Romance, Romantic Love, and the ‘want of a fortune’

Helen Fordham (Notre Dame University) and Barbara Milech (Curtain University) – Romance, Romantic Love, and the ‘want of a fortune’

– Contemporary popular romance has a generic history – it is anchored in the rise of the novel
– like the 18th century novel, popular romance purveys bourgeois assumptions and values in regard to women, they are citices, they are sexual beings, they find ideal love (and economic security) in heterosexual marriage
– women find pleasures in reading popular romance – both the please of reading with the grain of romance, and that of reading against the grain

Courtly love arose outside the convention of political marriage for social and economic attainment
– in the 1th century abiding love came to be associated with the monogomous hetrosexual bourgeois couple, citizens with inalienable human rights
– two individuals are able to exercise choices, key among them being the choice of marriage
– at it’s heart, marriage is optimistic

– true love is selfless yet passionate
– it is transcendent yet anchored in community
– it is rich and complex yet anchored in nostalgic compliant femininity
– these are also the pleasures of fiction

Reading romance
– the reader can ‘project her own ideas and imagination onto the participants,… compare and contrast their feelings and decisions with her own … engage with the text as a very active participan rater than having to be receptive’
– Mairead Own, 1997, p 538
– romance novels are cultural text that can be adapted into a reader’s own way of living and loving
are we creatures of romance, or is romance our creature?
Imaginative play:  a space for learning and pleasure
Provides a social model that is optimistic rather than nihilistic

There was also a lot of discussion about the reality TV shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, which are ‘reality’ tv shows, but also buy into the formula / pattern of romantic love..  They may have a ‘happily ever after’ ending, but in the world of blogs and online articles post event, this is rarely the case.


Your thoughts and stuff

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: