Monday, June 16, 2008

which literary character?

when i open my browser, arts & letters daily is my set homepage.  this morning, it directed me to this article in the chronicle of higher education, which began with the whimsical question of "if you could be any character in literature, who would you be?" the author's answer was, "bond, james bond" and he goes into a rather in-depth defense of this choice which is worth reading.

i'm not sure i'll go all high-brow on the question, but it is an interesting one, isn't it?  those characters that spring immediately to mind for me are:
  1. ruth in john irving's a widow for one year
  2. raskolnikov in dostoevsky's crime & punishment
  3. the underground man in dostoevsky's novel of the same name (i lean to the dark side)
  4. harry potter
  5. anna karenina (again with the dark side and i don't really even like tolstoy)
  6. nora in ibsen's doll house
  7. laura in the laura ingalls wilder books (i pretended this from the ages of 8-11 anyway)
  8. lucy in c.s. lewis' the lion, the witch and the wardrobe
it seems to be a rather diverse group, but i do think they all share a gutsiness that i admire, each in their own way.  some in a more disturbing way than others, i'll admit.   

which character would you be?

5 comments:

Barb said...

What an interesting thought provoking question. I've never really wished to be anyone other than myself.

But had I to choose, I agree with your choices of Harry Potter & Lucy from the Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. I adore fantasy books and I might even add here Winnie the Pooh has always been one of my favourites, so I might even enjoy a stint in his shoes.

Enjoying your blog as usual, thanks for these thought provoking posts. Barb

smith kaich jones said...

What a cool question. I don't even have an answer! I posted a while back that I always wanted to be the witch in The Witch of Blackbird Pond, so I'll stick with that, although I'm not sure how "literature-y" that book is. :)

Or I'd maybe like to be one of the elves in Lord of the Rings. They had terrific places to live. Hmmmm . . . or the dad in Swiss Family Robinson - he knew everything & they also had a cool place to live. LOL!

Denis Dutton said...

Raskolnikov? Ever want to murder your landlady? Underground Man? I would prefer to be Laura, so long as the Little House on the Prairie had an Internet connection.

Denis Dutton
Editor
Arts & Letters Daily

julochka said...

i know i freaked everyone out with raskolnikov and underground man, but read the underground man. he's just so good at his arguments. similarly with raskolnikov, tho' i don't have a landlady, so it would be difficult. i think it's really about loving dostoevsky.

and about thinking that the literary characters i would like to be wouldn't have to be IDEAL people or like me in the least. they should be something i'm not, otherwise there's not that much fun in it, is there?

Magpie said...

okay, i'll shut up now.

but i came to visit because you'd visited me, and with each post i feel like i've met a sister.

at work, the first page i always check is artsjournal.com - it's kin to arts & letters daily.