Interview with Judith Wilt on Women writers and the hero of romance, by Judith Wilt
What does the heroine seek from the hero in a romance – self enhancement or self-sharing? Submission or dominance? A place in this world or a world apart? Drawing together classics like Wuthering Heights and Middlemarch, epics from Ayn Rand and Dorothy Dunnett, and pop culture romances from The Scarlet Pimpernel and The Sheik to the Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey sagas, Judith Wilt depicts the feminine imagination conceiving the hero as 'the girl' in pursuit of a transcendent self, as the mother looking for a partner in community... and in fifty shades between these figures. The Catherines of Wuthering Heights are allegories of Leaving and Loving; Middlemarch both an allegory of will and a romance between the heroine and (her) Will Ladislaw; the dangerous lovers of twentieth and twenty-first century romance go to masochistic extremes. And the reader finds pleasures both radical and conservative in the controversial domain of 'romance.'