Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I love vampires. Come on, who doesn't? From Bram Stoker's "Dracula" to Anne Rice's "Interview with the Vampire," the vampire legend has always been sexually intriguing. The act of physical penetration (the bite); the exchange of bodily fluids; the prospect of immortality and the promise of eternal sexual desiriability has always intrigued. All very powerful concepts for those of us who remain woefully mortal.
But I am at a loss to explain the popularity of novelist Stephanie Meyers' young adult vampire series. I am currently reading her first "adult" novel, The Host, a science fiction story about an alien species taking over the human race, and while I find it to be a fascinating take on themes previously explored by other Sci-Fi novelists such as Robert Heinline's The Puppet Masters, I am at a loss to explain her vampire novels' popularity among todays teens and tweens.
Is it the romantic elements of impossible love? Can it be the allure of the beautiful stranger rescuing his true love from a life of mundacity? Or is it simply the expression of teen-aged angst amid the increasingly difficult lifestyle that modern technology presents? I don't know. '
A recent cover of the pop-culture-centric magazine Entertainment Weekly, found Meyers' fans in almost apoplectic fits of derision over it's depiction of the series' film versions of its two main characters. For many young folks, the Mormon novelist's creations have become almost Jungian in their depiction of the "impossible" love story. Almost a modern Romeo and Juliet, the "Twilight" series has come to represent an unattainable (and very unrealistic) portrait of romance that few, if any, of us can hope to achieve.
Meyers' prose (at least in The Host -I can't speak for the Twilight series) is pedestrian, at best, though her ideas are certainkly original. So, do her previous works speak to modern disaffected youth (aren't modern youth always disaffected?), or do they latch onto to deeper, even Jungian, concepts?
I, for one, will wait until the first film arrives to make judgement. Needless to say, I didn't need to read more than the first Harry Potter book to get where J.K. Rowling was going, nor do I need to read any of Meyers' young adult novels to understand what Twilight is all about. Sex sells, folks; whether you're a Mormon, Catholic, Jew or heretic.
By the way - I just put the trash down to the curb and discovered that there is a full moon tonight. Coincidence? Hmmm....

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