My Goodreads Quotes

Allison’s quotes

"Don't you think it's rather nice to think that we're in a book that God's writing? If I were writing a book, I might make mistakes. But God knows how to make the story end just right--in the way that's best for us."
Do you really believe that, Mother?" Peter asked quietly.
Yes," she said, "I do believe it--almost always--except when I'm so sad that I can't believe anything. But even when I don't believe it, I know it's true--and I try to believe it."— E. Nesbit

Friday, June 26, 2015

Literary Couples

Something terrible has been happening, readers.

My icy cold unromantic heart is melting!

Growing up, I never had any patience for romance.  I was the stoniest little ice maiden to ever be unimpressed by suave words.  I tested myself against all the major poets and authors, and none could break my impenetrable, unromantic shield.

Jane Austen: You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope...I have loved none but you.

10-year-old Allison: BORing!

Charles Dickens: And yet I have had the weakness, and have still the weakness, to wish you to know with what a sudden mastery you kindled me, heap of ashes that I am, into fire.

13-year-old Allison: Hon, she is so not worth it.

Shakespeare: Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.

16-year-old Allison: Points for trying.  But only because you’re Shakespeare.

 But 17-year-old Allison has undergone some frightening emotional changes that leave her younger selves shaking their heads with disgust.

 Dorothy L. Sayers: Placet. 

17-year-old Allison: WAAAAAAH!!!!  Oh, that is so beautiful!  *sniffs*
16-year-old Allison: Are you kidding me?

 (If you wish to understand this rather ambiguous Dorothy L. Sayers quote, you’ll need to read her Lord Peter Wimsey series, beginning with Whose Body?)

It’s happened, everyone.  The thing my friends have been threatening me with every time I scoff during a romantic comedy.

 I’ve developed a romantic soul.

And that means… I’m writing a post on my favorite literary couples!  (By all rights, I should do this in February.  But there are much more important things to celebrate in February.  Such as my birthday.)

While attempting to write the list, however, I realized that definitely selecting my favorites is incredibly difficult.  So instead I have pinpointed the three traits that I value in literary couples, with examples.

1.      Adorableness

This, readers, is vitally important.  There must be a squee-factor at some point in the proceedings, or the romance isn’t worth reading at all!  The most adorable couple of all time is, I believe, Eugenides and his lady from Megan Whalen Turner’s the Queen’s Thief series (ha! you thought I would give away her name… never!).  They are, against all odds, sweet and loving, even when they must hide their love in the face of adversity.  I especially love how they retain their individual agendas and personalities and still disagree, often violently.  It’s much more realistic that way.  (Runner up: Sophie and her significant other from Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle.)


2.      Thoughtfulness

I love when books raise deep questions on relationships.  And when it comes to questioning their relationship, Lord Peter Wimsey and the mysterious Lady X take the cake!  (From the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, by Dorothy L. Sayers).  At least four books are devoted to Lady X as she rejects Lord Peter’s affections.  Characters who are clearly meant for each other having angst-ridden relationship issues normally drive me insane.  But in these books, the characters actually think about their relationship.  They question their compatibility.  And they raise haunting, thought-provoking questions.  (Runner up: Polly and her beau from Diana Wynne Jones’s Fire and Hemlock.  Sorry, Mrs. Jones!  You’re constantly the runner up!)


3.      Faithfulness

This trait, I feel, is often glossed over in literature.  Sure they can have passionate, love-struck soliloquies… but can they also love and defend and put up with each other for the rest of their lives?  Andromache and Hector, from Homer’s The Illiad, absolutely can.  Like all Greek heroes, they’re dramatic, adventurous, and exciting—but they’re also devoted to each other.  She spins him a cloak and gives him military advice.  He adores their son (one of the many traits that earned him a spot in my Favorite Heroes post).  Sure, their relationship has its rough spots—like the Siege of Troy.  But their endless patience will keep their love strong.  (Only not really, because like all Greek heroes, they have a tragic ending.)  (Runner up: Moist von Lipwig and his lady from Going Postal, by Sir Terry Pratchett.)

 So there you are, readers: my favorite literary couples and why.  Have you read of any of these?  Did I miss any great ones?
Reminder: I'll be out of town a lot this summer, so I may be slow responding to comments.  It doesn't mean I don't love you!


Sarah said...

I would've switched Howl and Sophie and Eugenides and his lady for adorableness, personally. And I've read those two, but none of the others . . . I am working on it, I swear.

I'm slightly astounded that there are no Goldstone Wood couples on here. I mean, we have Aethelbald and Una! Eanrin and Imraldera! Lionheart and Rose Red!

Grace M said...

I've not read any of these, but I have been wanting to read "Howl's Moving Castle," and even though it's just been a runner up on your list, I still desire to. ;-) And the Megan Whalen Turner books. I see them, but just can't seem to bring myself to try them. I know they're probably awesome, but there has not been a strong enough desire within me to even open the first book and take a peak. Maybe one day.

I, too, and surprised that you did not mention any Goldstone Wood couples. Especially Eanrin and Imraldera. They're just... Allison, how could you not mention them?

Hope you have fun on your out-of-town trips, btw. :-D

Allison Ruvidich said...

Thank you both for commenting! You're right in observing that I included no Goldstone Wood couples. There is a reason behind this, I promise! I came to ask my myself: how often do I cite Goldstone Wood as an example of quality writing? The answer: all the time. So I'm trying to cut back... just a little!

Blue said...

*Puts face on stone mode and folds arms*. I always have and still do dislike romance. Sappy feelings getting in the way of the story.


*rips off stone mask*.
Bah. Might as well admit it. I do sometimes tolerate it.

I just started reading Going Postal and I think I may be getting into the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries too. I'll keep an eye out for what you have mentioned.

Jemma Tainsh said...

I love you choices! I'm about to read Howl's Moving Castle - just got it from the library :D

Hannah said...

Yay for developing a romantic soul! I've always had one, though I was not perhaps by sappy words so much as sacrificial action. Awesome choices! One reason I see that Goldstone characters aren't on here is that several (Eanrin+Imraldera, Lionheart+Rosie) aren't actually true couples yet. But yes, I completely agree with Eugenides and his lady. WOW. Another favorite is Sam Vimes and Sybil from Terry Pratchett's books! :)

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Blue- Haha, alas for the stone mask! I hope you enjoy all of them. : )

@Jemma- Oh, you'll love it SO much!!!

@Hannah- It is decidedly uncomfortable! : ) And yes, that definitely is a reason, too. Sam and Sybil! Sooooo cute! : D I really do need to read more Pratchett...

ghost ryter said...

I haven't read any Lord Peter books yet, but I agree with the other two couples! And I'm extremely pleased to see someone else call Eugenides and you-know-who adorable. Love those two! *happy sigh*

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Ghosty- I have only one thing to say.


That is all.

Really, though, aren't they adorable? ; D

Jenelle Leanne said...

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe :)

Allison Ruvidich said...

@Jenelle- Haha, that takes me way back to third grade, when my mom and I read Anne of Green Gables. Aww! I need to read it again! : D