Sunday, April 08, 2007

Miss Jane

I've been poking around on the free dating site for the last couple of weeks. Given that I'm engaged in a dead-end relationship, the least I can do is explore the virtual dating world. I expect nothing to come from it, but it is a tangible reminder that I have options. Since when did the virtual become tangible and real life become ethereal? Only I could end up in this kind of muddle.

Anyway. The other day, a guy who has this statement in his profile, "Women tell me I resemble Omar Sharif in 'Dr. Zhivago,'" (he doesn't) sent me an email.

The email read, "Can I be your Mr. Rochester? We're closer in age than he was to Jane."

My answer to the question, "what is your favorite book?" is Jane Eyre. While I do love Jane Eyre, it's just my canned response. I couldn't begin to figure out what my favorite book it. I love the Claudine series by Collette. I love most of Dashiell Hammett's novels (I didn't love The Dain Curse or Red Harvest, but at least one of those made a fine Samurai picture) and all of his short stories. I've read everything I could get my hands on by F. Scott Fitzgerald, including a screenplay and juvenilia. I've read five (that's all, I believe) of Jean Rhys's novels (ironically (?) The Wide Sargasso Sea is my least favorite). I've read every word written by each Brontë sister and all of Jane Austen. A lot of Dostoevsky's--I think The Brothers Karamazov is one of the best books ever written. I've also read War and Peace (I did skim the essay bits), Moby Dick and Daniel Deronda (mostly impressive for its length). And Middlemarch. Don't forget my early love of Henry James. I've read most of his early shorter works and the lengthy, but rewarding, Portrait of a Lady. I've read most of the post-western output of Elmore Leonard and most of John D. MacDonald, including the pre-Travis McGee pulp. I can't possibly pick a favorite. However, I've probably re-read Jane Eyre more than any book except The Thin Man. I might even be due to read it again soon.

But you know what my first reaction to the message was? "Do you think I'm plain or what?"

Vanity triumphs!

Grateful for: all those great books.

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