There was a time readers did not have so many options when it came to reading romantic novels. However, as the genre got fame and readers started seeing a flood of the titles in this genre, authors have also begun their experiments and try to offer the readers the best of their bit. However, still, when it comes to discussing classical romance written by authors overall, there are many names from the past that echo and they almost subdue the modern counterparts. Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, F. Scott Fitzgerald and even Graham Greene, for that matter, to an extent. However, the modern names from India, howsoever famous they are, cannot persuade the readers, it seems, to soak themselves in the opportunity that they provide. They are, in a way, not sure about their offerings or the readers’ response.
Modern authors like Chetan Bhagat or Durjoy Datta, women novelists like Nikita Singh and Shobha De… these authors know what they offer to the readers and what their reader base consists of. However, they seldom go beyond their defined lines and offer ‘new’ to the readers. Hardy and others, on the other hand, used to offer new – remember Far from the Madding Crowd and Jude the Obscure… you will find many things that are different. However, talking about Chetan Bhagat and Datta, are similar in each of their works. They offer a b c and d in a consecutive manner no matter what!
Readers do like consistency but that does not go beyond a single novel. A work of fiction might be consistent in offering the theme and the plot to the readers and it is appreciable. However, going with the same in each of the novels is different and it must be avoided. Bring the new to the readers and they will appreciate you! Thomas Hardy offered many things while he was writing and critical also argue that he was way ahead of his times. He brought a newness to the fiction consumed before him and it was only for the good of the readers. However, at times, readers could not appreciate his grim realism or rigid pessimism or his being ahead of his times in dealing with the issues and themes that were considered to be ‘obscure’ during his period.
Today, Hardy has gone mostly redundant and readers seldom remember him… readers who are from strict literary backgrounds are still a fan of his style and patient writing, nevertheless. However, the readers who want the quick and temporal joy of reading fiction might find their respite in the authors like Chetan Bhagat or Shobha De who has a distinct style of dealing with issues and themes with special ingredients that make the job easier for them and the whole reading process tastier for the readers. So, yes, as things stand, reading Hardy might have gone hard today… it is no more smooth for the readers who have a shortage of time…
By Sima for Egoistic Readers