Thursday, April 05, 2012
a new mini-essay at my website on the topic of clothing (and accessories) in popular romance fiction.
New Approaches includes my essay, "One Ring to Bind Them: Ring Symbolism in Popular Romance Fiction," about which Eric has commented that "Thanks to Laura Vivanco’s essay on 'Ring Symbolism,' you’ll never look at an engagement ring in quite the same way again." Since I've also got an essay titled "Jennifer Crusie's Literary Lingerie" coming out later this month in the Journal of Popular Romance Studies, I wanted to give a bit more background information about why I felt moved to write about clothing and accessories in romance novels, which have often dismissed as mere "filler" (Snitow) that establishes “that, like ordinary readers, fictional heroines are ‘naturally’ preoccupied with fashion” (Radway). I'd argue that in romance novels, as in literary fiction, clothing and accessories can, to quote Professor David Lodge, function as "a useful index of character, class, life-style."
I hope you'll enjoy reading "Clothes Make the Man (or Woman)."