Friday, September 15, 2006

Can men write good romantic novels?

So now it's clear. The reason Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary were such unromantic flops is because both books were written by men. Big mistake.

There was nothing wrong with the writers. They were good enough in their own ways. It's just that the balance of their chromosomes wasn't up to the job.

If only Sadie Tolstoy or Sharon Flaubert had done the writing, instead of Leo and Gustave, the entire history of Western literature would have been completely different.

And how do we know this? Because Daisy Goodwin, the presenter of Reader, I Married Him, a new BBC4 series on the novel, which will be transmitted this autumn, just about tells us so.

"You can't have a really seriously romantic book written by a man," she says, dismissing in a sentence the murmuring hearts of half humankind. If you're a male writer, Daisy goes on, you lack insight into the ways of women.
More from Ray Connolly in The Daily Telegraph.

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