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Pull Up a Chair

please do (photo: norwichnuts)

In last week’s thread, someone suggested “heroes” as a topic for a Pull Up A Chair post… and I thought it was a great idea. For this week!

When I think of heroes, or in my case, heroines, I think of the women who’ve inspired me with their writings. Historically, women have been less advantaged than men when it came to education, and especially in being able to tell their own stories. So, when I think of these heroines, I think of Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton and Willa Cather, among others. And I love Dorothy Sayers’ mysteries… she is so darned literate.  They’ve each influenced so much of my everyday world, beacons to follow…

Virginia Woolf’s writing style may not please everyone, but I love the impressionistic way in which she wrote her novels, and I loved her “A Room of One’s Own,” which was all about the importance of having a room of one’s own in which to write. Mrs. Dalloway was a great read, too, as well as To The Lighthouse.

Jane Austen was often hilarious, though not in every novel, Mansfield Park being one very interesting exception. Yet, her other novels were mostly hilarious… Pride and Prejudice, Emma. Sense and Sensibility had some humor in it, though it was pretty serious, too. I loved Persuasion and that Anne Eliot was being given a second chance at love.

Edith Wharton managed to walk the line between being a traitor to her class and still being accepted by it. She entertained quite a bit, decorated homes, wrote books about home decoration and gardening, not to mention her novels, many of which I have read… The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country, Ethan Frome, The Glimpses of the Moon, Old New York, Hudson River Bracketed, The Gods Arrive, and The Buccaneers.

Willa Cather is a bit more complicated. She started out wanting to be a doctor, but eventually turned her sights on writing fiction. Some of her books have these gaps, where you can almost see through them to the structure and see where the suturing occurs. My favorite work of hers is Death Came for the Archbishop, a story that she told in an episodic format… about how the southwest was settled long before any Europeans appeared on the scene. I have read some of her other works, but Death Came for the Archbishop is still my favorite.

My favorite Sayers’ novels are the ones that feature Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane… the chemistry between them is pretty interesting. She keeps trying to get rid of him, but to little effect, only to discover that perhaps she did not really want to get rid of him. They begin with Strong Poison, Have His Carcase, and Gaudy Night, as well as Busman’s Honeymoon.

For breakfast this morning, there are cottage cheese pancakes–the kind of pancakes that don’t give you a carb hangover–and real maple syrup, gluten-free banana muffins, and there’s a baking sheet in the oven with some bacon on it. And please, you must take some fruit.  Anything special you’d like this morning? (If your heroes or heroines are well-known in the foodie world, so much the better…)

I’ve chosen to feature my literary heroines. But this isn’t a post about literature, who are your heroes or heroines? …I suspect that Jane Hamsher must figure highly in this group, along with Marcy Wheeler and Christy Hardin Smith, as well as David Dayen, who is exceptionally prolific in writing the news of the day — not to mention the many people who contribute to MyFDL, including the inimitable Jim White, who is probably one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I love reading Bill Egnor’s Sunday Food columns about bread, even though I cannot eat what he writes about… but, I enjoy his columns vicariously. Aunt Toby probably forgot more about food than most of us ever knew. And Art Saturday is a welcome respite from the week’s worth of politics.  (I’m sure I’ve skipped a few here.)

Who and what inspired you growing up?  Who inspires you today?

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