nineveh_uk (nineveh_uk) wrote,


Meme from [personal profile] antisoppist.

1. Leave a comment to this post.
2. I will give you a letter. (Edited to point out, only if you ask for one, you can comment without having to do this yourself)
3. Post the names of five fictional characters whose names begin with that letter, and your thoughts on each. The characters can be from books, movies, or TV shows

Apparently [personal profile] antisoppist is a secret sadist. I got the letter O.

I can't even make a Story of O joke here as I haven't read it, though I've seen the episode of Frasier in which Ros dresses as her at a party*.

1. Mary Olivier I can't actually remember much about Mary Olivier, the eponymous heroine of May Sinclair's novel, because I read it as an undergraduate and haven't got round to buying my own copy. It's about an intelligent and imaginative upper middle class Victorian woman who gets stuck in the role of caring for the rest of the family. I vaguely remember her eventually publishing things, and a lover, but was principally stuck by her being incredibly angry that no-one had warned her about period pain.

2. Mary O'Neil I haven't yet got round to reviewing a Christmas present Persephone-published novel, Constance Maud's 1911 No Surrender about the women's suffrage movements. It's fantastic, not least in the fact that aristocratic Mary O'Neil is the sidekick and facilitator, whilst the heroine is millworker Jenny Clegg. That said, Mary is an interesting character herself. Fashionably 'Irish' (i.e. Anglo-Irish, but passionate and emotional, a theme of its own in contemporary literature.), she's a young woman in search of a cause, which she finds when she is taken to visit the mills owned by the Lancashire hosts she is visiting with her mother (who is, of course, hoping for a suitable marriage for her) and meets the suffragette/ist millworkers. Though Mary's social position is superior to Jenny's, she is equally trapped by male expectations of her role in life, and the novel's drumbeat that for women (and working class men) the question of suffrage is fundamentally economic and the scene in which she is force-fed in prison is the emotional climax of the book.

3. Ollivander If it is one of the frustrations of the Harry Potter novel that Rowling doesn't go further into so many of the intriguing little details she lets drop along the way as she tells the story, it is also one of the strengths. Possibly this viewpoint is supported by the fact that I first read the books during the Great Gulf between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix, and when I had temp jobs with internet access. Ollivander of the silvery eyes and not so subtle admiration for Voldemort's abilities, if not his personality, is one of those details. Look, at least I can say more about him than I can about the Otways in Emma

4. Orsino and 5. Olivia I assume the absence of 'plays' in the meme instructions is an accidental rather than deliberate omission. If it is deliberate, then tough. I am delighted to learn that the Globe's Twelfth Night is to return this summer with Mark Rylance reprising Olivia [ed. I was, until I just now looked at the website and the whole thing is sold out, damn]. Twelfth Night was the first Shakespeare I read, aged 14 for GCSE, and like my entire class I adored it**, though I think we liked Viola and Malvolio at the time more than Olivia and Orsino. Olivia's still not my favourite character, but Rylance convinced me that she wasn't simly irritating. I don't remember the name of the actor who played Orsino, but he managed to be sympathetic and sincere, and deeply confused. I am a great fan of Toby Stephens (though, like Kate Clanchy speaking of Sir Galahad, I am a greater fan of his dad), but his version of Orsino in Trevor Nunn's film is a man in need of a good slap.

*And in which David Hyde Pierce puts in his bid for a US adapation of the Wimsey novels.

**And not, unlike some, because it was an excuse to go round saying "How will this fadge?"
Tags: books, fandom, theatre
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