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As with many things in this world, misogyny provides a tidy explanation

You would be hard-pressed to find anyone squirreling away their copy of A Game of Thrones for fear that their good taste will be called into question. Meanwhile, every other GoodReads review of a Colleen Hoover book begins with the inevitable, “I don’t really read romance novels, BUT-” as though they must convince themselves and others that this is but a dip of the toe, and that they will promptly resume reading more serious things as soon as they finish their 3-star analysis of why two people falling in love is painfully unrealistic..

Surveys indicate that the clear majority of romance novel writers and readers are women. Many have observed the clear connection between the by women, for women nature of the genre, and its perpetual role as the butt of a joke. Some detractors take this loathing even further: Conservatives, often of the religious variety, claim that romance novels have addictive properties, making women lose focus on values like simply accepting your husband is bad at sex. Even doctors have decried the impact of the romance novel on their work, expressing a desire for their patients to keep the fiction out of the consulting room.

In the publishing world, romance novels have been perpetually subjugated by their more literary cousins. Yet, despite the romance community playing nicely in their corner of the sandbox, they are regularly called upon to defend their honor by writers and editors who would see their passion as meaningless. Early feminist Mary Wollstonecraft urged women not to read “such flimsy works” by “stupid novelists,” and advanced the notion that women would only be equal in the eyes of society if they pursued more serious works.

Here I am, completely reinvigorated in my love for reading and writing thanks to several thousand pages filled with crystalline character studies, incisive dialogue, thought-provoking social commentary, and yes-lots of very good sex

George Eliot felt even more strongly, and penned “Silly Novels by Lady Novelists,” a lengthy essay that makes liberal use of the word “drivel.” These views have persisted into the modern era. Shortly after hearing she had won the Pulitzer Prize, Jennifer Egan gave an interview in which she referred to the chick-lit genre as “derivative, banal stuff.” Curtis Sittenfeld proclaimed that she had stopped reading romance novels because “most […] are badly written.” Ironically, Sittenfeld was being interviewed in order to promote her novel Eligible, a modern-day retelling of Pride and Prejudice.

I say this not to diminish or disparage Rooney-a writer I love and admire-but to question the ways in which literary gatekeepers determine who is and isn’t worthy of our intellectual curiosity

How, then, would writers like Sittenfeld classify the works of Jane Austen? Would Egan have told the Bronte sisters to aim higher, and to focus on matters unrelated to human emotion? Who is granted the authority to determine what is “literary” and what is mere fluff? The arbitrariness of this distinction hit me in force when I read Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends in the midst of an https://kissbrides.com/es/blog/coreano-citas-sitios-y-aplicaciones/ otherwise mass-market paperback-filled summer. I adored Rooney’s earnest characters and sultry descriptions of intimacy.

As I closed the book for the final time, I breathed deeply, as if trying to seal in the experience of reading it. Yet, as moved as I was,I was also absolutely bewildered: there was nothing about Conversations With Friends that distinguished it from the pile of romance novels accumulating on my nightstand.

After a year spent reading romance novels, I can’t help but feel as though I’ve stumbled my way into a great bookish secret-one I’ve been hesitant to share out of fear that no one will believe me. Still, here I am, completely reinvigorated in my love for reading and writing thanks to several thousand pages filled with crystalline character studies, incisive dialogue, thought-provoking social commentary, and yes-lots of very good sex.

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