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text 2017-05-28 02:46
Romance

If you read my posts, specially several of the last month, you might wonder why I read romance at all when I'm liable to turn into a harpy commenter and reviewer on them.

The thing is, I love romantic novels. Even the most of ghastly harlequins have a chance with me when the mood strikes. It's like craving candy, or chocolate. It's yummy, addictive and comforting.

Thing is, also, that there is not much romance that is good. Any good.

Many shallow romances turn the silly mush fest (what I usually want) into some very misogynistic tripe, glorify abuse, rape, coercion (which is very disturbing trend and deserves a separate post).

Some have the characters make down-right stupid choices, or act in an all-around insane behavior. We are all fools in love, but there are limits people: they are a called sanity, self-preservation, laws, morals. You may go beyond all those given the right (let's say hellishly wrong) circumstances, but you'd have powerful reasons (reason is the issue, really).

Romances that tend to be a bit more thoughtful tend to the serious, sad or just plain tragic (which is not to say all those wangsty romances have any more insight than the rest, it's not a commutative equation). But love is fun and warm, and exiting, and awkward. There are a lot of negative things (insecurity, misery, loneliness, miscommunication, on-sided feelings, incompatible aims) that come with it too, and sometimes I'm up to read about those, but really? There is so much of that in life and most times I seek escapism.

It is difficult to find a lighthearted romance that doesn't became a stupidity contest. Much related to the second point.

I want to call attention to the fact that I'm not even touching quality of writing here, and barely on plot. Mostly characterization. Which is almost unbelievable when you realize romance ought, by it's very genre definition, be character driven.

Thoughts? Recommendations?

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text 2017-03-20 13:17
Irish in fiction
Thom's Dublin and County Street Director... Thom's Dublin and County Street Directory 1995 - Thom's Directories

I have yet to meet Irish characters in fiction not written by Irish people who aren't generally melodramatic and/or possess hokey Irish accents, even in historical romances, even when the characters are upper class and would have had any accent beaten out of them from an early age. And let's not forget the drunken Irish stereotype.

 

I mean, I had elocution lessons from a fairly early age to remove the rural from my accent and to help with the pronunciation of certain words (I had issues with things like "Little" and "hospital"); and I know that there are people who are accused of being "West Brit" in this country and there is a definite Anglo-Irish accent but it's glossed over and ignored, like the presence of Jewish people, and Muslim people in history in Ireland, or people of non-white descent (even if there are many people who betray Spanish heritage here); there was a period when Red-headed wasn't the default Irish trope, but dark-haired and dark-eyed.  If you look up historical images of Irish the change happens in about the beginning of the 20th Century.

 

All of this displays short-cuts and frankly racist laziness on the part of many writers (scriptwriters included) Irish people aren't one homogeneous unit. We don't have the same accent (Dublin and Cork have at least two; upper and working class accents). I have a different accent from almost everyone in my department and there are only eight of us, we all live in Dublin.  

 

I live in a small cul-de-sac of 16 houses, my next door neighbours have been an inter-racial couple (English & Irish too); an Irish lone parent and a Polish couple. Before we lived here we lived in a house that was owned by a Italian man and a directory of businesses in Dublin (Thoms Directory) shows that it was in Italian hands for many decades.  I come from Galway, where the tradition is that it was named after a Spanish Princess and where, since medieval times there has been a Spanish Arch and a Lombard Street.

 

Ireland's surnames betray many invasions and nations. Pettits in Wexford from France; Loughlin's from Vikings (and our president's surname, Higgins); and many others.  This is not a nation of a single origin, one of our histories is a book of Invasions, where there's a list of nations that came here and some that were slaughtered by the next wave. Our patron saint is a Welshman. One of our presidents was saved from being killed after 1916 because he was an American citizen.  All of these people are Irish.

 

And don't get me started properly on Religion. That's a whole other rant. Ireland is not and never has been solely one kind of religion, not even one kind of Christian; that Irish law forbade religious prejudice.

 

Oh and Irish Law, yes, not Common Law. Much more complicated and involved and it's echoes and traditions still reverberate through Ireland.  For a while we had two legal systems (and some folks apparently shopped around!), to assume Ireland =England before about 1850s is oh so wrong and actually cultural erasure.

 

I'm tired of my culture being erased, with lazy research stomping on my identity and my traditions, please make it stop.

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text 2016-11-12 20:56
Demelza: I've read 0% & Rant
Demelza: A Novel of Cornwall, 1788-1790 - Winston Graham

Read 2 pages and I can't deal with family drama right now. So this is going on the back burner for a bit.

 

 

and on a rant side of things, WHY did Booklikes mess about with things earlier this week? Everything was smooth sailing, at least for me, then BAM, an almost 24hr outage and now everything is slow and sticky as molasses. Sigh. Not much of a rant, I know, but that is about all I've got for now.

 

 

 

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text 2016-09-24 00:11

I don't understand why my mother hates books and reading so much. She's been angry for years about the number of books I own and how much space it takes up (even though all of my books have been in my room for the past 21 years and only recently did I move two of my smaller shelves into another room of the house). I half-jokingly suggested I could just buy a Kindle instead (even though I dislike e-books, hence joke) and then she got angry because apparently she doesn't want me reading at all because she thinks I'm going to go blind. My eyesight is bad, I admit, but she acts like I should never look at a screen ever again but then I take naps to rest my eyes and she gets mad at me for doing nothing. What the hell does she want me to do? She gets mad when I use my laptop or my phone, she gets mad when I read books, she gets mad when I take naps, she won't let me go anywhere without her, what the hell. Does she just want me to do nothing but clean the house? But when I do clean, she criticizes my dish-washing skills and doesn't believe me when I vacuumed even though she can hear the vacuum cleaner. 

 

I 100% honestly feel like I won't be able to be an adult and live my life until she dies. 

 

And of course my brother gets to do whatever he wants. 

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url 2016-08-21 23:39
tinyurl.com/j3nlnku

My weekly column, My Reading Life, is live now. This week's rant is "Authors, Publishers, Reviews, and Amazon" at the link below.

 

I got steamed about this today because I'm very tired of being regarded as a creator's audience and asked, more or less peremptorily, to promote the creator's work in the exact and precise way that creator wants it to be done. I review books and movies and suchlike because I want to; because I love them, love the medium, love that sharing my enthusiasm or lack thereof can help a reader find or avoid something that they wouldn't have found or avoided on their own.

 

This rant is my response. Yes, it requires that you click on a link to read it; if that's too much trouble, by all means don't. Just don't say anything to me about it, since the idea that a mouseclick is an imposition on you doesn't say good things about you to me.

 

/rant *grrrrrr*

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