The Fictional Character Meme
1. Which fictional character frightens you the most?
Milo Minderbinder from Catch-22. He is mindlessly, heartlessly mercenary and has no moral compunction whatsoever. What I find frightening about him is his casual, almost inadvertent ruthlessness. He follows the logic of the dollar, and so what for the rest? (I could draw parallells about votes and oil businesses and sandy places, but I’ll spare you).
2. Which fictional parents do you most wish you had?
The parents from Swallows and Amazons who set a high bar and empowered their kids through trust: “better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won’t drown”. How likely is it that any modern parents would give such unsupervised freedom to pre-teens and young teenagers? Though I do wonder how much time the children’s mother spent searching the lake with a pair of binoculars.
3. Which fictional character has the most balls?
The scene in Cool Hand Luke where Paul Newman is knocked down the ground and gets up, is knocked down and gets up, is knocked down and gets up first gave me the idea that it may not actually be about winning, it may just be about surviving. Based on that, and rather depressingly, the generic Dick Francis hero has that same relentless stoicism. In a useless attempt to dig myself out of this formulaic pit, I’d suggest Lymond from the Game of Kings series by Dorothy Dunnett, but his stoicism is jut irritating rather than admirable.
4. To which fictional character’s home would you most like to be invited for dinner?
Nanny Ogg’s. (I am such a lightweight when it comes to fiction). You wouldn’t know who you’d be going to meet, but the company would be ribald, the food plentiful, the scumble mostly apples, and you wouldn’t have to lift a finger for browbeaten daughters-in-law serving the meal and washing up afterwards.
5. If you could invite three fictional couples to your own house for dinner, who would they be?
Calypso and Hector Grant, mainly for Calypso to be honest, I’ve always been mesmerised by her cool blonde sexiness. Clovis, from Saki’s short stories, is single. Well he’s clearly gay. He is also extremely witty. Unfortunately I cannot think off the top of my head of a suitable male partner for him, but I have always liked Miriam from The Woman in White, is also single, also witty and also an outsider. (Why did Collins marry his hero off to the blonde bimbo, when Miriam was there all along?) My final couple are fictional but not literary. They are Morticia and Gomez Addams. Sexy again, outsiders again, they are devoted to each other, sophisticated, and charming.
6. Which fictional character could probably entice you into his/her bed?
I have always had the serious hots for Demerel in Georgette Heyer’s Venetia for, argggh, almost 30 years now. Low-brow once again, but either of them could bed me any time they liked. More poshly, Tybalt for some reason is even more compelling than Mercutio, and they are both pretty damn compelling. Not sure I fancy either of them now I’m past 14 myself though.
7. Which fictional character would most likely have broken your heart?
Odysseus. Sexy. Intelligent. Unfaithful. Clever. Witty. A loner. Well travelled. In bed with someone else right now. Bastard.
8. In which fictional character’s home would you most like to live?
Mrs Tiggiwinkle’s. I almost do, though one of Molly Keane’s grand Anglo-Irish mansions would be rather wonderful too. All that walking and riding and countryside and light and rain. And servants. I like the idea of servants.