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Like her or not Meyer created something the popular conscious really ......consumed?....(I wanted to write enjoyed or devoured but it just feels wrong). Being an "Outsider artist" probably helped her, not being aware of set tropes and choosing to ignore how common lore stated things should work. I'll admit I when I first read the book I thought sparkling vampire to be an interesting idea and then I read the rest of the book.

Here's the thing I don't read to criticize the work. I don't read looking for sentence structure or grammar (assuming that what is written isn't so bad as to be unreadable). These things help to enjoy what I'm reading but they, mostly, register subconsciously.

I'm reading to enjoy the story. Most people are the same. If you can spin a tale that people are interested in you don't need a formal education in how things are supposed to be done to make people read it.

Falseprophet:

With regards to Twilight, I have no problems with people bringing up the stupid characters, the plots where nothing happens, the sexual politics, etc. I get annoyed when people start arguing "vampires and werewolves don't work that way", as if zoologists have observed these fictional creatures in their natural state and made broad conclusions about them. I get this from the vampire LARPers I used to hang out with, many of whom perfectly accept that vampires from different fictional universes almost never work exactly the same, but for some reason Twilight is the one singled out for this.

You're damn right, Captcha!

I couldn't agree more. They were nitpicking that so bad when that was probably the only good part (as in a new fresh idea governing the two very fictional species) of the story. All I could think was, "all of the bad parts of that series, the lackluster writing, the shallow characters, the just uncomfortable and unbelievable character interactions, and your complaint is that werewolves and vampires aren't really like that?"

I don't know bob, it seems to me that Meyers books are just the "Expendables" of the movie industry. They are not trying to be art they are just trying to be fun and enjoyable and there's nothing wrong with that just because it's not aimed at the "bro's"

Epic Fail 1977:

MovieBob:
Are you familiar with the term Outsider Art?

Nope.

MovieBob:
It more or less means what it sounds like it means; an art world term for artwork made by people who are not themselves part of said world, i.e. they don't have formal art education, training or even don't self-identify as artists.

OH MY GOD are you serious? Am I reading this right? Formally educated "art people" have an actual named category into which they put all art that is created by plebs who lack a formal education in art? Oh my god. Oh my god. I think I need to sit and think about this fact for a while. And then read about it.

More or less, though in fairness it at least started out with mostly noble intentions. The animating idea was that, by the mid-20th Century, the art world and art-academia world had gotten much too intertwined; so you basically had multiple generations where most of the artists were people who went to art school (and thus had overly similar backgrounds and frames of reference) and too much of the art getting made and shown was reacting/decontructing/commenting on or about OTHER art more than anything else - and that this wasn't healthy, because you were missing out on art being made as honest creative expression of the self. So, applying "art world" exposure and critical-analysis to things like "amateur" paintings or roadside wood-carvings or "junk sculptures" that might possibly be brilliant but otherwise wouldn't be noted.

Unfortunately, it got commodified on the upscale/trendy "collectors scene" VERY quickly and it became more about the "characters" making the art than the art itself (i.e. "this is interesting, but it'd be worth MORE if the 'artist' was a one-eyed hillbilly frog-catcher who'd never seen a TV before!") which is where the condescending angle crept in.

valium:
I get the feeling that the "art critics" judging "outside art" as Bob puts it in this article, might actually be absolutely correct, but that fact is drowned out by it being seemingly blind hate.

Yeah, I'm not sure the problem is the critics so much as the hate bandwagon.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not a Twilight fan. I just think the bandwagon is a little ridiculous.

Outsider Art is also an extremely broad term, it is not always used in such negative aspects. Mainly I see it used as a category of art made by people who don't actively try making a living with their art. Like a mechanic who in his spare time uses spare parts to make a sculpture -- Outsider Art.

Hate to be the one to point it out, Bob, but you didn't review all 5 Twilight movies for The Escapist. You reviewed the first one (which included the immortal line "Having to watch this movie is the most pain I've experienced at the hands of something beloved by preteen girls since I got kicked in the nuts by a pony") when you were still independant.

valium:

Chaos999:
This is why I mostly hate critics. If someone makes millions with books and movies there has to be something about them that people like.
The first movie I liked the second was not that good, but still better than a lot of movies I've seen and I saw many. And by many I'm probably in your category. Anyway, the third I haven't seen it yet. My critic isn't only about Twilight but about movies which make many million, but critics still hate them.
But let's get to the point. No matter what anyone says if that many people were paying for a third movie. Then they had to like the others and no matter how you turn it, this is art. Even if it goes against everything that defines art and even if every critic in the world hates it. In the end that's their problem because it has to do something right or so many people wouldn't watch it.
I understand that critics should present a deeper knowledge about the material, the acting and the presentation of movies. But like all art rules don't apply to it. And most critics judge by predetermined rules. But art cannot be judged.
I don't say you have to like it but as a critic you have to accept it as art even if you don't understand it or like it.
(The last sentence made me laugh. I hope you understand why :) )
And by your statements I am happy that you slowly get to understand this.

