On Critical Reception of Harry Potter and Twilight: “It’s Deja Vu All Over Again” (Part 4: Derivative)

For Part 1 of this post, click here. for Part 2, click here, for part 3, click here, or just scroll down the home page.

Good news and bad news today. The bad news is that neither of my cars was up to the trip to Connecticut this morning: no Jim Dale reading Goblet, no business lunch at Zossima Press, no conversation with Prof. Tumminio and the Eli Bulldogs about Christology and Harry Potter. Major downer. The only upside, besides not driving seven hours today, is I can forge ahead with the effort here in comparing the critical reception Ms. Rowling’s Hogwarts Adventures received with reviews of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.

Today is my last note about critics per se before detailing in four steps what I think they missed in both series, namely, why readers love these stories as much as they do. I’ve touched on dismissals and criticism according to core genre and to Culture War transgressions in terms of both religious touchstones and political correctness. Today let’s look at how some readers have attempted to diminish the significance of Harry and Bella by suggesting they are not originals, i.e., that the value and importance of the books about their adventures are derived from other and better sources that inspired and influenced Ms. Rowling and Ms. Meyer.

We have already read Stephen King’s recent comments that he “does know that Rowling read his stuff when she was younger.” We don’t know if she told him that at Carnegie Hall or if he knows that in his heart of hearts because his influence on her is so evident as to be undeniable; we do know that Ms. Rowling has never mentioned him as an influence or recommended him to her readers (All-Pros, please correct me if I’ve missed something in my searches!). I suspect that he knows this the way Orson Scott Card knows Ms. Rowling lifted much of her magical world from his best selling book, Ender’s Game.

Messrs. Card and King are both well known even venerated “Speculative Fiction” writers and both think their work was a significant influence on Harry Potter. Mr. King thinks Ms. Rowling is a “terrific writer,” “an incredibly gifted novelist,” even “one of the finer stylists in her native country.” In his review of Deathly Hallows, Mr. King, playing the part of Queen-making maven, gives the series an enthusiastic (?) two thumbs up: “Her characters are lively and well-drawn, her pace is impeccable, and although there are occasional continuity drops, the story as a whole hangs together almost perfectly over its 4,000-plus page length.”

Mr. Card on his side, in his review of Deathly Hallows, wrote, “J.K. Rowling has created something that not only took the world by storm, but also deserves to last, to become a permanent classic of English literature, and not just as ‘children’s fiction’.” He, too, then, is a fan. Where he and Mr. King part company is on the subject of their influence on the boy wizard.

Mr. King is happy to claim credit, lion king of fantasy fiction being the model for girl Simba, because he is sure Ms. Rowling “read his books when she was younger.” He seems only to think more of her for her success deriving from his genius. Mr. Card, in contrast, was furious when Ms. Rowling sued the webmaster turned author, Steve Vander Ark, because she felt “her words were stolen” in Mr. Vander Ark’s Lexicon. As he wrote:

Well, heck, I feel like the plot of my novel Ender’s Game was stolen by J.K. Rowling.

A young kid growing up in an oppressive family situation suddenly learns that he is one of a special class of children with special abilities, who are to be educated in a remote training facility where student life is dominated by an intense game played by teams flying in midair, at which this kid turns out to be exceptionally talented and a natural leader. He trains other kids in unauthorized extra sessions, which enrages his enemies, who attack him with the intention of killing him; but he is protected by his loyal, brilliant friends and gains strength from the love of some of his family members. He is given special guidance by an older man of legendary accomplishments who previously kept the enemy at bay. He goes on to become the crucial figure in a struggle against an unseen enemy who threatens the whole world.

This paragraph lists only most prominent similarities between Ender’s Game and the Harry Potter series. My book was published in England years before Rowling began writing about Harry Potter. Rowling was known to be reading widely in speculative fiction during the era after the publication of my book.

I can get on the stand and cry, too, Ms. Rowling, and talk about feeling “personally violated.”

The difference between us is that I actually make enough money from Ender’s Game to be content, without having to try to punish other people whose creativity might have been inspired by something I wrote.

Mine is not the only work that one can charge Rowling “borrowed” from. Check out this piece from a fan site, pointing out links between Harry Potter and other previous works: http://www.geocities.com/versetrue/rowling.htm. And don’t forget the lawsuit by Nancy K. Stouffer, the author of a book entitled The Legend of Rah and the Muggles, whose hero was named “Larry Potter.”

