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Guilty Pleasures: Reading Romance Novels as Reworked Fairy Tales

Linda J. Lee
Marvels & Tales
Vol. 22, No. 1, Erotic Tales (2008), pp. 52-66
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41388858
Page Count: 15
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Guilty Pleasures: Reading Romance Novels as Reworked Fairy Tales
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Abstract

Popular romance novels have much in common with traditional fairy tales: both are highly formulaic; invoke a fantasy realm; focus on the creation or reconciliation of a romantic pair; exist in an infinite variation of texts that fall into distinct types; and are often dismissed as being "trivial," suggesting romantic fiction as a natural excursus of folkloristic inquiry into popular culture. This article examines how Beauty and the Beast (ATU 425C) is reworked in the paranormal romance subgenre. These erotic romances offer elaborated descriptions of the central couple's intimate relationship, inverting the traditional fairy-tale structure by making the resolution of the male/female opposition the central narrative element.

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