Wednesday, October 04, 2006

'Ere Now. What's All This, Then?

Given my stated dislike of romance novels, what I'm about to say might just sound like I'm contradicting myself.


(Here after, gothic romance novels shall be called "gothics," as opposed to "Gothics," meaning people who celebrate an alternative view of life)

Actually, the term "romance" in "gothic romance" is mostly not there except as a vague underlying motivation for the main character. Oh, and don't even get me started on the phrase "romantic suspense". It smacks of political correctness (even though it was used decades ago). Some things just cause me to have blind rages. That phrase and cell phones are two such things.

Why such love to a genre that has, in the last five-plus years, fallen prey to non-stop werewolf/vampire sex orgies? Not that you care (but if you are reading this, you must or you're damned nosy or bored), but I find the gothics to be like fairy floss (an old term for cotton candy) -- insubstantial, but delightful while it lasts. No reasonable person should ever approach a gothic with the thought that reality exists anywhere between the covers of the book, and that is THE liberating element. You accept, before reading, the chance for thrills and chills and nothing more. If the book fails even these low expectations, then you toss it aside and move on.

Most of the traditional gothics should be looked upon as print versions of either old Universal period horror films or, perhaps more accurately, the period horror films from Italy and Spain that seemed to flood theaters back in the 60's and 70's. They both have all the trappings of a fine gothic: remote locations, spooky castles or manors, elaborate clothes, sinister characters and an incredible lack of logic.

(Next time, I'll finish my little explanation justifying this blog. And another pretty picture as well.)

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