At that time, Rowling’s lawyers called Stouffer’s claim “frivolous.”

It’s true that we writers borrow words from each other — but we’re supposed to admit it and not pretend we’re original when we’re not. I took the word ansible from Ursula K. LeGuin, and have always said so. Rowling, however, denies everything.

And that was just for warm-ups.

Mr. Card goes on to say that Ms. Rowling’s real problem is she “has nowhere to go and nothing to do now that the Harry Potter series is over. After all her literary borrowing, she shot her wad and she’s flailing about trying to come up with something to do that means anything.” The desperation she feels, too, for “literary respectability” “makes her insane. The money wasn’t enough. She wants to be treated with respect.” “Talent,” he concludes, “does not excuse Rowling’s ingratitude, her vanity, her greed, her bullying of the little guy, and her pathetic claims of emotional distress…. Rowling has now shown herself to lack a brain, a heart and courage. Clearly, she needs to visit Oz.”

Ouch.

Mr. Card is not alone in thinking Ms. Rowling’s success stems from her generous and creative borrowings from other, better writers. These comments about and by Ursula Le Guin are telling:

Thirty years before Harry Potter, in A Wizard of Earthsea (1968), [Le Guin] sent Ged, also called Sparrowhawk, to a school for wizards in a pre-industrial archipelago of dragons and sorcerers governed by magic, death and the power of language. Le Guin, who also writes realist fiction, poetry, essays and books for young children, says: “I’m impatient with genre as a label of quality. But if we could stop critics being ignorant, genre would be interesting.”

Her credit to JK Rowling for giving the “whole fantasy field a boost” is tinged with regret. “I didn’t feel she ripped me off, as some people did,” she says quietly, “though she could have been more gracious about her predecessors. My incredulity was at the critics who found the first book wonderfully original. She has many virtues, but originality isn’t one of them. That hurt.”

Think Mr. Card and Ms. Le Guin are a couple of foxes sucking on sour grapes? Visit the Wikipedia ‘Harry Potter Analogues’ page and read about Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising, Jill Murphy’s The Worst Witch, Dianne Wynne Jones’ Charmed Life, Neil Gaiman’s Books of Magic, and Jane Yolen’s Wizard Hall. The authors themselves as well as their many readers think Ms. Rowling lifted much of her series from their work and the detailed correspondences are fascinating.

Ms. Wynne Jones says, for instance, “”I think Ms Rowling did get quite a few of her ideas from my books.” Ms. Yolen is even more direct: “I always tell people that if Ms. Rowling would like to cut me a very large cheque, I would cash it.” There is borrowing and there is theft. Many people clearly think Ms. Rowling’s artistry is so derivative that it warrants compensation as a kind of second-hand royalty payment. We’ve discussed elsewhere Ms. Rowling’s remarkable and ungracious denials of Inkling influence, especially in the cases of Lewis and Tolkien’s legendary seven volume stories, so it is little mystery to us that her refusal to discuss any influences more current than Austen, Nesbit, or Goudge leaves contemporary writers like Ms. Le Guin and their readers feeling “hurt” in the wake of Pottermania.

And Twilight?

Ms. Meyer like Ms. Rowling (and most writers of any merit) doesn’t care to discuss the meaning of her books. Unlike Ms. Rowling, the Twilight author even denies there is a moral or meaning beyond entertainment in her work. She was asked on Mugglecast 156 what the message of her stories was and she responded “there is no moral of the story, the point is to have a good time.” Don’t strain yourself with finding the Deep Hidden Meaning because the tale is about “having fun and entertainment, and nothing beyond that was intentional.”

(Before you throw up your hands and cry out, “What are we doing here then?!” remember with whom she was speaking and their probable response to, say, her LDS convictions about pre-marital sex or a discussion of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and Ender’s Game. She told an adult ABC reporter, for example, that the “themes are admittedly dark, but she says her books are about life, not death — love, not lust.” Her Mugglecast comment that “it’s just about having a good time” flies so much in the face of everything her characters choose to do in the Twilight Saga as well as her interview comments elsewhere about choice and free will that I think we can safely file this answer in the Bob Dylan Interview drawer. “Meaning? Ain’t got no meaning!” Much more on this subject in Part 6.)

