“Toward a Mormon Gothic” and Other News from RUD

10.26.09 | | 7 comments

News from the Reading Until Dawn front:

A couple of weeks ago, I read a paper at the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA) Convention at Snowbird, Utah (a rundown of my experience at the AML session will come in a later post that I’ve got halfway worked up; yes, I’ve been lazy—so sue me) and over the weekend I did some revising to incorporate some of the feedback I received and posted it on Reading Until Dawn. “Toward a Mormon Gothic: Stephenie Meyer’s Vampires and a Theology of the Uncanny” takes its place in the blossoming field of Twilight studies beside RUD’s inaugural essay, Theric Jepson’s “Saturday’s Werewolf: Vestiges of the Premortal Romance in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Novels.” Link over and have a read. That’s what all the cool kids are doing (or so they tell me).

While you’re there, you might also notice that I’ve made some subtle changes to the site design (I’ve tweaked the header) and that I’ve updated the articles. The inconsistent layout was bugging me, so I took down the HTMLs until I can get them to look how I want them to look, reworked my document template slightly, and incorporated the new MLA citation standards into the notes. Hopefully this gives the collection a more consistent and professional feel.

Also: though I’ve published “Toward a Mormon Gothic” on RUD, I’m still open to feedback. So if, while you’re reading, you notice a typo or some such faux pas or notice that I’ve missed something you deem vitally important to the conversation, either email me or comment here. That or work up your own essay and submit it for publication. I promise I won’t complain.

7 comments: ““Toward a Mormon Gothic” and Other News from RUD

  1. Wm Morris

    Thanks for the update, Tyler. I can’t wait to hear more about your experience at RMMLA — the little you reported on Twitter definitely whetted my appetite.

  2. Th.

    .

    So I was just going to email this to you since a lot of it is petty and nitpicky, but I did end up making a couple comments that could potentially lead to discussion, so here you go. Live and in public.

    vegetarian vampire beau

    If not eating humans is all it takes to be a vegetarian, then I am one too.

    “to be limited by mortality.”

    Is this a quotation?

    most notably among active Latter-day Saints (particularly LDS
    youth, young adults, and middle-aged mothers)

    This is the sort of thing that, it seems to me, demands citation.

    sometimes labeled “a literature of nightmare.”

    Unless this is more ubiquitous than I realize, I feel this needs citation as well.

    the classic monster—the vampire, the werewolf, the madscientist, the ghost, etc.

    Have you read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre? Some great analysis of this stuff.

    our being-in- and influence over

    Hyphens?

    who sends his textual and extratextual worlds reeling with a mere nod of the head.

    Funny line.

    It was Edward who came to Meyer in dream

    Does anyone know if Maxine hanks has published her comparison of Meyer to Joseph Smith? She has a long long list of matching points.

    “more nuanced”

    Are you quoting something? If not, why””?

    that fact

    Cut.

    w hole

    No comment.

    Edwin Arnaudin

    This guy sounds like a prick.

    the psychological morass

    You should trademark this term.

    In light of LDS teachings on chastity, this unconscious answer to the
    question, How far can we go without going all the way?, may thus pose valid
    concerns for those worried about the morality of Mormon youth and beyond
    and Meyer’s possible influence on their attitudes toward sexuality.

    In related news, this is one of the major issues people take with Elna Baker, also.

    a witness bearing

    I think I know what you mean, but I could be sure I’m right if this were hyphenated.

    it nevertheless implies a repressed familiarity with what this writer obviously
    considers the more unseemly aspects of Meyer‟s world.

    Interesting argument. I’m more prone to suggest it argues that The Church of What’s Happening Now is the primary faith of us all.

    As to the Mormon Gothic I’ve begun sketching out here,

    At this point, I’m hoping you will take the Meyer version of the Gothic as a point of reference in critiquing other Mormon Gothic works.

