There’s a TON of literature out there!!! Seriously, it’s enough to make one’s head spin. Fantasy, science fiction, non-fiction, historical…
But there are two genres that stand head and shoulders above all the others: Romance and Horror.
Why THOSE two?
The ancient Greeks had this idea that they called ‘Eros Thanatos’: Sex and Death. Sex gives life and Death takes it, and thus the two concepts are inextricably intertwined. Literature reflects this.
Romance is the world’s best-selling genre. I suspect that this is because humans instinctively know that the only hope for the future lies in ‘pairing up’, in creating a stable household within which one can usher in the next generation. Even in the absence of children, marriage is the foundational bedrock of any stable society. Without it, anarchy begins to creep in. As God Himself decreed, ‘Male and female created He them… Therefore a man shall leave his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ That, I think, is why the world’s best-selling genre revolves around concepts such as ‘soul mates’ and ‘true love’.
But why is Horror ever nipping at Romance’s stiletto heels?
Death—or the fear thereof—haunts humanity’s every waking thought, whether we want to admit it or not. There are a million ways to die, and horror stories reflect this. Honestly, I suspect that our fear of death eclipses even our need for love. In that sense, I kinda wonder why Horror is the ‘number two’ genre instead of the top dog.
The answer is simple. You can fall in love, get married, have sex, and tell about those experiences later. But you only get to die once, and then… well, it’s kinda too late to write about your ordeal, isn’t it? Death is just as much a reality as Love, but the difference is that there’s no going back after you croak. The stories you’re gonna write then will only ever be read by God.
Romance and Horror, Horror and Romance…
The popularity of those two genres speaks volumes about the human condition.
One thought on “Romance and Horror…”
Nicely written, but i don’t fit in with this type of thinking. I don’t fit in with the horror world. Never liked it and never will. My zombie nightmares when I have them is enough horror for me.
I’ve only fixated on my own death twice in my life. In one case, I was supposed to die. In the other, there was a good chance that I was going to die. My main thought about death at those times was not about me. When I’m dead, I’m dead. No worries. That said it would suck if I died by burning to death.
What was on my mind those two times, was that my husband promised me to keep our children close to my side of the family after I was gone. Also that they would some day find true love too. I also hoped my husband wouldn’t be sad too often or for too long, when I was gone.
Now love and romance, when one is lucky enough to find love, it continues to grow. It’s part of everyday life and it is a wonderful feeling. That is something I do think about each day and often. The same goes for the love of a child.
But you are right. Horror and romance are very popular.