Monday, August 25, 2008

Question of the Day

I just read this quick essay about SM and the backlash she has received from Mormons and anti-Mormons.

I find it interesting that SM is often first described as a Mormon when spoken of. (I am one of the perpetrators.) I've got a weird fascination with Mormonism, but this article brought to the surface something I have been wondering about. I have often blamed SM being Mormon for the weird twist she took with Breaking Dawn - not really because I believe that to be the reason, I just needed some sort of explanation in the past few weeks. So my question today is this--

Did/do you let the fact that SM is Mormon affect how you read/view/analyze the books?

9 enjoyed the bouquet.:

heatheryruth said...

Nope not at all! I actually kind of forget that she is Mormon a lot of the time because these books seem to be so against what they teach!

Usually a person's religious choices have very little to do with what I think of their writing! If I like a writer I read the books...regardless of what religion they are!

Maggie said...

I never think about her as Mormon. I honestly don't care one bit. She could be whatever religion she wants to be and I still wouldn't give it a thought. I'm sure her beliefs influence certain aspects of her books just as any one's would, but her books are not smothered in Mormon teachings. I think it is an irrelevant point.

Erin said...

Interesting question.

I don't really remember she's Mormon except when articles like this come to light. I don't really think about it, so it doesn't affect my perception.

And I agree, Maggie, I think it's irrelevant - while religion might influence a person and his/her values, in my opinion, a lot of religions and denominations promote the same values regardless of belief, and so despite my being Lutheran and SM being Mormon, I bet we have a lot of the same ideals.

About needing an explanation for BD - I think SM is just a sucker for happy endings. I don't think happy endings are always necessarily realistic, but hey, that's why I like fiction. I get enough realism in life, I guess. I remember Corinne (I think it was Corinne) saying a short time after BD that she thought SM needed to break our hearts a little with the last book, and while I'm glad all of the characters I loved were safe, I have to agree. I think the book would have been stronger in the literary sense if there would have been more tension and some disappointment, but I'm a sucker for happy endings, so I'm fine with BD.

Sorry for rambling! A little off topic there...

Kari said...

It doesn't affect me either. I don't really know anything about mormanism in the first place. I do feel bad that she is stereotyped based on it.

Corinne said...

To be honest, sometimes I do think that her Mormonism affects how she writes. I think as you all have said, beliefs and values do impact a persons every day living and I think, of course, to some degree SM's books.

It isn't fair of me to say that it is the reason I don't like her book, but I am trying to find a reason, like Jes, as to why I didn't like BD.

Kira said...

This article/question sparked my interest being a Mormon myself. I have to admit, her being Mormon was one of the reasons I started reading the books. I was interested on how a Mormon would keep up with her moral values while writing a "vampire romance", so many of which are centered around gratuitous sex and violence. However as soon as I began reading, and everytime I start reading, I completely forget that she's Mormon. Obviously her faith affects her writing, when something is a major part of your life it affects everything you do. However I think that the choices she made with BD were more effected by how she views motherhood, which probably was impacted by Mormonism, but those opinions are neither inclusive nor exclusive of Mormonism. Millions of women of all faiths and no faith share her same ideas on children.

Personally I think that more than being a Mormon,her writing is effected by her being a Jane Austen fan, the happy ending is not optional!

Jes said...

Thanks for posting Kira! I think you are dead on with the motherhood take.

Anonymous said...

I definately thought a lot about SM being a mormon. I lived in Idaho for over two years and there it is a way of life, not just a religion~ whether you are a mormon or not. It didn't change my enjoyment reading the books, however, it did taint my views on the fact that Bella and Edward didn't have sex til marriage and that the baby became so important to her right away.
Harry Potter is also very controversial in mormon country, hopefully SM continues to write what she likes rather than what her church likes.
~Beth (PS, Hi Kari, thanks for the note! and congratulations!!)

Kari said...

Hi Beth! Missed you on Saturday, but totally understand being exhausted. We'll have to get together soon.