Friday, 11 July 2008


Britain's search to find the literary figure most closely identifiable with celebrity playboy gardener Matthew Wilson continues into its nineteenth week with arguments currently centering on whether the top cropping sexpot is more like Darcy, Rochester or Heathcliff.

We asked distinguished literary critic Mariemma Townstrup to comment on the books debate that's taking the horticultural world by storm. 

"I can see what they are getting at," said Townstrup, speaking huskily from her study earlier today. "But I think there's something missing from all three comparisons. Heathcliff is a particuarly bad choice. After all, think of Emily Bronte's description of the Wuthering Heights garden - 'the grass grows up between the flags, and cattle are the only hedge-cutters.' This seems just plain inaccurate, as we know Matthew loves nothing better than nipping out with his chainsaw for a bit of hedge action." 

"Plus Heathcliff is renowned for having a vast dog collection including two sheepdogs ('Gnasher' and 'Wolf'), a pointer ('Juno'), plus assorted puppies. That would hardly sit well with the Wilson prediliction, which is fundamentally feline."

So which literary figure would Townstrup prefer instead?

"I've given this a lot of thought. I'm going for a character from Anna Karenina. But not that hopeless twat Vronsky. My choice is Constantin Levin, a man who spends most of the book thinking about where to plant trees, dig ponds and spread manure."

"Levin is a lush meadow fan, just like our Darce - in fact world literature's most gorgeous moment of mowing occurs when Lev goes out with a scythe to join his workers for the day. And he also experiences a transcendent vision of love for the world after sleeping the night in a field, a scene that always manages to make me cry." 

"The only fly in the ointment is Levin's faithful hound Laska. But then - as Dostoevsky always used to say - you can't win 'em all."


posh spice said...

I would definitely go for some hedge action with Matthew Wilson.

emmat said...

that is just the kind of slutty comment I have come to expect from you, dearest.