Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Weekly Geeks 2010-6: Romancing the Tome

In honor of Valentine's weekend, let's talk about romantic literature. By that, I don't necessarily mean the modern romance genre, but books that you find particularly romantic.

Feel free to explore any or all of these prompts:
  • What literary couple is your favorite?
  • How do you define romantic literature? Does it always involve sex? or the hint of sex?
  • What author/s do you think writes romantic scenes particularly well?
  • Do you have a favorite romantic scene in a book?
Favorite literary couples? Let's the top of my head:
  • Anne and Gilbert
  • Elizabeth and Darcy (of course)
  • Margaret and Mr. Thornton
  • Jane and Mr. Rochester
  • Percy and Annabeth
  • Sarah and Jack Elliot
  • Ron and Hermione
  • Beauty and the Beast
I would have to define romantic literature as: a book wherein 2 characters develop a romantic relationship. (That turned out much shorter than I thought!)

There definitely does not need to be sex. In fact, the most romantic scenes do not have it. That being said, under certain circumstances, I do not mind it, I might even like it. Vague. Hmmmm.... I don't like sex when the protagonists are teenagers. Given my particular belief set, I prefer it to be after marriage. But I understand that others have differing values, characters included, and can handle it when we are talking about adults. But please, please, please, I don't need as much detail as is often included.

What is romantic? Conversation, conversation, conversation, and physical contact. I love dialogue between couples. I love sparring with words. I love those exchanges that have many layers of meaning. And I love it when they come in contact, be that kissing or hand holding or saving each other in a battle or bumping into each other in the dark or any sort of casual touch that is so much more because of how they feel about each other. Romance comes from overcoming difficulties like the rules of society (like Jane and Mr. Rochester), danger (like Ron and Hermione), and their own personal issues (like Margaret and Mr. Thornton). Tension is romantic. There is both physical attraction tension and emotional tension. Others things that can contribute: secrets, confusion, misunderstandings, separations,and longing. Having the characters thrown together into difficult or unlikely situations can be very romantically charged.

I don't go for RomanceRomance books. I am of the opinion that there has to be something else going on in the story - mystery and adventure being my top picks. I do NOT like romance in young teenagers. They need to be at least 14. Better yet, 16.

A romantic scene pops does into my head. It takes place in The Apprentice by Deborah Talmadge-Bickmore, a romanticif self-indulgent fantasy novel I've read a dozen times. I considered typing it out, but not only was it too much work, I started to feel like an idiot. I think there is something very personal about how one reactions to romantic scenes.

For me, romance should be present in most novels. I often feel the story is incomplete without it. Happy Romance Month!

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