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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Chapter Fifty-Eight, in which Leander desires Erato

Leander is not the type of man who talks about his feelings, so Your Bibliothecary must talk about them for him.

For all you first-time Readers, Leander and Erato are two of our dearest friends. Both are writers, and we have all shared many a literary experience together. They have previously appeared in Chapter Fifty-Two as two of the four unknown contest judges. They also share a famous, on-again/off-again romance--on because Erato can behave with knee-buckling appeal when she wants to, and off because she often wants to with more than one man. Morals and analysis aside, they are a fine couple when together.

Many years before meeting Erato, Leander saw a film that he considered brilliant. The name doesn't matter--what matters is his appreciation of the performance of the leading actress. So moved, he even went on to write a biography on the character from the film.

Fast forward, if you will, to last weekend: Leander and Erato find time to rent a movie. Leander suggests that film that touched him so, and to his surprise Erato had never seen it. Well, she has to see it. (Remember, Ladies, often one of the only ways a man will share his feelings with you is through his appreciation of a film, book, or work of art.)

Leander recounted all this at lunch the other day, in what seemed like fewer than ten words. We have, not so much embellished it--he embellished it with an abundance of detail concerning the rest of their weekend together--but edited and translated it, so the meaning will become clearer. He captioned this snapshot of one part of their weekend by saying that the actress in the film seemed to him just like Erato.

We can tell you there is some resemblance in appearance between said actress and said lover. And having seen the film, we can affirm that the actress displays some mannerisms and ways of bearing that are similar to Erato's, likely even more to one who knows her as Leander does. The film, he said, inspired quite a night.

This all brought us to thinking about why Leander is so drawn to Erato. Even when he is angry with her, he still desires her. Indeed, he excuses all her faults just to have as much of her as she will allow. Though we know Erato's charms to be powerful, there must be another reason, something deeper, a feeling that Leander won't discuss.

Is it possible that many years before meeting Erato, the actress in the film made a strong, searing impression on Leander? And is it possible that when he finally did meet Erato, she reminded him of the actress, though completely subconsciously? Is it possible that Erato fit perfectly into the impression left upon Leander by the actress, and that is what makes him so drawn to her? Was Leander somehow conditioned to want Erato to the exclusion of others?

Are all the hopes and desires of our mature years really only shadows of our younger years, attempts to fill the emptiness of our past?


  1. I think it depends on the person. Some people spend their entire adult lives trying to recapture moments and/or feelings from their childhoods but I don't think you can say that about everyone. Perhaps Leander isn't searching for an incarnation of the actress. Maybe there is a particular quality that the actress has that he finds highly desirable and he sees that quality in Erato. Of course it's also possible he has some sort of obsession with the actress that has spilled out into his life. Only he can really say for sure.

  2. Whoops, that was me signing in with the wrong user name. My comment was:

    Hmm, very Freudian. I would like to say no, but I believe the answer is, sometimes, yes.