If there are many big errors in my text let them be. My written English is still bad:)

That argument does not hold up, millions saw the second and third Transformer movies and they are objectively god awful.

Actually it does. If the first movie was that bad I wouldn´t watch the second and if the second was that bad I wouldn´t watch the third. I don´t know about you but I think most people wouldn´t watch it as well. Besides being a "good movie" isn´t the point. I am just saying they have to do something right or people wouldn´t come back.

I liked the host. i was surprised as, after all, look who wrote it. Haven't seen the movie yet, ill probably hate it afterwards.

I have never seen, or read Twilight, nor do I intend to, so I do not feel qualified to talk on the subject of Stephanie Meyer's work but to be honest when reading this I got the impression that, she was so inept that Bob couldn't help but point it out, yet so sincere that he felt guilty for picking on her

MovieBob:

Epic Fail 1977:

MovieBob:
Are you familiar with the term Outsider Art?

Nope.

MovieBob:
It more or less means what it sounds like it means; an art world term for artwork made by people who are not themselves part of said world, i.e. they don't have formal art education, training or even don't self-identify as artists.

OH MY GOD are you serious? Am I reading this right? Formally educated "art people" have an actual named category into which they put all art that is created by plebs who lack a formal education in art? Oh my god. Oh my god. I think I need to sit and think about this fact for a while. And then read about it.

More or less, though in fairness it at least started out with mostly noble intentions. The animating idea was that, by the mid-20th Century, the art world and art-academia world had gotten much too intertwined; so you basically had multiple generations where most of the artists were people who went to art school (and thus had overly similar backgrounds and frames of reference) and too much of the art getting made and shown was reacting/decontructing/commenting on or about OTHER art more than anything else - and that this wasn't healthy, because you were missing out on art being made as honest creative expression of the self. So, applying "art world" exposure and critical-analysis to things like "amateur" paintings or roadside wood-carvings or "junk sculptures" that might possibly be brilliant but otherwise wouldn't be noted.

Unfortunately, it got commodified on the upscale/trendy "collectors scene" VERY quickly and it became more about the "characters" making the art than the art itself (i.e. "this is interesting, but it'd be worth MORE if the 'artist' was a one-eyed hillbilly frog-catcher who'd never seen a TV before!") which is where the condescending angle crept in.

Sounds like it would've been more accurate to label their own work as "insider art" and leave everyone else's just named "art". In any case it's just bizarre to me. Doesn't such a categorisation undermine the whole concept of art itself? Or maybe it's just the wording. Information on the web regarding the origins of the term "outsider art" was easy to find and very consistent (though my googling turned up little on the current use and meaning). It seems it was originally called 'Art Brut' (French) which is a much more accurate and less condescending term, and does not translate into anything like "outsider art". I think it says something about the English-speaking world that we took an honest, even flattering term for pure art and translated into something that reeks of snobbery.

Interesting points about outsider art but they don't apply to Stephanie Meyer because she got her book deal through nepotism.

Outsider art or not, the fact that the aliens are called "souls" sets off my preacher sense. I don't enjoy being preached to in movies no matter what clever trope is used to disguise it. The Invasion had a similar plot - aliens invade Earth, possess everyone, bring world peace, but a few people revolt etc etc. However it didn't have any religious subtext or weird love parallelograms. There's a number of reasons why I never watched Twilight or for that matter any of the Narnia flicks. But many of them were eerily similar, Twilight with its clever vampire morality and Narnia with Jesus as a lion, both founded upon the belief structures of the authors. This is just another teen flick that I'll now actively avoid watching since it's guaranteed to tie up a daily slot on FX as soon as it hits DVD.

bearlotz:

One can only imagine what these same projectionists will make of The Host, which is yet another instance of an impressively novel, creative reworking of the alien invasion template

The "Soul" aliens are basically the Yeerks from the Animorphs series. I'm pretty sure there was even a book in that series where one of the main characters gets possessed, learns to cooperate with her parasite, and eventually parts with it on reasonable terms. I'm not sure "novel" is what I'd go with to describe the story of The Host, maybe "an underutilized trope" or something similar.

