Sylvian Reynard

– Gabriel, Dante & Pawnshop No.8 –

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It took me a while to finish “Gabriel’s Inferno” and talk about it,

it surprised me in every possible way – mostly on the amount of involvement over Dante himself, religion and the ideology of heaven and hell in between the conversations of characters. I guess that made the romance novel less cheesy or less “dumb-looking” (aka brainless f-ing at every pages). So yes I enjoyed the novel as a matter of fact, it also made me want to read Dante properly, especially on the section of inferno.

I never was able to explain why but I have had a fascination which I believed last a life time on inferno itself, maybe because I was aroused by the horror and the deeper meaning behind those sins. As I had my conversation with R on the matter, she spoke of Zita Law’s work.

Ah, I remember how I used to love her “Pawnshop No.” – a man was forced to sell his soul to the devil to keep family in peace, he had people selling all they have in him, until his great-granddaughter came over and was willing to sell everything she has to be an absolute success in her field…

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– Gabriel’s Inferno (01, after first 18 chapter) –

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I surrendered myself to the idea of buying the novel from British Heart Foundation for one pound, after days and nights of consideration and hesitation.

I had googled the novel and given a lot of thought on what extent it would worth my one pound, I want the money to be spent on a book I knew I would read and lost my heart in the duration.

The novel as a matter of fact, was very much beyond me in almost every level.

Firstly I was amazed by the author’s patience on carving Dante’s essence in between the pages, from the whispers between lovers to academic debates. Even there might be questions on accuracy, but having such patience to do so was rather amazing if I may say so.

Secondly I was surprised by the way things went in the pages so far, Gabriel Emerson the Dante Specialist came to scene as a man with bad manners, often found himself in some foul positions. He was also slowly revealed as the pages progressed to be a man with terrible past, the kind of men who you would despice – a jack-ass, basically. Yet he seemed wanting to become better for Julia, a woman who he deemed to be a woman too precious to be contaminated.

Thirdly there were two things I was reminded of, first the relationship between Gabriel and Julia reminded me of Japanese televisions, which often have stories of students falling for teachers (or other way round). The other was Dante Gabriel Rossetti, a man equally obsessed with Dante’s story as Emerson himself. They both deemed their lover to be the muse and salvation, while Emerson tried his best to be honest and earnest to Julia, DGR was very much underserving to Lizzie Siddal for constantly being a magnet for women.

But yes it was only 8 or 9 hours since I bought the book and I already read 18 chapters…As an opinion, I think this book actually worth greater attention compared to 50 Shades of Grey, at least Emerson seemed less abusive compared to Christian Grey.

– Gabriel’s Inferno, Romance –

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(pictures provided in Pinterest)

Ever since I got back into Pinterest, I have found myself looping my way through different pins of things I was interested in.

My latest interest was Romance and Capitalism (plus a bit of gender studies?), the pattern of the two in different romance novels.

You see (anyone reading this), if you have read novels from Jane Austen, Jane Eyre (up to the very end) to modern ones such as the wealthy background of Edward Cullen and the wealthy position of Christian Grey. Men in the romance novel if you notice, seemed devided into either a very powerful position or a man with wealth and taste. Of course Gabriel Emerson was one of the type, he was a man with authority and academic success (He in the novel was University Professor on studies of Dante).

Women on the other hand in romance novel, often positioned (despite how strong they are character rise etc) with a strong sense of femininity and fragility, some were even virgin (just look at Anastasia Steele) – someone inexperienced and therefore posted very little to no threat toward the men. This therefore posted a questionable matter on many things, the especial interest I have had was the distinction of sincere love, or were those women still carrying the ideal to have men who are powerful in many levels like sugar babes and sugar daddies? The novels seemed implying that wealth was very much the only thing women would stay for a man? Despite women are free in some ways such as choices to how to live, we were bombarded everyday from internet to commercials on having many options available, which left people rather fearful for commitment. (http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/feb/12/love-marriage-romance-valentine)

“Pre-modern people made a decision to marry based on a sense of social duty and convention. Modern people tend to do it out of a desire to realise our inner self, to be validated. Pre-modern people felt bound by a simple declaration of love; modern people prefer to keep their options always open, even after getting married.”

This shown that modern capitalism and the modernization had not freed us entirely, instead it left us panic over “would we have missed the better options?”. I would like to explore if possible in the future, was to why such patterns exist – hopefully I feel it would be something to do with the historical process of gender roles.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriel%27s_Inferno (Gabriel’s Inferno)