Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Pride and Prejudice
I watched Pride and Prejudice (the new one) on Saturday. And Sunday. And Monday. Sadly, it needs to go back to NetFlix so I won’t get to watch it again unless DG decides to buy me my own copy.
I love a good love story. Big surprise, huh? I don’t like those tear-jerker love stories where somebody dies of a horrible disease—to play off Angel’s post yesterday, I want my Happily Ever After. I want two people I’ve come to love over the course of the story to discover they are perfect for each other. I want kisses and sweet smiles and maybe a nuzzle. I want to be happy at the end as well. If I want bad news and trauma and drama, I’ll watch CNN, thanks.
But here’s my problem. I’m proud of the books I’ve written (even if they aren’t published yet). I’m proud of my recent contest finals and the positive feedback I’m getting from editors. I’m proud of our website and our blog. Yet I have to constantly fight the prejudice some folks have towards the genre.
See, I’m an English teacher. I have an MA in British and American Literature. I teach unwilling sophomores the complexities of Beowulf and Shakespeare and John Donne. So most folks think that I should only be reading Great Literature. And if I want to write a book, then it should be some literary fiction with a Deep Meaning about the Mysteries of Life—preferably with heavy symbolism and rich metaphors.
I’ve read lots of Great Literature. There’s some stuff I have to teach simply because it’s Great Literature, but I’d rather stick forks in my eyeballs than actually read it. I’m so tired of defending genre writing simply because folks want to get all snotty about it.
You wanna talk trash?
The Bronte sisters—romance, romance, romance
Wyatt, Spenser, Ralegh, Donne, Keats. Most of the Restoration, about half of the Victorian period. Need I go on? Heck, I haven’t even gotten to the turn of the century in Brit Lit, and I haven’t even touched on American Lit yet.
Guinevere and Lancelot. Partlet and Chanticleer. Astrophil and Stella. Hero and Leander. Odysseus and Penelope. Cupid and Psyche. Great Literature is love story after love story.
Poems of love, devotion, and seduction abound from our earliest poets in all languages. The desire to love and be loved is universal. The search for love and the stories of love fill the literary canon. Don’t tell me romance is trash. I know better.
Read a romance with pride.