Twilight (The Twilight Saga, #1) Twilight discussion


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Veronica Roth's take on "genre shame" and academia

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Mochaspresso She's the author of the Divergent series but I can't help but think that some of her comments could be applied to Twilight or any other popular but often panned book.


http://veronicarothbooks.blogspot.com...

Shame: The Ultimate Time Vampire
Posted by Veronica Roth at 4:49 PM
I'm going to graduate soon, and I have a few things I want to say about reading + writing + school before I do.

First of all, I'd like to say that I understand what a blessing it is to be able to go to the kind of school I went to. I have gotten a lot out of it. The writing program was a great experience and I met a lot of incredible people, including some brilliant professors. I do not regret going here for a second.

This post is about the things I would rather not have learned, so it's going to seem very negative, but that isn't my intention. I'm just isolating one small aspect of my college experience that is certainly not unique to this school, because I think it's important that I talk about it.

(In this post I also talk about YA and commercial fiction like they're the same thing. I am aware that they aren't. I mean, obviously there's commercial fiction that isn't YA, and there is definitely YA that isn't commercial. But because the YA fiction I write just happens to be commercial, and because it's both the YA-ness and the commercial-ness that I've encountered difficulties with, I'll talk about them like they're the same.)

Okay, enough with the disclaimers.

The last time (excluding the past three months) that I remember loving to read was eighth grade. That's right: eight years ago. What happened, you ask? People told me I was too smart to read what I liked to read. They said I should be reading "college-level books." I started to feel ashamed of what I wanted to read, and I tried to read what I was "supposed" to be reading. But the problem was that I didn't enjoy those books, and I couldn't force myself to enjoy them, and I hated feeling like I was stupid for not liking them, so I stopped reading altogether.

When I got to college, I felt like I had to develop another identity, known as "Classroom Veronica." Classroom Veronica wasn't pretentious or obnoxious or anything, but when asked what her favorite books were, she didn't respond with complete honesty; she listed some adult literary fiction. Classroom Veronica can carry on an intelligent conversation about Anton Chekhov, Flannery O'Connor, Raymond Carver, and Ernest Hemingway, if she has to. If she has to, she can talk about literary fiction until it starts to come out of her ears.

And man, did I have to.

Okay: don't get me wrong. I do like literary fiction. I love Alice Munro and Marilynne Robinson and I even enjoyed Chekhov. Many writers of literary fiction have my admiration and respect. Classroom Veronica isn't a lie, but she is just a fragment of who I really am as a writer and as a reader.

Basically, I felt like the academic world was telling me that reading YA is a waste of time. And in a school environment that emphasizes productivity over happiness, "waste of time" is the most damaging label you can apply to something.

It wasn't just the reading. Earlier this year, I wrote that one of my professors insinuated in casual conversation that writing fantasy would be like a fun, easy vacation compared to "real writing." That opinion is a popular one in academic circles, at least in public, such that people will voice it as if it is common knowledge. It has become ingrained.

This is why I didn't tell many people at school that I was writing young adult fiction until this winter. One response I got when I did was "Oh, just trying to pay the bills?" As if commercial fiction and/or YA are just something "real" writers do to make money only so that they can afford to write adult literary fiction.

Let's not even talk about how silly and inaccurate that is from a practical standpoint. (I can hear all my YA-commercial writer friends saying "where exactly is this giant pool of cash that I get to fall into because I'm writing commercial YA?" There's a reason why I said my book deal was a blessing, not a wage.)

It's not just inaccurate; it's the exact opposite of the truth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with writing adult literary fiction, but for me, it felt forced and inauthentic. I was looking forward to the day when I didn't have to force it anymore.

Somewhere along the line, I started to feel ashamed, not just of my reading tastes, but of my writing.

Once the book deal was announced, though, no one cared what genre I was writing in. Actually, it felt like they chose to ignore it, even though the announcement said "young adult dystopian thriller." People at school keep asking me if DIVERGENT is something I wrote for school-- which is a perfectly legitimate question, but I always want to burst out laughing in response. No way would they have let me write DIVERGENT for school.

I crammed DIVERGENT into the spaces between my classes. I woke up early to work on it, and I stayed up late. I worked on it rather than doing homework or studying for tests. I wrote DIVERGENT concurrently with my senior thesis. And I wrote it isolated from my academic community.

What I recently realized, though, is that the real problem was not really with my school; it was with me.

