Ada Monroe and Inman  (Cold Mountain)

Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables)

Babe (Babe)


Bathsheba Everdene (Far from the Madding Crowd)


Beatrice (Much Ado about Nothing)

Becky Sharp (Vanity Fair)

Cecily Cardew (Importance of Being Earnest)

Champion (Les Triplettes de Belleville)


Collin Fenwick (The Grass Harp)

Dorothea Brooke (Middlemarch)

Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz)

Edward Scissorhands

Eleanor Roosevelt

Elizabeth (Frankenstein)

Ellen Foster (Ellen Foster)

Ellie Arroway (Contact)

Eppie (Silas Marner)

Estella (Great Expectations)

Esther Summerson (Bleak House)

Eustacia Vye (Return of the Native)


Flora Poste (Cold Comfort Farm)

Francis Marion Tarwater (The Violent Bear It Away)

Frodo Baggins (The Lord of the Rings)

Gou Wa “Doggie” (King of Masks)

Hadji (Johnny Quest)

Harriet Smith (Emma)

Harry Potter

Harvey Cheyne, Jr. (Captains Courageous)

Hawkeye (Last of the Mohicans)

Heathcliff (Wuthering Heights)


Helena (All’s Well That Ends Well)

Homer Wells (Cider House Rules)

Huckleberry Finn

Hyacinth Robinson (The Princess Casimassima)

Irwin (Northfork)

Isabelle Archer (The Portrait of a Lady)

Jack Dawson (Titanic)

Jack Redburn (Master Humphrey's Clock)

Jake and Elwood Blues (The Blues Brothers)

James Henry Trotter (James & the Giant Peach)

Jane Eyre

Jane Fairfax (Emma)

Jen and Kira (The Dark Crystal)

Jo (Bleak House)

Joe Christmas (Light in August)

Jude Fawley (Jude the Obscure)

Kim (Kim)

Leo Tolstoy

Lilo (Lilo and Stitch)

Lillian (The Chimes)

Lily Bart (The Age of Innocence)

Lily Owen (The Secret Life of Bees)

Little Foot (The Land Before Time)

Little Nell (The Old Curiosity Shop)

Little Orphan Annie

Lucinda Leplastrier (Oscar and Lucinda)

*Lucy Manette (Tale of Two Cities)

Luke Skywalker (Star Wars)

Margaret, Helen, and Tibby Schlegel (Howard's End)

Marilyn Monroe

Mary Lennox (The Secret Garden)

Mary McCarthy

Mathilde and Manech (A Very Long Engagement)

Mattie Silver (Ethan Frome)

Miette (City of Lost Children)

Millie Theale (The Wings of a Dove)

Miriam Chadwick (Oscar and Lucinda)

Mowgli (The Jungle Book)

Nameless (Hero)

*Neo (The Matrix)

Oliver Twist

Orphan Girl (Gillian Welch)

Oscar Hopkins (Oscar and Lucinda)

Our Johnny (Our Mutual Friend)

Pai (Whale Rider)

Patrick Dennis (Auntie Mame)

Peter Pan and the Lost Boys

Philip Carey (Of Human Bondage)

Pip (Great Expectations)


Posthumus (Cymbeline)

Princess Mononoke

Queen Elizabeth I

Rickie Elliot (The Longest Journey)

Rosa (Edwin Drood)

Salvatore “Toto” (Cinema Paradiso)

Sara Crewe (The Little Princess)

Seymour Krelborn (Little Shop of Horrors)

Smike (Nicholas Nickleby)

Solomon Perel (Europa Europa)

Sophie Neveu (The DaVinci Code)

Sophy Viner (The Reef)


Stuart Little
Sue Bridehead (Jude the Obscure)


Tanya Chernova (Enemy at the Gates)

Tertius Lydgate (Middlemarch)

Tom (Water Babies)

Tom Jones

Tom Sawyer


Trinity (The Matrix)

