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Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.

Since it is one of my Desert Island Books, I would have to say Winston Smith and Julia from 1984. Yet realizing that a doomed relationship might be considered a bit gloomy, there’s another one that somewhat surprisingly comes to mind.

It is Jack Gladney, the central character of Don DeLillo’s White Noise, and his wife, Babette. I say surprising because even though the book won the National Book Award in 1985, I’m not much of a fan of it. Yet the relationship Jack and his Babette struck me as down-to-earth and loving, perhaps one of the few things resembling normalcy, at least to me, in the work In fact, the seeming ordinariness of the relationship made it feel more honest and realistic. At least from my perspective, a true coupling will tend toward comforting and reassuring as opposed to being searing and quixotic (even though it will have occasional flares like that).

While I could probably come up with others, the fact these two immediately come to mind must mean they are my favorites.


I tell her I want to die first. I’ve gotten so used to her that I would feel miserably incomplete. We are two views of the same person. I would spend the rest of my life turning to speak to her. No one there, a hole in space and time.

Don DeLillo, White Noise

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2 comments to Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

  • But Winston wasn’t very loyal to Julia.

  • Tim

    I believe him to have been extremely loyal, yielding only to the State’s ultimate torture enhanced interrogation technique in Room 101. The fact Big Brother would stop at nothing to crush their relationship is why I call it “doomed.”