BYU Professor Steve Walker Talks About Twilight

Listen to these podCast interviews and conversations originally posted at Twilight News Site for the insights of the BYU English professor about whom Stephenie Meyer said:

The professor who had the most influence on me was Steven Walker, mostly because he was just insanely brilliant. The way his mind worked was fascinating, and it helped me look at the literature we studied in so many new ways.

If you’re a Twi-hard, these two interviews and conversations are a must!


  1. Elizabeth says

    Well, I’m saving Bree for a car trip later this week, so I’ve been having happy listening rather than reading today, with this amazing podcast.
    W-ow! As I know I’ll have loads to say as I finish the whole thing, I wanted to note something I found very interesting in the first session. Dr. Walker, as he relates in the podcast, read Twilight, as a friend, long before the massive popularity outbreak. He saw, even then what a remarkable piece he had, not because it was written by a friend, but because of its own merits, and, as an academic, he was making that assessment without the baggage of popularity that has made academic Twilight scholars into outcasts ( I should know). Very interesting stuff, and John, as usual, bangs several nails right on the head. A super program, and well worth your time!

  2. Thanks for the link to this, John. It was a fantastic discussion – so far I am half way through the third segment, and most appreciating all I am hearing.

  3. maggiemay says

    The heat index is way in the 90s in virginia beach, so I just finished all the podcast segments. I learned so much about Mormon beliefs and am grateful for that. My only previous opinion about Mormons was that they are so annoyingly accomplished! They all seem to be working on their doctorates and have a mastery level of some instrument. In fact one of Bella’s comments regarding the Cullens’ proficiency in everything struck me as a possible jab at that aspect of their culture. Although with her success as an author, she more than measures up! I liked the comments about her redefining the gothic genre in some ways. As a christian parent, I was always uncomfortable about my girls reading Anne Rice vampire stories. As a parent of a teen girl, give me Edward anyday! A sparkly abstinence-commited man? No contest! As far as his age is concerned, the series seemed to be kind of a rehashing of the book Tuck Everlasting, written by Natalie Babbitt in the 70s. Jesse Tuck, is forever frozen at age 17 by the spring of youth found in the woods of young(like 10 years old) Winnie. Jesse forbids her to drink of the water, but she definitely falls in love with him, and he leaves the final decision up to her. I never would have gleaned any kind of Mormon connections from Twilight if you all hadn’t “spotlighted” them, but glad you did! One other question: John mentioned Harry Potter in the podcasts, (something about their superiority over Twilight..)but Steve Walker never responded at all, is there any sort of Mormon consensus about Harry? I’m curious because the general negative evangelical response to Harry has had some major theological implications for myself.

  4. I was interested to read you recognised the story line in Tuck Everlasting, maggiemay. That was one of my favourite books from childhood and I recently re-read it. You are right that the story line is very similar, with the family also suffering potential persecution if their longevity is discovered. The idea of some sort of miracle water by which they may receive this eternal life is also perhaps symbolic, given the links between Jesus as the source of living water, and the Holy Spirit being symbolised by both water and fire.

    It is also interesting in Tuck Everlasting to read how ultimately the miracle spring is destroyed by industrialisation of the wood where it had been kept hidden for so long. Similar to another fantasy novel I read long ago (Beauty) which postulated that the Catholic Church and Industrialisation would together steal and destroy magic from the world, leaving it in a state akin to 1984 if we did not do something (anything!) to prevent it. Both novels seem to be warning that the progression of technological development will ultimately lead to the exclusion of the miraculous from our world, and perhaps along with it, any chance for our souls’ eternal future.

    The most fascinating comparison to me, however, is how Winnie ultimately chooses a mortal life over the eternal life with Jessie, despite her love for him. This is a completely opposite ending to that of Twilight, and I have wondered idly if Meyer has also read it and did not like the ending either! I don’t think Babbitt is writing from quite the same positive view of the religious hope of eternal life that Meyer is writing from. Babbitt’s more upbeat ending in The Search for Delicious gives us an insight into her ideals: community spirit and perhaps more significant, sensate delights from a neo-pagan/Epicurean perspective.

    By the way, John, I listened to the discussion and found it fascinating, particularly the third and fourth segments. I kept thinking “no, no, go back and talk about that more!” and then a moment later I’d be thinking, “oh, yes, I wondered/thought that, keep going!”. I was very pleased to hear this interview. Did you go to Utah to record it? it sounded like you were all in the same room, not on different computers/phones in different locations. Thanks very much for working to make this interview possible, and thanks also to Steven Walker for sharing the insights of Meyer’s A grades in his classes, along with the LDS viewpoint from an intelligent, insightful and informed perspective!

Speak Your Mind