Theric guest post: “Mormons might well be the new Catholics!”

Wm says: Hey look — it’s time for another guest post from Theric. Thanks, man. I was going to subject everyone to the playlist of insufferably indie-pop songs I write most of my fiction to.

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In DavidEdelstein’s NPR review of the movie inspired by that ubiquitous book by “Brigham University graduate Stephenie Meyer,” he describes the movie as, in “its undercooked way . . . enjoyable” despite its “barely functional” script. But I’m less interested in his view of the movie’s merits.

Check out this:

    The best thing in the film is Kristen Stewart [who plays the
    female lead], and she’s better at conveying physical longing than any
    of the actors playing vampires. She alone suggests how this series was
    born, in the mind of a young Mormon girl who had to sublimate like mad
    with thoughts of vampires. Duncan Lance Black, the screenwriter of the
    gay-rights activist Harvey Milk biopic with Sean Penn opening next
    week, is also a Mormon. With characters that veer between implosive
    sexual repression and explosive sexual liberation, Mormons might well
    be the new Catholics!

Although on A Motley Vision we have often spoken of becoming more like Catholics in the public eye, the fact is, we would much rather be Jews than Catholics. Being Catholic has more downsides than upsides — sure, you’re the default version of Christianity that everyone recognizes, but that means that everything from Nunsense to The Exorcist is necessarily a Catholic story. Jewish stories on the other hand bring to mind Fiddler on the Roof and Asher Lev — Jewish stories told by Jews. But Catholics? It’s open season on Catholics. Continue reading “Theric guest post: “Mormons might well be the new Catholics!””

Twilight on My Mind

Maybe you’re sick of Twilight by now; maybe you’re not.

Or maybe you’re just indifferent.

Whatever the case, I don’t think Stephenie Meyer’s going away any time soon; and with the highly anticipated release of Summit Entertainment’s Film–coming tomorrow to a theater near you!–it’s increasingly difficult to escape the hype. Continue reading “Twilight on My Mind”

Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism and the “erotics of abstinence”

For more on Stephenie Meyer and her work, visit Reading Until Dawn.

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The Time Magazine profile of Stephenie Meyer attempts to explain her work — the three Twilight books and an upcoming novel called The Host — by exploring Meyer’s Mormonism, claiming, in fact that although “the characters in Meyer’s books aren’t Mormons, but her beliefs are key to understanding her singular talent.”

It makes for a fascinating, almost convincing piece of analysis. The problem is that it tends to boil Mormonism down to a set of filters, the thou-shalt-nots, that narrow what can happen in her work.

For example in reference to Meyer’s vampire books, Lev Grossman writes:

What makes Meyer’s books so distinctive is that they’re about the erotics of abstinence. Their tension comes from prolonged, superhuman acts of self-restraint. There’s a scene midway through Twilight in which, for the first time, Edward leans in close and sniffs the aroma of Bella’s exposed neck. “Just because I’m resisting the wine doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the bouquet,” he says. “You have a very floral smell, like lavender … or freesia.” He barely touches her, but there’s more sex in that one paragraph than in all the snogging in Harry Potter.

Continue reading “Stephenie Meyer’s Mormonism and the “erotics of abstinence””