Mailbag: New ‘Twilight’ Novella? Pullman Piece?

Here are some notes from my HogPro inbox about the new Stephenie Meyer and Philip Pullman books and about why each author writes books like these:

On the new Meyer novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, you can read the Press Release here and the Publisher’s Weekly piece here (H/T to Ann-Laurel and Pallas Athena). The short version is that Mrs. Meyer was writing a lot of notes for the Eclipse movie makers and had planned a short piece for her Twilight Guide expanding on Bree Tanner’s life as a New Born, sleepless in Seattle; the story became too big as an add-on for the guide and, no doubt, Little Brown was happy to get another Twilight title out there. Perhaps to short circuit the accusation that this is a money-grab, though, Mrs. Meyer is offering the book online for free as a “thank you” to her fans.

Two quick notes: [Read more…]

‘Alchemists Everywhere!’ A HogsHead PubCast

Part 1 of the conversation I had with Travis Prinzi about literary alchemy is up at The Hog’s Head. Mr. Prinzi, author of Harry Potter and Imagination, and I have been talking publicly and privately for years about alchemical symbolism in Ms. Rowling’s fiction but this PubCast exchange centers on the remarkable explosion of excellent work — and also the most popular series of novels in print today — all of which feature traditional alchemical story scaffolding: not only Harry Potter, but Twilight and The Hunger Games as well. We try to explain why this is happening and why the alchemical formulae work across widely divergent genres, auctorial focus, and themes as well as they do. Tune in!

NPR Bashes Twilight: Anyone Surprised?

National Public Radio’s ‘Monkey See’ weblog yielded to popular requests for a reading of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga and the result is predictable. It is “a necessary but painful exercise we are obliged to do,” yields to “the woman really cannot write,” which brings us where you probably knew we were headed eventually “Bella Swan is not a proper feminist or likable person.” The three literary pigs of aestheticism (wordsmithing is all), deconstruction (political correctness), and literary taxonomy (genre revulsion) are all on display — and the inability of anyone using these tools to explain the popularity of the books or even to contemplate seriously the possibility that the woman actually is delivering the goods readers wants is demonstrated. [Read more…]

Twilight Guest Post: ‘On Romeo and Juliet’

I have really been neglecting my Twilight readers here because of the work I’ve been doing to unlock the artistry and meaning of The Hunger Games, but I hope after my trip to Phoenix and Tuscon next week to start some conversations about the status quo of ‘Meyer Studies,’ if you will, with special attention to essays at Twilight News Site and articles like this one in Christianity Today.

Until then, though, here is a Guest Post by North Carolina’s Ms. Misty Dotts about Shakespeare’s influence on the Twilight Saga. Enjoy! [Read more…]

Welcome to the All-New!

I suppose it looks the same but, really, this site is changing a lot.

I’ve neglected this weBlog for weeks because I’ve been on the other Professor blog I write, ForksHighSchoolProfessor, promoting Spotlight on Twilight, and reading non-Potter titles, most notably, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. That didn’t leave much time for more Potter reading, thinking, and writing than the preps I have to do for The Leaky Cauldron’s PotterCast Potter Pundit segments.

But late last week I realized I should focus all my public writing time in one spot — and of course that spot is here.

What that means for you if you’re a HogwartsProfessor regular (‘HogPro All-Pro,’ get the coffee-cup, t-shirt, and hoodie) or newbie is many more posts on a lot more subjects. [Read more…]