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Monday, May 18, 2009

Yikes! My apologies to Ilona Andrews

Sory darlin' --you're absolutely right. Kate Daniels really hasn't garnered that spot under the Gothic Heroic archetype yet--she's still an American Romantic. And, of course, the 'having sex' thing is an oversimplification--what the sexual relationship represents (in this case) is the door to complete personhood that allows a hero/heroine to fall. Until women got their all-access pass into human vice, they really weren't able to compete in the grand and important 'human-of-noble-weight' virtue department. Just because the American Romantic archetypes haven't fallen doesn't mean they don't weigh in--but having a wider variety of behavioral options really does seem to give some characters a carte blanch to turn their lives (and the lives of others) into a great and tasty F.U.B.A.R. salad.

So Kate Daniels isn't Gothic--but even if she was, it wouldn't be a bad thing.

And as for love? Well, it matters (trust me--if you've read my stuff you know I believe that's the truth!) But the yardstick I'm using was written by men, for men--love doesn't factor into this particular assessment strategy. That's not to say I don't think it should, or that the assessment isn't outdated-- but the archetypes are male archetypes (even the ones I used to identify the women are male driven models). Masculine models tend to discount love in favor of power. So sex becomes an instrument of power and not of love. Of course, that's in archetype land--not in the land I know and write about, and obviously not in your beautifully constructed world either. I'm only talking one facet of literature here--not the whole caboodle, and not the facet I prefer to write to. But it's always important to see where a literature fits in the old standards--it's one sure way to know if you're setting those old canons on their ear. It also gives the pnr/ucf genres some legitimacy-and I love these genres and I would DEARLY love to see them achieve the same respect as traditional science fiction, fantasy, or romance--taking a look at how they work within traditional formats helps that to happen.

So sorry, Ms. Andrews--I didn't mean to offend!

4 comments:

Eric said...

"Traditional science fiction, fantasy, or romance" are still treated without respect by a lot of readers. I doubt the Romantics on either side of the Atlantic were taken seriously when they first published (some still aren't). The fact that PNR/UCF is not dealt with the same modicum of respect means that there is still a lot of room for the genre(s) to grow and mature.

TinkingBell said...

This is such fun - and can I recommend a book on my wanna read list? Pride ,Prejudice and Zombies - gotta be fun and I'm interested to see what that does to Eliza's archetype!

And just talking of archetypes - my security word is Mulan - oh boy!

Roxie said...

You knock my socks off. Well reasoned and explicated. I'll just stand by and applaud!

Ilona said...

::waves paws:: No offense taken :D