Not in a rant mood today, partly because of being burnt out on Da Vinci code nonsense, and suddenly fonder of T. Robinson than could have imagined.
But the five early imprints thing is something I do feel like saying something about...
1. Just about everyone in the Moomin books, but especially Snufkin and the Snork Maiden. One of the things that makes me believe, sometimes, in an essentialist version of queer is just this - I got a real vibe of comfort from the Moomin books even when I was eight or so, and a sense of e.g. the theatre bits in Comet in Moominland being what I wanted more of. That is to say, screamingly camp, but I didn't know this at the time.
There is also the little dog who wants to run with the wild wolves - which is one of my major personal myths. And of course Tove Jansen was a big ol' dyke and the books are written from a gloriously queer sensibility.
2. The wicked witches in Narnia - well, no surprise there - but also Reepicheep the gallant braggart giant mouse, and Puddleglum the marshwiggle, who wanders around being gloomy, but is disliked by other marshwiggles for his unbecoming cheerfulness. My favourite bit is when Jadis' sister bursts in on her with a mob and says 'Victory' and Jadis says 'Yes, but not yours' and speaks a word of unmaking which destroys their world. Pure class.
3. Dumbo - another of my crucial personal myths simply because I have rather large ears, and people called me it, and I turned it back by thinking, ah yes, clumsy and awkward, but one day I will fly. I was a very alienated child, but in a good way.
4. It wasn't so much any of the characters in the Eagle of the Ninth as the introductory music to the radio serial which haunted me for much of my childhood. It was that distant trumpet call and the aching silence that came instead of an antiphonal response. Now I know it's Walton's First Symphony, but when I was nine, it was just this rich strange thing that one day I might know about.
5. And yes, the obvious one, Frodo Baggins. I was ten, or maybe just eleven, when I read LOTR for the first time, and no matter how irritated I get with the silly old Tory Tolkien, I am also aware that he changed my life, mostly for the good. The thing about Frodo is that he does so much and suffers so much and goes on and on and on about it all, and it still isn't enough, except for the consequence of random acts of irrational kindness and his salvation is bought at the cost of another's damnation - remember I was a religious prig as a child. That was my first sense of real tragedy.
Gosh, what a telling pile of personal archetypes...