Sunday, July 09, 2006

"...utterly, fatally glamorous"

I am going to pose this same question to my AP students on my teacher blog, but I'm trying to work through the idea first. Maybe one of my few regular readers can help.

In Sophie's Choice, the narrator describes one of his friends, one of the main characters in the novel, as being, "utterly, fatally glamorous." I love this description, which is so obviously fraught with ominous foreshadowing and yet so alluring at the same time. I don't believe that I have ever known anyone who might be described this way, but I did think of a few characters from novels that might fit this description. My first thought was Jay Gatsby and/or Daisy,the woman of his dreams. Who else? Hamlet? Daisy Miller? Catherine Earnshaw? Heathcliff?

What qualities must a person have to be "utterly, fatally glamorous"? It's late now. I will add some thoughts to this later. Now, I'm going to bed and read myself to sleep with A Wrinkle in Time, which I have found surprisingly interesting and entertaining despite being a children's novel. I know it's a classic, but I don't remember ever reading it.


Valerie said...

It's been way too long since I read any of the books that the characters you mentioned are from, but I don't think Hamlet would qualify as "utterly, fatally glamorous." I don't think of him that way at all.

There is a character in Atwood's "Cat's Eye" that I think could be described in this way. I can't remember the character's name, though. I'll have to look it up later.

Kim said...

I don't know about Cat's Eye, but Robber Bride definitely has a character who would qualify. Thanks for the reminder. I can't remember the character's name, the one who drew the others together, but I will look it up later.

As for Hamlet, or any other character, I guess it would depend on how to define "utterly, fatally glamorous." I still have to figure that out.

Valerie said...

Cordelia is the character I'm thinking of in Cat's Eye. In Robber Bride, do you mean Zenia. I'm getting that name from the jacket notes, but I think that must be who you are talking about.

I don't think of Hamlet as glamorous of any kind. "Utterly, fatally..." something else, he might be, but I don't think of him as glamorous at all.

Penny said...

Cleopatra--especially Shakespeare's Cleopatra--is "utterly, fatally glamorous," without question. Even her death is staged for premium effect, as she commits suicide with the basket of asps, her dead Antony at her feet, and her eunuchs fanning her. Though not sure the kids would know her . . . maybe that doesn't matter. I think I agree with Valerie on Hamlet, however: not sure he qualifies as glamorous for me, perhaps dramatic, or philosophical or something. Not sure. Maybe Hera from Greek myth--though not in the sense of her own demise, but certainly she sent many to their deaths, and she was utterly glamorous : )