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Literary Crushes

June 5, 2010

Not sure what started me thinking about literary crushes, and first literary crushes in particular. The book character you fall in love with, daydream about, savor their every word and action in the book as lovably perfect… almost don’t want to put down or finish the book, because it means less time spent with your crush.

And then the daydreams. Sighing, wondering what if you were in the book, if your crush were in your world? Talk about a gloriously impossible, long distance relationship!

Possibly more so, if your literary crush comes from a fantasy-world setting.

The first literary crush I remember having was Mr. Holystone, Dido Twite’s teacher from The Stolen Lake, by Joan Aiken.

I read all the Dido Twite books out of order- that was my first, and I think it’s somewhere in the middle of the series. I’m still a little murky about why Dido got to travel on ships and climb up mountains, and go to odd jungle palaces where a lake had been stolen- from a queen who I always pictured as looking like a Pekinese dog.

Mr. Holystone wore glasses, was pale and very very smart about a whole range of things. And he was dreamy (by which I mean thoughtful, rather than McDreamy-handsome. Which he also was, at least as I remember picturing him) and mysterious and imperiled and had a weird magical destiny. Also spent a fairly salient chunk of the plot asleep, which I remember being tremendously frustrating.

And then there was Mr. Holystone’s Very Important Destiny… which was both part of why I had a crush, and also an infuriating letdown. Because if he had to go deal with a really impressive Destiny, he couldn’t be Dido’s smart, eclectic, bantering tutor with the glasses and travel with her, telling fascinating stories. Looking back, I remember that Mr. Holystone spent as much plot being a damsel in distress, and sort of checking out, as he did being heroic… not sure what I saw in him. I think it was the glasses, and the stories. And the otherworldliness of being English and set in the 19th-ish century.

I remember talking about literary crushes with my mother, at the time. She told me her first big literary crush had been Aragorn, from Lord of the Rings. Intrigued, I struggled through the first book, mostly because I was curious about her literary crush. And.. although I have since seen the extended versions of the movies… I still haven’t read the entire Ring trilogy. Can’t get through it. Nothing to do with whether or not Aragorn has crush potential. Picturing Aragorn as a grubby, stubbly Viggo Mortensen also doesn’t do it for me.

Also not helping, though it makes me laugh hard every time I read it. The Very Secret Diary of Aragorn, by Cassandra Clare. Excerpt:

Day Six:

Orcs killed: none. Disappointing. Stubble update: I look rugged and manly. Yes!
Keep wanting to drop-kick Gimli. Holding myself back.
Still not King.

Possibly one of the funniest things on the Internet. Ever. No matter how many times I re-read it. Also, raunchy in parts, possibly not safe for work. (Other characters’ diaries involve hobbits and are even less work-safe.)

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 6:42 am

    I quite liked Simon throughout the series, but I see what you mean about Mr. Holystone. FYI: a guest blogger wrote about literary crushes on Kiersten Writes: http://kierstenwrites.blogspot.com/2010/06/gilbert-blythe-owns-my-heart-guest-post.html

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