Romances

Status
Not open for further replies.
A

Anonymous

Guest
I took a class in undergrad that explained th reason that "romance" stories were called such. I remember it having something to do with stories of knights being written in French, and "real" books (the kind that men read) were in Latin. I am teaching a romance unit to my kids, and would like to tell the story, but I want to check my facts first. Any idea where I can go, or does anyone know if I am accurate here?

Thanks!
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Romance does mean something that was originally written in French. I rather like the idea of this being a pit poncy, while Latin was for 'real' men. Times have changed since the troubadours. ;-)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Romance
If any single genre of literature can represent the complex, cumulative, cross-referenced and integrative nature of the medieval written word, it is that of romance. For the middle ages it refers to a genre of aristocratic literature, written for the wealthy laity, which combined tales of adventure and courtly love with moral teaching. It was the literature of chivalry. It taught the aristocracy how to behave in order to maintain the social order, while entertaining them at the same time.

Stories serve a number of functions, apart from making time pass cheerfully. They can have a teaching function in relation to moral or social values. They can explore the fears and fantasies in the dark corners of the minds of listeners to allay those anxieties. Most importantly, they serve to establish an identity for a group, be it an ethnic group or a social class. The freeborn yeomen who relished the tales of Robin Hood were probably less enthusiastic about the courtly and chivalric tales which the aristocracy used to justify their position in society.

Read more:

http://www.medievalwriting.50megs.com/word/romance.htm

:D
 

RonBee

Moderator
Joined
Feb 9, 2003
Member Type
Other
Native Language
American English
Home Country
United States
Current Location
United States
This is probably off-topic, but here goes:
  • "Romance novels are the last genre that librarians feel comfortable censoring. In fact, many librarians seem to view this as a social obligation. They censor romances using direct methods: refusal to purchase, refusal to catalog. They censor romances using indirect methods: negative attitudes, comments from staff." ~ Shelley Mosley, John Charles, and Julie Havirl
    http://web.utk.edu/~wrobinso/590_lec_roman.html

That not only is an odd view of censorship, but it took three people to say it. :wink:
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
Staff member
Joined
Nov 13, 2002
Member Type
Native Language
British English
Home Country
UK
Current Location
Japan
Casiopea said:
tdol said:
Times have changed since the troubadours. ;-)

Yeah. Women Win :D
In romance fiction, strong, intelligent women are winners. Regardless of the challenges, they triumph. Female empowerment is an important appeal element. The hero is forced to acknowledge the woman's value and worth.

http://web.utk.edu/~wrobinso/590_lec_roman.html

I hope their success isn't confined to fiction. ;-)
 

Casiopea

VIP Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Member Type
Other
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top