I was noodling around on the Internet today, and I came across a discussion about the James Cameron film "Titanic" - why people love it, and why they hate it. It's a thought-provoking piece on a few different counts, but what I found most interesting was its dissection of romanticism vs. cynicism. In particular, why there's so much backlash to art portraying romance.
Mr. Beason talks about the prevailing, cynical worldview in society today, and he seems to believe that is the reason people in general find it necessary to lash out at something that portrays love in a positive light. In short, Joe Cynic has had so many bad experiences with love, that anything depicting love must necessarily end badly, or it's junk.
I'm sure you've heard them all, Romance Writer. I know I have. Some folks who learn I write romance novels immediately want to know, "Are they trashy?" Take it with a grain of salt, buck up, and consider it an opportunity to show someone the new face of romance. It's lovely, gritty, magical, scary, varied, tough, and amazing, and writers today have grasped that concept and run rampant with it. Look at all the talent out there. Look at the bestsellers in film and fiction. Love is alive and well in art, and I think society needs a positive note more than ever. Check out the number of box-office blockbusters and NYT bestselling romance authors, for starters.
So, daunting task that it is, Romance Writer, pick up that pen and wield it with ferocity--and a healthy dose of romantic optimism. The world needs you. :)
You can find the piece that kicked off this entry here, as well as links to the rest of the author's site, devoted to the film: Why People Hate Titanic