Oh snap! The grand dame of vampire literature, Anne Rice, had some not-so-nice things to say about Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight Saga" universe in a recent interview with New Jersey's The Star-Ledger while promoting her new novel "Of Love and Evil." We're wondering if this will spark a verbal smack-down in the bloodsucking book world!
"['Twilight']’s based on a really silly premise: that immortals would go to high school. It's a failure of imagination, but at the same time, that silly premise has provided Stephenie Meyer with huge success," Anne said. "The idea that if you are immortal you would go to high school instead of Katmandu or Paris or Venice, it’s the vampire dumbed down for kids. But it's worked. It's successful. It makes kids really happy."
It's not too surprising that Anne had less-than-sweet nothings to whisper about the series that has made vampires the hottest supernatural property around and virtually diluted a genre that had been a sophisticated cultural metaphor. Still, wow, those are some pretty harsh words towards Stephenie! Anne did add that "it's almost like a stroke of genius to put vampires in high school," but that still sounds a bit derogatory to us.
When speaking about how she always viewed the vampire, Anne said, "I always thought of the vampire as being a metaphor for the outsider in each of us, the criminal, the predator. I was writing about a mythical being that represented our own dark sides." She added, "Part of the mystery of being a human being is that mixture of the spiritual and the animalian. We have the capacity to murder, but also the capacity to love and respond and be tender to those in need."
Anne was sure to emphasize that, despite the range of vampires presented in pop culture since she released "Interview With the Vampire" in 1976—from "The Twilight Saga" to "True Blood" and "The Vampire Diaries"—they are still fictional characters. "They’re fantasy characters, and we have to keep reminding ourselves of this. They don’t exist," she said. "I get e-mails from people who are outraged that I watch 'True Blood.' They say, 'How can you condone the evil of "True Blood."' I say, 'Are you kidding? Vampires aren’t real. Keep that in mind.'"