Will Ladislaw (Middlemarch)

Will Turner (Pirates of the Caribbean)

W. Somerset Maugham




* = new or recent addition



[no name] (The Man Without a Past)

Dory (Finding Nemo)

Eleanor Mannering (Garden of Lies)

Giambattista "Yambo" Bodini (The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana)

Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity)

Joel Barish and Clementine Kruczynski (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

Leonard Shelby (Memento)

*Manech (A Very Long Engagement)

Nick Petrov (Oblivion)

Peter Appleton (The Majestic)

Rita (Mulholland Drive)

Ryder (The Unconsoled)

Samson Greene (Man Walks into a Room)

Will Barrett (The Last Gentleman)


April 24,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The advance of science is not, the Magistrate knew, like a man crossing a river from one stepping-stone to another.  It is much more like someone trying to grope his way forward through a London fog.  Just occasionally, in a slight lifting of the fog, you can glimpse the truth, establish the location not only of where you are standing but also perhaps of the streets round about where the fog still persists.  The wise scientist deliberately searches for such liftings of the fog because they allow him to fill in the map of his knowledge by confirming it.

--The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

April 23,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The vernacular room, which had a surprisingly cheerful appearance, was the very centre of the British administration in Krishnapur and as such was the object of the Magistrate's scientific scrutiny.  He had come to see this room as an experimental greenhouse in which he watched with interest, but without emotion, as an occasional green shoot of intelligence was blighted by administrative stupidity, or by ignorance, or by the prejudices of the natives.

As a matter of fact, it even looked like a greenhouse.  Its walls were lined from floor to ceiling with tier over tier of stone shelves; to protect the records from white ants they were tied up in bundles of cotton cloth brilliantly dyed in different colours for ease of reference . . . and these bright colours gave the shelves the gay appearance of flower-beds.  This cloth protection, however, was not always effective and sometimes when he opened a bundle the Magistrate would find himself looking, not a the document he required, but at a little heap of powdery earth.  And then he would give a shout of bitter laughter which echoed across the compound and had more than once caused the Collector to raise his eyebrows, fearful for his sanity.  In India all official proceedings, even the most trivial, were conducted in writing, and so the rapidity with which the piles of paper grew was alarming and ludicrous.  The Magistrate was constantly having to order extensions to be made to his laboratory.  Sometimes, when tired, he no longer saw it as an experimental greenhouse but instead as an animal of masonry that crept steadily forward over the earth, swallowing documents as it went.

--The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

April 22,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The Golden Horde, Napoleon's march into uncertainty, the burning of Moscow, and the flight of the Corsican, the wars with Turkey, and the war with Japan had barely brushed the surface of the plain and had failed to give this land any history.  The earth drank sweat, drank blood, swallowed up corpses, fields and forests thrived on the carcasses, and the burned villages returned.  Timber was speedily felled and assembled with ax and hammer, and the houses were back in the landscape, hunched and cowed-looking, whitewashed, as though to hide from greatness and God.  only the churches with their onion domes, messengers from Greece and Byzantium, imprinted the landscapes, often with ugly cupolas.  Christianity had affected the vision and the soul of the people, but shamans and demons, earth spirits, and fairies lived on.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 21,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Shaken or enraptured by war, the godless man turned to prayer, the man of faith cursed his God, the devout buried his trust, the fool bethought himself, the wise man fled into superficial enjoyment, broke inside, and collected the bricks for a new vision of the world--and some such change also happened to me, even if I didn't understand it.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 20,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

We didn't attend to our dead and didn't bury them either, just put on their coats and gloves.  Things and values changed.  Money had become meaningless.  We used paper money for rolling cigarettes or gambled it away indifferently.  Several got so far into debt that they couldn't pay with a year of their soldiers' wages, and that wouldn't be called in either.  A piece of bread, though, was a fantasy that could not possibly be realized.  But that too was part of the war.  Death brought with it a limitless desire for sleep and oblivion.  Only few sought intimacy, most drugged themselves with superficialities, with gambling, cruelty, hatred.  This between fighting.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 19,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

