Sunday, February 17, 2013

Literary Heroine Blog Party

     So, I've heard of this before, but I guess this is the first time I'll be participating. It seemed like fun, although I'll be the first to admit that I prefer heroes to heroines, maybe it's because the genres I like aren't very good at writing female characters. I can't really think of any female superheroes that I think are amazing, and only a few good fantasy girls. The link to the original post and information can be found here

Here are the questions :

~ The Questions ~
Introduce yourself! Divulge your life's vision, likes, dislikes, aspirations, or something completely random! 
I'm Mariah. I aspire to one day live my life as the Sophists lived theirs (albeit in a more Socratic way) and wander about the world talking about philosophy, and corrupting the youth of Athens by asking questions. I like a myriad of various things including redundancy, Batman, the color green, good literature, and television shows with ridiculous premises. I don’t like fruit.
What, to you, forms the essence of a true heroine? 
A well educated, strong woman who is wise enough to acknowledge her natural limitations and is not too proud to accept help when she needs it. A girl who isn't dependent on a man’s affections to serve as an evaluation of her self-worth, but isn't afraid or disdainful of love when it comes to her. And a woman who stands up for what she believes in and shows strong internal character.
Share (up to) four heroines of literature that you most admire and relate to. 
Sophie Hatter, Marguerite St. Just, Hermione Granger, and Lady Una  
Five of your favorite historical novels?  
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a die-hard fantasy fan, but if I had to choose historical novels I’d pick Wonderful Fool, The Samurai, The Faerie Queene (That counts, it’s historical allegory),The Black Arrow, and Scaramouch
Out of those five books who is your favorite main character and why? 
Does it have to be a girl? If so, I’d pick Una because she’s a wonderful person. Her knight leaves her and she does everything she can to get back to him while maintaining her integrity of character. She could have been angry with him, but she forgives him and helps to save him. 
Out of those five books who is your favorite secondary character and why? 
Joanna Sedley, because she’s hilarious. She disguises herself as a boy and tries desperately to act boyish, for her own safety, but is just so terrible at it. She makes a much better girl.
      If you were to plan out your dream vacation, where would you travel to - and what would you plan to do there? 
I would visit ancient ruins like Machu Pichu, Stonehenge, etc. and learn more about the ancient cultures that constructed them :)
What is your favorite time period and culture to read about? 
I LOVE the Middle Ages. They had the best stories, and their cosmology is beautiful! I like pretty much all of Western Europe, although at the moment I have an intense fondness for the Norse myths and Arthurian legends.
You have been invited to perform at the local charity concert. Singing, comedy, recitation - what is your act comprised of? 
I’ll recite, I guess. I’d choose a slew of John Donne’s poetry that shows the maturation of his thought over his life. Or perhaps T.S. Eliot’s Book of Practical Cats.
If you were to attend a party where each guest was to portray a heroine of literature, who would you select to represent? 
Well, if I were to choose based on purely selfish motives I’d go with Galadriel because she said cool things and elves get to wear really pretty clothes.
What are your sentiments on the subject of chocolate? 
I’m in favor of all things chocolate and of those who produce such things. After all, who is it who makes the sun rise, and who sprinkles it with dew? The candy man. That sounds like a pretty important job to me.
Favorite author(s)? 
Um, wow. Diana Wynn Jones, Tolkien, Lewis, Lewis Carroll, Shusaku Endo, Chesterton, and Edmund Spenser. 
Besides essentials, what would you take on a visiting voyage to a foreign land? 
I've seen traveling trunks that are for small libraries. I’d also take a small brass telescope and a compass.  
In which century were most of the books you read written? 
Well, Cervantes pretty much invented the novel in, what? The fifteenth century? Sixteenth? But it really took off in the 18th century, so, if I had to guess, most of the books I’ve read fall somewhere in the 18th to 19th centuries.  
In your opinion, the ultimate hero in literature is…
Well clearly Batman is the ideal hero in any genre, but since there has been, nor will there ever be, a decent novel written about him I will have to go with someone like Bilbo Baggins or Howl Jenkins. Neither of them is what you would expect a hero to be like, but there’s more to them than meets the eye, and when there’s really trouble they put aside their fear and other a sundry of character flaws and do the right thing. On the one hand that makes them both incredibly human, and easy to sympathize with, and also incredibly admirable, and allows them to serve as an ideal to strive towards. Also Samwise Gamgee, because there is nothing wrong with him. 
Describe your ideal dwelling place. 
"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort. 
It had a perfectly round door like a porthole, painted green, with a shiny yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened on to a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with paneled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors. The tunnel wound on and on, going fairly but not quite straight into the side of the hill – The Hill, as all the people for many miles round called it – and many little round doors opened out of it, first on one side and then on another. No going upstairs for the hobbit: bedrooms, bathrooms, cellars, pantries (lots of these), wardrobes (he had whole rooms devoted to clothes), kitchens, dining-rooms, all were on the same floor, and indeed on the same passage. The best rooms were all on the left-hand side (going in), for these were the only ones to have windows, deep-set round windows looking over his garden, and meadows beyond, sloping down to the river.”
Sum up your fashion style in a short sentence. 
I’m just a tall girl trying to find pants that go below my ankles, skirts that reach my knees, and shirtsleeves that end past my wrist.
Have you ever wanted to change a character’s name? 
Yes, Eragon is way too close to Aragorn. The mix ups are infuriating.  
In your opinion, the most dastardly villain of all literature is... 
Well, the first name that came to mind is Captain Hook, but he’s too much of a good sport to be really dastardly. The second was Clarion the Witch-boy, but he’s a graphic novel character. So… the most truly dastardly literary villain would have to be Satan in Paradise Lost, because come on… it doesn't get much more evil than Satan.
Three favorite Non-fiction books? 
The new Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography by Eric Mataxas (sp?), Anselm’s Proslogion, St. Augustine’s Confessions, and Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey (I had four… I hope that’s ok…).
Your duties met for the day, how would you choose to spend a carefree summer afternoon? 
Well, I've decided that summers should be spent in the single-minded mastery of one subject. This summer I’m deciding whether I should teach myself to play the violin in pursuit of a life as a wandering minstrel, or in the mastery of a completely useless dead language (like Sanskrit, or Old English).
                  Create a verbal sketch of your dream hat - in such a way as will best portray your true  character.
 It has no brim and no cap. It is covered with no adornments. It is made of neither straw, nor felt, nor of anything at all. It allows the wind to blow softly through my hair, which is bound up carelessly with a single ribbon, and allows the rain to fall on my head, making my hair clump in stiff wet locks, and will likely cause my head to chill which will likely be the cause of my catching consumption. I shall then grow gradually more pale and beautiful until I expire on a cruise ship, laying on a bed of Rose petals at sunset.
Share the most significant event(s) that have marked your life in the past year. 
I have met one of my philosophical heroes and have come to the realization that I really know very little about anything.
                    Share the Bible passage(s) that have been most inspiring to you recently.
Isaiah 1:18; Hebrew 11:1; James 1: 2-8