I keep thinking about that quote by Eleanor Roosevelt-- No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Certainly it would have been nice to feel the support of academia behind my writing. But ultimately, the responsibility is mine. I should have been convinced of the value of my work. I should have refused to allow anyone to put me down. I should have stood up for myself, my writing, and my genre. If I had, I'm sure I would have realized that fewer people would have judged me than I anticipated.

That's why I realized it was important to write this post. I know that some of you find yourselves in circles that look down on writing for young adults, or at least seem to be puzzled by it, or are for some reason convinced that it's easier or less important than writing for "grown ups." And some of you are much less confused than I was, and certainly bolder and more confident. But in case you aren't, some things you should know.

1. Your writing has worth. Particularly to your readers, who can pick up your book and escape difficult or stressful situations, or see through someone else's eyes, or think about something they have never considered before. Commercial YA can be both entertaining and challenging to your readers.

2. Writing commercial YA isn't easy. It carries a unique set of challenges, and addressing those challenges requires skill. Commercial YA, or any kind of commercial fiction, isn't something you have to graduate from in order to be a serious writer. It isn't training wheels. Seriously.

3. Don't let people make you ashamed of your writing. There is nothing to be ashamed of. One of the things I feel worst about was that I allowed myself to look down on the genre I love for so long. For the past few months I've been rediscovering how brilliant some YA books are, and I wish I had given myself a swift kick to the pants sooner.

Basically, I've realized that reading and writing YA wasn't a waste of my time, like some people suggested, and it wouldn't have been even if I hadn't gotten the book deal. Hiding it, though? That was a waste of time. I won't make that mistake again.



Katy That is awesome. Thanks for posting that. I think people def put shame on YA fiction.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Thanks for that! I love the Divergent series as well :) I get the "excuse" to freely read YA because I am a high school English teacher, but I agree it is an under-appreciated genre and treated poorly because if is not adult "literary." I have read some of the high end literary works and thought they were miserable to read because they seemed to complicate the writing and meaning just to sound important and difficult. When I read, I do it for fun and entertainment.


Dave Brink I love this. It reminds me of my much more trivial moment realizing "Damn it; I think I like Kelly Clarkson". To me, the difference between pretentious and discriminating is honesty, and pretending some particular set of tastes has objective correctness definitely falls on the wrong side of that line.


JulieLaLa I agree - I took a Library course to help with my work and learned to appreciate different genres and not look down my nose at any one of them. As long as people are reading, that's what's important. I even learned to appreciate genres that I wasn't "into". And I enjoy YA quite often!


Nichola I haven't read the whole thing but I love the concept behind it. I have said for years that people are becoming snobs when it comes to books. I bought an ereader years ago when they first came out and back then, even now to an extent, books are recommended to you through various websites, you buy them then discover they are YA books. I'm now 32 and still reading books aimed at a much younger audience. Sometimes the value in a book is not that the writing or structure was brilliant, but that the books were entertaining! Some of my friends still jokingly poke fun at me for this but, when all is said and done, I refuse to miss out on a book I want to read just because some book snob says I shouldn't read it.


Siobhan I've not read divergent, but I think I love her anyway.


Nuran Fun, easy vacation? I don't see what is wrong with doing that for your life. I disagree with the vacation part, because I know it'll still be hard work, but what is so wrong with doing something you'd enjoy. I don't get that mentality that it is so wrong to do something you enjoy. Not everyone is vain enough to think they have a world changing book in them. Some people just want to tell amazing stories and they shouldn't feel guilty.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) Great post. Thanks for sharing it.


Kirby Dave wrote: "the difference between pretentious and discriminating is honesty, and pretending some particular set of tastes has objective correctness definitely falls on the wrong side of that line. "

I love the way you put that!


Kirstyn I agree with this wholeheartedly. YA fiction is often considered literary candy, an indulgence but not something to be taken seriously. The thing is it is often the first books people are introduced to and are often set in fantastic worlds.They are fun escapes for many. There is nothing wrong or bad about it, and no one should feel ashamed because they like or write YA fiction.


Siobhan I love YA more than anything else, because I feel it addresses real issues, and has all the creativity of young kids books (damn, read anything by Julia Donaldson, and if you want pretty, her collaborations with Axel Scheffler) but all the relatability of adult books. That is a real challenge.

I want to write YA (I'm trying), it's not for the pay check, it's for the story that's inside, right?


