JANICE RADWAY READING THE ROMANCE PDF

Radway emphasizes the idea of a happy, satisfying ending as well as the struggle of the heroine, who often, if not always, lives in a state of weakness in a patriarchal society. Language and Narrative Discourse[ edit ] Radway also analyzes the romance genre, yet instead of listing her own preferences or specific works, she examines the genre by examining the language of the romance novel and how that language affects the readers. The style, Radway points out, is relatively simplistic. The successful, fulfilling romance novel exists when the author herself has provided meaning for her story through the words she has written. Radway explains this further with this excerpt: Reading is not a self-conscious, productive process in which they collaborate with the author, but an act of discovery during which they glean from her information about people, places, and events not themselves in the book.

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Radway emphasizes the idea of a happy, satisfying ending as well as the struggle of the heroine, who often, if not always, lives in a state of weakness in a patriarchal society.

Language and Narrative Discourse[ edit ] Radway also analyzes the romance genre, yet instead of listing her own preferences or specific works, she examines the genre by examining the language of the romance novel and how that language affects the readers. The style, Radway points out, is relatively simplistic.

The successful, fulfilling romance novel exists when the author herself has provided meaning for her story through the words she has written.

Radway explains this further with this excerpt: Reading is not a self-conscious, productive process in which they collaborate with the author, but an act of discovery during which they glean from her information about people, places, and events not themselves in the book.

The women assume that the information about these events was placed in the book by the author when she selected certain words in favor of others. They link signifiers with signifieds not by historical significance and that specific word choice, but to meanings that resonate personally with them.

It has simply never occurred to them that those codes might be historically or culturally relative. Yet while there seems to be a lack of quality, this structure is not comprised due to laziness.

The romance genre is precisely that: a genre, and one that serves not as an artistic tool but one that, for a little while, assures its readers of their own self-worth and ability to affect a patriarchic world, so by the end of the novel the female readers, often mothers, feel invigorated and ready to take on the day-to-day tasks of managing the home and family.

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Tag: Janice Radway

Among those who have disparaged romance reading are feminists, literary critics, and theorists of mass culture. Radway questions such claims, arguing that critical attention "must shift from the text itself, taken in isolation, to the complex social event of reading. Asking readers themselves to explore their reading motives, habits, and rewards, she conducted interviews in a midwestern town with forty-two romance readers whom she met through Dorothy Evans, a chain bookstore employee who has earned a reputation as an expert on romantic fiction. Indeed, Radway found that while the women she studied devote themselves to nurturing their families, these wives and mothers receive insufficient devotion or nurturance in return. In romances the women find not only escape from the demanding and often tiresome routines of their lives but also a hero who supplies the tenderness and admiring attention that they have learned not to expect.

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Reading The Romance: Women, Patriarchy, and Popular Literature

Edit Radway plainly states that simply reducing the practice of book buying to a relationship between the book and its audience leaves out the institutional and economic concerns of book publish and distribution. Radway summarizes the history of romance novel publishing in the United States, concluding that economic demands dictated a system in which ideal audiences for novels were selected ahead of time rather than engage in complex and expensive advertising. Publishers set out to create lines of novels that were known quantities among these groups, controlling the production and creating a set formula that was facilitated by new binding and production technologies allowing for more books to be published faster. The goal with these lines was to reduce uncertainty and increase the predictability of sales without having to find a new audience for each book - if women knew what to expect from the line of novels, they would know what to expect from the new one. This essentially turned romance novels into a commodity, unlike more traditional forms of literature sold through traditional revenues. Over time, as companies consolidated and the pressure to increase profit has increased, most publishers sought out new manuscripts rather than reprinting old ones, seeking out original works by authors who fit into the existing publishing framework and providing guidelines about house style and story structure to those they publish. In the s, specific brnads like Harlequin were introduced to further facilitate the commodification of literature, consumer research into audience buying habits and motives for reading made it easier to target these novels to their specific audience.

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