'Twilight' Is Now Required College Reading

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twilightMary Shelley is rolling over in her grave. Bram Stoker is probably clawing the way out of his. Why, you ask? Because Twilight is now being taught with their gothic classics (Frankenstein and Dracula) in a college literature class. And it’s not just any college literature class. It’s an honors fiction course at Ohio State University. Can you even believe that? Even if you loooooove Twilight, can you believe it?

In what world does the drivel put forth by Stephenie Meyer even come close to being on the same level as the classic social commentary and innovation of writers like Mary Shelley?

I’ve been scratching my head to the bone trying to figure this thing out.

Shelley and Stoker were hugely popular writers in their time. If fan fiction had existed back then, doubtless there would have been plenty of it. Stephenie Meyer is hugely popular, even if her actual skill is lacking. So then does the mere popularity and success of a work validate it as a legitimate piece of literature? By that measure, we should also be teaching Stephen King -- who at least has mastered the fundamentals of writing.

Are the three really more similar than we think? All wrote romance-horror stories. Perhaps they are worth the side-by-side comparison on that point alone. Oh! Except for one small thing. Shelley and Stoker also made grand social commentaries on life in their day. Their books were full of statements on the place of women, the power struggle between classes. As much as I can tell, Twilight might bump into the difference between good and evil, but no statement is made.

All three are absolutely cultural icons, though it remains to be seen whether Twilight will stand the test of time the way the other two have or if it will fade into the ... twilight. But does being a cultural icon classify you to be studied by an honors literature class?

I can only hope that the professor of the class assigned the book in order to make a statement about the current state of literature, to hold Twilight up as an example of what not to do. Seriously though, this book belongs (at best) in a class on Young Adult fiction. Teaching it in an honors class is just wasting everyone’s time and money. Worse, potentially teaching that this is the kind of literature we should be looking to for our new classics, that this is the quality of book we should be reading is just ... dangerous.

What do you think about Twilight being taught in college courses?

 

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40 Comments

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RanaA... RanaAurora

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO *deep breath* OOOOOOOOOOOO!


 


Unless they're going to use it to show that it's TERRIBLE WRITING WITH A HIDEOUS PLOT AND POORLY BUILT CHARACTERS and yet somehow appealing to mass audiences DESPITE that!


(and I read the books and liked them and STILL know they're total trash!)

pharo pharo

Umm, I would not take a class that required me to read that.  I refuse to read it outside of a college course let alone be forced to read it for a class. 

nonmember avatar Anon

I don't think it should be taught in college classrooms or any other classrooms. But I don't remember anything about Shelley being extremely popular in her day. I do remeber that she spent a lot of her life trying to publish her husband's works, a man she started an affair with at 17 until his wife committed suicide so he was free to marry again. They had a short sad life together. As for Stoker, during his life he was known as being an assistant to an actor. He wasn't known as a great author. Twilight though teenage fantasy it is, and it's writer, look pretty good when compared to the two writers you are applauding here.

Knitt... KnittinMama

I was already nervous about my kids future education. Now Im downright scared for them.

lovin... lovinangels

Maybe they are going to retitle the course "Trendy Vampire Trash?

angev... angevil53

my take on this sort of thing is this: people read things that interest them! i read all of these books, and while i agree that it is poorly written it was a good read. you felt the characters and still wanted to understand more about them. a lot of kids could read this and personalize with someone in the cast of these books. reading early in life builds a solid foundation for reading and writing later on in life. we read kids book to them bc they entertain them, they are not great books but it gets them into it. if someone was more willing to pick up another book bc they read this one i be very happy about it. i think soon we will see this book in hs.

sodapple sodapple

that's just wrong!!!!! i hope they do not decide to include that on a high school curriculum as well. i'll start homeschooling!

nonmember avatar Lena

yay, I would LOVE to go to that college!! :)
young people want, beside the classics, to read/study some books of their era.
And its not just the writting that makes a book, its the STORY! ;)

starr... starrsitter

Funny thing, I DID actually read this during my Master's program.  However, that was because it was a YA Literature class for my M.S. in Library Science.  It was one of 40 during a semester with 2 other classes, so it's kind of a blur.

nonmember avatar Lena

yay I would LOVE to go to that college!! :)
you know young people want, besides the classics, to read/study some literature of their time.
And its not just the writing that makes a book, but the STORY! ;D

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