Friday, February 13, 2009

It's Friday the Thirteenth AND tomorrow is Valentine's Day

I'm not entirely sure how best to celebrate that. 'Romantic horror,' maybe?

The depression recession will be very romantic? The sheer stress of money worries in general, and fear of redundancy in particular will, she argues, elevate levels of the chemical dopamine in the brain - and dopamine is associated with romantic love. I love the idea of people clinging to each other as the economy crumbles; be nice to think that when 'money' isn't making us happy, we all have the sense to remember people are more important anyway. Although the line Equally, respect drops for a partner who is economically less successful makes me want to throw things at peoples' idiot heads.

Another prediction that romance novels will do well. Even though the romance industry continues to grow, these authors don't think the haze of mockery surrounding the industry is going to go away anytime soon, even if the genre is poised to expand in rough economic times. Actually, the best thing about that article is the way it kicks a few cliches in the teeth, and introduces some very cool authors. Although possibly by now it's time to move on from 'debunking the cliches about romance novelists by repeating and then refuting them,' to 'considering the cliches too stupid to even mention.'

In a lecture before the Utah Humanities Council's Book Festival last October, Thayne told her audience that while romance novels may not always incorporate feminist tenets, they never forsake the core conviction that not only can women enjoy the love and attention of men, they deserve it as well. That rings very true. It also reminds me of something I've always wondered: why don't men read romance novels? I don't mean all the time, or as their escape reading; I mean, why don't more men read them just as a hint to what's stuffed into women's subconscious-attic-space?
Maybe that sounds like too much work, but seriously, if a nine year old's book of dating advice can get published, there is obviously a lot of bafflement between the sexes. Wouldn't it be easier just to borrow a few things from a friend's escape-reading pile, and scan for clues? Bearing in mind that it's fiction, and needs to be translated, not just applied directly to real life.

And one other question, this time inspired by Cupid’s Arrow: A Letter to My Daughter . I know there are Mormon/LDS romance novels, and I've seen Harlequin Inspirationals, which are Christian (possibly a specific denomination? I don't really know, I haven't read any); do other religions have tailored-to-their-needs romances? I would expect they do. Anyone have any good links or recommendations?

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