Scholarly Analyses Articles

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast and BDSM

February 23, 2015 9:30 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Among the trailers shown before Fifty Shades of Grey this past weekend was the upcoming Disney remake of Cinderella. And, by the way, Fifty Shades itself is a kind of retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The question is: How many times can Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast be remade?... read more

sensitive nerves

Sensitive Nerves and Romance Novels

February 20, 2015 10:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The things that cause an individual or a society discomfort and anxiety often provoke ridicule, scorn, and/or disregard. Romance novels provoke all three responses. They touch sensitive nerves. Note: I have addressed the ridicule in On the Term ‘Bodice Ripper,’ the scorn in Five Myths About Romance Novels, and the disregard... read more

authorial distance

Authorial Distance and Margaret Atwood

February 13, 2015 4:46 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

On Christmas Day 2014 I listened to an interview Diane Rehm had with Margaret Atwood about her new story collection Stone Mattress: Nine Tales. The interview made me aware of the differences in authorial distance. Note: The original NPR airdate was November 10, 2014. During the interview Atwood read the... read more

outrageous reversals

Outrageous Reversals, Sex and Romance Novels

February 6, 2015 10:35 pm Published by 1 Comment

I’ve just finished Creation of the Sacred. Tracks of Biology in Early Religions by Walter Burkert, Professor of Classics at the University of Zurich, who writes: ”We must acknowledge the highly ambivalent status of sex in all human societies, with all sorts of disclaimers, secrecy, and repression, and the concomitant possibility of... read more

genre self-reference

Genre Self-Reference in Romance Novels

December 17, 2014 10:34 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Ekphrasis is a venerable rhetorical device in which one work of art refers to another considered worthy of time and attention. The classic example is the description in the Iliad of the magnificent shield Achilles uses in his fight with Hector. Although the term ekphrasis is usually applied to cases where... read more

genre etiquette referencing romance novels

Genre Etiquette: Politeness, Please

December 11, 2014 10:05 am Published by Leave your thoughts

An example of good genre etiquette: Jane Austen sets the good genre etiquette tone: “If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?” Northanger Abbey The broader context of Austen’s authorial intrusion is the following: “I will... read more

why no one is talking about romance novels

On Silence and Singularity and the Romance Novel

November 4, 2014 4:00 am Published by 1 Comment

Silence surrounds the romance novel. Despite being a billion-dollar-a-year industry, romance novels are absent from high-profile book reviewing venues, literature course curricula, and general discussions of literature. Romances are also invisible. They are put in bedside drawers and not displayed either on coffee tables or on bookshelves. Sometimes they sit... read more