Someone started a thread on J’s website called “Have Irony & Ambivalence Vanquished Romance?”
Here is what I wrote in response:
Probably for a lot of people it has been vanquished. Modern romance requires a certain suspension of disbelief that’s hard to come by, unless you’re insane or otherwise uninhibited by reality. In other words, if you’re willing to believe in it, and you can find someone to play along, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work. Most people these days probably don’t have the temperament to make it work.
But I also think I’m considering romance in a very old fashioned way. The nature of love relationships has been through a number of paradigm shifts in the last 200 years, but a lot of Western culture is still very hung up on the 18th Century style providential trajectory idea of love as salvation, etc, which is what comes to mind when you mention the idea of “romance” to me.
There may very well be a modern vision of romance that fulfills the same human needs.
A lot of people get so invested in the search for “romance” that they inevitably find it in terribly inappropriate places, and they are continually disappointed.
Some mourn the death of romance, and some search (most likely in vain) for its reincarnation. In a lot of ways, it suffers a similar fate to the idea of God.
Some day my prince will come.