Sunday 14 February 2016

The Sunday Post: Valentine's Day

The Sunday Post is a weekly round-up of items that caught my eye over the previous seven days. But since it's February 14th, I thought Asian Books Blog may as well join in with the annual orgy of hearts and flowers...

Asian Books Blog is based in Singapore, where The Straits Times is the English language daily. Click here for today's piece in which local authors choose their favourite literary couples.

The Star is a Malaysian English language daily.  Click here for books the Star's writers would choose to give their Valentine,  and here for an accompanying piece on fan fiction for Valentine's Day.

I tried to track down my own selection of fan fiction devoted to Valentine's Day, but I could only find stuff billing itself as fiction to warm your pants, or similar. And if anything is likely to turn you off quicker...

Click here for date ideas for book loving couples, from the website Bustle. Click here for their round-up of love letters written by famous authors. Click here for a similar round-up from The Atlantic magazine.

Click here for the website of Mills & Boon, the publisher synonymous in the UK with shlocky formula romances.  In the US Harlequin is the equivalent company. Click here for their website. There is a huge market for romance titles in Asia, particularly in the Philippines. Click here for a guide for aspiring Tagalog romance writers.

Click here for a discussion of the role of Chaucer in popularising Valentine's Day, from the website Interesting Literature, which bills itself as a library of literary interestingness.

See here for books to read on Valentine's Day, before, after, or instead of a hot date, chosen by Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Twitter spot.  The Sunday Post usually recommends a Twitter account you may like to follow, but today's choice has to be a hashtag, not an account: #valentinesweekend.

And for those with an aversion to the whole pink-tinted sugary shebang, every year in Asia, some cleric or politician somewhere stands up and warns people that Valentine's Day, that ghastly, blasphemous, Western agent of sub-neo-colonial cultural imperialism, will corrupt them.  This year it appears to be the turn of Pakistan's president, Mamnoon Hussain. Click here for Channel News Asia's coverage of his demand that his countrymen and countrywomen refrain from celebrating such a vulgar and indecent festival.

Just about the only thing that could prod me to stand up to defend Valentine's Day in its contemporary, Western, commercialised incarnation would be a politician or a cleric telling me it's vulgar and indecent ... so in that spirit of defiance: Happy Valentine's Day!