Yeerks were freakin' awesome.
I think I need to go to Bookmans and buy as many Animorph books as I can find.

Mostly unrelated... I would like to point out that being a conservative Mormon doesn't mean you can't be a good writer.
See Brandon Sanderson
Yes... I know nobody here said Mormons can't write, but there you go anyway.

Artemis923:
Yeerks were freakin' awesome.
I think I need to go to Bookmans and buy as many Animorph books as I can find.

Just do what I did, and hunt around on Amazon or eBay until you come across someone selling the whole series, side-books included, for a decent price.

Ah, that was a glorious marathon.

I'm sort of confused about what this article is addressing. If there is someone who is really bad at an art form, and they can't tell that they're really bad at it, are we supposed to feel wrong for assuming that they don't notice OTHER things about their work? The way I see it, people make things for two reasons: for themselves, and fr others. If they're in it for others, then they should be prepared to accept the fact that some people are going to make them feel stupid. Especially if they ARE stupid, in which case they should probably stick to that first reason.

Also, to address the comments, I also enjoyed the Yeerks. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with a little bit of Halo, too, with the various alien races that had already been controlled.

Uratoh:
Side note, does 'naive' feel like it should be 'naieve' to anyone else?

I spell it naďve and imagine the special i takes care of the "ie".

On topic: This "Outsider Art" sounds like its ripe for a documentary trolling the educated art people making such belittling statements.

This is just another reason why I advocate an adequate separation between artist and art. But if you insist on publishing a bio alongside your novel, I suppose this is what you can expect. Also, I think this is probably why successful, yet controversial writers like Salinger prefer to stand by the sidelines. But then again, Rowling is quite elusive and she got exactly the same treatment of conjecture when the press examined her 'The Casual Vacancy'.

ccdohl:
It seems incredibly pretentious to call the woman's work clumsy, or to say that she is untalented despite the fact that her books are adored by many people around the world. The thought is that she is untalented, and her readers are just idiots.

Sure, I am not really a fan (saw most of the movies, never read the books), but it seems like everyone's starting point is that Meyer is an untalented hack. Maybe we should take a step back and reconsider that premise.

To be honest, most of gaming culture hates on Meyer's novels not because they think she's a bad writer, but because she took something that was theirs, namely vicious Victorian monsters, and made them cute and cuddly (or at least sparkling - and with this I have to agree: vampires do not sparkle).
But more legitimate criticism still stands, specifically that Meyer through her novels perpetuates traditional stereotypes about gender roles. Now, however you feel about that is irrelevant. After all, there has always been propaganda on both sides of the sociopolitical aisle. But when Twilight fans dogmatically refuse to acknowledge the existence of such undertones in a bid to legitimize their tastes in literature, that's when they come off as naive.

Uratoh:
Side note, does 'naive' feel like it should be 'naieve' to anyone else?

No. Never.

To be fair, the whole vampirism = sexuality angle is not exactly exclusive to Meyer, and so the leap from that to all the weird abstinence stuff in Twilight is hardly the greatest logical leap - even if you knew nothing about Meyer herself.

I really do not get what you're trying to say.

From where I see it, making the assumption that Meyer is unaware of how her work comes across to people with functional brains is giving her the benefit of the doubt.

If we were to assume that she is actively WORKING to put these things in her books, that she is completely aware of the messages she sends, then that would make her an actively contemptible, horrible fucking person.

And I don't know about you, but I'd rather be considered oblivious than evil.

If we go by your logic, namely that assuming that Meyer is unaware of the meanings she endows her own work with is classist/sexist/whateverist and therefore bad, you leave us in the catch-22 that we have to consider her either a terrible person (Which I don't think is a nice thing to do) or we have to consider her oblivious (which, by your logic, isn't nice either)

So what do we go with? We're damned either way.

Callate:
I don't know... When an author has a body of work that all seems to incorporate similar themes, how can one not start wondering about the author's issues? I mean, yeah, the whole "armchair psychiatrist" thing gets old, and people are perhaps more than a little glib and flippant when it comes to presuming to make deep, piercing insights about the people behind works of different media. But the whole thing kind of circles in on itself in ways that are pretty disturbing on their own: are the observers making assumptions about Meyer's issues with violence and sexuality and gender roles because of their own deep-seated antagonisms with certain traditional assumptions that come from their own upbringing, etc., etc. And are people uncomfortable with that because of various characteristics of the target of the examination- Meyer is a woman, Meyer is a Mormon, Meyer is a stay-at home mom- while they're all too comfortable assuming things about issues like racism, classism, or misogyny in the work of targets that aren't afforded a degree of protection by similar characteristics?

