Ravens, Romance, and Rowing Rakes
I always feel slightly weird when I finish reading a novel. You know how it goes. It’s that emotional investment. I always feel as though I’ve come to inhabit the thing. Inhabit. Immerse. Yes, I’ve been known to wallow. I get a sense of vulnerability when I reach the end of the final page, and this lasts until the next engagement. I’ve been striving to make this gap progressively shorter, but it hasn’t fully disappeared. I can’t really embrace the idea of reading lists. Despite the awkward interregnum that always occurs, I feel that I’m generally able to happen upon the right book for the time, and I tend to believe that any set order could interfere with that. For this reason I endure.
I just finished “The Twelfth Enchantment”, a comfortable historical fantasy. It’s a genre I regularly enjoy, and this story's timely use of Austen’s particular flavour of love triangle was emphasised further for me by the fact that I reached the end of the book shortly after I saw “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. It can often be amusing to see the revelation of the supposed scoundrel’s gallantry as the apparently chivalrous suitor is shown to be a Byronic rake, though the effect is slightly spoiled when the latter is actually Byron. Still, liberal use of dead literary figures always tickles me. I believe that this is adequately evinced by my ardent devotion to John Cusack’s turn in “The Raven”.
I’m going to take this opportunity to briefly talk about Hugh Grant again. A fair number of his roles tend to occupy the Byronic corner of Austen’s triangle, but he portrayed the real Byron in “Rowing with the Wind”, a reasonably obscure Spanish film that preceded all of those roles. That seems backward somehow. Backward or prophetic.
Best dead literary figure? I'll tell you after I die.