Rest assured, I’m a doll

It’s no secret that one of the best things about reading a really good book that features a dashing leading man or desirable leading lady (depending on your type) is developing a secret (or not so secret) crush on the character. Entire blogs are dedicated to “book boyfriends” or “literature loves” and if only there were more alliterative phrases I would keep going. The fact of the matter is, a well-written book gives you an insight into a fictional character that is so deep, so real that you get to feel as if you know this character as a person. Any romantic thing they do is doubly swoonworthy since it’s so easy to insert yourself into the pages of the book.

This isn’t new and don’t pretend you’ve never done it, never had oddly overly affectionate feelings for a character who not only doesn’t exist, but whose visage, demeanor and gait you’ve come up with all on your own, with only a little help from nice adjectives and descriptive phrases.

What about, though, falling in love with the person behind the words? Authors, especially authors long since gone, have a real mysteriousness and intangible quality about them that is just so. darn. attractive. I have a friend who is insufferably in love with Ernest Hemingway and another who would give anything, anything to meet John Keats.

Personally, though I have never before had any previous inclination, I’m leaning a little towards one Mr. J.D. Salinger, of late. Yes, the misanthropic shut in who also, apparently carried on an epistolary relationship with a young woman he had never met. Sure, the romantic aspect of this is ramped up by the long lost letters component, and today’s equivalent of emails and text messages just won’t compare, but his self-deprecating boasting and little endearments really show a different side to the man no one really knew too much about.

After melting a little bit at “Sneaky girl. You’re pretty,” tell me about any of your author crushes or any authors you’d do anything to simply exchange letters back and forth with for years, even if it only amounted to something to look back on and smile fondly at later.

3 Responses to Rest assured, I’m a doll

  1. EDWARD says:

    O! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO. Being understood is a bit of a turn-on. After a lifetime of being misunderstood by everyone you meet, being understood by an author is a real turn-on. Even an author who is long dead. I noticed you, as a female, were quite diligent to sticking to male writers in your quest for love fantasies. This is not about having sex; this is about getting your soul validated. Although the experience feels like sex and intimacy, it’s not. It’s something spiritual, or is for me at any event, and can occur with writers male or female, living or dead. In view of the weight this spiritual experience carries, the physical element tends to be an afterthought. Am I making sense? We can discuss it further. Let’s meet after work for a cup of coffee.

  2. Joelle says:

    Well, it’s not exactly the same, but I harboured a crush on a singer/songwriter for five years before we met, fell in love, and have now been married/together for ten years. And yeah, his music and singing got my attention, but the words to his songs were what really made me think we belonged together.

    When we finally did start talking it was by letter and phone from 2500 miles apart, so more words….

    In a totally platonic way, I’ve been corresponding with the author John Rowe Townsend for 21 Years. I wrote him a fan letter (he lives in England) and he’s encouraged me and my writing for all these years. I finally met him in 2006 (he’s 91 this year).

    And an agent posted a bit of one of her writer’s new books online, which got me talking to the writer(Eileen Cook) about seven years ago, and she’s now my best friend.

    So…as you can see, I’m way into fan letters!

  3. Lynn says:

    I would have loved to sit with Jean-Paul Sartre in a café over a glass of wine and philosophize about life and his, The Roads To Freedom, books. Or how wonderful it would have been to have a glass of port in a tavern with W. Somerset Maugham and pick his brain. Of Human Bondage has been one of my all time favorite books since I first read it freshman year when I was 14.

    If I could go back in time to last year, my choice would be to spend an afternoon having tea with Maeve Binchy. I have every single novel she’s written and I can just picture the two of us laughing over tea and scones! Yes, there’s a lot of drinking going on, but you don’t live in Paris and socialize without a drink in hand!

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