Friday, April 11, 2008

Book Snape/Movie Snape: a Clarification

I believe this is of interest only to me, but for the sake of honesty I must clarify my statements on the Potions Master.  For those who have seen any of the Harry Potter movies, having a huge crush on Alan Rickman's Snape might seem like the only sensible course of action: the repressed sexuality, the burning looks he shoots at Harry (hello slash fic), the way he turns on his heel and dismissively flips the hem of his cloak, the voice that sounds like he just swallowed a large tablespoonful of creamy peanut butter...it's a seminal piece of character acting.  Who wouldn't long for detention with the smoldering Alan Rickman/Snape? Okay, maybe some of you.  Sgt. Pepper claims he wouldn't enjoy it.

Please don't misunderstand.  I would definitely assist in the unbuttoning of the hundred little buttons on the Rickman Snape waistcoat (are they there, or did I imagine it?).  And I wouldn't kick him out of bed (although I believe I'd have to hear from Sarge on this).  However, my real love is reserved for the Book Snape.  Yes, my peculiar delusion of desire concerns the Severus Snape made of words, not the "flesh and blood" of the actor.

I have admittedly made a habit of these book-crushes over the years.  The last time I had such a "relationship" was in latency: my deep love for Sebastian Flyte in "Brideshead Revisited."  And once again, a crush on Anthony Andrews (remember him?), who played him in the BBC production, would have been the very definition of common sense, but no, it was the character in the book that I adored.

I'm going out on a limb to ask a strange question: has anyone ever had a crush on a character in a book? Any takers for Jack Aubrey? Charles Ryder? Cap Garland? Galadriel? Reggie? Polly from "Old-Fashioned Girl"?

14 comments:

Spider Lady said...

*deep breath* Jean-Claude from Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series....*swoon*

There I admitted it....lol

Leah said...

Ooo...Jean-Claude's a vampire, so much the better!!!

Ambarina said...

Hey there!!
I came here through a recomendation of a Snape fanlist mail thread... and, well, I totally agree with you, in the sense that BookSnape might be more appealing, but-- that first scene where he walks around in his cloak... oooh, thats when I noticed that the character was pretty awesome, hehehe. Anyways, greetings!

BBC said...

I believe this is of interest only to me,

Hum, a crush on a character in a book. Crush or lust? Someone that turned you on.

Actually, I've had both. Some women in books have turned my crank. Some I have loved or had a crush on.

One woman is Leslie in 'The Bridge Across Forever'. My favorite romance book, I would love to have that woman in my life.

BBC said...

Actually, 'The Bridge Across Forever' is a true story. And it saddened me greatly when they got a divorce.

On the other hand, she may be on the market. LOL

Cecile said...

Humm, book crushes, I can certainly see your facination with Snape, although, I didn't particularly care for his character until the very end when he died and you were actually able to see who he really was. Not one singel book character comes to mind, but I am sure I have had fantasies about many.

Leah said...

bbc--interesting to hear your take on the question. I feel better anyway knowing that people have had the same experience with books. Perhaps it's not a delusion--just having fun with something. I guess the delusion would be that you actually think you're having a relationship! Okay, maybe I am having a delusion...

Cecile--I always assumed that Snape was not inherently evil--he was from the start the classic Byronic hero--but actually, I loved him just as much in his darker incarnation as I do now that he's been revealed as definitively on the side of good. Do your guys like the books? Hedgehog read the first one in a marathon sitting last summer (she even had me bring her lunch and dinner to her room!!) but then hasn't read the rest yet...I'm always trying to get someone to read them aloud to me. Especially because Sarge does AMAZING voices when he reads, and I'm hoping to have him do a Snape voice...kinky?

Ambarina--welcome! I'm curious, if you stop by again, what's the fanlist thread?

Suzanne said...

Leah, Cece, hurry over to the cafe. I need help!

Suzanne said...

I'll discuss literature after I find my damn shoes.

Anonymous said...

Wow...... Thanks! I guess I'm not crazy after all!! I have the strangest fascination with anything Snape, and I'm not even a teenager (who, of course, are famed for such things....)!!! I'm 43 years old, and sometimes feel kind of like a groupie or something. Book Snape is THE most delightfully dark, mysterious, complex character--- full of so many tantalizing contradictions----- I have ever had the pleasure to follow through literature (and what a gift-- SEVEN BOOKS OF IT!). He's fiercely intelligent, obviously from the beginning knows a lot and harbors many secrets, wounded, vindictive, and yet just as strongly loyal and protective. He lurks in the shadows of all the Harry Potter books, his seemingly contradictory cruelty and loyalty always keeping us guessing. And in the end, he gives his life for a love so strong that it overpowered the deep hatred and resentment he felt toward Harry's father. Wow!!! Boy, did I cry my eyes out...........

Movie Snape-- I cannot think of a better actor than Alan Rickman to play Snape. He is literally mesmerizing to watch! From his ever-changing facial expressions to the silky smoothness with which he delivers his lines, it is amazing. He is the stern schoolmaster, the taunting potions master in the cupboard ("Verita- SER-um!"), the loyal protector at that Quidditch match, his face etched with intense concern. I love the (unfortunately, deleted) scene from "Goblet of Fire" when Karkaroff challenges Snape to roll up his sleeve, and he quickly recoils, showing his vulnerability and fear of his past. My favorites are the Occlumency scenes from "Order of the Phoenix", which finally show Harry and Snape confronting each other alone face to face. Snape starts by starkly outlining how dangerous Voldemort is, darkly drawing out his words, reminding you how up close and personal he has seen this as a former Death Eater. He then painstakingly tries to teach Harry the discipline he himself has to employ as a spy, and when this doesn't work, he gets frustrated and all the anger and hurt he feels towards James Potter surges to the surface like a tidal wave, jarring in its intensity. Then comes the flashback to Snape being taunted by James and his friends as a teenager, causing the viewer to see his vindictiveness towards Harry in a different light, and again exposing his vulnerability. Powerful stuff...... I am very, very grateful to the people who collected all of Snape's scenes from each of the movies and made them into YouTube videos! :)Rickman's parts in the movies have never been very big (I'm hoping we will see more of him in "Half Blood Prince"), but he REALLY commands the screen when he is there!! :)

--Becky from Ohio

Skeeter said...

Yes, absolutely. Takers for those guys? Nope, but there are a couple that flip my switch. Jenny Appleton in A Portrait of Jennie. Elinor Dashwood from Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

Leah said...

Hi Becky from Ohio--

thanks for a really fun comment. Point by point, I agree with you! Each incarnation of Snape has its own special allure...

Skeeter--I haven't read "Portrait of Jennie" in years and years--but you reminded me of it and now I must go back and find my copy to reread!

Beachbum said...

sorry i'm a little late but i lik edward cullen. he is the vampire in the twilight series. have you read that?

Anonymous said...

Except from snape, I have a real big crush on Dorian Grey from Oscar Wilde.