  1. Joanna Sedley was worse at disguising herself than anyone fictional I can recall. Completely hilarious! But she was very brave.

  2. alright. win on the villain question. True. You can't get any worse (gah! I wish I came up with that answer;)

  3. A traveling trunk for small libraries? I like that! I want one! Where do I get it? :)

  4. I've always loved the story of Lady Una. I've never heard of Joanna Sedley. I'll have to look her up! Satan was a great answer. I just finished reading Paradise Lost for the first time, and it still didn't cross my mind! Your answer to the hat question was great :)

  5. Haha, thanks everyone. This was pretty fun :)

  6. Thanks so much for joining us, Mariah! Loved your heroine description.
    I'm with you on the tall girl clothing problem... lol!

    I think you get the prize for dastardly villain - brilliant. Joanna Sedley sounds intriguing... I need to meet her as soon as possible.

    And the hat. Or non-hat. Loved it:D

  7. Hello there! :)
    I soooo enjoyed reading your answers! They are very entertaining, especially your answer to the hat question.
    The Faerie Queene! I am so glad you mentioned it because I really want to read it at some point in my life. :)
    Oh my, it would be fun to dress up as Galadriel!
    And Samwise Gamgee...*sigh* Don't even get me started. I love that character. :)
    Whimsey Keith


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