In this Book

summary

In art, myth, and popular culture, romance is connected with the realm of emotions, private thought, and sentimentality. History, its counterpart, is the seemingly objective compendium of public fact. In theory, the two genres are diametrically opposed, offering widely divergent views of human experience.

In this collection of essays, however, the writers challenge these basic assumptions and consider the two as parallel and as reflections of each other. Looking closely at specific narratives, they argue that romance and history share expectations and purposes and create the metaphors that can either hold cultures and institutions together or drive them apart. The writers explore the internal contradictions of both genres, as seen in works in which the elements of both romance and history are present. The theme that flows throughout this collection is that romance literature and art frequently engage with or comment on actual historical events or histories.

Included among the contributions are discussions of romance and race in James Fenimore Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans, the Rudolph Valentino film classic The Sheik, the series of English "Regency Romance" novels, the constructs of love and history in two of Alice McDermott's novels, and a feminist reading of African American women's historical romances.

Moreover, the essays approach romance and history from a variety of critical and political perspectives and examine a wide selection of romances from the 1800s to contemporary times. They look at bestsellers and literary classics, at texts by and for white audiences, and at works created by writers on the margins of Western culture.

The anthology is a radical approach to romance, a genre often dismissed as diversionary and reactionary. It explores how well this genre serves for critical examinations of history.

Susan Strehle, a professor of English at Binghamton University, is the author of Fiction in the Quantum Universe. Her work has been published in Critique, Review of Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Literature, and Modern Fiction Studies.

Mary Paniccia Carden, an assistant professor of English at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, has been published in Twentieth-Century Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Prose Studies, and the Journal of Contemporary Thought.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Introduction: Reading Romance, Reading History
  2. pp. xi-xxxiii
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  1. Making Love, Making History: (Anti) Romance in Alice McDermott's At Weddings and Wakes and Charming Billy
  2. pp. 3-23
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  1. History and the End of Romance: Danticat's The Farming of Bones
  2. pp. 24-44
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  1. Stopping Traffic: Spectacles of Romance and Race in The Last of the Mohicans
  2. pp. 45-66
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  1. What "Race" Is the Sheik?: Rereading a Desert Romance
  2. pp. 67-85
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  1. Behind the Mask of Coquetry: The Trickster Narrative in Miss Numè of Japan: A Japanese-American Romance
  2. pp. 86-106
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  1. Romancing the Borderlands: Josephina Niggli's Mexican Village
  2. pp. 107-126
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  1. What's a Nice Girl like You Doing in a Book like This?: Homoerotic Reading and Popular Romance
  2. pp. 127-146
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  1. Desire and the Marketplace: A Reading of Kathleen Woodiwiss's The Flame and the Flower
  2. pp. 147-164
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  1. A Story of Her Weaving: The Self-Authoring Heroines of Georgette Heyer's Regency Romance
  2. pp. 165-184
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  1. The Race, Gender, Romance Connection: A Black Feminist Reading of African American Women's Historical Romances
  2. pp. 185-202
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 203-212
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 213-223
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  1. About the Contributors
  2. pp. 224-226
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 227-232
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781621032731
Related ISBN
9781578065905
MARC Record
OCLC
812919191
Launched on MUSE
2014-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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