Thursday, March 10, 2011

Betrayed stays in the library...

Today I'm sharing a happy(ish) (happy unless a decision comes down to ban the book, of course) situation brought to us by Reba Lean from  The book in question is Betrayed (P.C. and Kristin Cast), a book about vampires and all that good stuff.  Apparently it's got a few steamy scenes that go a bit far, according to one parent at least.  The book was put under evaluation by the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District a few months ago.  The book is currently still available in all the school libraries within the district.
The committee of parents, teachers and administrators was created by Superintendent Pete Lewis. Its recommendation will be forwarded to him. Lewis will decide by April 1 whether to keep the book in the district’s high school libraries or ban it, according to Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools Wayne Gerke.

At the hearing, Ken Spiers, who brought the book complaint forward, spoke for 10 minutes on the reasoning behind his complaint. 
“It simply causes kids to think even more of things sexual,” Spiers wrote in his original complaint about the teenage vampire novel.
Until the decision is brought forward in April, the books are still available to students, and I wouldn't be surprised if the students started taking the books out more often now that there is controversy.  I'm not the biggest fan of vampires in a lot of books, but I can still deal with them.  Most people who read about vampires, though, know that they are sexual figures: they are exotic, erotic, penetrating, etc.  But does that mean they should disappear?  Well, they certainly haven't yet, and if trends in YA literature are anything to go by, they are only becoming more popular with young people.

What do you think of Vampires and vampire literature?  Should they be taken off the shelves or re-assigned to a more adult place on the shelf?  Should these sexualized beings be the centre of so many books for young people?

Thanks for listening!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, but I wish my Twilight wiki page were public instead of just for my course... Vampires as a trope I have no problem with; it fascinates me, actually. The eroticising of vampires as attractive sexual partners is, in my opinion, a gross misuse of the trope and the rationale behind horror creatures in the first place. While current changes suggest that the uncanny is less fearful for our society than it used to be, I am not sure that is really true. What does it do to our relationship with our (societal) unconscious to neutralize the horror's narrative efficacy? Or are we, in these texts, just skating that much closer to the edge of the precipice above the uncanny valley?