Thursday, November 29, 2012

Concerning Love and Literature

I have a new literary hero.
For the longest time, I have been enthralled with Harry Feversham from A.E.W. Mason's The Four Feathers.
What can I say? I have a thing for English soldiers. *wink wink* lol Seriously though, I have to say that one of the things I love most about Feversham's character is his subtle passion. That tenacity masked beneath an appearance of calm collectedness. His willingness to sacrifice everything to regain his honor. His resolve when the woman he loves becomes engaged to his best friend. Although I enjoy the drama of Jane Austen heroes and such, I confess I am more attracted to the silent sufferers than the Heathcliffs (Wuthering Heights) of literature.
All that to say, my beloved Harry Feversham has been recently usurped by, quite possibly, the most lackluster--and yet romantic--hero of all time. William Dobbin (from William Thackeray's Vanity Fair). Now I'm sure many of you have no idea who I'm talking about, and indeed, Dobbin is not exactly the most heroic sounding name on the face of the planet, BUT. I have to say this character is one of those whom I wish existed in real life. Not because he's handsome or charming or rich, but because he's just so incredibly devoted to Amelia. *sighs* That he would work to bring about her happiness even at the expense of his own. ;( Buying her piano after she is left ruined by her father's business ventures. Arranging for her to marry his best friend, George, simply because she loves him. Comforting her and her son upon George's death. I mean, there are so many wonderful qualities to this wonderfully awkward, eloquent man that have gone unbeknownst to the world!
The funny thing is, although I read Vanity Fair about two years ago, I was not very impressed with Dobbin's character until last night--when I watched the BBC film adaption. Then I was hopelessly lost. ;) And not because the actor was particularly good looking either (because he is exceptionally plain), but because of one scene. And then, I wanted to ball my eyes out! I've attached it here for your review. Watch from 00:15 to 03:24 and see if a) you don't want to give him a big hug and b) punch Amelia's light bulbs out for being such an idiot! Spoiler alert: they do get together in the end, but only Dobbin leaves and it is revealed that George was a rake and almost adulterer. (oh, and don't watch 05:20-05:35....there are several disturbing and really random shots of a fat man taking a shower!)

Anyway, just wanted to make it official: I have a new appreciation for Thackeray's work. And for the name William. ;)

Hope you're all enjoying this rainy, gloomy day! Grab a book, a cup of tea (or a mug of coffee, as some people like to put it) and listen to Chopin's Nocturne in E minor. *celestial choir*


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