For once, I love what Stephen King has to say, “I think that I serve that purpose for some writers, and that’s a good thing. Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people. … The real difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.” It has been the buzz for many of Twilight’s young fans, this interview from USA Weekend. While many disagree still on the literary worth of King, I think it is safe to say that there are books of his that will be memorable (and are much better written the Twilight books), such as Carrie or The Shining. More than just writing horror stories, King makes much effort to bring validity to the horror genre by writing the Danse Macabre for example. Stephanie Meyer, on the other hand, she just added another teenage vampire sex fantasy to the world (actually more than one, she added four). From her own website she has no plans at the time to write anything more (at least not in the Twilight series, thankfully). Marketing has helped her to become a phenomenon, which will pass away just like Erle Stanley Garnder (writer of the Perry Mason books) and others who I find in our library that were once bestsellers and now receive no library circulation (and not just because college students who have no interest in reading).
My other favorite quote from King on Meyer:
“ People are attracted by the stories, by the pace and in the case of Stephenie Meyer, it’s very clear that she’s writing to a whole generation of girls and opening up kind of a safe joining of love and sex in those books. It’s exciting and it’s thrilling and it’s not particularly threatening because they’re not overtly sexual. A lot of the physical side of it is conveyed in things like the vampire will touch her forearm or run a hand over skin, and she just flushes all hot and cold. And for girls, that’s a shorthand for all the feelings that they’re not ready to deal with yet.”
The original blog/interview found in USA Weekend
Favorite news article on the buzz and stir of King’s comments
It is Teen Read Week and to participate, I’m reading a variety of teen books this week. I started late last week with Twilight, and plan on finishing Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The list of other books I hope to read if I have a chance are:
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson (choice inspired by the short story/novella in Let It Snow)
Red Glass by Laura Resau
and Diary of a Wimpy Kid
I’m being modest in my reading goals as I have two projects due this week for my classes.
Twilight was a disappointing start to the week. I wasn’t hoping for much when I started the book, except to have at least a strong female character. Instead, the character was goofy and not in an adorable way. And her relationship with Edward was typical for any vampire story in that it always alluded to the sexuality of vampires. Perhaps it was just reading Dracula, but I can’t help but to equate vampires with sex. Besides the underlying sexuality, there was the typical teenage rebellion in not introducing her new boyfriend and sneaking out. The high school relationships were typical, if but briefly noted as most of the story revolves around Edward and Bella. As she becomes more involved with her relationship with Edward, the rest of the characters become scarce.
As much as Meyer tried to portray vampires in a good light, I couldn’t help but feel that the attempts were superficial. Can a vampire really become a doctor and save human lives? Can he ignore and control his undying thirst for blood? Carlisle may be above all temptation, but it seems the rest of his family is not above it. And in Carlisle being above temptation, is he then a vampire god?
There are better books for young high school women to read. In fact, Let It Snow or Papertowns are much better books with great female heroines. They can inspire acts of greatness and propel minds towards being developed more. Twilight is candy. If you have a taste for romance stories and want to only be entertained as you read, then it is your book.