Saturday, July 3, 2010

Contemporary Literature

My uncle lived with us when I was very young. I credit him for encouraging my natural love of reading and writing. You can thank him (or curse him-- you decide)
He does not understand why I am interested in the Twilight series. Perhaps others of you also wonder and so I will answer him publicly.
I have always read about anything I could get my hands on-- especially futuristic and science fiction themes; I love the wide openness of it all. When Brandon started reading I usually read whatever book he was studying so that I could help him with homework or discuss what he had read. Lauren is the true reader of my children. Keeping up with her has been a challenge that I have not always managed. Last year we read Jane Eyre (again). Many years ago I read the first Harry Potter book before I let her read it to see what all the fuss was about. When Twilight came along I took the same stance. That is why I started reading the series. So far I would say that Twilight is no Harry Potter with regard to the quality of writing but it was a fun, easy read and you have to give those books credit for generating so much curiosity in kids that they all actually read books!
The movies hardly live up to the books (in my opinion) as so often is the case. I don't know how well I can defend the movies except to say this: Taylor Lautners Chest.
Apart from that Very Important Point, let's chat about the books.
How can you dismiss the central and timeless themes of this book? Can good conquer evil? Does True Love really exist? Does True Love happen only once in a lifetime and can you love more than one person at one time? Could love last forever? Can someone put the best interests of another person ahead of their own interests? Does everyone have a soul? What is friendship? How much do you honor your parents? Can a book written that reserves sex for marriage be success full in this day and age? Is immortality a blessing or a curse? Can people set aside their natural tendencies for the Greater Good or are we all slaves to our personal natures? As Lord Acton said many years ago, does "Absolute power corrupt absolutely"? Do Destiny, Free Will and Fate exist? Is 'Family' about blood lines or about the bond that you choose to form?
And questions I ask myself: What would it be like if someone really loved me? What would it be like to be protected and cared for? Is it stupid or hopeful to wish for a little bit of these things?
Of course reading this book without tearing it apart for it's ridiculous plot devices can be an exercise in denial of truth-- but is it so bad to suspend reality here and there? Reality isn't all that terrific. I see no harm so long as you live in reality and just take a short vacation into your imagination here and there.
It is quiet in the house tonight. Everyone is gone out and about. But I am here enjoying these very deep thoughts and watching one of my favorite movies of all time 'Independence Day". Ah, science fiction........ shall we discuss?

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