Sunday, February 13, 2005

Marie of Roumania

Life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
and I am Marie of Roumania.

Dorothy Parker is the quintessential anti-love writer. Probably just why I love her so.

In this spirit I offer you my anti-love books:

Lolita tops both my anti-love AND love lists. Weird and conflicted, I know, but so is Humbert Humbert.

House of Mirth and/or Ethan Frome – in fact, one could argue for anything by Edith Wharton. She certainly does like to examine the seamier side of love.

Jeffrey Eugenides wrote The Virgin Suicides, possibly the best recent anti-love book, and then he followed it up with Middlesex, also an excellent anti-love book. Maybe he is our age’s Edith Wharton? He’s not quite as seamy but is just as astute and sharp. You hurt for his characters in much the same ways that you ache for Lily Bart, Ethan and Mattie, and even the insipid social-climbing Mrs St George.

Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady. Poor Isabelle Archer. Love sucks. Ditto Tess of the D’Urbervilles. If this one doesn’t turn you off love, nothing will.

Anything Ernest Hemingway. His men are noodles (and no, that wasn’t a cheap shot at Jake Barnes…well, maybe it was…), and his women aren’t too much better. Everyone knows Papa was a misogynist.

The Corpse Had A Familiar Face – Edna Buchanan was a police reporter for the Miami Herald for 16 years, and the things people do to each other in the heat of passion can be downright shocking.

In other news, Si and I are off to see the new Pooh heffalump movie. I have always had a sneaking sympathy for the old heffalumps, so I hope they don’t make them too harmless and happy (although I am afraid – I mean, look at the heffalump in that website – could he BE any cuter?). After all, if Eeyore is my favorite Pooh character, why wouldn’t I love the original grumpy, scary heffalump? (Although I must say I like the spotty heffalump even more…). And I couldn’t even find an online image of the patchwork heffalump. Those heffalumps are wily creatures indeed.


Gina said...

How was the Pooh movie? Was this Simon's first big screen adventure?

I was thinking about anti-love, and I only have two contributions that aren't totally obvious. I think the book that stands out in my mind as the most obviously anti-love is Wuthering Heights. I'm aware that there are people who think I blaspheme, but I hate stupid Heathcliff and Cathy. Love, schmuv.

And here's my other thought:
"If you're afraid of lonliness, don't marry." --Chekhov

I hate to sound bitter, but . . . damn straight, Anton!

BabelBabe said...

I have always hated Wuthering Heights. They are every one of them weenies.