One soldier forced his way into a farmhouse, and the farmer set bread and milk before the hungry man.  But the soldier wanted more.  He wanted honey, which he soon found, and flour and lard.  The farmer beseeched him, his wife cried, and in their fear of starving, the couple tried to wrest his booty away from him.  The soldier smashed in the farmer's skull, shot the farmer's wife, and furiously torched the place.  He fell that same night, hit by a stray bullet.  But we shouldn't ask after God's justice in war.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 18,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

We were oblivious to the way we were often given food when we set foot in a hut, to the peasants giving us their makhorka to smoke, a woman freely offering us a couple of eggs, or a girl sharing her milk with us.  We still dug around in every corner, even if we let what we had taken just go bad later.  We didn't want it; it was a sort of compulsion.  Our commands kept telling us that we were the lords of the universe, in a conquered country.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 17,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

We were the victors.  War excused our thefts, encouraged our cruelty, and the need to survive didn't go around getting permission from conscience.  Women and children were made to go to the wells for us, water our horses, watch our fires, and peel our potatoes.  We used their straw for our horses or bedding for ourselves, or else we drove them out of their beds and stretched out on their stoves.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 16,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

What I wanted was a transformation beyond consolation, dream, and refuge with god; and I found my pride and my greatness in wanting this carnival of killing and burning just exactly as it was; and to love it, and to stand in it without illusion, support, or belief; to laugh into the void and still be there, in the criminal pleasure of being cut adrift from gods and angels.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 15,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

But to the living, it was not only a matter of being in this void without metaphysical shelter--in doom and dread, bitter irony and dance of death, laughter and torture.  It was tolerating its frightfulness, and also to want this fiendish life as it was, to take it as it came, and to love it in its barren bitterness and corruption, to call it beautiful, and to live it powerfully to the end; to find pride in its gruesomeness, delight in its decay, enthusiasm, in its devastation; to deepen the worst horror with one's intellect, to live consciously and die coolly, at one with a reviled fate.  There was merely the brazen inexorable necessity, Ananke, going her ways, over men and times as over grass and sand, grinding everything under her heel and at the same time alerting it all to a meaningless and godless existence.  She tossed the church and the atom on a pair of scales, despised God and glorified death, and still bore fruitful blossoms in her soul: nightshade growth of time.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

April 14,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Life was suffering.  Death ruled the world.  After the pain of birth, man's path led through sweat, anxiety, grief, fear, and hunger.  Death was the only release; it took destruction to restore freedom and peace.  It was a terrible thing to live in this world, in meaninglessness, viciousness, and godlessness.  Better, as the Greeks said, never to have been born.  The Flood and the end of the world were the only consolation; destruction was the final task of the seer and expert of our age.  The last gods still needed to be forgotten, the idols smashed, love eradicated, procreation foiled, and life concluded.  Ruins, dirt, and ashes should lie there as plainly visible, as they had long secretly been forming the picture of the world.

--A Stranger to Myself by Willy Peter Reese (tr. Michael Hofmann)

[N.B.:  This is the diary, not discovered until 2002, of a German soldier who fought for three years on the Eastern Front until he was finally killed there.]

April 13,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Anyway, safely home with the Diebenkorn and having obliterated a wall by hanging it, we fell deeply in love with the painting and for the five years we've owned it now, that love has grown.  I'll tell you why.  This painting demands nothing from you but enjoyment of it.  It doesn't say I'm a landscape, a portrait, or even an abstraction of reality--it just hangs there to be looked at like an ever present and ever changing sunset.  In different moods and light, the lights and moods change--you can discover it.  My wife, when once asked the title of it by a group of visiting ladies, summed it up.  She said, "It's called 'We Like It!'"