While I'm sure there is a certain amount of projection that is done by some readers or critics I think it's more than fair to address these recurring themes because they do sometimes cast a poor reflection on their author and not on the reader for observing them.

For example I would take great personal offense to the implication that my observation of Piers Anthony's disturbing fixation on pedophilia in any way reflected a similar desire in myself.

Now I know that I ought to author the book I'm writing under a pseudonym. If people think there are hidden meanings I'm unaware of based on my personal experiences, have fun figuring them out without knowing who I am.

Daaaah Whoosh:
I'm sort of confused about what this article is addressing. If there is someone who is really bad at an art form, and they can't tell that they're really bad at it, are we supposed to feel wrong for assuming that they don't notice OTHER things about their work? The way I see it, people make things for two reasons: for themselves, and fr others. If they're in it for others, then they should be prepared to accept the fact that some people are going to make them feel stupid. Especially if they ARE stupid, in which case they should probably stick to that first reason.

Also, to address the comments, I also enjoyed the Yeerks. It was like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with a little bit of Halo, too, with the various alien races that had already been controlled.

It's not about the "really bad" part. It's about the "this person doesn't have formal training in this form of artwork" You can be really bad at art with or without formal training, but if you have formal training, then it's assumed you have more intent concerning any concepts that come across when you present your work. On the other hand, if you don't have formal training, you are often considered to imbue your work with concepts you are facing without necessarily realizing it yourself, even when you didn't necessarily even consider those concepts in the creation of this work. It's a very patronizing mindset, and I understand why Bob shies away from it.

That was actually a fairly interesting perspective on the whole deal. Good article!

I want to direct everyone who not immidiately thought "well Bob that sound a lot like Roland Barthes" to "Death of the Author" by Roland Barthes published 19967 which discusses exactly what is described in the article. Nobody cares about the actual author of a text. We create our own author of hte text. We dont care that Bram Stoker wrote "Dracula", we dont care that Stephenie Meyers wrote "Twilight" we only care for what we project into the text which must be the intent of the author. Yes it is the intent of the author but not the actual author but our own author. We dont care for the actual author. So yes we project anything written in the text being some form of subconscious outcry of our author. because we want it to be that.
This is by no means like a review of the text I want you all to read. This is just one way to take it so you still can enjoy reading it.

Uratoh:

Psykoma:
I never really got the impression of 'intelligent' from peggy while watching that show. Was I the only one?

Eh...she's not STUPID, she does know enough to keep her teacher credentials up. She does not, however, know how to speak Spanish, no matter what she may think, and she is *VERY* naive.

Side note, does 'naive' feel like it should be 'naieve' to anyone else?

While not quite the same case, unique and kiwi both have the letter I as a long E, and at least in Latin, the letter I is very frequently a long E sound. Or, rather, in Latin, long I's are pronounced as "eee."

(I like language, it's fun)

ccdohl:
It seems incredibly pretentious to call the woman's work clumsy, or to say that she is untalented despite the fact that her books are adored by many people around the world. The thought is that she is untalented, and her readers are just idiots.

Sure, I am not really a fan (saw most of the movies, never read the books), but it seems like everyone's starting point is that Meyer is an untalented hack. Maybe we should take a step back and reconsider that premise.

Popularity and quality are not linked. The film/ book/ game with the widest appeal is simply the one that's most innoffensive. The more people you can explain the premise to without turning them off, the more people will go to watch it. It has very little to do with the quality of the work in question.

I've not read or seen any of the Twilight stuff so I'll use this as an example from film:

Transformers contains

1. Explosions
2. Giant Robots
3. A brand that lots of people are familiar with
4. The army
5. An attractive lady
6. Lots of awesome cars
7. 'Murica
8. Vague sci-fi waffle
9. Something vaguely approaching a love based sub-plot

The film contains a wide variety of features that will combined appeal to a large segment of the population, especially teenage boys, who are probably the main target audience. Most people aren't interested in thinking about their entertainment, they don't care if what they're watching is bland and meaningless, so long as it contains the correct combination of things which are presented to them in a way that is sufficiently pretty.

Other examples are crime novels with super gruesome murders, the way almost all FPS games now have iron sights and regnning health because of CoD and Halo etc...

Quality comes in second to ticking the correct boxes when it comes to popularity.

