Book Meme: ‘Psichore’s Day Twenty

The Book Meme Challenge: Favorite romance book

Originally I planned to write about all four books (made movies) posted in Challenge 19 for this challenge as well.  Presumably part of the reason I liked how they translated from one medium to another was the fact that each story is romantic in nature, though not in the loathsome rom-com genre of recent years.

But the more I pondered, the more I realized that I’m really not certain why Yvaine loves Tristan, or why he loves her.  Presumably he enjoys her beauty, she admires his tenacity, and the rest is that aspect of love that refuses to identify or justify itself.  Or I’m simply due for a reread…

Then I had to skim some bits of Princess Bride to remember that Westley liked more than Buttercup’s face and breasts.  Even he acknowledges, in the course of confessing his love for her, that she is not the brightest, nor is she very good at understanding metaphors.  But each embarks on a program of self-improvement for the other’s sake in addition to appreciating the other’s physical perfection, so I’m chalking it up as not-utterly-superficial.

Howl and Sophie will simply have to be revisited, and for now I simply shall announce Pride and Prejudice as my favorite romance book.

In a way, the entire book is like a dance.  Each couple comes to the foreground for some period, then casts off so another can take its place (and if Wickham or Bingley is involved rather than Darcy, I dare say there’d be some reeling of the set as well).  First Mr. Collins courts Lizzie and then, rebuffed, settles upon Charlotte.  Bingley and Jane couple up before being discouraged by various parties, only to come together in the end.  Wickham spends a fair amount of time around Lizzie before the regiment is moved and he ends up with Lydia (and, after some prodding, staying with her).  Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner come in for their bit and thus help Lizzie and Darcy come to the fore.

The unsurprising fact is that Jane and Bingley are almost too sweet to be interesting, and Lydia and Wickham too egocentric to be much better.  But Lizzie and Darcy!  Not only have they lively wit, but they both grow.  Unlike Tess of the D’urbervilles and her Angel Claire, Lizzie and Darcy come to communicate effectively, and in so doing, overcome their titular vices.

What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You shewed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.

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