Such a Sucker For a Good Disaster
As soon as we were introduced, I fell for Xanther. Danielewski did such an incredible job at making her truly realistic as well as relatable. As I was reading Xanther’s chapters, I kept getting pulled back into my twelve-year-old mindset. When I was twelve, I was a lot like Xanther. I would get hung up on minuscule details that seemed giant at the time; I would go off on tangents and rambles with no sign of stopping; and I was so insecure and obsessed with what everybody thought of me.
I believe that Danielewski made a very deliberate choice in having Xanther be the first character that we really met, and the one that we got to know the best. He gave us an empathetic disaster who we desperately wanted to see succeed. Xanther still exhibits that unlimited excitement of life that we all used to have. She asks every question that she can (via what has been dubbed her Question Song) and I feel like we can all relate to that. I, myself, remember craving knowledge and wanting answers to everything. However, eventually people became tired of giving me answers. I was forced to grow up, and Xanther gave me a taste of that childhood excitement, again.
Xanther is such a great character, because she’s rooted in reality. She isn’t some holy entity that we can’t draw parallels to relate to because she’s perfect. Danielewski is too smart to write a character like that. He gave us a human to fall in love with. He gave us back a piece of ourselves.