Would You Like Angst With That?

Can you identify this literary character?

What means this life?He paused a moment, idly listening to his friend’s retreating footsteps, which fell hollowly on the tiles. And as if the empty sound struck a kindred chord in his soul, a rush of revulsion swept over him. His mirth fell away from him like a mask, and his face was suddenly old, his eyes worn. The unreasoning melancholy … fell like a shroud about his soul, paralyzing him with a crushing sense of the futility of human endeavor and the meaninglessness of life. His … pleasures, his fears, his ambitions, and all earthly things were revealed to him suddenly as dust and broken toys. The borders of life shriveled and the lines of existence closed in, numbing him. Dropping his … head in his mighty hands, he groaned aloud.

See whether you guessed right.

5 Responses to Would You Like Angst With That?

  1. John W. Payne November 19, 2006 at 7:36 pm #

    At first I thought it was Roskolnikov, but then I saw the thing about might hands. Regardless, the thought was probably brought by the fact that I’m in the process of reading “Crime and Punishment.”

  2. Mark J Laufgraben November 20, 2006 at 1:52 am #

    Administrator, what is best in life?

  3. Administrator November 21, 2006 at 2:11 am #

    then I saw the thing about might hands

    I thought about leaving that out, but I didn’t want to make it impossible to guess. The other clue, for those who know the source, is the conjunction of “melancholy” and “mirth,” which echoes the celebrated “Know, O Prince ….” opening lines of the first Conan story.

    what is best in life?

    The original source for that “best in life” quotation from the first Conan movie is actually Genghis Khan. I’m not actually sure that line ever occurs in the Conan books at all, though I can’t swear it doesn’t. In any case, true Conan fans regard the movies as an offense unto heaven.

  4. Mark Laufgraben November 23, 2006 at 3:32 pm #

    I don’t think it does occur in the books, but I think the fans need to be a little nicer to the first movie…didn’t it invent the Riddle of Steel? If it did, that is a very Conan-like concept true to the spirit of Howard’s work. I actually think the movie is Howard-like in a great many ways, it only fails in that Arnold’s Conan is very much unlike the thoughtful, brooding Conan of the books.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes