Cassia, cheerleader to millions
Posted by Jane Elizabeth on October 20, 1997 at 10:22:57:
In response to So How about That Roland???, written by Cassia on October 19, 1997 at 16:51:36
Shame on you, Cassia, I know you're trying to drum up romantic interest in our favorite book! Well, whatever it takes. I hope the postings come thick and fast this week.
My take on Roland is that he's neither. He is, whether unfortunately or not, a contemporary male character. Within the narrow world of academia that he inhabits there's little room for heroics. However...compared to Cropper and Blackadder, and certainly nasty Fergus, he is positively attractive! Here's what IS appealing about Roland: despite his theft of the letters, and his inability to be honest with Val, he is at least honest with himself and eventually with Maud. I find his lack of self-importance and pretension refreshing. Byatt describes him as unwittingly attractive to women, a bit because of this.
BTW, did you see the two references to Austen? I wasn't an Austen fan when I last read P, so it was fun to see them. I liked the reference to Catherine Morland's cabinet, because it seemed Byatt was poking fun at her own hidden-letter conceit. And don't all Austen fans harbor a secret fantasy that someone will find a cache of her letters to Mr. X, the mystery lover?
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