Today on That Certain Social Media Site I found another list that inspires me to make my own. Because I’m a blogger, and I can.
The Jane Austen Society of North America posted a link to a list of 100 (Oh, look! A nice round number!) Best Fictional Characters. The full title of the list includes “From Sherlock Holmes to Jane Eyre,” which is kind of funny because neither of those characters actually made the list. Dr. Watson got a nod, but Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester are both conspicuous by their absence. Grace Poole, well, you probably wouldn’t expect her anyway.
I was very pleased to find Flora Poste and Margaret Schlegel on the list. And I was disproportionately pleased that someone chose Bigwig from Watership Down (even though I like Blackberry better). I mean, Bigwig is a rabbit in a book where most of the characters are rabbits, for heaven’s sake, but nobody who has read Watership Down will ever forget him. Also, I’ve been worrying a little of late that Watership Down is fading into obscurity. It’s nice to get a shoutout for one of my favorite books when I worry that nobody’s reading it anymore.
You know, I think a better title for their list would have been “Favorite Fictional Characters of 100 Literary People” because that’s really what it is. They don’t define the term “best” at all. Are the best characters the most likable, the ones with which we identify the most, or the most memorable?
Why is it that people who publish lists so rarely define their parameters? Probably because they can get away with being lazy because nobody cares. At least it certainly appears that nobody cares, given the way these lists propagate themselves over the social media. Still, I feel it’s important to maintain standards, even on a silly little Internet blog. So I will thoughtfully consider my parameters before I publish my list of best characters.
As with my previous list, there will be as many characters as I say there are. Lists with round numbers are so last year. Or the year before. In any case, I am so cutting-edge I don’t need round numbers.
Well, you know what’s coming now. I wanted to give you all notice so you can look forward to it.
Love you & leave you,