The Heart of the Matter: Feminists Revisit the Romance

Publication year

it is the narrativity of romance which crosses the common-sense boundaries of 'fact and fiction', 'representations and lived experience', and 'fantasy and reality'. In our relationships, as well as in our reading or viewing, romantic scenarios accord to cultural codes and conventions, whose changing (and enduring) patterns are explored throughout this volume. The typical trajectories outlined below extend beyond the Hollywood screen or the supermarket paperback and into the stories we tell ourselves (however much reformulated) about our past, present and future romantic relationships, or lack of them. As we noted at the beginning of this introduction, feminist analyses of romance have taken issue with the ways in which the classic romance narrative has constituted gender, power and sexual desire. (15)