August 28, 2012

Abusive Relationships the Rage in Fiction?

Author Laurie Frankel poses an interesting question:  Why the nationwide summer taste for abusive relationships?
Fifty Shades of Grey and its sequels have been the hot best-sellers all summer and you have to wonder at  people's penchant to read about the kind of relationships portrayed in these books. It's not the eroticism Laurie or I have a problem with (which I didn't find erotic - I can't speak for Laurie), it's the theme of a powerful, abusive man vs. a weak, submissive woman. Jeez, how can that be entertaining?
What the heck makes things like this catch on? Is it a commentary on public taste or contemporary morals?
Holy shit (to quote the heroin in Fifty Shades of Grey - only one example of the splendid dialogue), I hope not! I hope it's just simple boredom and a jump-on-the-bandwagon craze that will pass. Although it doesn't look anyone's capping that well any time soon since the Grey  novels are into their twenty-something week on the NY Times best seller list. NY TIMES, for pete's sake! WTF?

Fifty Shades of Gone Girl
by Laurie Frankel
As you know (where you = a person on earth), the two big books of the summer are actually four: the three Fifty Shades of Gray books and Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl. Having just finished the latter, what I'm wondering is this: 
Why the nationwide summer taste for abusive relationships? Not abusive relationships in a Lifetime movie kind of way. Much stranger than that. Consensual abusive relationships. Fantastical abusive relationships. Wildly complicated and begged for abusive relationships. Love so hopelessly confused as abuse, violent abuse, possibly murderous abuse, that you can't tell the difference.
Read the rest of Laurie's post.

No comments: