Why Romance Books Matter

“Sublimity,” Hauptmann says, panting, “you know what that is, Pfennig?” He is tipsy, animated, almost prattling. Never has Werner seen him like this. “It’s the instant when one thing is about to become something else. Day to night, caterpillar to butterfly. Fawn to doe. Experiment to result. Boy to man.” ― Anthony Doerr, All the Light We Cannot See Sublime: 1- to cause to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state and condense back to solid form 2[French sublimer, from Latin sublimare] a (1) : to elevate or exalt especially in dignity or honor (2) : to render finer (as in purity or excellence) b : to convert (something inferior) into something of higher worth For me, romance books are as much a study of the sublime as anything. We read and write them because we want to feel that feeling of exaltation and elevation. Ah, mountains, the oceans, the moon, and, yes, romance books are all sublime... And as a writer, I wrap my characters and their stories with words, symbols, metaphors to create that feeling that is so uniquely human. After all, don't we all want to reach out to try to touch what is sublime? Steve Jobs had a deep understanding of sublimity, of how to make an inanimate object, a computer screen sublime. His story is one of deep and dark contrasts, but certainly one of sublimity. He was always striving for it. Water, too, is sublimely beautiful because it is always in this process of sublimity, of becoming something else. When you are near it, you can literally hear it happening, in the lapping, the trickling, the rushing, etc... I went running by the river today, stopping to stretch and watch the water flow past every obstacle with grace and a quiet humility. "Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it." Lao Tzu To touch and behold that which is sublime... to me that is so much of the journey of life and why I write romance. The world needs more sublimity:)


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