Tuesday, February 14, 2006

V-Day Confessions

The question is, what literary character could make you see stars, complete your life, take you dancing and love you forever?

I'll go first. When I need to feel highbrow, I go with Emma's Mr . Knightley. But my heart truly belongs to John Sandford's Lucas Davenport, who can cook, shoot, and design computer games, and whose best friend is a nun.

Limiting myself to children's books . . . as a young teen I had a crush on the girl Jesse in Lois Duncan's Ransom, and Monsieur Roger Tunnel in Kin Platt's The Boy Who Could Make Himself Disappear. And now I kind of have a thing for the Nac Mac Feegle, yup, all of 'em. The heart wants what the heart wants.

30 comments:

Jen Robinson said...

What a fun question! My childhood self votes for Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. He was cute and an engaging flirt, but completely loyal once he found the right girl. I was also partial to Tony from Escape to Witch Mountain (the book more so than the movie). He could make things dance just by playing his harmonica, and he and his sister could talk telepathically. How cool! My adult self is going to have to stick with my real-life hero on this one. But Lucas Davenport has grown on me over the course of the series, after starting out a bit too vain for words. Happy Valentine's Day!

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

You can't have Mr.Knightly, he is mine. Especially in the screen version with Paltrow and Jeremy Northum. Best screen kiss of all time.

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

Mr. Rochester runs a close second.

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

And when I was young, Rose's uncle in eight cousins could certainly take me dancing.

Anonymous said...

Henry, from the Time Travelers Wife.

Jane said...

Ged/Sparrowhawk when I was a late teen. Always a sucker for dangerous, anarchic, broody young men.

In my middle years, I fancied the Tuck family.

Now I think Henry of the Time Traveler's Wife is a perfect choice because I do a lot of emotional time traveling myself.


Jane

Jennie said...

For children's books, I have to second Jen's call for Gilbert Blythe. I could also go for one of the Weasley twins from Harry Potter.

For adult books, I'm going to have to be really predictable and go with Mr. Darcy (I'll take Pride and Prejudice or Bridget Jones. Not picky.) Or Captain Wentworth. Actually, I'll take almost any Austen leading man.

Emily said...

Peter Pan.

deborah said...

If George Cooper (from the Alanna books) were ever to leave me, I would console myself with Wizard Howl (from Howl's Moving Castle -- the book; the movie Howl is a wuss). I might see Gilbert Blythe on the side, but only the miniseries Gilbert, not book Gilbert.

Luckily my two children's lit boyfriends are not jealous of my Red Sox boyfriend and my folk music girlfriend. But it does get crowded at Thanksgiving.

Melissa said...

Joe Willard, from the Betsy-Tacy books. Or maybe Corlath from Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword.

Melissa H said...

Ponyboy from "The Outsiders" was my heart-throb from about the age of 9 onwards...

Monica said...

Having recently read and loved, loved, loved Megan Whalen Turner's The King of Attolia I'm now rereading the first two books and I gotta say Eugenides is to die for.

Monica

Monica said...

Those smelly little blue men? Yuck. About as appealing to me as Sawyer in Lost who must have the worst breath and BO by now. Now Jack the doctor somehow seems to not appear to reek to the same degree for some reason. Not that I'd swoon over him particularly. (Sorry to toss in a television reference, but it is the show we fourth grade teachers talk about at lunch most days!)

Monica

Andy Laties said...

Titty, from the Arthur Ransome "Swallows & Amazons" books, especially in "Winter Holiday", "Pigeon Post" and "Secret Water" -- except, not dancing, but exploring and sailing.

Andy

Roger Sutton said...

I'm glad Andy showed up to give us some gender balance. She, every English major over forty has Mr. Knightley at the top of their list. Move over. Monica, *never* Sawyer: Locke. I confess to not being able to finish the Time Traveler's Wife; does the guy ever get to settle down with the girl or does he keep coming and going? The women in the HB office seem to fancy Eugenides, too, but the last time I ran a fantasy-boyfriend survey here it was about characters from the West Wing. (Neck-and-neck: Toby and Josh.)

Anonymous said...

No-no, Peter Pan is mine.
But wait, it would have to be
Castor and Pollux Stone from the
Rolling Stones by Heinlein. I love clever repartee in a man, plus
they were going to be rich.
Or Calvin from a Wrinke in Time' 'cuz he was such an all around good guy.

Jan from Michigan

Hollis said...

Daisy Kutter. Duh.

