Friday, November 1, 2013
I have a longish article in this months' edition of the Briefing. It looks at the the phenomenon of Erotic Romance fiction and compares it with the sensuality of the Song of Songs. It then offers some thoughts on why this stuff appeals. I'd love your feedback on it. You can buy a copy of the Briefing here on Kindle. The article will probably be online somewhere in a few weeks. Here's how it starts.
A couple of days ago I had a moment. Okay. It wasn’t just a moment. It was a few hours. I could tell you how it wasn’t really my fault. How I just followed a link from someone, read about her passion for fiction and clicked on a book in a series that she’s into. I could tell you that I downloaded it onto my Kindle reader without thinking because it was free and because I thought that maybe it would be SciFi or Fantasy (my regular genres of choice). I could tell you all of that but the truth is that a book called Kiss Me, Please* is unlikely to be SciFi. A series of books where the first one is free and the next six are $3.49 each is unlikely to be high quality literature.
What I downloaded was presented as a fun, young adult romance novel. But if I was to categorise it honestly, I’d call it an erotic romance. Pretty soft as far as these things go (it was written for 14 year olds) but plenty explicit enough. The descriptions of sexual feelings and physical manifestations of those feelings started on page two and continued with increasing intensity through the chapters I read. By chapter 5, the descriptions were not just of sexual feelings, but of sex acts. I wish I could say that my interest in it was purely academic - looking at plot structure, grammatical features, poetic expressions etc - but I (like most people, I suspect) am not immune to the grubby charms of this kind of thing. Despite the paper thin plot, the terrible grammatical errors and the mundane language, the book was enjoyable - in much the same way as eating through a block of homebrand chocolate is enjoyable. There’s the buzz of the sugar and caffeine, followed by a bad aftertaste and a good amount of guilt.
* not the real title. I don't want you looking for it!
at 4:50 PM