I certainly see Bob's point, but I lack the same sympathy

I'm reminded, in an equal opposite sort of way, of the novel Eragon. At the time, everyone was very impressed with the young age of the author, but I couldn't find anyone who would give who'd read it that'd give an abject opinion on it. It was so novel (pun unintended) that a teenager was a best-selling author, despite the fact that his book wasn't very good (my opinion; not trying to start a debate over it).

Sure, she's a housewife, not an art scholar; she's also a sales-record-breaking author. Does her lack of formal training excuse her from a single criticism based on the merits of her work? I don't think so.

Why lower the bar, particularly for someone that's made millions on tripe?

(you might not like her upended vampire/lycan mythology or its use to create a vampire/human/werewolf/baby romance-go-round, but you can't say it isn't novel)

... Erm ...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Whitewolf's World of Darkness tabletop games (particularly Vampire: The Masquerade, maybe a little Werewolf too)
@#$!ing Underworld?

I mean more than anything the plot Twilight reads like a bad Buffy fanfic ...

Maybe some of it is too personal but frankly anything that can said or done to make this woman go away in a non-violent manner I fully support.

cynicalsaint1:

(you might not like her upended vampire/lycan mythology or its use to create a vampire/human/werewolf/baby romance-go-round, but you can't say it isn't novel)

... Erm ...
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Whitewolf's World of Darkness tabletop games (particularly Vampire: The Masquerade, maybe a little Werewolf too)
@#$!ing Underworld?

I mean more than anything the plot Twilight reads like a bad Buffy fanfic ...

I agree if you're a fan of the genre she isn't even particularly original unless you consider stealing from other works and making them worse. I recognize what you mean by her ripping off VTM. I could never actually make it all the way through the first book or film but when I overheard the introduction of this council thing and vampires all having unique/class abilities I thought "oh this is interesting maybe shes getting serious copying off VTM." Nope she copied it and then made that crap too.

Evilpigeon:

Popularity and quality are not linked. The film/ book/ game with the widest appeal is simply the one that's most innoffensive.

I disagree. If people enjoy something, and enjoy it immensely, as they do Twilight, on a large scale, then it is quality.
Maybe it is not sound by certain literary standards, but it's not low quality to the people who love it.

I'm saying that, at the very least, the burden of proof is on those who claim that it is low quality to overcome the masses of people who love it.

In addition, I'm not sure that you can say that Twilight is meaningless or pointless. It certainly has its messages, and they certainly resonate with some people.

Edit: In addition, how can the most inoffensive bit of media have so much hate from almost every direction?

Personally, I feel like there's more to blame here than her as an author. Every author makes mistakes, but they're usually caught in editing, which is usually provided by the publisher. If indeed she got published through nepotism, that might explain the lack of quality in the text in terms of grammar and whatnot.
Then, you have to factor in that no one is forced to consume art. There has to be some willingness to approach it in order for it to be this successful. I think this means there is something rather wrong with our culture. You need to have Kitsch art, because sometimes one simply needs to indulge in... well... social circlejerk. The Michael Bay films are the best example I have, movies made for the sake of being movies, with no underlying purpose (maybe some of them do, I mean, the reason why I got so interested in the Pacific Front of WWII was because of the Pearl Harbor movie (the guys at Extra Credits would best explain it as tangential learning)) other than stimulating our pleasure buttons, so to speak. Meyer could very well be part of this Kitsch culture, but it doesn't feel like that to me. It feels so much more... wrong? I can't really explain it, but as we as a collective begin to accept women and men as equal these pieces of art seem to send the wrong message, at least in my point of view. But then I read a post here that said that maybe it's a rebellion against the modern feminist movement that demands women be independent and non-complacent (great from my Marxist point of view, not so great when these are the people that yell at you for opening a door for them), which I think might be true. All these books with submissive women like 50 Shades and the Twilight series might very well be the response to the modern feminist, which I think is good. It's good to be critiqued, and if any movement needs it, in my opinion it is the feminist movement, because it's become a "hate on males" movement rather than an egalitarian movement. In a sense, they've failed to see the forest for the trees, and are so bent on achieving what they view as right that they forget not everyone is the same.

I only wish this type of critique wasn't led by texts which have the quality of Deviant Art fan-fiction.

ccdohl:

Evilpigeon:

Popularity and quality are not linked. The film/ book/ game with the widest appeal is simply the one that's most innoffensive.

I disagree. If people enjoy something, and enjoy it immensely, as they do Twilight, on a large scale, then it is quality.
Maybe it is not sound by certain literary standards, but it's not low quality to the people who love it.

