|1805 Gillray Harmony Before Matrimony|
I have no interest in defending a genre that creates a large target for those who wish to inspire controversy. That romance dominates the book market speaks for itself.
My concern is Mr. Anderson's comments about romance being reviled by people who don't believe in love. That makes me seriously sad and deserves a discussion all its own.
I can understand that some people never find the right "soul mate." There are many factors involved in romantic love. It's a fragile concept, as our books show. But to not believe in love at all? That, in itself, would guarantee never finding love of any sort.
One has to love to be loved. That might sound like a trite cliche, but how can one recognize love if one doesn't open his heart to it? We can love our parents, our siblings, our friends, our houses, our pets, or we can love life itself. Love is a giving thing, not something one deserves for existing. If we allow ourselves to love, then we open ourselves to be loved by others.
So, are there really people out there who deny the existence of any love? My sincere sympathies to them, if so, because that seems like a bitter, narrow existence. If we can't reach these people with romance novels, how can we reach them?