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 12,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

But I liked it--in fact, I was terribly excited by it--so I bought one and had the hysterical experience of trying to take it home in my Hillman Minx, the canvas being five feet by six feet, and the Hillman very little bigger.  I drove one-handed with the top down and held onto the crossbar of the stretcher with the other.  A sudden gust of wind caught the canvas and took me out of the seat as the car sped along a few hundred feet with me standing straight up, my foot down on the accelerator and no hands on the wheel.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 11,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The third painter, Richard Diebenkorn, I have known only a short time and his work a little longer, but I use him as another example of the American painter, because he, too, has fought his way to originality and is not afraid to tackle the American art audience in its many moods.  In his early work he has a sense of space and color and pattern which seems to have intrigued our mid-century painters more than anything else.  When I first saw his work, I had the wit to ask myself (and no one else), "What is it?  Why does he see like this?  Why is there no identifiable form, why no virtuosity, dash, or amble in the brush stroke?"  And I didn't have an answer.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 10,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

It doesn't matter what it costs--I'd make any sacrifice if I decide I can't live without it--but can I live without it?  Aye, there's the rub--and the escape.  To be this critical, in my case, is to be economical.  If I can argue my way out of owning it, I save money.  So let's go.  It fits into my pattern of collection--it's original, new, well done, and it has a tradition.  And it's beautiful, serene, and those are qualities that sometimes worry me.  Would it inquire enough of me--would it ask me lots of questions over the years, or would I just accept it on a wall and forget it?  That I don't want.  Now, it's possible it's so beautiful it will always make demands on me--like an Ingres drawing and certain Feiningers.  They have the mystery that can belong to perfection--mystery of how it is done, not technically, but sprititually.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 9,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

"O.K., Vincent, what do you do when you look at a painter's work for the first time?  How do you look and what do you see?"  Obviously, what I have to say is no dogmatic standard, but let me analyze my reactions to a specific painter.  Spring, 1958; Santa Barbara; the painter, William Dole; I have never seen him before.

I walk into the gallery and am immediately charmed.  The water colors are clear and bright, the lines of the drawings delicate but strong.  He obviously is saying what he has to say the way he wants to say it.  There is no hesitation in these reports of a trip to Italy.  He is in a true American tradition without being eclectic (he stems from Demuth, Marin, Feininger); there is a desire to record beauty here and a true way of seeing it.  One picture called "Narrow Street, Florence" I would like to own.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

[N.B.:  Price saw Dole's work right before he adopted his signature style of collage.  In any case, here's an example of a work, Via dello Studio, that is probably similar to the picture that Price admired.]

April 8,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

I've said a dozen times a dozen ways that one of art's greatest joys is that it allows you to see through another's eyes, his mind, his heart.  But it isn't often that the genius of two men is blended so that the one can tell the story of the other with such distinction that the report is comparable to the act.  When it occurs, art reaches new heights.  Bellini has done it twice for me: once in his "Agony in the Garden" and in the Frick's "St. Francis in Ecstasy."  Sometimes you read a passage by a great writer, and you know what he says and how he says it will always be, for you, the only possible way it could be.  Less often a painter will describe an event in a way that fits into your interpretation of that event so perfectly that it becomes the event itself.  This is how it was, and where it was, when St. Francis had his triumphant ecstasy.  Perhaps it's only me, but then, that is another joy of art . . . it is always personal. 

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 7,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Another of [Rembrandt's] paintings there used to have the most romantic title in the world: "Death on a Pale Horse."  I don't know who dreamed that up, but it was a great idea.  Before a ruined castle in a landscape of rich gloom, a noble young man, arrogant and aware of his beauty, rides a proud horse the color of pearls.  Why not Death, leading us to the end of our days, to herd us into oblivion?  Well, they've changed the title now to "The Polish Rider."  Those clinical art historians, I'm sure, couldn't support this wonderful frivolity where the master was concerned.  What a pity--but it couldn't matter less.  Just look at it and think what you like.  To me, it will always be "Death on a Pale Horse."