Ms. Meyer also departs from Ms. Rowling, to whom she is often compared and about which comparison she is flattered but uncomfortable (“It’s terribly flattering to be compared to her, but there’s never going to be another J.K. Rowling”), in speaking openly about her the stories, plays, and even the popular music which were “inspirations” for her work. Check out the twelve inspiring works she talked about with Entertainment Weekly and you’ll find classics of literature like Jane Eyre and Anne of Green Gables, four rock bands, superhero cartoons and movies, the films Somewhere in Time, Baby Mama, and Stranger than Fiction, and, my favorite, the Home and Garden TV Channel.

The big four she uses as story templates — Pride and Prejudice, Romeo and Juliet, Wuthering Heights, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream — aren’t on that list. Neither are the several books and films she references in text repeatedly to good effect (I think immediately of the George Romero Dawn of the Dead zombie movie genre that explains much of what she is saying about contemporary life without God in New Moon). No Jane Austen on that list, either, though she has said elsewhere that, like C. S. Lewis, “I can’t go through a year without re-reading Austen.”

Shakespeare and Orson Scott Card are her other favorites whose works are “are the bar that I try to reach” because

both of these writers put their characters in fantastic, impossible situations. Then they make those characters so human, their reactions so real, that we instinctively know that we would respond just the same way if that situation ended up being possible after all—if there really were fairies wandering around sprinkling love dust on our eyes or if we really were at war with alien space bugs. The stories are perfectly true to human nature, despite the fantasy element.

Stephen King? Sorry. Not an influence or even an inspiration. “I just know I’m too much of a wuss for Stephen King’s books,” admits Stephenie Meyer. “I’m waaay too chicken to read horror.”

Let me confess as a Potter pundit that Ms. Meyer’s self-deprecating openness and seeming disregard for what others will say or think about her taste in music or reading is refreshing. Too often, Potter-philes are left by Ms. Rowling with contradictory statements or reserved remarks that can be interpreted anyway you’d like, so that coming to any conclusions about her interviews is good training to become a Kremlinologist or Vatican watcher. Ms. Meyer is relatively easy to read and, frankly, easy to admire in this respect.

But, of course, this same frankness also makes it easier to dismiss her as a derivative writer or as a writer period. Ms. Meyer has said she hasn’t read Stoker’s Dracula or the Anne Rice vampire novels. Critics, though, find this hard to believe, one saying flat out that Ms. Rice is “the godmother of the Twilight novels.” Laura Miller in her Salon.com article ‘Touched by a Vampire’ lays out how high school vampires are a natural maybe even inevitable Young Adult version of the Byronic, aristocratic vampire of the Stoker tradition:

Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula was the English bourgeoisie’s nightmare vision of Old World aristocracy: decadent, parasitic, yet possessed of a primitive charisma. Though we members of the respectable middle class know they intend to eat us alive, we can’t help being dazzled by dukes and princes. Aristocrats imperiously exercise the desires we repress and are the objects of our own secret infatuation with hereditary hierarchies. Anne Rice, in the hugely popular Vampire Chronicles, made her vampire Lestat a bisexual rock star — Byron has also been called the first of those — cementing the connection between vampire noblemen and modern celebrities. In recent years, in the flourishing subgenre known as paranormal romance, vampires play the role of leading man more often than any other creature of the night, whether the mode is noir, as in Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series of detective novels or chick-lit-ish, as in MaryJanice Davidson’s Queen Betsy series.

The YA angle on vampires, evident in the Twilight books and in many other popular series as well, is that they’re high school’s aristocracy, the coolest kids on campus, the clique that everyone wants to get into. Many women apparently never get over the allure of such groups; as one reader posted on Twilight Moms, “Twilight makes me feel like there may be a world where a perfect man does exist, where love can overcome anything, where men will fight for the women they love no matter what, where the underdog strange girl in high school with an amazing heart can snag the best guy in the school, and where we can live forever with the person we love,” a mix of adolescent social aspirations with what are ostensibly adult longings.

Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, an Inkling and Gothic fiction scholar who teaches at Belmont University and has edited Valancourt Books’ edition of the 19th Century gothic classic The Magic Ring, is bold enough to say out loud what I think Ms. Miller and other fans of the genres Ms. Meyer borrows from, builds on, and combines in Twilight want to say. In a nutshell, the Bella Swan adventures aren’t as good as the books in the tradition that preceded and paved the way for the excitement on the Olympic Peninsula. As Dr. Sturgis wrote at a Hog’s Head Twilight thread:

I find myself rather frustrated, however, much as I was when Cormac McCarthy’s The Road became all the rage and people acted as if he’d created the post-apocalyptic novel in a vacuum, rather than realizing he was writing in a long and compelling tradition, one with many, many representatives better conceived and crafted than The Road. It seems to me that some of those who have fallen head over heels with Meyer’s books simply don’t understand or appreciate the depth of the tradition behind it, and therefore they are overlooking the true gems to be found there — of which her works, like McCarthy’s, are arguably but a pale shadow.

Frankly, I don’t have an argument with either Ms. Miller or Dr. Sturgis. Just as Ms. Rowling’s works and, I think, the popularity of her novels are only intelligible in the context of the tradition in which those novels are written (hence my Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures, Unlocking Harry Potter: Five Keys for the Serious Reader, and The Deathly Hallows Lectures…) the same is true of Ms. Meyer’s Twilight Saga.

But what it is about the recasting of alchemical drama that Ms. Rowling does to make it meaningful in a gothic-schoolboy novel setting to advance postmodern meanings that succeeds so spectacularly with readers today? What is it about Ms. Meyer’s deconstruction of the vampire mythos in a Harlequin Romance on a Genesis Garden morality play template which has fostered a mania with millions of book lovers? To answer those questions, yes, you have to understand the traditions to grasp the materials or building block media which these writers are using. But you have to go further. If the tradition or noting the differences of the derivative, double-coded work were sufficient explanation, then Tom Brown’s Schooldays, Stoker’s Dracula, and Wuthering Heights would still be in the Amazon.com Bestseller lists.

To get at what creates Harry/Bella fascination means exploring artistry and meaning beyond templates and tradition to discover what has resonated in the human person that reads and adores these books. Beginning tomorrow with an overview of iconological criticism and why it has value even in work not conceived at multiple levels of meaning, I hope to talk about the four levels of meaning and what the critics who have dismissed or tried to explain away both the Hogwarts and Forks Adventures have missed at the surface and well below the surface.

Tory-Allen Mills wrote in the August 10, 2008 ‘News Review Interview: Stephenie Meyer’ in the Sunday Times (London) that Ms. Meyer has a thin skin and feels vulnerable to thumbs down criticism:

Meyer makes no attempt to present her work as literary genius, but it’s obvious criticism hurts. “It’s a bit hard for me: I’m very thin-skinned. I used to read all the reviews on Amazon.com. I could read 100 five-star glowing reviews and the one review that’s one-star – ‘This is trash’ – that’s the one that sticks with me.”

Again, the candor is such a contrast that I can’t help smiling. She’ll have to get some thick skin or stay away from the reviews, though, because, as we’ll discuss in the next few days, it’s very unlikely that her books will ever receive even the hesitant recognition that Card, King, and Rowling have won.

To be continued.

Comments

  1. Arabella Figg says

    I repeat what I said in Part 1. The comment on whether or not King influenced Meyer’s (or Rowling’s) work were the words of the interviewer. We don’t know King’s exact words. (What *is* quoted is his discussing his own stepping stone influences.) Please show some charity, here. I’m not a King fan, so I have no ax to grind on his behalf. But to excoriate him this way is, I feel, unfair. It’s too much like the media’s field day with conclusions re the “Dumbledore Is Gay” carnival after Rowling’s Carnagie Hall revelation.

  2. We’ve read King’s own words about Ms. Rowling’s genius as a writer and how bad Ms. Meyer is. I shared, too, how good Orson Scott Card thinks the Harry Potter novels are and how insecure and cowardly he believes Ms. Rowling is. What I didn’t include is Card’s thoughts on Ms. Meyer as a writer.

    Here, then, is Orson Scott Card on Twilight-mania in Time magazine last April:

    In an era when much of the romance genre has been given over to soft porn, and dark fantasy is peopled with one-dimensional characters bent on grim violence, many readers have become hungry for pure romantic fantasy—lots of sexual tension, but as decorous as Jane Austen.

    Meyer, 34, did not calculatedly reach for that audience. Instead, she wrote the story she believed in and cared about. She writes with luminous clarity, never standing between the reader and the dream they share. She’s the real thing. Still, who’d have thought it? Today Mr. Darcy is a vampire.

