Thursday, May 27, 2010

Romance Academia

I have been quiet this week as I am away from home at a serious meeting of serious scientists talking about serious social issues.  And some time in the middle of the second day I think I nailed what has been bothering me about the developing field of romance academics (and no, this was in no way related to the topic of the meeting that I was at).  It is mainly this: there are some things that I just don't want to take seriously.  Erotic romance and blogging being near the top of that list somewhere between newsreader's haircuts and Merry-Go-Rounds.


I have watched the development of academics specialising or dabbling in the study of romance fiction and as a person who is mostly an academic (I have been off the reservation a bit in the last few years) I kind of expected to be really interested in it.  I spent some time trying to convince myself that I was interested in it.  But I'm just not, and that's fine. Genre fiction has the glorious capacity to be as serious or as frivolous as you want it to be.  But if I ever have to sit through two days of contemplative deconstruction of the gender dynamics of shapeshifter orgies or discourse analysis of the coy protestations of gothic ingenues it will be like I have lost my last refuge against a rising miasma of seriousity and self-importance. 

And this really is not a criticism of Romance academia.  I think every topic needs to have a serious side and a silly side and some people happily traverse both.  But I am staying on the silly side and unapologetically and unironically enjoying erotic romance as a participant, not an observer.

4 comments:

Bernita said...

I'm glad to hear it. I too have been away from academic for a long time. I thought there might be something wrong with me.

Emily Veinglory: said...

I am now stuck in an aiport where there is nowhere to buy coffee. I never imagined that such a thing existed.

Anonymous said...

Word. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

anny cook said...

Every time I read a detailed dissection of a romance, I cringe. It reminds me of my high school days when I just wanted to enjoy the books rather than figuring out what the overall theme was.

I write books for the joy of it. I want readers to read them for the joy of it. That's the entire reason for being.