Monday, February 7, 2011 we not bleed?

This was one of those mornings when you wake up (after three hours of sleep) and stare at your closet for ten minutes, then put on yesterday's clothes.  Then you find your windshield is spotted generously with bird poop and you're out of windshield cleaner.  Then it sprinkles a touch, not enough to get rid of the poop, but just enough that if you use the wipers, the poop will spread into a huge smudge across the window.

I hate Mondays.

It's been awhile since I've updated this blog (more than a week...oh no...bad habits forming!).  It's been a crazy week, but here's something small, so I can feel productive.

We all have someone in our lives that we love to hate.  We adore them, find them amusing or fascinating, or just plain care about them.  We can't flush them out of our lives because they live, breathe, and we can touch them.  We don't want to.

Some of the most interesting characters in fiction are the ones we revile.  I'm pulled back time and time again to study Charlotte Martin, who I equally would like to strangle.  There are few characters more interesting  than Humbert Humbert.  And of course, there is nothing quite like diving into the mind of Dostoyevsky's Raskolnikov.  Twisted characters are the ones we are drawn to and are some of the most memorable in fiction.  Real people are flawed.  These characters threaten to inhabit the dark recesses our minds that we fear to confront.

How do you find the line between unreadable evil and intriguing and disturbing character sketches?  Have you wrestled with any characters like this in your writing and who are you favorite controversial characters in literature? 


  1. Agree with you that Humbert Humbert must be one of the most disturbing characters in literature. One of the most uncomfortable facets is the sheer beauty of the language that Nabokov gives him, so that we are drawn to him at the same time as we are repelled.

    Just finished reading - and reviewing - Joyce carol Oates' new collection of short stories, Give Me Your Heart and there are some profoundly unsettling characters in there too, all of whom I would run from!

  2. I find Heathcliff incredibly disturbing... he is controlling, abusive and to me not romantic...

  3. Mondays do have a tendency to come in on a band wind. My Monday was not all that great either, neither was Tuesday for that matter, however I plan to make today a happy productive day, so there! ;-)

    “How do you find the line between unreadable evil and intriguing and disturbing character sketches?” My A: I just remember to make them as real/human as possible, with their own reasonable justifications for their actions. Revenge is always a good evil-maker as is a touch of madness, but no matter what makes them the anti-hero, they are still people and I cannot help but feel slightly for my bad guys. I hope that makes them real!