Thursday, November 19, 2009
Twilight series author, Stephanie Meyer, admitted she is “a little burned out on vampires right now.” http://www.oprah.com/media/20091113-orig-stephenie-meyer
Actually, I was encouraged to hear Stephanie say that her first books were not well written. She wishes she could go back and make changes. For me, it felt like wading through adverbs, irksome.
More than 85 million copies of Twilight books have sold. The first movie grossed $385 million.
What has captivated people enough to incite another cultural phenomenon, a book-reading and movie-going maelstrom?
As the release of the second movie, New Moon, sets in motion another fan-crazed, media-covered blitz, well-meaning people will react like Don Quixote fighting windmills, censors and censorious.
That’s disconcerting. And it makes me sad. The way it embarrasses me to look back on church crusades against Barbie and Disney and Colgate, to name a few.
Freedom to think, to create and to discriminate represents a vital core of human values.
I read the books so I could evaluate for myself, as I did when reading all 7 Harry Potter books. I didn’t view any of these books as inherently evil, though reservations about role models abound. I don’t believe the devil made them do it, either the authors or characters.
My objection as I slogged through the 2000+ pages stemmed from the uneven, at times poor writing. “Ponderous prose,” as my English teacher friend once described a well-known author’s book. But popular fiction does not christen literary giants.
What got me to the last page of the saga despite wariness and weariness, I wanted to dialogue with my daughters, my eldest son and granddaughter about how and why the books, originally intended for Young Adults, intrigued each of them.
I confess. It was a good story.
Creative. Imaginative. Not entirely original, but certain portions shined, “like the top of the Chrysler Building.”
Despite mistakes, Stephanie Meyer held the story-strands together, from beginning to end, like a weaver using numerous shuttles, colorful threads and a complicated pattern.
A good editor should have caught where Bella fed her father pancakes for breakfast in one paragraph, and a few paragraphs later, she picked up his cereal bowl.
Portraying vampires as real, with certain sects of vampires as “good guys” as well as werewolves who keep the vampires in check, belongs in the realm of fantasy fiction. Keep it there, and you can deal with the story on its own terms.