10 Novel Paling Romantis!
Masih dalam suasana penuh kasih sayang, kami menyajikan beberapa novel yang diklaim sebagai novel paling romantis sepanjang masa oleh TIME.com. Kamu setujukah atau punya novel romantis versi sendiri? Boleh ditulis di bagian comment kita ya…
1. Pride & Prejudice
“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” It’s the all-time champ for a reason: although Pride and Prejudice has spawned an entire industry of imitators, no one (not even Austen herself, in her other work) has equaled the decorous dance of sharp-tongued Lizzy and stiff, handsome D’Arcy through the drawing rooms and libraries of Regency England. Maybe it’s because within all the wit and wooing lurk hard, dark truths about love, money and marriage — which make the romance that overlays them that much more miraculous.
2. Troilus & Criseyde
It’s not as widely read as his Canterbury Tales, by a long shot, but Troilus and Criseyde, is Chaucer’s most perfect and his most moving work — it’s his Anna Karenina, the ultimate medieval romance. Troilus is a warrior prince, too proud to be ensnared by love. Criseyde — you may know her as Shakespeare’s Cressida — is the changeful widow who embroils him in a wartime romance within the walls of besieged Troy. When Criseyde traded to the Greeks in a prisoner exchange, very bad things ensue. It’s as funny, as sad, as psychologically ruthless a portrait of love as any modern masterpiece.
3. Wuthering Heights
This is Emily Brontë’s only novel, and whyever would she need another? Wuthering Heights is the dark distillation of all gothic romance, charged with violence and sex and alcoholism and hints of incest. The tortured, braided tale of dark, brooding Heathcliff and wild, sadistic Catherine, thrashing out there desperate urges on the freezing, rain-soaked moors, reads like it was scribbled by a brilliant goth-girl on tear-stained diary pages. One can’t say it better than Catherine herself: “I’ve dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas: they’ve gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind. And this is one.”
4. Brideshead Revisited
Charles Ryder, a colorless young man, meets an absurdly fey, charming aristocrat at Oxford named Sebastian Flyte, who explains to him the importance of beauty, good wine, amusing banter and fresh plover’s eggs. Ryder swoons into a dream of love — of both the heterosexual and, more subtly, homosexual varieties — that lasts decades, but the gilded country-house world of the Flyte family contains the seeds of its own destruction.
5. The Great Gatsby.
Can one truly separate love and money? Not in America. And why would you want to, when Fitzgerald’s flappers have so damn much of it? I won’t insult anybody by summarizing the plot, I’ll just point out that this is one novel whose beauty survives its relentless over-analysis in English classes. Who among you can’t close your eyes and see Daisy on her wedding day, drunk in the bathtub, with her broken string of pearls and that soaked, wadded-up letter from her low-born lover?
6. The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger’s literary agent tells the story of how he had so much trouble getting prospective publishers to read the manuscript for The Time Traveler’s Wife. Part of the problem, he says, was how he was forced to describe the plot in a single sentence: a bright but troubled librarian, Henry, travels through time to visit his lover, Clare, as she ages from a young child to adult. (And this was him trying to make it sound good.) Was it science fiction? Romance? Pedophilia? Publishers couldn’t tell. Turns out it’s none of the above, and yet so much more. It’s a rich tale that forces us to extract our idea of love from any sense of time, place, custom or convention.
7. Anna Karenina
Forget those alike (ie, boring) happy families. As Tolstoy’s 1875 masterpiece shows, what happens inside an unhappy family is much more scintillating. There are jilted lovers, suicide, sly siblings, cuckolded spouses, honor, war, mysticism, religion, illegitimate children, ennui, illness and a sexy mazurka or two. Not to mention Constantin Levin’s farming tips. All this set against the tense backdrop of Russia on the brink of massive social change. From that first opening line — second in imitation only to “Call me, Ishmael” — up to the aftermath of Anna’s plunge under the train, Tolstoy painstakingly lays out the consequences of adultery and the politics of love.
8. Norwegian Wood.
This 1987 novel takes its title from the Beatles song, which the main character, Toru, hears on a plane to Germany. It takes him back decades when he heard the tune strummed at a sanatorium deep in the woods north of Kyoto. Toru had traveled there to visit Naoko, a fragile girl with whom he had fallen in love after the suicide of her boyfriend (who happened to be his best friend). While still under Naoko’s moody spell, Toru meets Midori, a fellow college student who, unlike the current object of his obsession, exudes strength and energy. Toru must wrestle with devotion, despair and desire as he finds himself pulled between two very different lives. Like the familiar Beatles refrain, Norwegian Wood strikes a universal and memorable chord.
9. The English Patient.
With the exception of Seinfeld’s Elaine (what did she know about romance anyway?), most filmgoers loved the 1996 adaptation of Sri Lankan-born Ondaatje’s novel. So when those fans cracked open the novel, they were surprised to find dense, intricate and highly sophisticated prose; most gave up on page 2. Reader: try again. Ondaatje is a poet (I mean that as a profession, as well as a compliment); his words need to be slowly rolled around in your mouth before digesting. You’ll also find that the film failed to develop the secondary storyline, involving Kip, a Sikh member of the British Army who dismantles bombs. His relationship with Hana, the young Canadian nurse, in the abandoned villa-cum-military hospital is a good counter to the hot desert love affair of Katharine and Count Almasy. The good news is once you’re done, there’s Ondaatje’s In the Skin of the Lion, the prequel which describes Hana’s early life and gives some background on that shifty thief and morphine addict, Caravaggio.
10. The Feast of Love.
I first came across this novel at the Harvard bookstore where a snarky clerk had written on the Staff Picks comment card: “If you’ve not read this book or heard of Charles Baxter, then shame on you!” Apparently I respond well to guilt. I bought the book, loved it and have recommended it to anyone who has had trouble understanding the whoa/huh?/ouch! of love (yes, almost everyone I know). The novel’s beginning is overly self-conscious: Charles Baxter (the character) awakes in the middle of the night and, unable to fall back asleep, takes a walk and meets a neighbor, Bradley, who tells him the first of several tales of love. Luckily, that’s where the staginess ends. Baxter’s writing becomes dreamy, funny, and thoughtful. No shame in that.