Thursday, November 14, 2013

Five memorable pets in literature

Adam Thorpe is a poet, playwright and novelist...and a translator of Madame Bovary.

"Pets are said to reflect their owners, which makes them a godsend to novelists," writes Thorpe in Telegraph, "but they can also serve as counterpoints, bringing a deeper colouration to a character, or – as in The Hound of the Baskervilles – a growl of terror."

One entry on Thorpe's list of memorable pets in literature:
Obese Count Fosco, the villain in Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White (1859), is made a lot more creepy by his fondness for his “frail little pets” – which include a vicious cockatoo, two singing canaries and a family of white mice who “crawl all over” his corpulent body as he kisses and fondles them.
Read about the other pets on the list.

The Woman in White is among Elizabeth Kostova's top ten books for winter nights and Philip Pullman's forty favorite books.

--Marshal Zeringue