Love and the Novel: The Poetics and Politics of Romantic Fiction

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9780312215477: Love and the Novel: The Poetics and Politics of Romantic Fiction

This book explores the mechanics of contemporary romantic fiction, but in a way that reveals the real reader as an active, culturally competent subject. In its analysis, it shows that the genre borrows the narrative elements of the realist bourgeois novel--the conventions of time, place and individual characterization--but appropriates them in such a way as to redeploy them within a pre-ordained and constant narrative constantly oscillates between the is of experience and the ought of what bourgeois society promised women and invariably failed to provide. The quest, therefore, is not for the man but for esteem/recognition and the villain is society. The romantic novel is a singular combination of fantasy and reality, tradition and experience, both collective and individual, and the success of the genre depends on its ability to reflect and articulate the reader's aspirations for a better life and to stand at the same time as a testament to his/her alienation.

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George Paizis is Lecturer in French at University College in London.

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Paizis, George
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