.

Kristina P. said...

Oh, I've read it, and seen it on Broadway in Salt Lake. It just doesn't do it for me. I'm a horrible, horrible person.

P.S. My Twilight review is up today. I'm sure you'll love it almost as much as Les Miz.

Sandi said...

so....thinking back to Tuacahn, you weren't that annoying lady sitting in front of me who wouldn't shut up about smoking hot vampires were you?

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Oh Sandi!!! You silly goose. NO. That was not me. I didn't like smokin' hot vampires back them. This is a recent fixation.

SANDI???? CAN YOU HEAR ME??? If so, you have to go over to Kristina P.'s blog right now and read her Twilight review. I think you'll find a new best friend. Don't be intimidated by the 1,500 comments. Kristina has a way of making everyone feel special.

SWIRL said...

Going to the broadway show of Les Mis was my first date ever! ( I wasn't even 16 yet- gasp!) I had read the book and memorized all the music and this perceptive boy in my English class noticed my obsession and bought tickets to the show and asked me out!

My dad was against the whole idea (me going on a date before I was 16.) But my mom told him either he let me go... or HE had to take me. (because I was so obsessed.. it was my "Twilight". So my dad gave in...
I loved it.
But to this day- I wish my dad had taken me instead.
In the end, the guy was a real jerk and power-locked the door then tried to kiss me at the end of our date.