I'm going to briefly go into love for authors as people despite one not knowing them, BUT FIRST, I want to relate something my friend Stephanie said, because it's one of those times you realize your friends know you better than you know yourself.
CASE IN POINT being that today I bought a drawing of the Doctor and River Song from Doctor Who -- yeah, a drawing -- and I sent Stephanie a link to it and this is how the conversation went:
Stephanie: I feel like this is the beginning of the end.
Me: beginning of the end of what!
S: the beginning of the end of your obsession.
Me: why! [I don't use question marks when I'm indignant]
S: Because it always starts winding down after you purchase the most ridiculous item.
And then I was shamed into silence. Because that is an accurate statement.
NOW. Authors. I tend to ignore them if they're still alive, and sometimes I avoid as much biographical detail about them as I can, because they carry with them an air of douchiness (ex: Dickens), but with SOME authors, I have a fondness for them that carries me through some of their not-so-stellar writing. Mainly because of passages like this, by Virginia Woolf:
Seriously and solemnly Richard Dalloway got on his hind legs and said that no decent man ought to read Shakespeare’s sonnets because it was like listening at keyholes (besides the relationship was not one that he approved). No decent man ought to let his wife visit a deceased wife’s sister. Incredible! The only thing to do was to pelt him with sugared almonds
Virginia Woolf (who will appear in my mind, despite it supposedly being Clarissa Dalloway) pelting someone with sugared almonds is basically my favorite authorial image ever. And so now, despite having heard her speak, I still love her.
I also have a weird kind of love for the Brontes, which primarily manifests itself in bemused condescension. Like "Aw, you crazy women up on the moors, look at this stuff you wrote."
I make fun of George Eliot's appearance every time I mention her, but if I met her in real life, I guarantee this is how it'd go:
Me: Uh...hello, Miss Eliot. I've read Middlemarch and it sure was swell.
George Eliot: *stares me down*
Me: *even less confident* How'd you...so that writing there...it's pretty great.
George Eliot: *stares me down more*
Me: *passes out*
Me: *passes out*
Because when faced with people about whom I have all sorts of IN-DEPTH AND IMPRESSIVE thoughts, I seem to never fail telling them only the most banal things possible. It's a gift.
Lastly -- and I realize these are only women, but I have already proposed to Steve Hely once on this blog and my wounded pride will not allow me to revisit the subject -- lastly, there is Jane Austen. I once referred to her as "Janie" and my friend made me promise never to do it again.
Is this just me? Does anyone else foster relationships in their head with long-dead authors? Although put that way, I guess it doesn't sound ideal in terms of a thing to do. But it makes the Victorian era so much more fun.