Iulia Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt prove she's better than SM with her famous book called Divergent. At least... Twilight has in fact a plot. Divergent is just a pathetic HG copy cat. Period and exclamation mark.


Aamrah Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt prove she's bette..."

Um. Read the post again. She didn't insult Twilight or Stephenie Meyer. She's actually saying authors who have the guts to publish commercial YA despite being looked down by others are BRAVE. She is, in fact, inadvertently applauding Meyer and other authors. Divergent is a Hunger Games rip-off? Haven't heard that before. Wait, yes I have. By that definition, almost all YA dystopian books are Hunger Games "copy cats". She does not once say the word Meyer in her review. And the chick who posted this is saying the same thing applies to Twilight.


Iulia Aamrah wrote: "Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt pro..."

Please, don't try to insult my intelligence. I read the post and I know very well what she is trying to say. One must be unbelievable stupid to not get her subtle way of telling how much she has worked on her famous trilogy feeling that people give more credit to Meyer than her. Please!!!!


message 16: by Nuran (last edited Dec 30, 2012 03:11AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nuran Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt prove she's bette..."

Wow what did you read? Must have been some sort dimensional portal in front of your screen making you read something completely different. VR was defending YA, which in turns means supporting SM for her choice to write YA.


Iulia Nuran wrote: "Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt pro..."

*Laughing Out Loud*


Nuran Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica..."

She saying she'd worked hard on it to counteract the snobs at her college that it is a fun, vacation. You do realise VR didn't post this, a fan of twilight reposted what VR said on her blog onto here.


Iulia Nuran wrote: "Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opi..."

I do realise but I stay with my opinion. Does anyone has a problem with that?


Aamrah You are entitled to your opinion, but really, the in the post she said that she was glad she stopped being insecure, and that she had stopped caring what the 'literary community' thought. If I'm correct, didn't Stephenie Meyer say something similar? Critics insult twilight just as much.


Mickey I don't see any Meyer-sniping either. She seems to be defending the whole genre.


message 22: by Iulia (last edited Dec 30, 2012 03:47AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Iulia Aamrah wrote: "You are entitled to your opinion, but really, the in the post she said that she was glad she stopped being insecure, and that she had stopped caring what the 'literary community' thought. If I'm co..."

Veronica Roth or any other person who wants to be a writer needs to realise one important thing: Criticism is everything. Readers opinion is vital. One cannot become a good writer and cannot become better if he is ignoring criticism and he is expecting only good credits. Fear is an emotion. To feel insecure, to have doubts is absolutely normal. Its your best motivation to not give up, to keep going and to work hard in order to reach the desired level of writing. Not to care about about others opinion may work in other areas of life not writing. Thats why Divergent is the way it is. Because Roth thought that simply putting words on paper would suffice to become a writer. Wrong. She needed to listen, to observe what readers seek in a story, she needed to understand how things work in literature. Not caring about what the literary community is thinking is like trying to make a dog talking in human language.


Iulia Layla wrote: "Julia wrote:"Please, don't try to insult my intelligence. "

Ummm... I think you managed to do that on your own."


I don't think so.


Aamrah Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "You are entitled to your opinion, but really, the in the post she said that she was glad she stopped being insecure, and that she had stopped caring what the 'literary community' tho..."

I agree with you about the readers's opinion thing. That is important. But the literary community she was talking about looks down on YA as a genre. The hunger games is YA. So is twilight. Some people like these books. Others don't. I've heard people calling the hunger games a ridiculous book, because the only books they like are classics. I happen to like both the hunger games and divergent. Twilight, not so much. I'm not insulting your intelligence. Not everyone likes the same books. But there's no point in insulting the author for something she didn't do. If you don't like her book, that's your call. Okay, I'm done with this. I'm going to get hot chocolate. Julia, enjoy your life, be happy.


Iulia Aamrah wrote: "Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "You are entitled to your opinion, but really, the in the post she said that she was glad she stopped being insecure, and that she had stopped caring what the 'literary ..."

What makes you think I'm not happy and enjoying my life?


message 26: by Mochaspresso (last edited Dec 30, 2012 04:45AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mochaspresso Julia wrote: Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt prove she's better than SM with her famous book called Divergent. At least... Twilight has in fact a plot. Divergent is just a pathetic HG copy cat. Period and exclamation mark. ."

