New Twilight Films Are In The Works – A Feminist Project!

Why do I think this is important news? I have argued in Spotlight and on this site against the tide of critical opinion that Mrs Meyer’s work is feminist. The meme is that her stories, especially the Forks saga, are demeaning to women, that her heroines are blandly submissive and unthinking, and reading about these poor role models will discourage girl readers from being brave and bold.

For why all of that is nonsensical, please read this explanation of why Stephenie Meyer is the Latter-day Saint Kate Chopin. [And then read Spotlight!]

Her efforts to support women in Hollywood, consequently, are best understood, not as a publicity stunt to counter the risible pigeon-holing of her work as anti-feminist, but as work that is consistent with the soul and substance of her written work.

Just sayin.’ For links to stories around the web on this project — and how to vote for your choice — make the jump!
[Read more…]

Stephenie Meyer ‘So Over’ Twilight? Yes! and No, Not Really…

It occurred to me when writing yesterday’s post, which began with Stephenie Meyer’s refusal to answer a question about abortion rights, that her refusal to answer, her refusing to answer, was probably driven by humility and, perhaps, by a little practical wisdom. Was the reporter really looking for insight on the issue? Or was he hoping she’d oblige him with the PC ammo that critics would use (citing his interview as a source) to bash Mrs Meyer once again as a neanderthal nobody from nowhere?

That’s a rhetorical question. I’m guessing she could see the downside of stating her beliefs about the rightness or wrongness of abortion, either agreeing with or standing apart from the position of her LDS faith. Either way, it’s headlines and unpleasant blowback from all sides of the political spectrum. By saying, in effect, “I’m an artist, ask me about my work, numbskull,” she neatly sidestepped the pathetic faux controversy that would have blown up her life if she had answered.

If you think I’m exaggerating how anything she says is misconstrued or her fatigue in being treated this way by the Fourth estate, read her answers to this interview in Variety and the statement she had to put out later on her website to calm the back-lash:

[Read more…]

Celebrity Writers: What Socrates, Stephenie, and Solzhenitsyn Teach Us About the Insight of Poets Outside Their Inspiration

Thank you to everyone who has sent me and my family Christmas greetings on Orthodox Nativity. Joyous Noel! On to business!

Although the meme survives that everyone who reads Stephenie Meyer with admiration or fondness is a loser (and the contrary, those who despise her work and her fans are by definition winners, at least in comparison), I confess to being a Meyer-Reader and an admirer. I don’t recognize myself in the people being ridiculed in the Twilight of Our Literacy posts — 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10, thank you Alix —  and I do see my reflection, an unpleasant snobbish side, alas, in the attitude of those rolling their eyes at others who are beneath them in literary taste or acumen.

I say all that to introduce an aside Mrs. Meyer made in a recent interview about celebrities, politics, and the real world. And the wisdom of knowing when your opinion isn’t worth the consideration that many might give it for all the wrong reasons:

Stephenie Meyer on Twilight, feminism and true love

I ask whether she’s anti-abortion, and she says: “You know what? I never talk about politics, because that is one of my pet peeves, when people with any measure of celebrity get on their soapbox and say: ‘You should vote this way.’ First of all, celebrities don’t know anything about real life. They live in an ivory tower … I lived in the real world for 30 years, enough to know I’m not in it now.”

There are author-celebrities, alive and dead, whose view on political issues I do want to read. The two I think of immediately are both dead — C. S. Lewis and Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn — and I can honestly say I do not hold with the opinions of either with respect to partisan issues of governance. Their ideas, however, on all things including politics are more than worth my time and serious consideration because what made these men great artists and Christians, their gravitas and spiritual achievements won the hard way, demands my respect and deference, if not total agreement.

Do such giants walk the earth today? I assume they do but their names do not come to mind (please educate me in the com boxes below with your literary-celebrity guru list). I will add that I believe that the muses of more than one artist are more perceptive and more edifying than the expressed political positions of those they inspire — and who believe their fame entitles, even obliges them to speak out, truth to power!, on issues and concerns having little to do with what made them famous and without the depth or breadth of understanding that such commentary requires, if only in order not to be just psychological discharge or another voice of the age in which we live.  [Read more…]

Only an Allusion?: Star Trek Into Darkness and the Death of Literary Literacy

I don’t get to see that many movies in the theater, although I do serve as our Hogwarts Film-Fancier in Chief. Now that we’re done with new Harry Potters and Twilight films (at least until the inevitable re-boots), I’m patiently waiting for Catching Fire this fall, but I did recently get to catch Star Trek into Darkness. I am an unabashed Star Trek fancier as well, having really enjoyed writing “Shakespeare (and the Rest of the Great Books) in the Original Klingon” for the newly released Star Trek and History. Though I enjoyed the film very much, I noticed that it was loaded with plenty of wonderful allusions to other pieces of the Star Trek universe, but somewhere along the way, had lost one of the most important features of that universe: its deft use of literary allusions. So join me in the transporter room as we beam around the beautiful and complex world of literary allusions and think about why it’s so troubling that we see them less and less these days, in both books and films, or that people don’t recognize them when they see them. Energize!
[Read more…]

Katniss and Bella Fight to the Death in Meadow!

And the bad news from Forks just keeps getting worse. The fourth fire since November has burnt down a building in the hometown of the Cullens and Swans, this one the big garage where they kept the fire truck… Between the deaths in the meadow at the start of the Hunger Games on the Olympic Peninsula, look for an exodus from Forks soon.

Hat tips to Dave for the Forks news and to Sharon for the video!