Thursday, 22 October 2015

Good Men in a Fictional Crisis

I have returned from Polish class, where I delivered my 650 word paper on Stanisław Wyspiański. Typing the silly thing drove me around the bend, for when I change my normal British QWERTY for the Polish QWERTZ keyboard, I almost always get Z and Y mixed up. I just did it again. However, it is done and photocopied and delivered and handed out to my classmates, and now I can get on with life.

Yesterday I wrote warmly of the Suchet Poirot, and I was wondering today whom you would turn to in a crisis. We often look--foolishly, I think--for mates who remind us of our fictional romantic heroes, but what fictional men would we look to, like pretend daughters or pretend mothers, in a crisis?

For some strange reason, as I was walking up the Canongate this evening, I thought I would consult Mr Rochester on money matters. I certainly would never, ever, ever see Mr Rochester in the light of a romantic hero: what a twister! Big fat bigamous liar! Jane Eyre can have him, and I am not really sure why she wanted him in the first place.

But this is not the place to fight about the dreaminess of Mr Rochester. What I am wondering is, "Which men in fiction would you turn to in a crisis, not expecting or wanting to marry them afterwards, and why?"  If I were very sick, I think I would like to call Gilbert Blythe, MD. Gilbert rather than Dr Watson--Dr Watson is too easily distracted. Naturally I would not want to marry Gilbert (even if single), for he is a married man with seven children (including the dead).

19 comments:

  1. Ooh, I love literature questions. :) Hmm . . . I suppose it would depend partly on what kind of crisis, but Sir Percy Blakeney from 'The Scarlet Pimpernel' was a pretty intelligent and resourceful character. (Steady nerves, too.) And Jeeves, too.

    Darcy came through in a crisis, of course, but I've never liked him much. Actually, I'm not sure there are any Jane Austen men I would particular want in a crisis, even the ones I really like?

    Actually, Poirot might be pretty handy to have in a crisis, too. :)

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  2. I actually like the Earl of Worth from Heyer's Regency Buck. Good in a crisis, but rather annoying to date.

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  3. Auntie, this is not related to your post. But I had sent a mail to your Seraphic ID - did you not get it? My name is Rosemary. Could you check, please? I got the email ID from your profile here.
    Thanks!

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  4. Rosemary, I don't think I did. However, I will check the spam.

    I seem to recall the Earl of Worth....

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  5. Rosemary, I don't think I did. However, I will check the spam.

    I seem to recall the Earl of Worth....

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    Replies
    1. He becomes the guardian of Judith Taverner and her brother due to the eccentricities of her father's will. He's not much older than them. Judith is very rich, and will be even richer if her brother is "put out of the way" which her suitor is secretly determined to do. The Earl of Worth must keep the brother alive while attempting to soften Judith's heart towards him...

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  6. c'est la vie23 October 2015 at 13:08

    Mr. Knightley!

    I would actually call on Sherlock Holmes rather than Watson in a crisis. He might not be sympathetic but he would at least have a solution.

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  7. Good men in a crisis from literature?
    • Well, Aragorn, obviously. But as a Numenorean he is (almost) not human, so I don't know if he counts. In his Strider incarnation, perhaps?
    • Margery Allingham's Albert Campion. Unflappable.
    • Most won't know this one, but Rumer Godden's John Henry Quinn, in China Court. He rescues "Ripsie" from shame and destitution.
    • Edmund Pevensie, after his conversion, from the Narnia series. He stands up for the underdog and for his sister Lucy when no one believes her.
    • Guy Perron, from Paul Scott's The Raj Quartet novels. Brave, resourceful, sympathetic and not easily shocked.
    • Randolph Ashe, from A.S. Byatt's Possession. Learned, brilliant, kind.

    I never liked Mr Rochester either, but then Jane herself isn't that likable, although one does feel for her and her trials.

    Alias Clio


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  8. - From Jane Austen: Mr Knightley and Colonel Brandon
    - Freddy Standen (Georgette Heyer)
    - Jeeves (although he is not very nice to poor Bertie; but he always helps, so I think I would ask him)
    - I think nobody knows him, but Ancient Roman sleuth Marcus Didius Falco - he mostly comes to help, though often reluctantly. Perhaps I would ask his girlfriend or his mother who would definitely make him help me.

    I would not want to marry any of them, mostly because they are all married already, and because they are not my type.

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  9. John Henry Quinn! He was certainly a reliable man, quick to see what needed to be done, and deserving of better than a marriage of expediency.

    The Earl of Worth was maddeningly unflappable.

    If we are talking about a financial crisis, I think Mr. Darcy would be a useful adviser. He certainly knew a lot about administering an estate. In a more physical crisis, Bilbo or Frodo Baggins would be my choice. They might not have a lot of brawn, but they managed to leverage their brains quite well.

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  10. Rosemary, I never got your email. I have looked in spam, and I have looked in my In box and nothing.

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    Replies
    1. Oh dear... where can I mail you then? Are you using the same email ID - and should I send the mail again? Or is there another one I can use?

      Rosemary

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    2. Rosemary, it's seraphicsingles@yahoo.com. Try again!

      Delete
  11. I can't believe this one hasn't made the list yet, but Lord Peter Wimsey from Dorothy Sayer's mysteries. Devastating intelligence, nerves of steel, a sense of adventure, a soft heart for a damsel in distress, enough money for anything, and hilariously funny to boot ;-)

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  12. Having just finished the Harry Potter series for the first time, I would say Fred and George Weasley. Even if they don't end up being so helpful, they're always good for a laugh, and that's important.

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  13. To night the Synod Anguish is worse than ever, so the man who stands out in a special crisis light is of course Captain Arthur Hastings, and of course only in the David Suchet Hugh Fraser "world". Reading the final Synod document I hear him, with his chaste, pure, naive voice crying out: Good Lord!!!!!!!!! Shocked, scandalized, helping shocked, scandalized single women. The true Gentleman that he is. O yes, I will watch some more Poirot to night.../Jonna

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  14. I realize this isn't especially literary, but for anything legal, personal safety, or crime-related, I would want to go to DCI Tom Barnaby from "Midsomer Murders." He's very good at his job, but also courteous and a devoted husband and father to a grown daughter.

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  15. Jonna, why the Synod anguish? I heard bad news from the secular radio reports this afternoon too, but now I check a Catholic news site, I see nothing but good news for those who want the church's teachings upheld. See:

    http://www.news.va/en/news/synod-on-the-family-press-briefing-day-17

    and

    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/final-synod-document-strongly-backs-church-teaching-beauty-of-family-life-37584/

    ... and note Cardinal Pell's remarks at the end of the latter article - he sounds pretty definite about the outcome, and it all sounds like the Holy Spirit didn't drop the ball ;)
    Southern Bloke.
    P.S. sorry for the threadjack Seraphic, it just seemed important!

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  16. While I have definitely thought of certain characters (Aragorn, Colonel Brandon, Pippin) I realize I would never turn to them in a crisis. I find this odd because as a child I was always looking to men to model myself after (especially my dad... my mother can't always tell us apart if she just hears walking). The older I get, the more I look around and realize just how lucky and blessed I have been by the men in my life. (Any time there is a time of crisis I almost always go to the men in my life first, then the sister closest to me in age and / or my mother)

    So, I'll do a shameless gender switch: for creative crisis I'd turn to Anne from her Avonlea or later periods; for times of financial instability I'd go for the March sisters (Little Women); and if there's relationship crisis I'd turn to Tohru Honda (of the Fruits Basket manga fame).

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