Prachya Review, December 2018
The romance novel, or the romantic novel, is quite old as a genre, going from Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters to John Green and Nicholas Sparks. It is popular for its celebration of falling in love, and tends to have an optimistic ending and emotional satisfaction. Even though it began in the form of novels, these themes are explored in other forms as well. There are many sub-genres of romance, including fantasy, historical romance, paranormal fiction, young adult fiction and even science fiction.
Tragedy, on the other hand, was initially a form of drama based on human suffering. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides tried their hands on it, so did Shakespeare, Strindberg, and Beckett. Even though it began in the form of drama, the essence of tragedy – pathos and catharsis – is observed in other forms as well.
Regardless to say, we experience both of these in our lives every now and then – in different forms, in different times and spaces. And not always separately either. There is often tragedy in romance, and romance in tragedy. Often we are aware of them, and often they hide in plain sight, just waiting for someone to notice them.
Prachya Review wanted to have these two binaries of Romance and Tragedy as the theme of this issue. We wanted to see to see how our poets and writers interpreted them, separately or combined. And the result is this.