Writing a romance novel that is worth the time invested in reading is no small feat, and very few contemporary authors accomplished it. This article discusses the hypocrisy of a modern society that bastardizes love and leverages contemporary romance novels as a money-making machine, ending on a positive note by citing Danil Rudoy’s Martina Flawd, a novel on love, sex, magic, and lucid dreaming as a dignified alternative accessible to those whose hearts and minds are open to truth.
The Love Issue in Contemporary Romance Novels
The main problem of contemporary romance novels is the cheap absurdity of their premise. Love and laziness are not synonyms, and neither is love a shortcut to heaven. And yet contemporary romance novels portray love as a one-size-fits-all drug, a magic drug that turns the previously hard and unrewarding existence into one never-ending honeymoon.
When I see women reading contemporary romance novels, I am tempted to ask them: “Do you have any real-life evidence that any of the events you are reading about are possible even theoretically?” Which, frankly, is a euphemism of: “Are you really so stupid as to think that, one, not only a billionaire will be romantically interested in a waitress for longer than it takes him to sleep with her, and two, that she will be able to tame him?”
- even the best romance novels are guilty of most inverisimilar exaggerations of reality; although, to be frank, the phrase “the best romance novel” itself leaves the mind with a black space
So, what are contemporary romance novels, then, and why do they occupy such a large place in contemporary literature? It’s simple. Contemporary romance novels are wishful thinking turned into an income-generating machine. It’s mental masturbation, with the final product being of the same quality as that of its physical counterpart. And it would be a problem, had it not been for one unfortunate detail: this writing results not only in wasted creativity but also in a flawed perception of reality.
Hypocrisy Love and Romance Novels in Contemporary Society
Love is a very lucrative niche: it sells better than anything, except sex. But sex is largely tabooed in our society: you can’t talk openly about it in most places without being castigated or at least frowned upon. Love, on the other hand, is thought to be so universally awesome that you can speak about it freely even in church. In fact, religion is one of the strongest advocates of love, which makes sense because the type of love religion promotes is ideal for turning people into thoughtless, obedient sheep ready and willing to donate money, volunteer for free, and promote the same flawed concepts that delude humanity and turn it away from the true greatness it can achieve.
- We live in a highly hypocritical society, and just about every channel of information one can get access to pours out endless lies and misguidance. The concept of love has been bastardized by culture and religion alike, leaving people with a lopsided caricature captured in cheesy songs and contemporary romance novels. But is there an escape?
Counterbalancing contemporary romance fiction: Martina Flawd
“… the law of equilibrium requires an ocean of undifferentiated texts to be diluted by at least some works that don’t betray their divine duty.”
Danil Rudoy – Martina Flawd
This quote, albeit describing contemporary literature in general, is equally applicable to contemporary romance novels. When virtually every author opts for his or her work to ape the hypocritical lies of society (due to foolishness or bad intent), there has to be at least one writer who stays true to the spirit that guided the classics throughout history. Martina Flawd, a story depicting a twelve-year-old love journey that turned a man into a sorcerer, is a true romance novel; and yet if you ask a thousand people who read it, hardly anyone would agree. Conditioned by the rigid standards of contemporary genre literature, they will point to the elements of magic, esoterics, and didacticism (how many contemporary romance novels teach their readers life hacks?) And yet, there are some who know… And they may even tell you should you ask them.
Better yet, if you figure it out yourself.