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

[N.B.:  Probably whomever named the painting originally was thinking it would be a good rebuke to the then-famous painting by Benjamin West with the same title.]

April 6,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

The Frick Rembrandt self-portrait is, of all his self-portraits, a true monument to his honesty.  No painter saw himself more profoundly, nor in so many moods.  In this, re reached his peak, and a monument it is.  Beyond just being a picture, it has the solidity of the Pyramids, the anguishing beauty of the Parthenon.  Rembrandt looks beyond himself in this picture to the very secret of life . . . to the reason of man . . . to his soul.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 5,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

To me, the most beautiful male portrait I have ever seen is the Titian in the Frick.  It is all romance, all renaissance, all man.  I don't suppose we'll ever know who he was.  I don't really care.  I like to think that perhaps Titian saw him walking in the square and was so struck by his manliness, his clothes, by the romance of this creature, he broke through the crowds of ladies who must have surrounded him and dragged him off to his studio to sit for him.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 4,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

I think my favorite museum, however, is the Frick collection.  The Met is so vast that, even for a hungry art lover like myself, it's a pretty big meal.  But the Frick is just right . . . not too many pictures and almost all of the highest quality.  Its greatest invitation is extended through four of the most wonderful paintings in the world: two Rembrandts, a Titian, and a Bellini.

--I Like What I Know by Vincent Price

April 3,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

And yet she loved all things French, loved being in France.  When we went there en famille after the war she exclaimed continuously on its marvellous Frenchness, everything was just as French as she remembered it - 'Look,' she said, as we drove away from the boat through Calais, 'the very streets - the cars, a Citroën, James! - oh, a gendarme, and there, the little outside lavatory, they're called pissoires, and you see the wine shops - James, see the windows! all that wine - and the pavement cafés and there's a patisserie' - she said the word with such a French flourish - 'you boys have never tasted a real French pâtisserie - do stop, James, and we'll all have a pâtisserie, the boys can have their first tarte au pommes!'  James stopped,a nd she led us to the little shop, its open counter just off the pavement laden with cakes, fruits, tarts, etc., the smell of their recent baking hanging in the warm air, and it's certainly true that Nigel and I had never seen such a display, not even in Montreal, nor smelt such smells - 'peach, pear, apple,' she said, 'apricot, fraises, framboises - and that's the one I'll have' - she gestured at it, one of her grand gestures - 'the blackberry!' and a swarm of flies rose up from it, leaving not a blackberry but a plain custard tart - we hurried back to the car, and Nigel and I experienced our first real pâtisseries further down the road, deep inside a café off the pavement, where the pâtisserie counter had a net over it.

--The Last Cigarette by Simon Gray

April 2,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Some nights there were dances in private houses.  One of the great hosts of the day, the writer George Moore, strewed white lilies over dozens of tables, hired two bands, and kept his guests dancing until dawn.  He opened his doors almost as often as it was still decent.  Each time, some guests would go back to France and never return.  The evenings became known as the Dances of Death.

--The Bolter by Frances Osborne

[N.B.:  Now that we've entered the Great War's centenary, it's important to remember the blight it inflicted upon British manhood.]

April 1,  2013

Patrick: Lagniappe

Where the King went, society tended to follow.  If he took mistresses among his friends' wives, then so could and would those of his minions with both the time and the inclination (although many remained appalled by his behavior).  Married women were safer.  First, they were not going to trap a man into marriage.  Second, if they became pregnant, the child could be incorporated within their existing family.  For this reason a married woman was expected to wait until she had produced two sons for her husband ("an heir and a spare") before risking introducing somebody else's gene pool among those who might inherit his property--thus "adulterating" the bloodline.

--The Bolter by Frances Osborne



  1. Some Do Not . . . by Ford Madox Ford
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  1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  2. Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis


Patrick: Kathryn:


  • Story by Robert McKee
  • Consilience by Edward O. Wilson



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