Conversations With Characters

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Recently, I was thinking about which 2 or 3 fictional characters I would like to sit down with over coffee, tea, or beer and with whom I would like to have a conversation.  When I first thought about it, I believed it would be an easy choice to make, but then I realized that there were so many that I would have to do this in parts. I would love to have conversations with so many different characters.

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For the initial meeting, I thought I would extend an invitation to Merlin from Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur, Gandalf from J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, (not from The Hobbit), and Dumbledore from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series to join me over beer, mead, or even butterbeer, if that were preferable at a nice Public House.  I chose  these characters because they are central figures in three works that are deeply important to me, not only from the perspective of study but also from the enormous pleasure I have had from reading these works. I have taught all of them in different classes, and I love to reread these writings over the years.

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I am fascinated by the connection among the three of them, all wizards in tales of British mythology. Among the questions I would want to ask would be: Do you see a connection among yourselves? Do you approve of your portrayals in the writings? and Are you descended from the Druids?

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I think this would be a lively and enjoyable conversation, although if too much was drunk, I wonder what inebriated and arguing wizards would be like.

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Who would you invite to such an event?  I would love to hear your choices.

 

 

46 thoughts on “Conversations With Characters

  1. I think I would like to have dinner with the Bennet family and have a walk with Elizabeth/Lizzy and Jane to Merton! I’m not sure I would ask anything but just listen/soak up what they were saying, especially if special guest/cousin Mr. Collins was there as well.

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  2. An interesting question, Charles. I am not that big into fantasy to be honest, so I would not meet with wizards. I have to think a bit more about this particular question. I didn’t know you taught Harry Potter, how interesting. I did enjoy the series except for all the burbling in the last book which could have been reduced in length. Mind you, I skipped over some of the last Lord of the Rings book too as all the tension started getting on my nerves.

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    • My comment above is in the context of this quote from Matilda by Roald Dahl: “There aren’t many funny bits in Mr Tolkien either,’ Matilda said.
      ‘Do you think that all children’s books ought to have funny bits in them?’ Miss Honey asked.
      ‘I do,’ Matilda said. ‘Children are not so serious as grown-ups and love to laugh.”

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  3. The characters from my own books keep me busy enough. It’s pretty crowded in my head, but I would enjoy a chat with Lizzie Bennett sometime, preferably while taking a ‘turn about the room’!

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  4. I’d invite FIVE! In no particular order, but, Ayla (Jean M. Auel Earth Children Series), Scarlett O’hara (Margaret Mitchell and Alexandra Ripley works), Jack Reacher, (Lee Child), Brother Cadfael (Ellis Peters), Robert Langdon (Dan Brown works) Each for their strengths, their hope, their own flaws/etc., But oh, what a diverse and lively conversation it would be on so many fronts!!!

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  5. These three wizards are great choices, Charles! I might add that, if you mash-up Malory with T.H. White (The Once and Future King), Merlin is “living backward,” i.e. from the future to the past, which would make him even more fascinating. I’m inclined to go with Dr. Elwin Ransom from C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy.

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