Thursday, June 03, 2010

What I Love, #3

Part 1 here, Part 2 here.

Favorite characters in books, this time. There will probably be spoilers ahead, so if you haven't read any of the books, don't read my opinions!

Chick in "Geek Love," by Katherine Dunn.
I am currently re-reading "Geek Love," one of my favorite books of all time. It's profound and deep but easy to ready and so evocative. As I am re-reading, I realize how much I love Chick, the youngest child in the strange and fabulous Binewski family. I adore him. I was actually thinking in my head of how I would draw him, should I have any sort of motivation to stop reading and start drawing. He is such a powerful but sad child- he makes me want to have kids. When Chick realizes that Mumpo, Elly, and Iphy are dead, I literally cry, every single time I read that chapter.

Westley in "The Princess Bride," by William Goldman.
Swashbuckling hero, tall, dark, and handsome. What more is there to say?? He is awesome. Cary Elwes will forever be remembered by me as Westley, rather than anything he's done before or since. To me, Westley is the epitome of the man I'd like to be rescued by, complete with smart-aleck commentary (very necessary).

Dominique Francon in "The Fountainhead," by Ayn Rand.
I admire the main character, architect Howard Roark- he is driven, single-minded, and remarkably goal-oriented. But it's Dominique that I empathize with. She was raised by a powerful, irritable man, and she loves a strong man with tunnel vision. Poor girl is caught, but she is never the victim. She is strong in a way that I wish I could be strong, and she has her own vision of what love is, without caring about convention in any way.

Lyra Belacqua in "His Dark Materials," by Philip Pullman.

In the books, Lyra is an eleven-year-old girl, pretty much living in a monastery, rebelling and acting out. She is sweet and brave and funny and irreverent, all things that young girls should be. I was not that way as a little girl- I was painfully shy, very timid, extremely careful, and the opposite of a rebel. I wished for nothing more than to fade into the woodwork, so people couldn't see me. Lyra is what I wish I could have been as a child, faults and all. 

Count Dracula in "Dracula," by Bram Stoker.
The book portrays the Count as a complex, manipulative man, without the effortless grace and prettiness that is now so commonplace in portrayals of vampires. He seems like a real person in the book, not some immortal that cannot be hurt, floating icily above all the human fray. I was fascinated by how Dracula was written, because I am so used to modern vampires- all slick and techie, with guns and swords and pithy one-liners. Not that I like evil characters- I just really liked how Dracula came across in words, countering my lifetime of mass media interpretations.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle in books by Betty MacDonald.
The books about Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle are dear to my heart. I read them all as a child, and they left such a lasting impression. She is one part Rosie the Robot from "The Jetsons," two parts Mary Poppins, and three parts Maria von Trapp. There is nothing more I can say about the character.

I'm sure I'm missing a ton of characters, but these are the ones that popped to mind. This whole "What I Love" thing is sort of like word association. I was reading "Geek Love" and thinking about how much I love Chick. Then I thought, "what other characters do I love?" and wrote down the ones that came to me. I haven't read some of the books above for years and years, but those characters still came to me.

I've been a rather atrocious blogger of late; there are no excuses. Adjusting to Albuquerque, I guess? I haven't settled into a rhythm yet, because my life here keeps changing. Once I find the rhythm, I assume that's when I'll feel like this is home and I'll have a regular schedule to adhere to. For now, the chaos is fun!


william June 4, 2010 at 8:23 PM  

great idea for a post. i won't steal this one, i promise.

i guess some of my favorite characters from books include:

matilda (matilda)
heathcliff (wuthering heights)
peter hatcher (tales of a fourth grade nothing; superfudge)

funny. those are the only ones that come to mind.

jeanny June 8, 2010 at 9:43 AM  

You should steal- I steal ideas from you, too!

I love Matilda. LOVE.

yeon July 8, 2010 at 11:17 PM  

uh...sherlock holmes? mary poppins? jo march? any of the marches, including marmee? laura ingalls wilder? the wakefield twins? all overlooked! :(

jeanny July 9, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

There are TOO MANY to list! You know I love Sherlock Holmes and Mary Poppins.

I'm not a huge fan of the Marches, not enough to have them be part of my list. Ditto to the little prairie girls.

I do love the Wakefield twins, though! I haven't thought about those books in forever....