26th July 2012
Post with 413 notes
Anonymous asked you: I know you don’t like to speak about the HP/Twilight Wars, but one of the most frequent excuses I’ve seen of Reasoning with Vampires by Twihards is that “if Meyer did it, JK Rowling did it too!” Is there any accuracy in that?
I’m going to generalize my reply because I refuse to contribute to the literary Hatfield-McCoy feud. Feel free to apply my answer to other protestations of “…[choose your own literary masterpiece] did it, too!”
Also, when I use the pronoun “you” in this answer, I’m addressing the apologists, not Miss Annie Onymous.
- Are you sure you really want to use the “… but all of the other kids are allowed” argument? It didn’t work with your mom when you were a ten-year-old; it’s not going to work as a literary defense with me. Virginia Woolf jumped into a river — does that mean you should, too?
When people point out, “You could do [what I’m doing on RwV] with any book,” I agree. I’m not sure what argument you think we’re having here. The conflict deflates like a flan in a cupboard. If you show me examples where [insert author’s name here] did the same thing Meyer did, I might be with you on that. I’m not going to give Meyer a pass on stupid sentences because Tolstoy also wrote stupid sentences. Raise your standards, people. Stop looking around for crap to facilitate lowering the bell curve.
- Suppose Catherine Earnshaw and Bella Swan took the same algebra test, and Catherine got an A because she filled in correct answers for all of the problems except number 34, and Bella only got 10% of the answers correct. Should Bella get the same grade because, Hey, they both got number 34 wrong? If Shakespeare were ticketed for driving 30 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone, and Stephenie got pulled over for going 85 miles per hour along the same stretch of road, Stephenie’s fine would be more costly than Shakespeare’s because Stephenie’s violation was excessive.
Yes, other novels contain annoying blips. The abundant problems in Meyer’s writing transcend mere irritation and achieve that special level of chafing usually isolated to the bleeding nipples of marathon runners.
- Superman looks a little silly wearing undies over his tights, but I would look like a damn fool wearing pink panties over my jeans. My point? The execution matters. Some authors can pull it off. The way E.E. Cummings “misused” commas is not the same as the way Stephenie Meyer abuses commas. This purposeful run-on sentence is not the same as Meyer’s minivans. So what if Shakespeare did it first? Stephenie Meyer is not Shakespeare.
Yeah, I’m also looking at you people who argue about the artistic prerogative to use sentence fragments, conjunctions at the beginning of sentences, unconventional commas, et cetera. Yeah, these “mistakes” can have poetic value, but that doesn’t automagically mean they do have merit.
- Do you really care about the mistakes in other books? You don’t need to blame-shift red ink onto other novels. Let’s be honest: You think I’m being unfair about the technical aspects of Stephenie Meyer’s writing just because I don’t like it/her/Twilight, and you’re partially right. Got me there! If I liked the characters or the plot, I’d be more forgiving. Other books have redeeming elements to act as the spoonful of sugar helping the media go down in the most delightful way. Twilight does not.