Much like the Bella Swan vs Jane Eyre post, this is one of those posts that seems (on the surface) to be completely unnecessary.
I might as well make a post about why Saturday is better than Monday, or why music is better than construction noises.
And yet, there IS a need (not the least because people seem interested in it).
Harry Potter and Twilight are often lumped into the same category by two groups of people: People Who Haven’t Read Harry Potter and Idiots.
- JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyer are both thirty-something mothers who wrote a story and hit the jackpot.
- Neither of them was a professional writer before they hit it big, unlike authors like Stephen King, who carefully carved their way into the writing business short story by short story, edited paper by edited paper.
- Both of them got the idea for their story seemingly by divine inspiration: Rowling with a mental image of a boy wizard on a train, and Meyer with a dream about a horny vampire.
- Both series deal with fantasy.
- Both series are attractive to young readers, and were excellent at getting 12 year olds to turn off their Xboxes for a while.
- Both series have spawned a set of hardcore fans who are, quite frankly, a little odd and fanatical (although Harry Potter fans argue that they use much better grammar than “Twihards”).
- Both series have spawned extremely popular and high-grossing movies, moving the phenomenon out of the bookstores and deeper into pop culture.
The exterior similarities are such that those who have read neither series tend to view both as pop culture nonsense; so much litarary slush blown far out of proportion to their worth.
These people are only half right.
Twilight is all of that. With writing reminiscent of fan fiction, and less polished than you would find in your standard Harlequin romance, Twilight is slush. I congratulate Stephenie Meyer on her success, but slush it is none the less.
The Harry Potter books, on the other hand, are modern classics which belong on the shelf next to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Chronicles of Narnia. If anything, I find them more entertaining than Tolkien and richer (and less didactic) than Lewis.
The only thing that Stephenie Meyer shares with C.S. Lewis and (sometimes) Tolkien is sexism.
So that will be my focus of my first rant.
Oh yeah, well, I tried to write a single post about all the ways in which Harry Potter is amazing and Twilight is not, but it was like trying to cram the UNIVERSE into a teaspoon.
This is the best I could do:[vimeo vimeo.com/26881967]
So… yeah, I’m going to be breaking this up into several rants.
Hope you’re cool with that.