Right now I’m reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. An excellent read so far. (Actually, I was interested because the Wikipedia page says the novel tells the story of a woman stuck in an apartment for a year who spends her time reading Proust. So far no apartment, no Proust. Don’t anyone tell me how it ends.) I find it interesting, though, that the main POV female character, Aomame, is really into middle-aged men. Middle aged men with bald heads, actually. Now, Murakami is a bit past middle age and has a full head of hair (so much for my theory), but it did get me to thinking: why is it that there’s so much focus on the Mary Sue–a female character that everyone loves and worships, usually created by a female author and thought to be a stand-in for the female author or reader–and nothing about men who try to covertly idolize themselves in fiction? I’m sure I’ve seen Johnny Stews in books: male characters that are uber-competent, save the day every time, and are adored by countless women. But I’m sure I’ve also seen men who write from the POV of a female character whose whole purpose is to idolize a male character very similar to the author. What do we call these slightly more subtle emanations of writer narcissism? Mary Oooohs? Can anyone out there come up with an example? I’m blanking right now.