In college, long before the movie came out, I was into Candy from Cider House Rules. Or maybe I was into the professor teaching the course. I just wanted a fling with her, I knew she couldnt be trusted. Then when the movie came out, and it was Charlize, well, that kinda rekindled my crush...

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

Well, they can't all have him, can they? Because he is mine. What part of this did I not make clear? English majors younger than forty don't like Mr. Knightly or do you not know anyone under forty?

rindambyers said...

Actually, around age 9 or 10 or so, I adored Robin Hood, I forget what edited version of the stories I read...I cried and cried every time he died at the end and ached to be Maid Marian....Lancelot of the Lake was a close second...Hmmm wonder if children even KNOW about those old stories these days...

Anonymous said...

OMG's I adore the Nac Mac Feegle. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that twists that way.

Nina said...

Well anonymous Jan beat me to Calvin from a Wrinkle in Time. He was part of what made that book so wonderful!

My current crush, also taken, is Eugenidies. But I could settle for the doctor in Polly Horvath's The Canning Season. What is it about these smart, funny, kind, get-it-done kind of older men cropping up in children's books?

I wonder, has anyone ended up with a partner that resembles the literary crush they had as a child? My husband is smart and attentive like Calvin...but a little cruder sense of humor, sort of like the Nac Mac Feegle.

XiaoMu said...

Will Perry in His Dark Materials, for his fierce loyalty and deep watery soul.

My true crush, though, was not from a children's book, even if it was when I was in middle school: Jia Bao Yu from Dream of the Red Chamber. He is a teen, for the majority of the novel, full of tenderness, once again, fiercely in love with his counsin -- and is adored by many. He is full of contradictions. He adores girls and dislikes boys; he'd rather write poetry than drinking and having fun with his male cousins. He's welathy and generous. I still sigh just remembering him... and struck with sorrow by the death of his true love.

Ah.. ANOTHER Literary Crush: Mr. Masumi from Glass no Kamen, the Manga Saga. He has to hide his true love in a torturous fashion and is never united with the girl of his dreams - even though SHE is also in love with him.

I guess... the common characteristic - Tortured Souls. I'm a sucker for tragic characters.

mvp said...

My man (like deborah's) is a Diana Wynne Jones creation, but mine lives in "Fire and Hemlock." When the book first came out and I was rambling on to K.T. about its multi-amazingness, she gave me one of her calm looks, waved a dismissive hand, and said, "You're just in love with Tom Lynn." Oh, right, I thought. K.T: always one step ahead.

As to Roger's and anonymous's penchant for the wee free men: count me in. They're cheerful, willing, completely dependable in a crisis, funny--and 99.9% of them are unmarried. What's not to like?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Rindambyers- ROBIN HOOD, first, foremost and always!
Micki

rindambyers said...

WOW! I don't feel so alone now...and I never got to see a movie about Robin Hood until I was well past 30....

Anonymous said...

Lord Peter Wimsey. Is there anyone else?

Roger Sutton said...

re English majors under forty: I'm just guessing that both grad and undergrad English courses have changed a lot since the mid-70s, and that literary crushes have become more expansively defined to include such non-canonical figures as Giles on the Buffy show.

Carly said...

When I was younger, I adored Ted in Paula Daziger's book, There's a Bat in Bunk Five so much, that in my teens I travelled all the way over to New Jersey to be a camp counselor at a summer camp, hoping to find my own Ted! It never happened, but without that book, I would never have wanted that experience.

In my teens I fell in love with Tommy in The Gift by Danielle Steel.

Now that I'm in my twenties, I have fallen in love with Noah Calhoun in The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks and who doesn't love Mr Darcy! (I think Colin Firth may have helped my imagination even more so!) And if I'm allowed to be a teen again, I think Jesse in The Mediator Series by Meg Cabot, definately deserves crush status! I just wished those books were around when I was younger, I might have tried to have become a Ghostbuster! =0)

Robin said...

Laurie and Professor Baer in "Little Women" when I was a child because they were funny, smart, loyal and supportive.

Pierre Bezukhov in "War and Peace" when I was older, especially as played by Anthony Hopkins in the brilliant 1972 BBC production. Pierre is also smart and loyal but more conflicted and ultimately philosophical, especially about war and power -- the perfect hero for a rebel child of the '60s.

Beth said...

Wow, Eugenides the Thief has a fan club. If the Queen doesn't appreciate him I'm next in line.