    For those strictly raised into
    repression and social taboo, this dynamic ultimately means confronting the
    physical desire and curiosity about the nature of sin and evil that flow beneath
    the individual and the collective consciousness. And that means, in one sense,
    learning to accept the role an artist—even an LDS artist—can play in laying
    bare the deeply human experiences, emotions, and sensations that we‟ve
    successfully tucked away beneath shaded

    I think I’ll get a tattoo of this, thus killing two birds with one stone.

    [and woman]

    or

    “four billion earth
    lives (give or take a million) to experience what we need to experience to
    become like God”34

    I’m not quite getting this out of context. It sounds interesting though.

    she‟s giving readers the opportunity to confront and come to terms
    with the implicit humanness of the uncanny

    I like this idea very much.

    JAC, an

    Watch your italics.

    ——–

    Overall, I’m happy with this little introduction to the Mormon Gothic. It does read to me more as an opening into Mormon Gothic studies generally rather than Twilight studies specifically. Are you subconsciously moving towards a new focus?

  3. Tyler Chadwick Post author

    If not eating humans is all it takes to be a vegetarian, then I am one too.

    But do you also drink the blood fresh from large game? Another vegetarian vampire requirement.

    “to be limited by mortality.” Is this a quotation?

    It is, cited at the end of the paragraph with the other quotations to keep the documentation simple.

    “most notably among active Latter-day Saints (particularly LDS youth, young adults, and middle-aged mothers This is the sort of thing that, it seems to me, demands citation.”

    Duly noted.

    sometimes labeled “a literature of nightmare.” Unless this is more ubiquitous than I realize, I feel this needs citation as well.

    It is cited. At the end of paragraph.

    “the classic monster—the vampire, the werewolf, the madscientist, the ghost, etc.” Have you read Stephen King’s Danse Macabre? Some great analysis of this stuff.

    I haven’t but maybe I’ll check it out.

    “our being-in- and influence over” Hyphens?

    You’re right. Need to cut the last one.

    Does anyone know if Maxine hanks has published her comparison of Meyer to Joseph Smith? She has a long long list of matching points.

    I haven’t seen it anywhere.

    “more nuanced” Are you quoting something? If not, why””?

    Yes; meant to be lumped in with the quotations from Whitman. I should make that more clear though.

    “Edwin Arnaudin” This guy sounds like a prick.

    He’s actually a very nice guy, as far as I can tell from out online interactions. He’s just hesitant of Twilight‘s Mormonness, sees it, I think, as something of an agenda on Meyer’s part.

    “a witness bearing” I think I know what you mean, but I could be sure I’m right if this were hyphenated.

    Now you’re just being cheeky.

    “it nevertheless implies a repressed familiarity with what this writer obviously considers the more unseemly aspects of Meyer’s world.” Interesting argument. I’m more prone to suggest it argues that The Church of What’s Happening Now is the primary faith of us all

    Well, there’s that reading, too. But I read it the other way. And you’re not always right.

    “As to the Mormon Gothic I’ve begun sketching out here,” At this point, I’m hoping you will take the Meyer version of the Gothic as a point of reference in critiquing other Mormon Gothic works.

    Patience. I do have plans for something along those lines. It may take some time, but the idea’s there.

    And thanks for your feedback. Maybe I should have filtered this through you before I posted it. But I just got into a hurry. My editorial bad.

  4. Th.

    .

    1) I am always right.

    2) This is why I don’t like one-footnote-per-paragraph citations.

    3) And my editorial good.

  5. Tyler Chadwick Post author

    1) I am always right.

    Hmm, debatable.

    2) This is why I don’t like one-footnote-per-paragraph citations.

    Oh, but why overcite? If all quotations in the paragraph are from one source, convention doesn’t require intervening documentation. My policy: cite responsibly, but as little as need requires.

    3) And my editorial good.

    No comment.

  6. Th.

    .

    I would rather sin on the side of overcitation than leave my readers without clarity, I would.

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