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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

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Writing about deep inside

What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died? That she was beautiful. And brilliant. That she loved Mozart and Bach. And the Beatles. And me. (Love Story - Erich Segal)

In 1985, veteran film producer Chandran Ratnam presented his film ‘Adara Kathawa’ to Sri Lankan movie lovers. Adara Kathawa (Love Story) contained a great love story as its title described. It discussed about love and its tragic nature. Adara Kathawa reminded me another great novel, which had the same title ‘Love Story’, written by Erich Segal.


 A scene from Golu Hadawatha

It is very difficult to write something about a book that has been so hyped, discussed and praised the world over.

As I discovered, Love Story is a poignant tale that touches readers’ hearts and leaves its imprint forever. We meet Oliver who narrates the whole experience as to how he met, loved and lost the most important person in his life, Jennifer.

The novel has a tragic end as Jenny dies with leukaemia. The theme of love and bondage run through the plot of the novel bringing out unforgettable quotes such as ‘Love means never having to say you’re sorry’.

The Notebook is another fabulous romance novel. The Notebook takes place in New Bern, North Carolina as do all of Nicholas Spark’s books.

The story starts out with Noah and Allie as teenagers when they spend the summer together and fall in love. Their love is forbidden by Allies parents and after the summer they do not see each other for 14 years.

During this time, Noah sent Allie letters, one every day for a whole year, before he gave up. After Allie is engaged, and she sees Noah’s picture in a newspaper and she goes to visit him. Once they spent time together they fall in love all over again and Allie breaks off the engagement with her husband and they spend the rest of their lives together.

The story comes to an end with Noah and Allie in an elders home. Allie has Alzheimer’s disease and she doesn’t remember Noah anymore. Story goes as Noah tells their own love story to Allie.

The romance novel is a literary genre developed in Western culture, mainly in English-speaking countries. Novels in this genre place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.”

A romance novel can exist within one of many subgenres, including contemporary, historical, science fiction and paranormal.Romance fiction embraces a wide array of characters, time periods and plot lines, but focuses on the love at the heart of each couple’s tale.

Increasingly, the romance genre is welcoming stories that include couples of the same gender, different cultures, and even – in the case of paranormal and science fiction romance – different species.

Apart from arguments about genre definitions, readers and writers of romance fiction agree on one thing; no matter who the lovers are, ultimately, in an uncertain world, it is that satisfying ending, the sense that the people at the heart of the story have found their true love, that brings readers back to the romance genre time after time.

Novels of Sinhala writer Karunasena Jayalath embraced hearts of youth with his enchanting works, such as Golu Hadawatha (The silent heart) and Gahanu Lamayi (The Girls’ World).

He was able to prove that a romance novel should not necessarily have a ‘They lived happily ever after’ kind of ending. Romance is something that should be transferred from a heart to heart - not something to do with theories and laws.

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