The Terror of Romance (Or, at Least, Romanticism)

Maybe it’s all the Valentine’s Day hullabaloo (that’s a technical term), but I keep thinking about romance – romance novels, that is. Like modern romance novels and gothic romances (Romanticism). Imagine those genres next to each other – what a juxtaposition!

Look to the left, and you’ll see a story about two people who fall in love and (generally) live happily ever after. Look to the right, and you’ll see a story about the supernatural, inspiring strong emotions (like fear), and a glorification of individualism and nature – in other words, the ancestor of horror. Like Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

How many people hear “romance” and think of Frankenstein? Seriously, besides English lit. students, people don’t usually associate terror with romance.

Then, of course, my rotten sense of humor chimes in – what’s more terrifying than falling in love? That’s a pretty big risk. And it’s pretty individualistic. Maybe the two genres have more in common than I thought!


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