another guilty pleasure

I am proud of my guilty pleasures.

The latest guilty pleasure I indulged in was the trilogy called Millennium written by Stieg Larsson. Thanks to two friends who loaned me the books, I am now a Millennium trilogy fan. Never mind the books’ dragging parts and clunky sections. Beyond these, the books have become special to me because of its Danish histori-political details, suspenseful tenor, and the arresting female protagonist, Lisbeth Salander.

I know myself, and I know that most of what comprises Lisbeth Salander’s character resembles my facets. Tattoos, fascination for varied and totally unrelated subjects, and excess baggage aside, Lisbeth is also stubborn, is socially inept, and is able to temper and control her emotions to her advantage. She is crafty and when angered, she can get violent.

Here’s how Larsson pegged her:

“Salander never forgot an injustice and by nature she was anything but forgiving.” Same here, oh, yes, same here.

“Donít ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, sheíll get a bigger gun.”

“He felt that he had to find Salander and hold her close. // She would probably bite him if he tried.”

“It doesn’t matter how good the enemy’s weapons are. If he can’t see you, he can’t hit you. Cover, cover, cover. Make sure you’re never exposed.”

“Consequently, it was up to her to solve her problems by herself, using whatever methods she deemed necessary.”

Stieg Larsson died of a heart attack in 2004. My respect toward Larsson intensified after learning that he used his books to criticize systems and units that tolerate sexual violence against women. Weeks after finishing the Millennium series, I chanced upon Angelique‘s blog entry that contained a letter from Stieg Larsson to his partner, Eva Gabrielsson. (Read Eva’s account of Stieg’s final days and the letter here)

After reading the letter in which he said the name, Eva, many times, I found the whole experience and gesture touching and terrifyingly real yet unreal. I claimed the letter in that instant. It was as if he was referring to me (also), to an(Other) Eva that hungers for his words. And I realized this: There are only two people who when they call me by that name enthralls me. Stieg is the third.

To end, here are more quotes from the trilogy:

“Don’t call me crazy.I’m a survivor. I do what I have to do to survive.”

“But she wished she had had the guts to go up to him and say hello. Or possibly break his legs, she wasn’t sure which.”

“Normally seven minutes of another person’s company was enough to give her a headache so she set things up to live as a recluse. She was perfectly content as long as people left her in peace. Unfortunately society was not very smart or understanding.”

“Salander leaned back against the pillow and followed the conversation with a smile. She wondered why she, who had such difficulty talking about herself with people of flesh and blood, could blithely reveal her most intimate secrets to a bunch of completely unknown freaks on the Internet.” >> Touche! 🙂

“I am what I am…I ran away from everything and everybody. I should have said goodbye.”

“You walk around feeling like a teenager and immortal your whole life, and suddenly there isn’t much time left.”

“Stark raving mad.”

“There is nothing to talk about…I’m just a freak that’s all.”

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