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Wednesday, April 23, 2008
9:00 PM | Posted by Marnee Bailey | | Edit Post
It’s probably a good thing sound doesn’t travel over blogs because I’m certain some of the English majors aboard probably just groaned. Or worse.
Pirates are known for their colorful language, after all.
I swear; I’ll keep this as painless as possible.
Those who have no idea what I’m talking about, I’ll give a small history. The Heart of Darkness is a novella by Joseph Conrad and I believe that just about every English literature major is required to read it at some point. My teachers used it to introduce literary criticism and theory.
Ok, ok. I like it, I admit it.
If you’ve ever seen Apocalypse Now, that movie was based on the story. Basically, according to Wikipedia, “The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment as a ferry-boat captain … on what readers may assume is the Congo River…. Marlow is employed… to return Kurtz to civilization in a cover up.” Basically, Kurtz is making friendly with the native folks and getting in touch with his “savage” side.
One of my favorite themes in this story is the constant struggle present within every character between acting as civilization expects and giving in to the dark, barbaric impulses of human nature.
*Pause while you readers recover from English class flashbacks*
In my most recent research into current trends in paranormal romance novels, I’ve started noticing and appreciating how this theme seems to parallel a lot of recent paranormal themes.
If the hero or heroine is a vampire, werewolf, or any other paranormal creature, they tend to struggle with controlling their inner beast. It also seems that their love interest has a calming effect on the beast within; that the darkness within them recedes further behind the civility of love. While a lot of romance novel heroes are “tamed” at the end by the love of the heroine, the paranormal romance’s taming is not just a figurative taming but a literal one.
Though I admire the darkness of so many paranormals, I doubt my voice would hold up under the weight of it. Brooding and ominous aren't my forte. My story has a paranormal thread in it but I don't use my heroine's witchiness as a dark force for her to conquer, instead I use it as a plot device to allow her to do things she wouldn't technically be able to do as a Regency miss.
I admire the darkness, I'm just glad I don't have to write about it.
Do you read paranormals? What do you like/dislike about them? Ever thought of writing one (why/why not)? Have you noticed any other trends in paranormals or any other subgenre lately?
Labels: Gunner's Grumblings (Marnee)