Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Ten of the greatest kisses in literature

At Flavorwire, Emily Temple listed ten of the greatest kisses in literature.

One lip-lock on the list:
Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

For the sheer audacity of Butler, and for how much we wish he’d sweep us off our feet as well.

“Scarlett O’Hara, you’re a fool!”

Before she could withdraw her mind from its far places, his arms were around her, as sure and hard as on the dark road to Tara, so long ago. She felt again the rush of helplessness, the sinking yielding, the surging tide of warmth that left her limp. And the quiet face of Ashley Wilkes was blurred and drowned to nothingness. He bent back her head across his arm and kissed her, softly at first, and then with a swift gradation of intensity that made her cling to him as the only solid thing in a dizzy swaying world. His insistent mouth was parting her shaking lips, sending wild tremors along her nerves, evoking from her sensations she had never known she was capable of feeling. And before a swimming giddiness spun her round and round, she knew that she was kissing him back.

“Stop–please, I’m faint!” she whispered, trying to turn her head weakly from him. He pressed her head back hard against his shoulder and she had a dizzy glimpse of his face. His eyes were wide and blazing queerly and the tremor in his arms frightened her.

“I want to make you faint. I will make you faint. You’ve had this coming to you for years. None of the fools you’ve known have kissed you like this–have they? Your precious Charles or Frank or your stupid Ashley–”


“I said your stupid Ashley. Gentlemen all–what do they know about women? What did they know about you? I know you.”
Read about another kiss on the list.

Gone With the Wind is one of Suzi Quatro's six best books, and was a book that made a difference to Pat Conroy. It is on the Christian Science Monitor's list of the ten best novels of the U.S. Civil War.

--Marshal Zeringue