Monday, July 07, 2008

my mind goes blank ... again !

soaked after a quick dash in the pouring rain from the truck to the doorstep of the blogger, plutarch, a walking talking fount of knowledge and ideas, and a real gent, of course

in the time it takes to swallow a cup of coffee, the subject of current reading returned to the old problem of what to read whilst time is so precious ... what to avoid reading, and what we must re-read ... and we suddenly realized there is a gap in our perspective when neither of us could come up with a quick answer to this question ...

which are the most interesting, or complex, wimmin in the great novels ?

there are plenty of memorable beauties, and plenty of witty and passionate heroines, but when we tried to make a list of wimmin in novels who stimulate and challenge as spiritually and intellectually as do the ones we encounter in real life ... we agreed it might be necessary to appeal for suggestions

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rebecca
from Daphne Du Maurier's
* Rebecca.
Always an enigma,
always there.

Lloydville said...

We must suggest Jane Eyre, the most companionable of women, and Cathy of "Wuthering Heights", the most infuriating of women, and -- straying from the novel but staying with fiction -- Shakespeare's Juliet, the most admirable and heroic of women, and his Rosalind, the wittiest of women, and his Cleopatra, the most honest of women . . . way, way too honest.

And Homer's Penelope, of course, whom no man deserves, not even the wily Odysseus.

And Ginger Rogers.

tristan said...

thanx for a nice starter

roll up roll up ladies & gentlemen ...

i'm hoping for enough suggestions of fictional wimmin to make a challenging reading list ...

tristan said...

wow ! thanx !

now we gotta list !

and a challenging list, it is !

Anna said...

Not easy. I don't know that they meet all your criteria but, in the greats; Anna Karenina, Portia, Catherine Earnshaw, Becky Sharp.

It becomes much easier to find interesting women in the simply good novels; Clara del Valle from Allende's House of the Spirits. Flora Post from Gibbons' Cold Comfort Farm. Naera H. from Russell Hoban's Turtle Diary. Linda Radlett from Nancy Mitford's Pursuit of Love. Sybylla from Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career.
I enjoyed thinking about it.

tristan said...

thanx again, anna

that's a good looking list and i shall be reading them all

what i'm really after is people whose ideas and attitudes challenge and change my own

please, anyone who passes this way, offer your suggestions ... and ask your friends for theirs, too ?

tristan said...

joe hyam said:

I think that Marcel's grandmother in In Search of Lost Time, is a great female character in a novel. Shakespeare of course had some good female characters. Rosalind in As You Like It comes to mind. Bernard Shaw did women proud on the whole. And so did Oscar Wilde. But I am still thinking about it.

Plutarch said...

Marcel's grandmother in In Search of Lost Time; Rosalind in As You Like It; The Queen in Allan Bennett's The Uncommon Reader.

tristan said...

thanx plutarch

my own nomination for today is the accomplished scam queen marlene liebowitz in peter carey's theft ... an all-round bad girl

Lucy said...

I'm giving this some thort...

tristan said...

please do ... and anyone's revised thoughts and appendices will also be more than welcome ... of course, it must be said, the novelists themselves were and often are challenging and stimulating when encountered or confronted ... i.e. the best kind of humans