This week: LoveEdited by: Robert Waltz
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If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life.
There is no instinct like that of the heart.
Honesty is the key to a relationship. If you can fake that, you’re in.
With Valentine's Day coming up shortly after the release of this newsletter, I thought I'd talk about fantasy romance.
No, I don't mean you thinking about your eighth grade English teacher. I mean love in imaginary worlds.
The idea of romantic love - of being with someone for the sake of love, rather than expedience or social doctrines - seems to be relatively new. It was, when it became a thing, a revolutionary idea.
When we think of romantic love, often what comes to mind is Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. But it's entirely possible that this play was presented as a satire of the concept, rather than the ideal to which we aspire today. After all, it didn't exactly end well for anyone involved (except Shakespeare, who presumably made some money).
Point is, when dealing with other worlds or cultures, we shouldn't limit ourselves to modern concepts of love. People don't always get together because of mutual attraction; even now, there are cultures in our world that practice arranged marriages. While Western literature loves to present these as obstacles to be overcome (and, of course, love conquers all), the institution worked just fine for a very long time.
We're already aware that there are different ways of loving, as well; the intersection between personal desire and society's expectations is a common theme of exploration in literature. But it's not so black and white as "arranged marriage = bad, personal desire = good."
Consequently, fantasy (and science fiction) works can play with concepts such as polyamory and other modes not commonly found in our own society. Moreover, there's the opportunity to introduce other connections - perhaps even aliens. While that sort of thing can easily get lurid, it can also be an exploration of the limits of human emotion. What happens when someone's desire for connection is at odds with their need for individuality, for example?
Many "other" worlds seem to have some of the same basic assumptions as our own, and we shouldn't always limit ourselves in that way. While it's important to present fiction to which a reader can relate, it's also important to stretch their imagination.
Some fantasy for your enjoyment. Perhaps even something about love.
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Last time, in "Locks" , I wrote about locks.
charitykountz: Nice newsletter, thanks!
Thanks for reading!
Osirantinous : Liked this NL. Keys fascinate me as do the locks they fit - though I guess I mean all the really old style ones (but a good thunk of a modern deadbolt key's pretty cool too). I've books on the Victorian and Edwardian Underworlds, and they had great info on locks from those times and how hard or easy it was to pick them or to duplicate a key.
Keys are their own metaphorical world - I wanted to do this NL on romance due to its release date in mid-February, but perhaps I'll tackle keys in a later newsletter.
And that's it for me for February - see you next month! Until then,
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