Happily Ever After: The Romance Story in Popular Culture by Catherine M. Roach

By Catherine M. Roach

“Find your one real love and reside fortunately ever after.” the rigors of affection and wish supply perennial tale fabric, from the Biblical tune of Songs to Disney’s princesses, yet maybe such a lot provocatively within the romance novel, a style recognized for stories of delusion and wish, intercourse and delight. Hailed at the one hand for its women-centered tales that may be sexually releasing, and criticized at the different for its emphasis on male/female coupling and legendary satisfied endings, romance fiction is a multi-million buck publishing phenomenon, growing nationwide and overseas societies of lovers, practitioners, and students. Catherine M. Roach, along her romance-writer alter-ego, Catherine LaRoche, publications the reader deep into Romancelandia the place the clever and the witty mix with the attractive and seductive to discover why this style has this sort of grip on readers and what we will examine from the romance novel in regards to the nature of happiness, love, intercourse, and hope in American pop culture.

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When that sweetness is seasoned with the spiciness of shared erotic desire, the feast is delightful indeed. But despite the romance story’s tagline about “living happily ever after,” the happiness that romantic love leads to is not a simple or facile one. It is a mature happiness, rooted in the poignant knowledge of the inevitable loss of the beloved in death and open to the ongoing challenges inherent in any relationship. There can, however, be an over-the-top aspect to this element. The excess of 26 Happily Ever After the lovers’ commitment can strike some who are not fans as ridiculous lovey-dovey campiness.

Love heals all wounds. Love conquers all. While these are clichés that stretch beyond realism into a mythic ideal, love in all of its forms does grant strength to endure many of life’s hardships. Because love pulls us out of and beyond a narrow egoism into genuine care for another, it can lead to maturity, generosity, strength of character, and a type of spiritual fulfillment in finding a purpose in life greater than oneself. When someone loves you, well and truly, that love affirms your worth and value as an individual.

She reads and critiques my first chapter over key lime pie: “Core idea intriguing, but opening scene no good—not enough tension! Raise the stakes! Make the heroine suffer more! ” All great advice, except I keep his eyes brown, “chocolate brown,” influenced I suspect by an early boyfriend. Going Native 29 Here’s another moment. I’m at a university conference on the romance genre where I’ve presented a paper on an earlier version of this book’s material. The floor opens to discussion, and one woman raises her hand.

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