Monday, December 1, 2008

Twilight Discussion on Yalsa-BK Listserve

There is currently a discussion on the Twilight books by Stephenie Meyer that is raging on the Yalsa-BK listserve. Frankly, I am finding it fascinating. So many people making so many wonderful arguments about the representation of feminism (or the rather anti-feminist message) in the books.

There are people who think the books are sending a terrible message to girls about only being something if someone loves you and wants to protect you. There are people who think the books are only for entertainment and girls can see through them. And there are people who share their own experiences talking to teens (who sound frighteningly unintrospective). I do wonder that no one has brought up how Meyer's religion has also shaped her books. Because, hello, it certainly has.

These are the conversations that keep me from unsubscribing to the listserve. Mostly I delete everything because there are only so many times you can read about turning off your out of office message (which come on people - you totally should) or "I'd like that book too please" without your soul dying a little bit each time from the ridiculousness of it all.

So thanks people on Yalsa-BK. You've given me something else to be thankful about this Thanksgiving. An intelligent conversation held by intelligent people.


Laura said...

I agree! I'm enjoying reading the discussion, too, and it has kept me more interested in YALSA-BK than usual. (What's more annoying than an out of office message? 30 people responding to tell people to turn off their message.)

For the first three books, I was trying to defend Stephenie Meyer (mostly in my head) when people called the books nothing more than Mormon propaganda. Of course her beliefs influenced her writing, but I don't think she set out to convert readers or anything. She was telling the story she wanted to tell. And THEN the fourth one came out. And with all the wedding and the honeymoon and the baby I had a much harder time convincing myself that somewhere along in there, she didn't start to think of her fame as an opportunity. Not that there's anything wrong with that, exactly, I'm sure Protestant (or whoever) authors do it all the time. It just became much harder to defend and made me want to look back at the rest of the series.

Patti said...

oh that baby! Just the thought of the undead super growing vampire baby who is betrothed to someone who wanted to do her mom makes me gag.

I'm certain everyone's beliefs shape their writing. No one is a blank slate.

Part of what is interesting about literature is learning about how author's lives shape their writing (or at least to me it is anyway).

This series alone could be someone's PHD thesis. It makes for some fascinating discussions. A mix of religion, political climate, and youth response. Dang. Someone needs to get started.