These are the things I’m reading and thinking about this week.
No One Wants to Read a “Healthy” Love Story (Book Riot)
This thoughtful, smart essay about what makes for a good love story in fiction offers plenty of food for thought:
In life, for love, you look for something a little beautifully mundane; a novel requires more tension. Even popular love stories that are outwardly based on mutuality and respect–I’m thinking of N. Sparks, which I’m loath to admit–get their steam from the really unhealthy events that surround them: tragic separation, disease, war, rodeo injuries. Flash floods. Ghosts.
Even though we might rail against novels that feature some of the most unhealthy situations imaginable (50 Shades, etc), we have to realize that a love story in a fictional world needs some sort of conflict to remain interesting or intriguing:
The love stories I can recommend to readers are therefore not “healthy” ones. When I do fall in love with a love story, it’s the obstacles that get me: the challenges I’d never want in my own life, the messiness, the will-they-can-they-won’t-they of the tale. And, spoiler alert: they usually can’t. Or if they can, can’t do it wholly easily, or without negative implications for others. There’s pain in the greats, and with it poignancy; simultaneously, there’s nothing that ought to be treated as a blueprint.
Emma Thompson’s Wonderful Thoughts on Feminism, Ageism, Trump, and Teapots (The A.V. Club)
Emma Thompson for president, basically:
“I’ve been a card-carrying, radical feminist since I was 19,” says Thompson, which is why she’s puzzled by the rise in women — including several young Hollywood actresses — who tend to demur when asked if they support feminism. “Most women who I would want to listen to wouldn’t have any problem at all with the word feminist,” she said. “It’s bizarre. Any woman who says they’re not a feminist is basically saying that they don’t believe in equal rights for women.”
What got you reading and thinking this week?