Saturday, May 14, 2011

The wrong words, the right words, no words at all

So, I guess I'm sorta persona non grata in some places because I made the mistake of speaking my mind on a sensitive subject.  Hey, it wouldn't be the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.

If you know what I'm talking about, then it doesn't need any explanation; and if you don't know, it really doesn't matter.

But I can't for the life of me figure out why it should be considered wrong or rude or unethical to challenge the views of people who study "romance novels" as if the texts themselves exist in a parthenogenic state independent of the writers who write them or the readers whose eyes and brains translate the little black marks on the little white pages/screens into coherent thought.

What makes "serious literature" any more universal in its appeal or application to the human situation than "popular fiction"? 

Isn't love -- in all its many forms -- a universal quality of humanness?

How far back does the notion of romantic love go?  At least to the creation of some of our ancient myths, doesn't it?  Don't the gods and goddesses, the patriarchs and matriarchs, fall in love?  Aren't their stories of love and jealousy the basis for our own western morality at least, and aren't there similar tales that form the foundation for "other" moralities that are only a little different from ours and in some ways even better?  (Or some may be worse but that's for another entry.)

I don't know yet what the words are to express this but I'm workin' on it.  I don't think romantic love is going to go away any time soon, and while social, cultural, and political institutions may control its public and private expression, the essential nature of love seems to be a part of what it means to be human.  And I think that's pretty universal.

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