Where I spray-paint my thoughts…

That Literary Meme


Bubandpie tagged me for a great literary meme awhile back, and I didn’t get to do it till we got back from vacation. This was fun.

1. If you could host a party with 7 literary characters, who would they be and why?

Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane; Morag Gunn and Jules Tonnerre from The Diviners (Jules will sing); Siegfried and Tristan Farnon (from the James Herriot vet books) and Emma Gennaro, from Wilton Barnhardt’s novel Emma Who Saved My Life. I’m not sure how well they’d all get along with each other, but I would enjoy talking to all of them. That’s typical of how I host parties — invite the people I want to hang out with regardless of how good a “mix” they are. Sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn’t.

(Read on, for questions 2-12) 

2. Who is your literary role model?

Christabel Finch, from a novel called The Last Convertible by Anton Myrer. As a young woman she is adored by everyone for her beauty and vitality. When the man she adores leaves her pregnant and alone, she makes a marriage of convenience with a man she doesn’t love. Years later, when the love of her life asks her to run away with him, she tells him off good and informs him that she hasn’t been preserved in a glass jar in his memory all these years; she has been living her own life and has grown to love and respect the man she married. She’s everything I admire in a woman.

3. Which literary house would you like most to live in?

I want to live at Hogwarts and never go home for vacation.

4. Which literary couple would you like most for parents?

I would like to be raised by Atticus Finch as my single father. But later, when I’m old enough not to need a mother too badly, I’d like him to marry Miss Maudie so he won’t be lonely in his old age.

If I’ve got to have a complete set of parents to make a proper nuclear family, I’d pick Clementine’s parents from the Sara Pennypacker Clementine books. They are awesome.

5. Pick 3 literary characters you would like to have as siblings.

Jem Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird as my big brother and Jo March of Littel Woman as my big sister. And Clementine could be my little sister (I wouldn’t want her to be my daughter — she’d be way too much work to raise!)

6. Who is your favorite literary villain?

Oh definitely Severus Snape. Although perhaps we can’t really consider him a villain anymore.

7. Name a character that most people dislike, but that you do not. Why do you like them?

Teddy Kent. I don’t know if people dislike him exactly, but a lot of hardcore romantics seem to wish Emily Starr had ended up with Dean Priest instead of with Teddy, who comes across as being dull. Dull is not a bad quality, girls (not that Teddy is really dull — he’s an artist for crying out loud!) I’d take Teddy over crazy, manipulative Dean anyday.

8. Which minor character deserves a book all to themselves, in your opinion?

I’d read a spinoff Harry Potter series about practically any of the Weasley family. I’d particularly like to know what happened to George after … sorry, spoilers!

9. Which character do you identify most with in literature?

That’s a hard one. I think the first literary character I identified strongly with was Kate Bloomfield, in the Jean Little novels Look Through My Window and Kate. But in many ways that was more of a wish-fulfillment identification: Kate was, not exactly who I wanted to be, but who I imagined myself as. I still identify very strongly, not so much with the Kate in the books as with the part of myself that I feel she represents. The name “Kate” is also very important to me, probably because of this book — I use it when I need a pseudonym, and I have written two semi-autobiographical novels where the main character is named Kate. She’s definitely my shadow-self. I considered naming my daughter Kate but decided it would be laying too much on her, and that the name really belonged to me.

10. If you could go into a novel, which one would it be and why?

Any of my favourite fantasy novels — the Narnia books, the Harry Potter books, Stephen Donaldson’s Mordant’s Need novels, any of Guy Gavriel Kay’s books, especially Tigana — because I would love to experience another world, especially one in which magic was possible. (Strictly speaking of course, the Harry Potter novels take place in our world, but I’d like to experience the world as a witch rather than as a Muggle).

11. Name 3 – 7 books that you rarely see on people’s favorite book lists, that are high on your own.

Some of these have been mentioned above:

1. The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through by Stephen Donaldson (collectively known as Mordant’s Need).

2. The Last Convertible, by Anton Myrer

3. Emma Who Saved My Life, by Wilton Barnhardt

4. Gospel, by Wilton Barnhardt

5. The King’s Daughter, by Suzanne Martel

12. Which is your least favorite book of those that are considered “classics”?

I have an awful lot of unfavourite classics, I’m afraid. What would I pick as my least favourite? Heart of Darkness? The Old Man and the Sea? Moby Dick? … the list goes on and on ….

I tag Katrina , Catherine , the other Catherine, and Tina with this one … but only if they feel like it and haven’t already done it (I’m a little behind on blog-reading since the trip).

8 thoughts on “That Literary Meme

  1. Oh, another dinner party I want to attend!

    I never saw the appeal of Dean – it had literally never occurred to me to want those two to get together until I was in my twenties and researching my MA thesis.

  2. Dean always creeped me out. Little bit of a pedophile feel to him. I mean he was looking at a child when he decided he would like to be with her for life. Yuck!

  3. Yeah, that is creepy. One more reason not to like him.

  4. Thanks for the tag! I haven’t, and will definetly. But you’ll need to be patient, I’m afraid…I’m notoriously slow on meme’s….this is such a fun one though…

  5. First of all, Wow, I’m the THIRD Catherine to comment here! What a great name, huh?

    Secondly, my children have made it next to impossible for me to get through this post, as they seem to do every time I’m really excited to read someone’s particular post. This is my third time here in the last 24 hours! What great answers, by the way.

    Finally, thanks so much for including me in the tag! I LOVE memes that are about books/reading/characters and that sort of thing. I will be thinking deeply about my answers for the remainder of the night. Some of yours are so close to what mine would’ve been, literary house and villians for example. 🙂

  6. Ah yes, the many Catherines of my online life. If Catherine T (the one who’s in my so-called REAL life as well) ever kept her blog up to date, I’d have tagged all three Catherines!!

  7. Loved “The Last Convertible” as well. Re-read it at least once a year – and will never be able to get through it without tears. Ever. Incidentally the teacher in me must correct you on the heroine’s name – it’s Christabel Farris [not Finch]. I’m a little new at blogging so I apologize if you’ve been told this already by dozens of people. Have a wonderful weekend!

  8. You’re so right! “Christabel Finch” was the British actress who played Tracy on Coronation Street for many years, and those are probably the only two “Christabels” I’ve ever been aware of, so that must be how my brain made that switch.

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