Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Fiction Fantasies

Luisa tagged me for what is, I think, my favorite meme ever.

It took me a long time to come up with the answers, and if I were to answer on another day in another mood, they might be totally different. Even so, it was sure fun to think back to books I've read over the years and come up with the answers. One trouble I had is that I'd think of books I loved but that I read a decade (or two) ago—and have forgotten details like characters' names and such, so I couldn't use them.

With all that as a disclaimer, here are my answers:

1. If you could host a party with seven literary characters, whom would you invite and why?

Valancy Snaith, for her wit and her zest for life, especially after looking death in the face.

Jo March, to get me inspired with my writing.

Guy Montag. At the end of the evening, I have a feeling I’d value the written word more. It would also be cool to hear him recite some of the works he’s been assigned to memorize.

Silas Marner. I'd love to hear him talk about how his life and treasure changed.

Aerin. To me, she is one of the first real power women. I’d beg her to tell her battle stories and show off her moves.

Henry V. His stories would rival Aerin’s, but he’s not just a warrior. He’s an honorable man and a romantic at heart.

Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. An intriguing person who I’d hope would be willing to spill the beans about more of her files.

2. Who is your literary role model?
I think this means someone fictional who I look up to.

Instead, I’m going to break the rule and interpret this to mean who is my role model as far as writing goes, and that means someone who’s real, not fictional. No surprise, I’m sure, that has to be L. M. Montgomery. It’s something I can’t help.

First off, I’ve always had a love of her books, well beyond Anne. Her characters are so rich and fun—sometimes the minor ones are as real and alive as the primaries), and her stories are delightfully refreshing.

But for me, she’s also a role model as a business woman. She had a vision for what she wanted in her writing career, plus a spine of steel that prevented people from messing with her or making her back down. They tried, but she fought back in court and won. That’s my kind of role model.

3. Which literary house would you like most to live in?
For hanging out for a long vacation, that would be Pemberly. But for actually living in? Tough call. Ingleside, maybe?

4. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?
This one’s tough. Every time I think of an awesome fictional parent, I realize they’re doing the job solo, having lost a spouse. For now, I’ll say Atticus Finch and his late wife. She had to be a way cool woman.

5. Pick three literary characters you would like to have as siblings.
Peter Pevensie, the best big brother in the world.
Meg Murray, the genius big sister who would do anything for her sibling—me.
Elinor Dashwood, who is much more like me than her "real" sister. I think we'd be close.

6. Who is your favorite literary villain?
Lanfear. In addition to being intelligent, she’s drop-dead beautiful, conniving, deceptive, and seductive. She’s also in it for herself, no matter what she says.

7. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like him/her?
Javert. In his heart, he truly thinks he’s doing the right thing by serving justice above all. I pity the poor, tormented guy.

8. Which minor character deserves a book of his/her own, in your opinion?
Crispin’s mother. She must have had quite a life. It would be intense (and sad) to read about it.

9. Which character do you identify most with in literature?
Emily Starr. Since she was a little girl, she has had a burning need to express herself on paper and has had a dream of being a writer. (Yeah, a slight parallel.) Fortunately, I don't identify with her childhood years as far as who she lived with and such.

10. If you could go into a novel, which one would it be and why?
The Eyre Affair, because from that book I could go into all kinds of other books. Besides, what a ball it would be to hang out with Thursday Next and bust the literary bad guys!

11. Name 3 - 7 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists that are high on your own.
Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens
The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis
Selected Journals of L. M. Montgomery, Volumes I-V
In a Dry Land, by Elizabeth Petty Bentley
The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexander Dumas—unabridged
Much Ado about Nothing, by William Shakespeare (Okay, not a book. So sue me. Love this movie adaptation too.)
The poetry of John Dunne

12. Which is your least favorite book of those that are considered "classics?"
This one is easy: The Sound and the Fury, by William-I-think-I’m-amazing-but-I’m-an-idiot-Faulkner.

Thanks for thinking of me, Luisa!

I think I'll tag someone who is just as crazy about books as I am, the same buddy who co-wrote that Blue Castle screenplay as well as a fantasy novel with me so long ago and was in several of my English classes at BYU. Not to mention the year she went along with my insanity back in ninth grade and joined my writing/reading group based on LMM and Anne:

Sarah, I hope you'll play!


Luisa Perkins said...

Oh, SUCH good answers. I'd want to come to your party, too. I'm so glad you know the Thursday Next books! Lanfear is an excellent choice. Thanks for playing!

I gave you an award today, by the way.

Josi said...

Boy am I glad I didn't get tagged--my literary intellect consists mostly of Horton the Elephant, A family of skunks, and a bunch of British wizards.

I feel cultured just reading your answers!

Stephanie Humphreys said...

I agree Josi, I am going to go look up some of those references so I am not totally in the dark.

Unknown said...

I have to agree with Josi -- but I LOVED No. 12. Loved the moniker you hung on Faulkner and I completely agree.

Pemberly, oh yeah, that's where I'd want to live too.

Man, this blog had to take some thinking!

Annette Lyon said...

Thanks so much for the award, Luisa! Wowzers!

Bea said...

Oooh, Javert, good choice.

The Eyre Affair too - very clever!

And I'm totally with you on Faulkner.


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