Veronica Roth didn't post this here. I did because I respect her sentiments on the issue and I thought that it pertained to some of the discussions about Twilight, since Twilight is also a YA book. I am actually a fan of Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent. So much so, that I take time to read the author's blogs and websites from time to time. Veronic Roth doesn't mention any other authors in this blog post and from what I have read of her blog, I haven't seen her trash other YA authors. On goodreads, I notice that she doesn't even assign ratings to the books that she reads. She just marks them as read or to-read. In this blog post, she talks about YA genre over all and I think it is a possitive and uplifting message to ALL YA authors.

(btw, if you really want to talk about copy cats....The Hunger Games gets a lot of criticism for being EXTREMELY similar to Battle Royale. I haven't read Battle Royale yet, but I have seen the movie. I think there might actually be some validity to that criticism.)


Aamrah Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "Julia wrote: "Aamrah wrote: "You are entitled to your opinion, but really, the in the post she said that she was glad she stopped being insecure, and that she had stopped caring what..."

I'm sure you are. You know how someone says, "Have a safe trip"? I'm pretty sure the reply isn't "What makes you think it won't be safe?" I'm calling a truce.

Mocha Spresso, thank you for clearing this up. You're my new hero.


message 28: by Gerd (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gerd Julia wrote: "Not caring about what the literary community is thinking is like trying to make a dog talking in human language."

You know, that really reminded me of an online article I recently came upon about how to use metaphors - if I find the link again I'll PM it to you, you seem in need of it. :)


Iulia Gerd wrote: "Julia wrote: "Not caring about what the literary community is thinking is like trying to make a dog talking in human language."

You know, that really reminded me of an online article I recently ca..."

I don't think so :)


Iulia Layla wrote: "Julia wrote: "Layla wrote: "Julia wrote:"Please, don't try to insult my intelligence. "

Ummm... I think you managed to do that on your own."

I don't think so."

Yes you did and this is how:

In t..."


1. Of course you cannot call me a fool because you don't know me.
2. What I left in this topic was simply my opinion based on what I have read.

Now if anyone here has a problem with that its their thing, not mine. I don't give a damn about other people's backlash or if they think I'm a fool. I know I am not a fool so... I don't care.


message 31: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Mocha Spresso wrote: "(btw, if you really want to talk about copy cats....The Hunger Games gets a lot of criticism for being EXTREMELY similar to Battle Royale. I haven't read Battle Royale yet, but I have seen the movie. I think there might actually be some validity to that criticism.)"

I read Battle Royale a few years ago and I have seen the movie a few times. So when I finished reading The Hunger Games my reaction was, "Wow I just read Battle Royale again." It's pretty much the exact same book except with different death scenes and a different way of picking the tributes/class. The difference was that Battle Royale had no sequel and didn't show what happened after the Battle Royale. The Hunger Games did. Also, the movie of Battle Royale is almost scene for scene the same as the book. That never happens and I kind of appreciated it. I guess Japanese films might actually stick to the books they are based on instead of adding unnecessary stuff. Sorry for going on about that.

I really appreciated Veronica Roth's blog post. I think it is something that should be looked at as concerning. I honestly see no problem with YA books or people liking YA books. I think every genre has something to add to life and I don't think it is reasonable to make fun of people for liking one form of art that others don't like. I think American football is absolutely ridiculous but I don't make fun of the people who do like it. So why is it necessary to make fun of people for liking a certain genre of book? I have never understood that need people seem to have to make others feel inferior. I mean in theory I understand it but I don't understand why people act on it. What does it accomplish in the end other than trying to shame people?


Alex Gosh, a literature graduate who likes to write YA fiction. What a motherfucking rebel.

My heart bleeds for poor classroom Veronica and her repressed identity.


message 33: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Yes, I'm sure you're heartbroken. My response when I read this was, "Ugh! Boys!"


message 34: by Alex (last edited Jan 14, 2013 01:15PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Alex Erin wrote: "I think it is something that should be looked at as concerning. I honestly see no problem with YA books or people liking YA books"

The problem I have with this kind of post is the straw man anti-Academic stance that lovers of YA - including the authors apparently - like to create in order to attempt to legitimise YA. There is no squabble here, Academics don't study YA as literary because it's not that intellectual or profound (though they're likely to study it in terms of popular literary culture) but they have no problem with it as a form of popular fiction. Academics don't have a problem with popular fiction, period - plenty of them absolutely love it.


message 35: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Alex wrote: "Erin wrote: "I think it is something that should be looked at as concerning. I honestly see no problem with YA books or people liking YA books"

The problem I have with this kind of post is the str..."


I honestly can't say if what she said is true because I took a total of 3 English classes throughout my college education and I never got into a conversation about the validity of the YA genre with any of my professors or the other students in the classes. I do think that if that is Veronica Roth's experience then she has the right to say what her experience was and what she learned from it. I'm not saying that YA should be considered "profound or intellectual." What I am saying is that people shouldn't be ashamed to like what they like and they shouldn't be made to feel like they are unintelligent or worth less over liking/writing a certain genre of book. I in no place ever said that academics can/cannot or do/do not like popular fiction because I haven't done a poll on it and I really find that unlikely to ever happen. I would be interested to read such a study though. Obviously readers of YA seem to feel almost persecuted by "Academics" and I have no idea if this feeling is because they are actually being treated like that or if they just have a feeling of guilt for liking something that translates into a feeling of persecution. Honestly and obviously, it is all speculation. :)


message 36: by EvaCatReads (new)

EvaCatReads thanks for posting this ^_^


message 37: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Oh and also! You say that there is no squabble. Is this based on personal experience? A study? Perhaps there is no squabble at the university you went to, or at universities in England? It could be a whole other story in U.S. universities though. Or Veronica Roth could have exaggerated her interpretation of her experiences as being more negative than they really were. It could be a number of things but I don't see how her experiences are any less valid than yours.


message 38: by Alex (last edited Jan 14, 2013 01:44PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Alex I think that possibly there's a tendency to confuse disinterest with derision. There's no reason for an Academic to necessarily be interested in YA fiction and since you've elected to take modules in Literature that isn't popular literature, there's a certain expectation that as a student you're going to engage with that literature on its own terms - and the critical debates that surround it.

Having been on the other side of the coin and been friends with Academics who have been stuck attempting to teach disinterested students who are on courses studying books they don't want to read, I can understand why an Academic might be impatient with someone who might not be "getting" the difference between critical study of certain types of literature.

We've only got Veronica's word for the fact that Academic discourse was against her and I've spoken to others disillusioned enough with their degree courses to feel the same; but personally I've known enough Academics to know that's a pretty erroneous POV.


message 39: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Yes but we also have only your word that your Academic friends don't care whether someone reads or writes YA on the side or whatever. But seeing as how you're my GR friend and I don't know Veronica Roth I will believe you that your academic friends are that way. But just because your academic friends are that way doesn't mean all professors and academics are. We can also look at Veronica and see that since she was a child she has been told that YA books were not the books for her, that she was, "too smart for those books." So it could be that with each little snide remark or even neutral remark that she could interpret as negative she had it even more ingrained in her mind that she should be embarrassed and ashamed. And honestly if you are going to grad school for English then there is no way that you are ever going to be reading YA for school. I can't even think of a situation as an English Grad student where you would even get to write your thesis on a YA book. So it is totally possible that instead of realizing that because YA isn't studied or really talked about in the academic setting, because that isn't what you are studying, she took its' lack of existence in the academic setting to mean that it is bad and you should be embarrassed to like it. Hence, the blog post about why academia hates YA. Regardless, we don't really know. So I am sticking with that's her experience as I know it and it is unlikely I am getting any more out of her. I am also sticking with my original point: that people can like whatever genre they want.


message 40: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Also, I wanted to say that you are probably right. A lot of academics probably couldn't care less but I am sure there are at least a few who scoff at YA and it could be that the belief that academia hates YA came from them and then has grown to become a general belief among readers of YA. But regardless we don't have the information necessary to know whether Roth's perceived experience is accurate or not. We don't know which university she went to, who her professors and peers were, or what their general beliefs of the YA genre are.


message 41: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Alex wrote: "I think that possibly there's a tendency to confuse disinterest with derision. There's no reason for an Academic to necessarily be interested in YA fiction and since you've elected to take modules..."

I've read some dull and miserable academic literary texts to complete my undergrad. Yes, they taught critical thinking. Did I love literature because of them? No. Some of the literary criticisms I had to read almost ruined my love of reading, ha ha.

