tisdag 3 juni 2014

Sämst till bäst - rangordning av femton Austen-män

Eftersom jag helt opåkallat har något slags Austen-tema på min blogg idag (jag bara pumpar in inlägg här känns det som: ett återpublicerat inlägg om Övertalning, en fundering om Austens värld och så ett nyskrivet inlägg om Förnuft och känsla som jag precis lyssnat färdigt på...) - så känner jag att jag bara måste återge det här inlägget jag hittade på The Barnes & Noble Book Blog.

Där rangordnar Melissa Albert femton olika män som förekommer i Austens böcker. Värst är Wickham, denne eländige skurk. Bäst är...ja se nedan! Jag håller med Melissa om nästan precis allt.

(Här hittar du inlägget i original. För övrigt är The Barnes & Noble Book Blog en alldeles förträfflig blogg om du inte redan upptäckt den.)

"Jane Austen created some of the most memorable bounders, buffoons, and charmers ever to grace the page. Her characters are so immediately recognizable that 200 years later we can still find ourselves cornered at a party by a Miss Bates, faced with one Lydia Bennet after another on our Facebook walls, and hoping that a total Darcy will note the brilliancy of our fine eyes. Here, in ascending order from cads to dreamboats, are the romantic leads (and wannabes) of Austen’s brilliant books:

15. George Wickham (Pride and Prejudice)
This sniveling milquetoast is a cad to the bone. Not only did he turn on his benefactors, the Darcy family; gamble away his inheritance; then split for parts unknown after breaking Georgiana Darcy’s heart, he also twisted the story to his benefit, dining out for years on self-pitying tales of his mistreatment at his victims’ hands. He’s happy to destroy a woman’s reputation for revenge or profit, and his pretty face and empty charms just barely mask a vacuum of self-regarding boorishness.

14. John Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility)
A cad of a lesser order. This gold-digging gadabout charmed and seduced Marianne Dashwood despite having no intention of marrying her, going so far as to…invite her to his house. Unattended. Despite his rather romantic all-night ride to the Dashwoods, where Marianne’s illness leads him to reveal his shame to a suuuper unimpressed Elinor, his courting of not one but two girls he has no intention of marrying makes him unredeemable.

13. William Elliott (Persuasion)
At least this fine fellow would’ve married the girl he was gunning for, had she agreed to it. A handsome estranged cousin of the Miss Elliotts (marvelous Anne, bitchy Elizabeth, and ridiculous Mary), he comes sniffing around the place after his unfortunate first marriage is ended by his wife’s death. He turns out to be a gold digger whose presumptions nearly come between Anne and her meant-to-be (more on him later), but at least he puts Anne’s awful sister Elizabeth in her place while he’s at it.

12. Henry Crawford (Mansfield Park)
In trying to pull a She’s All That on Fanny Price, making her fall in love with him for fun, this fickle bad boy finds himself falling in love with her instead. He tries to walk the straight and narrow for her sake, but old habits die hard: just as it seems he’s getting somewhere with Fanny, he promptly elopes with her hot, married cousin. Party foul.

11. Mr. Collins (Pride and Prejudice)
Poor Mr. Collins. Above all he wants to do what is proper, and/or approved by his beloved patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh, but he can’t quite get his foot out of his mouth to get started. As the unjust heir-in-waiting to the Bennet family estate, he rightly hopes that marrying a Bennet daughter will be a happy outcome for all involved. Sadly, he forgets to factor in his own unbearable personality. Points for trying to be a good guy, points off for being an obsequious ass who asks Lizzie to temper her “wit and vivacity” with silence.

10. Philip Elton (Emma)
Elton isn’t worth spilling much ink. He’s a blithe opportunist who’s willing to whisper a few sweet nothings at a girl with a big dowry, but he lacks the ambitious destructiveness of a Mr. Wickham. He’s see-through enough to be harmless, and even poor, impressionable Harriet gets over him quickly enough.

9. Frank Churchill (Emma)
This careless bon vivant is a sort of Willoughby Lite. He toys with Emma to lay a smoke screen over his secret engagement to Jane Fairfax, but it’s likely he chooses her because she seems like a girl who can roll with a bit of misplaced flirtation. (Had he tried the same moves on Harriet, he’d have earned a lower place on this list).

8. Edmund Bertram (Mansfield Park)
After his family takes in his destitute, holier-than-thou cousin Fanny Price, Edmund is her sole friend and confidante. But he’s also a trifling doofus, who drops Fanny like a hot potato when the babeish Maria Bertram swans into view. He later realizes the error of his ways and marries Fanny, and you know what? Those wet blankets deserve each other.

