It’s not uncommon for me to have crushes on literary characters. When I was young, they seemed far preferable to real people, and now that I am older, they have a certain sexiness and romance to them which is very satisfying, in its own way. They are no substitute for flesh-and-blood loves and romances, a lesson I learned the hard way, but they are quite complimentary to my romantic fantasies.
A character whom I would want to marry is another area altogether from a crush, because many of the literary characters I develop crushes on (Glenn/Crake from the MaddAddam Trilogy, Sherlock Holmes, Jon Snow, etc etc) tend to have a great deal of emotional and psychological baggage. Sometimes, that contributes to them being more attractive to me, because it makes them sympathetic and more interesting. I don’t want to marry someone who is going to let that bleed into their life as much as these characters do, though, so for marriage, I need someone who has the desirable, sympathetic qualities, but is in better control of their emotions and knows how to navigate them effectively. Originally, I was going to answer “Luna Lovegood” from Harry Potter for this, because Luna fits that bill nicely, would make a wonderful wife, and would be fun to have adventures with, but she misses out on being chosen because she’s not technically the main character. Alas.
So, by default, the book whose main character I would want to marry is… Kusamakura (The Grass Pillow) I would marry the narrator, who is unnamed.
If you’ve never read Natsume Soseki’s lesser known work, you’re missing out. It’s a lovely, poetic meditation on beauty, seclusion, and a commentary on the nature of lust, desire, war, and industrialization. There are two very beautiful characters in it: Nami, a young woman with a mysterious past who engages in teasing discussions with the narrator, and the narrator himself, an artist who secludes himself in a mountain hot spring inn for the purpose of seeking beauty.
Throughout the novel, the narrator quotes different Chinese, Japanese, and European poets, muses on painting versus poetry as forms of expression, muses on Oscar Wilde, and compares himself to Matsuo Basho. He’s obviously an educated, intelligent man, and he is gentle and unassuming in his interactions with others, including Nami. He is a thinker rather than a speaker, and a good portion of the novel takes place inside of his head. I wished many times I were in the room with him and Nami, engaging in their discussions on the artist and his/her position in this strange, lovely, tragic world of ours. Maybe he would do a sketch of me, if he thought my expressions intriguing enough, or jot down a poem about me between the willows.
I don’t have a clue as to what his name is, what he looks like, or his position in society outside of the inn. But those are superfluous: I fell in love with his mind, and would marry him for that.