Leave Stephen Alone!

If you’re going to badmouth Stephenie Meyer you should be prepared to receive the consequences. What consequences? Let’s just say that civil debate over literary aesthetics is not be expected.

What that girl’s addressing rather passionately is Stephen King’s response in an interview with USA Today. When talking about authors who tap a certain audience very well, regardless of actual writing ability, he said, “Both Rowling and Meyer, they’re speaking directly to young people… The difference is that Jo Rowling is a terrific writer and Stephenie Meyer can’t write worth a darn. She’s not very good.”

Aw, snap!

Well, you can’t blame the Twilighters (“Bram who?”) for getting up in arms. That’s the most vicious use of the word “darn” this side of the Andy Griffith Show. The result is an unofficial spokesperson’s retort like the one linked above.

I’ll only say a couple things about nuttymadam3575’s nuanced apologia. For one, she doesn’t bother to address King’s actual criticism or show that her favorite author can actually write. But this doesn’t surprise us as much as her agreeing quite unawares to everything else King says. She growls and wails about the virtues of Meyer’s portrayal of abstinent teen love, as if King didn’t already give a casual kudos to that in the interview.

Also, she argues that Popularity(x) = Merit, where x is Something I Like. This is a curious approach. Because if sales are her barometer for book quality, then the 350-million-copy Mr. King ought to be the true idol of her worship, and why bother with someone who hasn’t sold a tenth of that? You’d think. Fascinating.

Noting the outcry, “Stephen King” had this to say in “response,” which is why you don’t mess with Stephen King if you value your self-esteem. But who can blame the Twilight fans for trying? It is after all an “uh-mazing bo-o-o-o-ok!”


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