Dear Readers,

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Quick Link: Literary Lads Worth Loving

I lied about the previous post being my last of the weekend.

Jezebel is discussing their favorite leading men from the realm of the novel... they like a lot of the same guys as I do! guys that Jezebel's Sadie lists that I agree with are Darcy, Rochester, Wentworth, and "Laurie before he grew up" (SO TRUE) but then she kinda just lists a bunch of major canonical heroes. I mean, she includes Newland Archer. I love Wharton's men as characters, but I wouldn't exactly go for them,' cause they are kind of weak sauce, emasculated by the strictures of Old New York Society. (Selden, Archer et al.would never risk anything for their lady loves, but rather suffer silently and submit to the smothering demands of old money-laden dowagers who control all social movement with their lineage-puppet strings.)

The h/t goes to K of South in the Winter who added a whole bunch of my fave fictional dudes to the list: L'Engle's Adam Eddinton (swoon) LM Montgomery's Gilbert Blythe, Gaskell's John Thornton, Austen's Henry Tilney. K likes Faramir from LOTR but I've always been an Aragorn girl (sorry, but I 'ship Aragorn and Eowyn til the end).

To this I'd add a few more: George Eliot wrote great heroes. I worship Will Ladislaw above all literary heroes, even Darcy I think, and Stephen Guest is sex on ice. Finally, we can't forget the literary pin-up boy that is EM Forster's wonderfully written George Emerson. In the YA world, I also like LM Montgomery's other major hero, the artist Teddy Kent and her hero from the bizarre cult-romance, "The Blue Castle," the mysterious Barney Snaith. And lastly, ever since James Purefoy played him, I've kind of had a thing for Rawdon Crawley. Becky Sharp didn't know what she had. *

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have other ideas pop into my head. Who are your most beloved heroes of the page?

*(Oh and also Humbert Humbert and Portnoy... NOTTTTT.)


  1. Re: your LMM picks. I totally agree with Barney Snaith, to a lesser degree Gilbert Blythe, but I have to disagree on Teddy. While I understand why so many of LMM's male heros were ciphers, I think Teddy is the worst of the bunch. He's too passive, he fully intends to marry Emily's best friend even though he's in love with Emily, he doesn't even have much artistic creativity since he just paints Emily's face, obsessively, into all of his work. The only thing that reconciles me to Teddy is the fact that Emily loves him. If I were to pick another LMM character, I'd pick Hilary/Jingle. He's a sad sack who actually did something.

    %100 on Thornton and Tilney.

  2. Clearly I have to read "The Blue Castle." I keep hearing good things.

    Thanks for the h/t!

  3. Anonymous11:40 AM

    Can someone please explain Sadie's nominee "Fuck Head" to me? I'm afraid to google it....
    And despite his obvious problems (incarceration of first wife, symbolic castration, etc.), Rochester is totally my dreamboat.

  4. @ Sarah O. Your points about Teddy Kent are well-taken. But didn't Emily also know she loved him and almost marry Jarback Priest? I always saw him as a sort of a male version of her, the same artistic temperament, stupid pride, weird family issues. And those telepathy scenes!

    @K, thank you for alerting me to this awesome meme!

    @Anonymous, okay I googled it! I believe "F!@#$ head is a character from Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, played by Billy Crudup in the film. Ha.

  5. Anonymous12:27 PM

    Atticus Finch is a DILF.

  6. @fellow-ette: Aha! Your use of "Jarback" instead of "Dean" is very revealing. :) I guess I'm disposed to dislike Teddy b/c imo he's not as well written as Dean, who may be dislikeable but is probably LMM's most complex male character. Teddy's total innocuousness/role as Emily's male counterpart is the best choice for Emily, b/c it guarantees her creative independence. And okay, I guess that's actually pretty rad, so why does it seem so boring to me?

    The telepathy scenes are very Jane Eyre-esque, aren't they? And Dean is such a St. John Rivers in disguise.

    @K: The Blue Castle is such a fun read. I think the main character is a bit of an Anne Eliot type - quite unassuming on the surface, but determined to take her own path after years following her family's.

  7. poor dean priest. he is WAY more well-written than Teddy Kent, I agree. But I guess I could never forgive him for telling Emily her novel sucked, and then she when burned it! HORROR! But yeah, I think you've nailed it about the Jane Eyre-ish stuff in Emily of New Moon, if Anne of Green Gables is LMM's Austen heroine, Emily is her Bronte one.

  8. Luciana7:16 PM

    Well, it is really hard to chose only one. Austen's heros are wonderful! I LOVE Henry Tilney! I know that probably many of you will kill me, but I hate Rochester! Come on, the dude has a wife locked up! But, the Brontës are no fave of mine. The big fight for me is between Darcy and Thornton. Darcy has been my guy for a lon time, but I've read N&S a month ago, and Mr. T has stolen my heart!