It’s all about Han Solo now….

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a piece for the Guardian’s book blog about how the literary heroes of our youth never change. For example, I was in love with Heathcliff and Darcy when I was 16 and I probably still will be when I’m 60.

Spurred on by Rupert’s dismay that the children watch such rubbish compared with the stuff we grew up on, I ordered the three original Star Wars films. What a treat. We watched all three in rapid succession, it was fabulous, an inter-galactic feast.

I Lukewas mad about the films when they first came out and have not seen them since. It was amazing how much I remembered from almost thirty years ago and how the music still gives me goose-bumps.

But something has changed. Back then I was madly in love with Luke Skywalker. He was the first love of my life. I thought he was totally gorgeous. I doubted any other man could ever compare with him and his light-sabre.

HanNow he reminds me of Leo and I would rather cook him a plate of pasta than go on a date with him. As an Irish friend of mine put it; “It’s all about Han Solo now.”

But the scary thing is that even he looks too young and fresh-faced to really get excited about. So while our literary heroes might remain constant, men in films do not. Do you remember, for example, the first time you saw Gone with the Wind thinking how OLD Rhett Butler looked? Now he looks younger than me. I think I will stick to books.

RhettOn another note, I have made it into Private Eye, the satirical magazine read by the media in England and feared by the politicians. This is an extremely exciting moment (even more exciting than being reunited with CP30). The subject of the article is Zoe Williams’ vitriolic attack on me and her basic errors (see blog below One book better than two?). She is made to look like a fool which she thoroughly deserves, not least for calling me a ‘no-mark’. Something I thoroughly object to being called by someone I have never heard of.

Here is the text of the Private Eye article:

Guardian columnist Zoe Williams found herself very exercised recently by what she called “a small but seemingly quite flourishing eddy of publishing” encouraging British women to emulate their Gallic counterparts.

“Let’s try Two Lipsticks and a Lover. This is by Helena Frith Powell, who is English rather than French, but – praise be to God – met a Frenchwoman once, who told her what one needed to achieve Frenchness…This no-mark Frith Powell, and when I say I am amazed, I am not being hyperbolic, this really does amaze me – managed to string her observations about the French into another book, All You Need to be Impossibly French.

This would be a fair observation, but for three things: firstly, that Frith Powell is half-Italian and half-Swedish; secondly, that she may have met rather more than one Frenchwoman, having lived in the Languedoc region for the past eight years; and thirdly, she has only written one book on the topic, All You Need to be Impossibly French being the name of the US edition of Two Lipsticks and a Lover.

Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2008

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