Sunday, December 20, 2009

I Cannot Live Without My Literature!

It's been too long, blogosphere. The intervening month has brought grading, sickness, and paper writing. And, most importantly, reading the Twilight Saga.

I could easily write one post per day on the antifeminist, antihumanist, or antipathy towards emotional stability themes of the novels... No wait. I could write a post per day on *any one of* those topics, from only *one* of the novels, and I would have a blog for a year. That might be an idea if I didn't think I would just get pissed at all the tween flames it would encourage.

But here's the thing:

Now don't get me wrong: if this marketing ploy works in getting a generation of rabid twihards to read Shakespeare, Austen, and Brontë, I'm all for it. You might remember a similar rant I made about Oprah's Book Club and the inclusion of Steinbeck, Márquez, Tolstoy, Faulkner.... Look, lady, you can't just make up for semi-trashy "women's lit" by bolstering your cred with "the classics."

But they used the same red and white flowers on black background jacket design, the same ridiculous taglines (If Pride and Prejudice is "the love that started it all," does that mean Romeo and Juliet wasn't chronologically first? And if, as Wuthering Heights suggests, "love never dies," how many people are going to expect vampires?), and the same FONT as Stephenie Meyer's books and website.

What really gets me, though, is the quotes they're using to sell these. "Mr. Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her." "I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!" "These violent delights have violent ends / And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, / Which, as they kiss, consume." And if none of that was blatant enough for you, Wuthering Heights has a seal on the cover boasting "Bella and Edward's favorite book!"

I don't know whether to be angry at how poorly they're representing these works or to be angry that someone came up with this design campaign before I did.