Stuff about Books

A couple book posts to end the day, then I have to get back to real work, although my office mates seem amenable to distracting me for the rest of the day.

Last week: Thank God for sane people in Fayetteville. I have mentioned the situation before on this blog; Mom decides she should be able to say what is appropriate for the entire town to read and the crazy school board agrees with her then changes their mind because it was dumb in the first place. I only have one thing to say:

Banning books is bad. Bad. Bad. When are people going to get that through their thick skulls?!

This week: A website that Jenica has often pointed to, and I have since become a reader, is having a very good discussion on the rapist as hero in romance novels. This bothers me when I come across it in books. There are over 200 comments on the post and I have not read all of them, I have to work you know, but I think that this scenario is much older than many think.

There is a whole theme in literature of the “reformed rake” making a good husband or the cautionary tale of a woman losing her virginity and then being cast aside. I tend to think these two ideas go together, though the stories have different outcomes. In a cautionary tale, the woman whose virtue has been lost usually ends up destitute, pregnant, and she eventually dies of consumption. In a “reformed rake” story, the woman becomes involved with the rake, who often takes advantage (read rapes) the heroine. The heroine, to save her virtue, must marry the rake, who eventually reforms, and is happy to be monogamous because his wife is gorgeous and he loves her. She loves him too, desperately, despite the fact that he raped her. I studied these sorts of stories in 18th and 19th century literature classes, so these are not as recent as Robin seems to think.

Anyway, go read the post over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Novels. It will wile away your afternoon.

–Jane, the afternoon went somwhere