i do not want this

(20 november 2007)

i have this little thing for alexandre dumas. little isn’t quite the right word. enormous literary crush is probably more appropriate.

but i do not want this.

i’m supposed to be having a torrid, raging love affair with mr. shelby foote. we’re fighting the “wawah.” have been since april 2006. having learned nothing from the johnny rebs, i said i’d be through in a couple weeks and the years have dragged on and on and on and we aren’t even to perryville yet. mcclellan’s still sitting on his ass and hundreds more bazillions of men have to die before shelby and i are rid of each other. and that’s only volume 1.

this seemed kind of awesome in the beginning. what with the “rebellion” and the “rebels” and the “war of aggression,” it was all very star wars and there were all these people with fancy names toting sabers, taking hills and commanding cannon-bearing boats. kind of hot. but now, not so much. war’s fine and all, but, really, it lacks glamour. glamour and velvet. and a girl really needs glamour and velvet from time to time.

you know who has glamour and velvet ALL THE TIME? yep. that good old boy dumas. but i can’t be having enormous literary crushes nor dalliances with dumas. shelby foote holds my keeping for volumes 1-3.

but still…

shelby’s dead so he’s not producing much these days, which is only to be expected. most authors cease writing after they die. most authors are mortal. but then most authors are not dumas.

as if it weren’t enough, as if it weren’t plenty that i have this enormous literary crush, dumas couldn’t be content with that. no, he had to go and write another book. from the grave. never mind the fact that he’s been dead for centuries, he had to go and have a long-lost manuscript (because, i ask you, what on earth is sexier than a long-lost manuscript?!) suddenly unearth itself as if by magic. obviously, specifically to torture me.

as was to be expected, it was an enormous manuscript that was subsequently published in an enormous hardback book. and that’s kind of a dealbreaker.

i do not want this.

there are so many reasons why this is not feasible, why this absolutely will not work. why we are doomed- dumas and i and his big-ass book. chief among them the many reading-related injuries i would sustain attempting to balance a 750-page hardback while standing amidst a crowded, careening train.

i do not want this.

but that hasn’t stopped me from visiting it (and we shall have to call it “it” for now because the name is so enrapturing i swoon at the bare mention) in various bookstores across our fine town, just to caress its spine and flutter its pages, teasingly savoring the aura of the anticipated awesomeness therein (because it’s dumas- it will be awesome). it didn’t prevent me from dragging multiple friends over to genuflect before barnes & noble’s dumas section.

nor did it keep me from reading the black tulip and the three musketeers as a distraction, which, in turn, intensified my lust and sent me scouring reviews so that i stumbled across this sentence: “it’s full of melodrama and coincidence, shamelessly studded with every possible romantic cliché and period flourish.” because melodrama and coincidence are one thing, but oh to be studded with romantic cliché. throw in some glamour and velvet and be still my heart.

but i do not want this.

i can live, i must live without meeting the last cavalier: being the adventures of count sainte-hermine in the age of napoleon, though the title make me weak in the knees. i can content myself with shelby. i can wait it out. the interminable 12-17 months before the count sainte-hermine deigns to make his appearance in paperback. that’s plenty of time in which to fight a wawah. i can do this. i will do this.

i do not want this book.

but, by God, isn’t it the sexiest thing you’ve ever seen?

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