    In contrast with Mr. King’s terse dismissal, Card is charitable and generous.

  3. k2theforrest says

    Since I’ve started following this blog I’ve been deeply impressed by your ability to read deeper into these texts on so many levels. This little series that you are doing is no exception.

    Althought I am certainly no fan of Twilight, owing to the fact that I couldn’t stand being in Bella’s head for so long, I think that you have hit on so many good points in the value of the book.

    “She has many virtues, but originality isn’t one of them”

    I think that this is a fair statement for both of these writers. Neither have created something that is particularly original. We can see the literary works of several centuries woven throughout the pages of both of these series, but I don’t think that this is necessarily a short coming or a bad thing. Anyone in sales, marketing, or advertising will tell you that packaging matters. Any of the faculty at Biola University’s school of Interculture Studies will tell you that contextualization matters. (I am sure that there are many others out there who will use this term as well, but I learned about contextualization here, so alas it is my only point of reference for the moment).

    In blatant Christian-ese, what these authors seem to be doing is creating new wineskins. It is true, we have heard the same themes and messages from many other books and authors, but the genius of Rowling (and I suppose I must concede Meyers as well) is the ability to create engaging packing, to contextualize their message in a way that bridges the gaps and engages the heart, to make new wineskins in effect.

    As I didn’t read any of the Harry Potter books until this last November (I think that is right… John, when did you speak at Biola?), I did not follow interviews and public statements made by Rowling, but I have read a few now and one thing that has consistently bothered me is the severe inconsistency between the depth of her writing and the shallowness of her speeches and interviews. I could understand a reluctance to discuss the deeper symbolism and meaning in her work, it is a long literary tradition (I seem to remember Hemmingway saying that The Old Man and the Sea had no deeper meaning, ah, I found the quote “There isn’t any symbolism. The sea is the sea. The old man is an old man. The boy is a boy and the fish is a fish. The sharks are all sharks no better and no worse. All the symbolism that people say is sh**. What goes beyond is what you see beyond when you know.”). What bothers me is not that reluctance but her consistent habit of pretending that the symbolism is different than it is or much more shallow than it is. Why bother pointing people in completely the wrong direction?

    I look forward to your next post on the four levels of meaning.

  4. IstariErangua says

    I agree that there is no real point in faulting someone for following a literary tradition, borrowing from the classics (or in some cases not so much) that inspired them, my only thought on that is to give credit where credit is due. Rowling has been open about the sources she was inspired by, and even if she misses one here or there, perhaps an obscure book whose idea stuck with her even if she forgot the title or author, she’s given the credit to those she feels it was due to. As far as authors who feel like their toes have been stepped on, I wonder if it ever occurred to them that if they and someone like Rowling are all reading similar source material, might it not be the case that their work might have a lot of similar attributes? Not to say that this is the case always, but it’s always a possibility that should not be overlooked.

  5. The Nancy K. Stouffer lawsuit was thrown out of court and the court fined her $50,000 for lying to the court and doctoring evidence. The following site provides a nice summary of the case:

    http://www.economicexpert.com/a/Nancy:Stouffer.html

    I think it’s very hard to come up with something truly and completely original because so much has been written before and because it’s hard to forget completely what one has read. Rowling may well have read some of these other wizarding novels and not realized the extent to which she was borrowing from some of them, e.g. (perhaps) the idea of a hook-nosed potionsmaster from The Worst Witch. However, just because someone has already written a story about a young wizard battling evil doesn’t mean the next person can’t write such a story as long as it’s a different story. Of course, after Rowling’s category-busting hit, it will be very hard for anyone else to write something new and compelling about wizards.

    I haven’t been commenting on Twilight because I haven’t read the series (or Anne Rice or Dracula for that matter). I’m not particularly fond of vampires. I can’t say if Meyer is somehow indebted to Anne Rice, but vampires seem pretty stock characters, so just about any vampire story is going to have some basic similarities to previous stories.

    Consider another analogy – science fiction. I haven’t read much science fiction except for Heinlein, but there is a vast body of work out there. If I sat down right now and tried to write a science fiction story with only that background, avoiding copying Heinlein, I probably would end up with something with a lot of similarities to at least one and probably several works out there. And if I tried to read as much science fiction as possible before I started to avoid “copying” anyone else, I probably would give up the task of writing a new story in despair!

