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.

Sigh.

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?

Jane Austen—romance.

Shakespeare’s comedies—romance.

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.

Romance rules.

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.

11 comments:

Jennifer Y. said...

(wildly clapping)

Standing and applauding your post!!!

Playground Monitor said...

You go girl!

PM

Linda Winstead Jones said...

YES!

You rock.

LJ

Rhonda said...

Well said, PC!!! I couldn't agree more.

Angel said...

That about says it all! And now I have a whole list of "classics" to defend myself with.

Angel

Anonymous said...

(SQUEEE! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who can't stop watching P&P!!!!) I finally got my DH to sit down and watch it with me the other night.

You've championed the romance genre so eloquently, PC. Thanks for reminding us of those great love stories and characters that have withstood time. I think because works by the masters have been mandatory reading, some refuse to believe that they might possibly be romances.

Stand tall! Be proud! All of us write in good company.
Kathy

Playground Monitor said...

Would I be kicked off the Playground if I admit I've never read Pride and Prejudice, much less seen the movie?

But now with all of you raving about this movie, I might have to ask to borrow someone's copy of it and watch -- during the day of course cause I know the DH would never sit down and watch it too.

Anonymous said...

You won't want any interruptions, PM. The movie is so engrossing that you have to listen to the wonderful dialogue to be able to get a true sense of the humor and Elizabeth's quick wit. I get something new out of it every single time.

And I'm reading the book right now. They've changed a few things in the movie but I'm enjoying the book just as much.
Kathy

Problem Child said...

No PM, you won't get kicked off the Playground, but I may lock you in a room with only a DVD player and copies of the new P&P, as well as the Emma Thompson versions of P&P and S&S. Oh, and Emma, just for a laugh.

Funny Kathy, I'm reading P&P again too. I just had to after watching the movie.

PC

Playground Monitor said...

I could enjoy being locked in a room with a DVD player and a couple movies. Are you providing the snacks too? *g*

Kathy said...

I think it would be cool for all of us to pass the popcorn around and watch it together, don't you?

And PC, I'm getting into Jane Austen's style of writing. She has quite a way with dialogue.

Kathy