7. Edward Ferrars (Sense and Sensibility)
After promising himself to the faithless Lucy Steele, the equally faithless Edward forms an attachment with Elinor Dashwood, despite not being free to marry her. Elinor was dealt a crap hand after her father’s death, and the last thing she needs is to be led on by a man who can’t put his (small amount of) money where his mouth is. Sure, he does the honorable by keeping his engagement with Lucy (until she breaks it, leaving him free to marry Elinor), but it’s hard not to see him as a bit of a, well, boring martyr.

6. Colonel Brandon (Sense and Sensibility)
Shades of Humbert Humbert: like Nabokov’s pedophile protagonist, Brandon falls for the much younger Marianne (16 to his 35) because she reminds him of a then–age appropriate beloved of his youth. However! Brandon’s nevertheless a genuinely good guy, and Regency society was more accepting of these, shall we say, extreme May-December romances. Though the age gap remains problematic for today’s readers, Brandon is helped by the fact that everyone’s favorite tortured boyfriend, Alan Rickman, played him in the film adaptation.

5. George Knightley (Emma)
This one’s pushing 40 when he marries the sprightly, 20-year-old Emma, but at least she’s legal. He’s a tempering influence to his self-satisfied bride, and willing to live with her insufferable father in order to keep the habit-bound old man from going full-on King Lear in his daughter’s absence. Knightley’s a bit too fatherly for my taste, but Emma doesn’t seem to mind.

4. Henry Tilney (Northanger Abbey)
Funny, good-natured, and forgiving, Tilney’s even ready to defy his boorish father’s wishes to marry the woman he…loves? This novel lacks the intense romanticism of Austen’s later works, but that doesn’t mean Henry isn’t a peach. Besides, in the words of Charlotte Lucas: it’s only after a woman is secure in her man’s affections that “there will be more leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses.”
3. Charles Bingley (Pride and Prejudice)
This charming, gallant gentleman wouldn’t hurt a fly, but he would let his chilly sisters talk him out of proposing to the woman he loves, in an era when dancing with her all night has already got half the neighborhood writing up the wedding banns. But who doesn’t keep a spot in their heart for Bingley, who’s glad to dance with even the homeliest old maids (we’re talking 27-year-old hags here). He may be suggestible, even a touch weak-willed, but he’s also got a heart of gold. (And if he had a bit more spine, he’d top Mr. Darcy.)

2. Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride and Prejudice)
He’s the Big Kahuna. The White Whale. The Man All Women Want Men to Want to Be. As the most overexposed (or perhaps just exposed?) romantic hero in literature, Darcy’s name has become synonymous with a certain kind of man: the hard exterior coating the sweet, shy core, the “jerk till you get to know him” who has probably inspired countless people to wait out unworthy crush objects, hoping their rudeness is a sign of secret, Darcy-like wonderfulness. I’m far from immune to his appeal (brooding good looks, great family values, nice house, code of honor, 10,000 a year), but snappy, bright Lizzie Bennet may find herself working double time to keep dinner conversation going.

1. Captain Frederick Wentworth (Persuasion)
Hot captain alert! One must forgive Wentworth’s initial cruelty to Anne Elliott when they meet again after an eight-year parting—only a man still in love would be so unkind to the woman who jilted him. Though a thoughtless flirtation with Louisa Musgrove throws a crook in the path of his and Anne’s reunion, it’s only a matter of time before he forgives her persuadability and writes her a passionate love letter, putting his neck on the line for a second jilting. But Anne’s no fool (not twice, anyway): she claims her brave, sexy captain while the claiming’s good."

Så tycker Melissa Albert. Själv vill jag nog byta plats på Wentworth och Darcy. Jag menar: mr Darcy är ju ändå mr Darcy. Eller hur?
 (eller om han är Colin Firth...) 

Vilka är dina favorit-favvosar i Austen, och dina värsting-värstisar?

4 kommentarer:

  1. Åh, sånt här älskar jag! Håller med rätt mycket om de usla männen men vill nog ha en annan ordning på de bra. Skulle nog säga 1) Wentworth 2) Knightey 3) Tilney. Tror jag...

    1. Jamen va? Ingen bossig mr Darcy bland de tre?? Wentworth är verkligen en hyvens kille. Segla kan han också. Knightley har jag också alltid gillat - killen har humor. Och ett stort tålamod. Tilney har jag dålig koll på - det var länge sen jag läste Northanger Abbey.

  2. Jomen visst Darcy borde förstås vara med där, han är ju härligt bossig men han är också rätt dryg emellanåt (jo, man förlåter honom sen men ändå), Wentworth och Knightley är aldrig, någonsin dryga, de är mer sådär härligt tillbakalutat varma och fina. Och Tilney är en favorit sen jag läste om Northanger Abbey förra våren och insåg att det nog kanske kan vara min favorit av Austen. Mycket överraskande men jag älskar beskrivningen av läsglädje och fantasiliv, och så är den väldigt elakt rolig.

    1. Northanger Abbey ligger på tur i vår Austen-cirkel efter höstens Förnuft och känsla-läsning. So...I'll be back.