I thought I'd muse a bit about a book I read fairly often which I was enjoying last night before sleep: Busman's Honeymoon by Dorothy L. Sayers. It's the final book she wrote about the adventures of Lord Peter Wimsey, though there are a couple later short stories, and this is both good and bad.
People say she was too in love with Lord Peter. Or they did at the time; I seem to remember Margery Allingham, who wrote Albert Campion stories, criticizing her of this. The thing is, you just can't not be in love with Lord Peter. If you like to love men, that is. (And perhaps are of a somewhat intellectual bent...) So this book, besides being a very clever story, is a summation of his mystifying and ever-so-slightly awkward glory. The first section of the book is a prologue (Prothalamion) told in epistolic (letters and diary entries) form, and just to read that without ever reading the story itself is like having really exquisite foreplay, knowing that whatever follows will supremely consummate the long time longed-for love. But then...that's it. Where else could the tale go? Yet I always wish it would just carry on and give me more.
But Dorothy L. couldn't have him, of course. She'd made him up. So she gave him to Harriet Vane, which was as close as she could get, and then began focusing on theology instead of mystery stories.
I've done the same thing in my own stories, but I want to rework it. Initially, I wrote Jack D'Abruzzo like a brother I wished for, and when I realized I was wishing in the wrong direction, I gave him to my rather absurd fictional twin, Violet. Because you can't draw down the moon and conjur reality just by writing it all down. But it's nice to think you can come pretty close.
Il arrive toujours le moment où l'on apprend à distinguer entre embrasser et baiser...