Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoGuy View Post
I was thinking more of Regency (or historical) romance-type books, rather than romance novels in general. But I see your point: perhaps most romance books are simulacra of things that never are (or were). I'd love to hear from anybody who reads and writes romance novels about what they think about that.
I know you brought up the simulacrum under the heading of mimesis. Perhaps there are certain types of fiction that have to depart from pure mimetic protocols and elaborate a simulacrum instead. In fiction, I find the departure to simulacra very disappointing. The rhetoric of the mimetic narrator is its own reward.

For example, in one of my favorite books, A.S. Byatt's Possession, any kind of complete and perfect love is undermined from all fronts -- asserting as it were a convincingly mimetic rhythm of disappointment in a book that freely exhibits its author's incredible inventiveness -- an inventiveness certainly capable of sustaining every simulation of passion and knowledge, but quite rightly, staying within the linguistically more potent confines of the seemingly purely mimetic weight of confusion and loss.