Call for Submissions
Sensing a lack of critical (as in the literary sense) approaches to Stephenie Meyer, her work, and their cultural connections in the general Twilight discourse, I’ve put together (with Laura Cranerâ€™s editing help and William Morrisâ€™ technical assistance) an online, open access literary journal in an effort to bridge that gap. Itâ€™s called .
Knowing that there are people out there who can bring critical insight and textually supported readings to this conversation, weâ€™re extending an invitation for critical essays to be published in the first issue, â€œThe Persistence of Stephenie Meyerâ€. Whether you consider yourself academic or amateur, you can submit as many essays as you want.
What Weâ€™re Looking For
Weâ€™re looking for well-written essays that thoughtfully explore the Twilight novels and their reception and that contribute critical dimensions to our understanding of Meyer’s work and her place in contemporary American, world, and even, since Meyer has been so open about her Mormon-ness, Latter-day Saint culture and literature. Contributors need not be LDS or be major fans (or detractors) of Meyer’s work. We’re simply looking for submissions that say something interesting about the novels.
Submissions, Issue Close Date, and Contact Info
If youâ€™re interested in contributing (or know someone who might be), please refer to this Introduction to catch scent of our rationale and submit your essays (of between 2,500 and 5,000 words, in Microsoft Word, RTF, or WordPerfect format, and according to MLA bibliographic guidelines) according the procedures laid out here. Please include a brief bio statement to be published with your essay.
The essays for the first issue will be published as theyâ€™re accepted and the first issue will be closed on January 15, 2009.
Any questions can be directed to me at email@example.com.
This is the second post in a five or six part series that explores the ethics of Latter-day Saint literature and criticism. In part one, I introduce the dissonance between Mormon theology and Mormon culture, pointing specifically to how the artifacts of that cultureâ€”particularly our lettersâ€”often fail to engage the eternally rich and redemptive ethical dilemmas raised and embraced by LDS theology. As a case in point and as a springboard into discussing the greater questions arising from this dissonance, I deconstruct Jerry Johnstonâ€™s Mormon Times review of Eric Samuelsenâ€™s play Inversion and suggest that the binary Johnston propagates favoring literary tidiness over ambiguity tragically reduces the Mormon quest to know God through the workings and weaknesses of human language1 into barely more than an immature attempt to avoid the discomforts of existence in a paradox-filled universe.
II. In Exchange for the Soul
One of the most tragic of these paradoxes, as Eugene England points out, is â€œthe struggle to maintain individual integrity, to be true to ourselvesâ€2 in the face of the demanding responsibilities and expectations laid on us through our chosen affiliation with and participation in Christâ€™s Church. Denying this paradox its place in our discipleship and our arts and letters, even if ignorant of our refusal, we ultimately subvert the work of God as he moves to convert us into his own exalted lifestyle, to mold us into his own glorified image. Continue reading “The Tragic Tell of Mormon Morality, Part II”
The Tragic Tell of Mormon Morality: Exposing the Achillesâ€™ Heel of Jerry Johnstonâ€™s Commodified Theology, or An Ethics of Latter-day Saint Readingâ€”Part I
(The title’s a mouthful, I know.)
This is the first post in a five or six part series (to run on Thursdays) that explores the ethics of Latter-day Saint literature and criticism. Working within a framework of the redemptive paradoxes inherent in Mormon theology and the moral universe it embraces, the series attempts to probe the place of this ambiguity in the central, recurring conflicts in Mormon letters (particularly in light of the debate between those who think Mormon literature should primarily serve orthodox, didactic purposes and those who think it should provide a more challenging aesthetic), to present an economic reading of why much popular Mormon literature remains in the former camp, and to show how one contemporary Mormon writer has attempted to transcend this paradoxâ€”and thus to serve a more deifying needâ€”in their own writing.
I. (Mis)Reading the Mormon Tragic Quest
In his recent review of Eric Samuelsenâ€™s new play Inversion, Jerry Johnston introduces what is and should be a demanding discussion on the ethics of Mormon literature, then bows out before giving the dialog due course or even before acknowledging that he only tells part of the story. Continue reading “The Tragic Tell of Mormon Morality: Part I”