What is romance? I approach the concept as a subset or genre of books. Being a bit of a febrile non-fiction bibliophile I saw romance novels as a supreme waste of time. Such things as science fiction or fantasy rarely appealed to me. Just as comic books and graphic novels (think superheroes) appeals more to males, romance novels on the other hand appeal more to females. I disparage them all as cunt comics. It’s all pulp kindling to me.

One can tell a good deal about a person by perusing their bookshelf – it often reveals what they truly care about. But most fiction is escape – entertainment – a sort of bubblegum for the mind.

In my reading I made a point of sampling the various genres of books: The Compleat Works of (fill in the blank). One author leads to another, don’t you know; and I’ve read many of those tomes touted as “classics”. Romeo and Juliet is, indeed, (ugh!) a romance.

Some people collect biographies, some history, westerns, some spy novels or muckrakers and social criticism; and on and on and so forth. But I have a friend whose name I won’t mention that had a wall stacked high with bodice-ripper romance novels. On a scale that runs from holy scriptures to hard-core erotica I would classify these paperbacks as only mildly tantalizing – a license to be naughty.

Most would agree that the romantic genre or the very definition of romance is that of an unrequited, unfulfilled or unconsummated passion – generally translated as sex.

An excellent example of what I’ve come to understand as romance is a popular ditty from years ago by Johnny Preston – a song called Running Bear:

On the bank of the river stood Running Bear, young Indian brave
On the other side of the river stood his lovely Indian maid
Little White Dove was her name, such a lovely sight to see
But their tribes fought with each other, so their love could never be

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

He couldn’t swim the raging river ’cause the river was too wide
He couldn’t reach the Little White Dove waiting on the other side
In the moonlight he could see her throwing kisses ‘cross the waves
Her little heart was beating faster waiting for her Indian brave

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

Running Bear dove in the water, Little White Dove did the same
And they swam out to each other through the swirling stream they came
As their hands touched and their lips met, the raging river pulled them down
Now they’ll always be together in their happy hunting ground

Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love big as the sky
Running Bear loved Little White Dove
With a love that couldn’t die

Now, far be it from me to refer to my friend’s pulp romance collection disparagingly as cunt comics right to her face, but thrice did I ask her, and thrice did she decline, (she in fact simply ignored and passed over) my earnest queries: What one book best exemplifies the Romance genre?

One would think she could have, at the very least, tossed out something like “Gone With The Wind” or “A Tale of Two Cities” or even Pepé Le Pew for all that; but thrice she simply either fell silent or spoke of other things.

She just left the question hanging in the air. In pondering this question it ultimately dawned on me that I had already read it, and quite some time ago.

What one book best exemplifies the Romance genre?

The Gospels of Christ

About The Twentieth Man

Age 69
This entry was posted in Christianity, Dirty Words, Expository Writing, For Feminists, Humor, Mass Media, Observations, Personal History, Plain English, Poetry, Religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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