  6. Ha, whoops. I’d completely misremembered Orson Scott Card’s problem with J.K. Rowling. It was good to get that straightened out, and very interesting to read his comments about Stephenie Meyer.

    IstariErangua and Lily Luna, you have an excellent point about the origins of similarities in fiction. I think you’re absolutely right.

    Dr. Sturgis’ frustration over the failure to “understand or appreciate the depth of tradition” behind Meyer’s works is completely understandable. In the case of vampire fiction itself, unfortunately I am guilty as charged; much like Meyer, I am usually “waaay too chicken to read horror” (Jurassic Park, for instance, haunted my thoughts for months, leaving me decidedly uninterested in reading about other semi-sentient monsters.) Ah well. Maybe someday my inner Gryffindor will force its way through Stoker. Not before bed, though.

  7. Arabella Figg says

    Library Lily, you wriite: “IstariErangua and Lily Luna, you have an excellent point about the origins of similarities in fiction. I think you’re absolutely right.”

    To quote Solomon, there is nothing new under the sun. There are only so many stories and ways to tell them. I like the “new wineskins” concept, k2theforrest.

    Library Lily, I’m no horror fan myself (I get queasy at the gory and grotesque). However, I read Dracula last year at John’s recommendation and it’s a great book. Creepy in parts with definite sense of dread, but a huge wad of it is detective fiction. And it’s an epistolary novel (love those). Compared to today’s fiction/film gore, eh.

  8. IstariErangua says

    I tried to read Dracula at one point, but I get impatient quickly with the epistolary form, I had similar problems finishing The Color Purple. I went through a phase where I really liked vampires, around 6th grade, when I was reading Anne Rice, but after The Vampire Lestat I got turned off to the whole series (a graphic imagination for the scenes she’s describing coupled with a stomach flu will do that to you). Anymore I find vampires rather cliche, though on John’s recommendation I’m going to start Twilight tonight, just to have an educated perspective on it for discussion, and I do want to read Dracula someday.

    I’ve realized in my own writings, just for fun, that it is very hard to write anything original. I get ideas, I mix and match, and I tip the hat a great deal to my favorite writers, but as I doubt my work will ever get published, it’s probably not nearly as big a deal.

  9. Mrs. Figg, thanks for the info on Dracula. That makes me a lot less hesitant to read it, so I’ll have to put it on my list of things to read.

    Solomon’s words also came to my mind. I think actual originality is overrated; there’s a lot to be said for being a newly interesting part of an old, honored and beloved tradition.

  10. MagsGraphics says

    Mr. Granger – I’ve so enjoyed your book, ‘Finding God in Harry Potter,’ and I’ve quoted a portion of it on my “God Blog” in a post about “Finding God in Breaking Dawn.” I’d be honored for you to stop by when you have a chance:
    http://everydayplaces.blogspot.com/2009/02/i-found-god-in-breaking-dawn.html

    Thanks,
    Maggie B.
    everydayplaces.blogspot.com

  11. Up to not very long ago, “originality” used to be not a quality, but a vice. Up to the 19th Century, indeed until Romanticism and the glorification of the individual, literary texts were supposed to be variations on given subjects – the wineskins were what was really important. Shakespeare wrote I think (correct me) two plays with an original subject matter (A Midsummernight’s Drean and The Tempest) – the rest are based on pre-existent stories, motifs and even other plays.

    And even if there is no direct influence discernible in any given text, most narratologists agree that there are only a handful of stories ever told, if you go by “deep narrative structure”. My favorite example is by the late Prof. Dietrich Schwanitz, who compares “Hamlet” to Tennessee William’s play “Rose Tattoo”, which is basically Hamlet’s story seen in a mirror: all the essential elements are there, only turned around.

    Thus, any criticism of our two authors being derivative is pretty much beside the point. John, you nailed it with “If the tradition or noting the differences of the derivative, double-coded work were sufficient explanation, then Tom Brown’s Schooldays, Stoker’s Dracula, and Wuthering Heights would still be in the Amazon.com Bestseller lists.”

    I did enjoy the Laura Miller part about Count Dracula and the aristocrats though, since I haven’t really read much about Vampire-lore… not even Anne Rice (just seen the movies).

Speak Your Mind

*