ToBS R1: literary marriage vs. child of famous author’s novel
[Matchup #11 in Tournament of Bookshit]
So what about Percy and Mary Shelley? That’s a literary marriage I can get into. They lived in a big house in Switzerland and floated around an ambiguous sexual circle and wrote pretty fun shit. I mean, if you’re going to get married to a writer that seems like a fairly successful way to go about it. Personally I’ve always been pretty wary of the idea of being… with… a writer. So maybe the open thing works? Maybe the only reason to marry a writer is so you can have sex with your bros and still be accepted by society? I like Keats and Byron; they seem chill. But that’s not even the best thing about the marriage. Only through such a union would any of us have seen Frankenstein, and I like Frankenstein. The problem with this argument lies in the fact that the sci-fi/horror story directly refutes literary marriage’s win. Mary Shelley was the daughter of Mary Wollstonecraft, and Mary Wollstonecraft was a famous author, and Frankenstein is a novel. So it’s a draw. Disregard the Shelleys.
Okay, then I think of Didion and Dunne. I’ve never really read any John Dunne, but he seems chill, and Didion is a college boy’s literary wet dream. Or whatever. They had a kid and she wasn’t a writer. She took pictures or something. Her name was Quintana Roo. And therein lies the greatest problem in literary marriage that I can see. A Joan and a John get together and name their child the most ridiculous pretentious thing they can think of, Mexican state or otherwise. I fear that everyday two writers could be coming up with more names just like this. Then again, you could be named after the literal object that made your parent famous. Wallace Stegner, Pulitzer Prize winning “Dean of Western Writers,” had the audacity to name his son Page. Then sent him to Stanford where the eager beaver learned he could profit off doing the exact same thing as his dad.
I don’t want to talk about Mark Vonnegut or Mariel Hemingway, but here are their names. (Though, they wrote memoirs, though… memoirs…)
So here’s what it comes down to: would I rather there be people around to name their children Quintana and Page, or would I rather those children exist and decide to write books? I guess it’s a lesser of two evils thing for me. A girl named Quintana can hide her whole life and try to avoid (however unsuccessfully) any involvement in the literary world, but at least she didn’t write anything herself. Let them marry, maybe they’ll be better for it, but please, leave the kids alone. They could’ve been okay. They could’ve died in peace.
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WINNER: literary marriage