I'm saying that, at the very least, the burden of proof is on those who claim that it is low quality to overcome the masses of people who love it.

In addition, I'm not sure that you can say that Twilight is meaningless or pointless. It certainly has its messages, and they certainly resonate with some people.

Edit: In addition, how can the most inoffensive bit of media have so much hate from almost every direction?

1. Yes, there has to be an element of quality there, and I think it's the critique I mentioned above, but I think what people hate is that it had to come from such an unrefined source. If Twilight were written much better and if the movies weren't a Hollywood cash-in, they'd be taken more seriously, and I think what Bob is asking is to try and see if we haven't failed to forget about something due to the hate bandwagon everyone is so eager to catch onto. Many girls who read the novels found the romance interesting, there is clearly something we've missed by dismissing it as garbage.

2. I think it's that no media is inoffensive in its entirety. If all art were suddenly Kitsch art, it'd be accepting a rather simplistic and pleasure driven culture as magnanimous; essentially, it would be Ancient Rome all over again, and no one would give a damn about anything, falling asleep on our laurels. I had this discussion on VG too, arguing that it was important to call out EA, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. when I as a consumer am affected due to the fact that there's a real danger of everyone adopting these tactics that negatively impact consumers. Many people simply think that because there is currently a market (to put it one way; I think interest group, as in people interested in something, is more appropriate) there will always be a market. That isn't so, especially if it starts to become acceptable to consume lesser-quality entertainment. My point here is, I don't mind Meyer or her message, necessarily. It's the fact that I can't hope to understand the message nor infer on it that is frustrating, and it's mostly from the fact that it's very unpolished.

HOLY WALL OF TEXT, BATMAN!

uh ,just like art in life .

Diddy_Mao:

Callate:
I don't know... When an author has a body of work that all seems to incorporate similar themes, how can one not start wondering about the author's issues? I mean, yeah, the whole "armchair psychiatrist" thing gets old, and people are perhaps more than a little glib and flippant when it comes to presuming to make deep, piercing insights about the people behind works of different media. But the whole thing kind of circles in on itself in ways that are pretty disturbing on their own: are the observers making assumptions about Meyer's issues with violence and sexuality and gender roles because of their own deep-seated antagonisms with certain traditional assumptions that come from their own upbringing, etc., etc. And are people uncomfortable with that because of various characteristics of the target of the examination- Meyer is a woman, Meyer is a Mormon, Meyer is a stay-at home mom- while they're all too comfortable assuming things about issues like racism, classism, or misogyny in the work of targets that aren't afforded a degree of protection by similar characteristics?

While I'm sure there is a certain amount of projection that is done by some readers or critics I think it's more than fair to address these recurring themes because they do sometimes cast a poor reflection on their author and not on the reader for observing them.

For example I would take great personal offense to the implication that my observation of Piers Anthony's disturbing fixation on pedophilia in any way reflected a similar desire in myself.

I shouldn't post on too little sleep- I don't think I expressed a complex thought very well.

I'm not trying to suggest that critics are necessarily projecting when they criticize an author or other creator. More that- well, let's take Meyer as an example. As someone with a relatively modern take on feminism and gender issues, a critic might well feel a strong aversion to certain elements in Meyer's Twilight series. And they might make assumptions about how those elements tie into various elements in the author's own life- Mormonism, being a stay-at-home parent, etc. But at the same time, the critic's attitude towards feminism might make them "double back" and say: what right do I have as a respecter of feminism to criticize this woman's choices? And am I on firm ground suggesting those choices come out of Mormonism; are my own beliefs unimpeachable, and are their others within the Mormon faith who might take a very different view from what I think I see as a Mormon viewpoint in Meyer's work?

Such introspection may be of value, but it also risks making criticism of criticism that's actually criticism or self-criticism of the critic- in response to criticism that may have ventured too far into being criticism of the author, rather than their work. And the whole thing becomes kind a strange spiral in on itself.

Conversely, work that taps into a critic's "hot-button" topics might receive a similar blast of possibly unwarranted author-criticism, while never receiving a similar level of introspection about whether those assumptions were warranted. A critic who feels remorse for "attacking" a Mormon woman for what seem to be submissive and violence-affirming takes on gender issues might feel no such remorse for attacking a white man for what seem like insensitive takes on racial relations- even if that author is, say, Mark Twain. Perhaps it's better just to assess the criticism to see if it seems accurate, rather than mull too long over whether there's a motivation behind it that can be justified.

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