Are the people who only value higher literary works smarter than I am? Most likely. But I know I have learned more about humanity, values, and the meaning of life from some of the YA I've read over Roland Barthes. If that makes me less intelligent, well, I'm really okay with that.


message 42: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Julia wrote: "Veronica Roth has no right to critize Stephenie Meyer or Twilight. Don't get me wrong, I am no fan of Twilight, in fact I dislike the series but in my opinion, Veronica Roth didnt prove she's bette..."

Could you please cite what parts of Roth's article allude to this? I must have totally missed it because I cannot find a hint at this at all?


message 43: by lora (new) - rated it 1 star

lora baccus I'm not a writer. I'm an avid reader. I love literary fiction...but...more recently I've discovered a love for YA. So some stuffy shirts will tsk tsk at my taste? So what! I'll leave them to their pretention & enjoy reading whatever I want...whether It's Huxley, Orwell, Dickens, Ray Bradbury, Thoreau, Dr. Suess, Verne, Wells, or Roth & Collins. Why read it if we don't enjoy it? Kudos Roth.


Alex Well the reason I brought it up is because this is an attitude towards Academia that I've noticed people have had for years and years and years. It's not just Roth telling a story that she's been disallowed to like x by Academics, it's pretty much every person I meet who doesn't have pretensions to highbrow tastes who fires salvos at Academia whenever it's brought up (usually by them) as if Academia is some kind of devil trying to thwart their ambitions. But blog posts like this want it all ways, they want to boost up the reputation of their own genre by knocking down something that most people don't actually understand very well, to the extent that I'd say that it's Academia that's largely misunderstood stood, not readers and writers of popular fiction - of which there are legion.

I'm not really asking you to take my word over Roth's, just offering up an alternative viewpoint really. Well, yes, I do ask you to believe me that I had a SO for many years who did teach literature courses at top London Universities (though she jacked it in before getting a full lectureship) and she was totally and completely in love with Harry Potter to the depths of her soul. I don't really know why :p It's not uncommon - Roth just wants to propogate a myth of stuffy Academics who aren't remotely hip and happening because it makes her seem cooler than those more literary authors. As far as I'm concerned literary Academics are a pretty normal bunch of people with a wide range of interests and they're as perfectly trendy as anyone else. It gets a bit tedious seeing the whole endeavour completely misrepresented over and over.


message 45: by Erin (new) - rated it 2 stars

Erin Alex wrote: "Well the reason I brought it up is because this is an attitude towards Academia that I've noticed people have had for years and years and years. It's not just Roth telling a story that she's been ..."

Ah I see. And I can actually relate to that. I have been asked multiple times about psychology, "You really believe in all that crap? I mean about Freud and everything?" And I have to stand there and decide whether it is worth my time to bother explaining. Usually it is not. I believe in science. I think neuroscience is really cool and I love learning about it but that doesn't mean it is going to be used for great things. I think it is going to be used way too much in psychopharmacology and we will all be walking drugged up zombies. But it is really frustrating when people get inaccurate ideas about your field of study just from hearsay. It is an unfortunate thing that people latch on to things they hear and believe it to be true regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

Also, regarding stuffy academics. Most of the people who become professors in my experience are really awesome people who aren't afraid to be nerds (not all but a good portion of them). All of my few English professors were very hip cool young people who I would have been happy to be friends with. And when you think about it, probably most English professors are writers themselves or aspiring writers and I don't think they would make fun of someone else for writing something they want to write. They tell you to write what you want to read. I don't think they would tell you not to write something you like. They may tell you not to write it for an assignment because classes have guidelines but I don't think in general they would try to make someone feel bad for writing what they are interested in. It all depends though. Thank you for clarifying your argument :) I get where you are coming from now.


message 46: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy Alex wrote: "Well the reason I brought it up is because this is an attitude towards Academia that I've noticed people have had for years and years and years. It's not just Roth telling a story that she's been ..."

No, I understand what you mean. The lines between academic and pleasure reading are more muted than one would think. Just from my university program, I get what Roth was saying - it rang true for what I experienced. I loved reading my whole life up to college, had 4 1/2 years of disliking reading during college, and then returned to loving reading now.


message 47: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Amy wrote: "Alex wrote: "Well the reason I brought it up is because this is an attitude towards Academia that I've noticed people have had for years and years and years. It's not just Roth telling a story tha..."

ok kool


message 48: by Olivia (new)

Olivia :)


message 49: by [deleted user] (new)

did not have the patience to read the O.P.....


message 50: by Olivia (new)

Olivia Baylor wrote: "did not have the patience to read the O.P....."

ok


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