romance


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romance

[O.Fr.,=something written in the popular language, i.e., a Romance languageRomance languages,
group of languages belonging to the Italic subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages (see Italic languages). Also called Romanic, they are spoken by about 670 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
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]. The roman of the Middle Ages was a form of chivalric and romantic literature widely diffused throughout Europe from the 11th cent. With the Provençal troubadourstroubadours
, aristocratic poet-musicians of S France (Provence) who flourished from the end of the 11th cent. through the 13th cent. Many troubadours were noblemen and crusader knights; some were kings, e.g.
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 the roman was a form of narrative, originally sung but later recited before courts. The trouvèrestrouvères
, medieval poet-musicians of central and N France, fl. during the later 12th and the 13th cent. The trouvères imitated the troubadours of the south.
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 lengthened these into the chansons de gestechansons de geste
[Fr.,=songs of deeds], a group of epic poems of medieval France written from the 11th through the 13th cent. Varying in length from 1,000 to 20,000 lines, assonanced or (in the 13th cent.
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 and the romans d'aventures, or romances of love and adventure. It is from the latter class that the modern romance descends (see novelnovel,
in modern literary usage, a sustained work of prose fiction a volume or more in length. It is distinguished from the short story and the fictional sketch, which are necessarily brief.
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).

Bibliography

See studies by A. B. Taylor (1930, repr. 1969), G. Beer (1970), and E. Vinaver (1971).

romance

1. a narrative in verse or prose, written in a vernacular language in the Middle Ages, dealing with strange and exciting adventures of chivalrous heroes
2. any similar narrative work dealing with events and characters remote from ordinary life
3. the literary genre represented by works of these kinds
4. (in Spanish literature) a short narrative poem, usually an epic or historical ballad
5. a lyrical song or short instrumental composition having a simple melody
References in classic literature ?
The author considered that the only two of these chapters which were in the least important, owing to their extent, were chapters on art and history which in no way interfered with the groundwork of the drama and the romance, that the public would not notice their loss, and that he, the author, would alone be in possession of the secret.
Thus a swarm of foolish novels and monstrous romances will be produced, either to the great impoverishing of booksellers, or to the great loss of time and depravation of morals in the reader; nay, often to the spreading of scandal and calumny, and to the prejudice of the characters of many worthy and honest people.
Melville's power in describing and investing with romance scenes and incidents witnessed and participated in by himself, and his frequent failure of success as an inventor of characters and situations, were early pointed out by his critics.
The romance, the novel, the drama are the picture of one.
Of course there is always something fatally weak in the scheme of the pure romance, which, after the color of the contemporary mood dies out of it, leaves it in danger of tumbling into the dust of allegory; and perhaps this inherent weakness was what that bold critic felt in the
King Edward (we are not told which among the monarchs of that name, but, from his temper and habits, we may suppose Edward IV.) sets forth with his court to a gallant hunting-match in Sherwood Forest, in which, as is not unusual for princes in romance, he falls in with a deer of extraordinary size and swiftness, and pursues it closely, till he has outstripped his whole retinue, tired out hounds and horse, and finds himself alone under the gloom of an extensive forest, upon which night is descending.
"I don't think you have any romance in you," she exclaimed.
"'I wanted easy ways, and lovely things, and Romance and all that; but it just seemed I had no luck nohow and was only and expressly born for cooking and dishwashing.
Then, to complicate the ruin, she cut it down one third, and confidingly sent the poor little romance, like a picked robin, out into the big, busy world to try its fate.
"You assume that romance survives a closer knowledge of the person one loves?"
there's romance enough at home without going half a mile for it; only people never think of it.'
So, perhaps, it would be well to go back and read chapter vii., and then we must go on to the Metrical Romances.