Oh Stephenie Meyer, how you irk me.

She told Variety Magazine, "I get further away [from Twilight] every day. I am so over it. For me, it's not a happy place to be. What I would probably do is three paragraphs on my blog saying which of the characters died."  [in regards to Stephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight series]

Does Stephenie Meyer get to be sick of Twilight?  There are those of us who sighed heavily when it first came out and who got progressively more “over it” as the books and then movies dragged on, inspiring feverish devotion and dopey tattoos everywhere.  Perhaps it’s Bella Swan’s passiveness and lack of any character trait other than “clumsy” or “wistful”.  Perhaps it’s that Edward Cullen breaks into her room to watch her sleep like a relentless and very creepy stalker which is attributed to “romance”.  Perhaps it’s the fact that members of the heroic Cullen vampire clan are “vegetarians”, refusing to feed on humans and instead preying on animals.  Perhaps it’s all the werewolves.  Perhaps it’s the soppy high school teen-vampire-werewolf love triangle.  Perhaps it’s the fact that the vampires don’t burn up and/or lose their powers in sunlight, they sparkle.  Like some sort of glittery vamp-themed My Little Pony.  Perhaps it’s just that I really can’t abide the further watering-down of vampires, the romanticizing to the point of de-fanging, the subverting of the monster into boyfriend.  Perhaps it’s that Stephenie Meyer is indeed terrible at creating lifelike characters and, in all honesty, at writing full stop.  Perhaps it’s that Twilight inspired the misogynistic, highly unsexy “erotic” 50 Shades series which, alright, isn’t Meyer’s fault but still irks me on levels I can’t even accurately describe. 

With so much against Twilight as a literary option and cinematic franchise, it was at least refreshing that Meyer’s housewife-to-bestseller story was inspiring and very much unforeseen.  Regardless of arguments for her lack of writing skill, the dreadfully needy co-dependence of Bella, and the overall neutering of vampires as a whole, Meyer nonetheless had a dream and created books that managed to strike a chord and make her a famous published author with a platform.  She wrote out her vision and managed the impossible: near-overnight success in publishing.  She’s a JK Rowling without the depth or skill.  Those characters lofted her to a place most writers can only dream of.  And for that at least I could give her credit.  So to now hear her sigh and claim disenchantment with the series that made her is one of more irksome things I’ve yet read from her and that’s saying a lot.

I understand to some degree the disillusionment that would come from having your books roundly panned from a critical standpoint, from having your characters eviscerated, from having to defend their choices time and again.  The fans never wavered in their devotion, though, and the critical backlash didn’t touch an ounce of Twilight’s success so I don’t quite accept that it’s enough of a damper to turn her off her own characters altogether.  I can even accept a level of exhaustion after the rollercoaster ride of the last few years between books and movies.  What I can’t accept is stepping back and washing her hands of the series.  No, Stephenie Meyer, you don’t get to do that.  You created this monstrosity.  You inflicted Bella and Edward and Jacob and insipid dialogue and sparkly vampires on us and now you of all people do not get to be “over it”.  I don’t care if it’s not a happy place for you.  It’s not a happy place for me either but I haven’t had a choice about being inundated by the world domination of the Twilight franchise.  You had a choice – you could have kept your vampire wet dream to yourself, hidden it in your private journal to read on your own time or maybe share with your best friend for a giggle.  But no, you chose to publish.  You profited off it and it gave you a platform and a production company and you owe it your gratitude regardless of your embarrassment now.  You’re the mother of this beast and you don’t get to shrug it off.  It’s on you.  The rest of us who have been trying to survive the damage you’ve inflicted on vampire-kind and literature are over it but you don’t get to be.  “I wrote Twilight” will be etched on your grave and that’s your cross to bear.  There is no absolution for you.  Own it.

 

- Corinne Simpson