Thursday, October 02, 2008

Resistance is Futile

I'm in the process of putting together a whole blog about our trip to Finland (it's almost ready!).

When it's done, I'll post the URL here for those wanting to check out part or all of it. I'm even labeling the posts where I visited locations that appear in At the Water's Edge, for all three people out there who remember it's existence. :)

Be forewarned, this trip was a huge thing for me, so on the blog, I'm verbose, and we took LOTS of pictures.

In the meantime, here are two photos taken while browsing a bookstore in the heart of Helsinki. I almost didn't believe my eyes.


Yes, those are what you think they are. Translated into Finnish. I wasn't sure whether to laugh, cry, or retch. Are you kidding me? The madness has gone that far?

But according to Katri, a good friend of mine over there, in Finland it's really only teens reading the series rather than grown women lunatics who pine after Edward. Apparently Finnish women have some maturity and half a brain.

(Oops. Did I just say that in public? Please don't flog me. For the record, I could write several posts on things I admire about Meyer as a writer. I still say that women's unhealthy addictions for her hero are just sick and wrong.)

And here's more. The Host and Breaking Dawn haven't been translated yet, so they're for sale in English. In big stacks the size of a pallet. Which means they expect to sell a lot of books in a foreign language.

I don't get it, people. I just don't.

Only marginally more disturbing was seeing ads on the back of buses for High School Musical. I seriously wanted to shake the American marketing machine and tell them to saturate the U. S. for all I care, but crimeny, people, lay off the rest of the world and let them have their own culture!


Cheryl said...

Would you still not get it if it was Harry Potter?
I'm just curious if you feel this way about all foreign literature (since anything published outside of Finland would be considered foreign to Finland, right?) or if it's just Stephenie's books. (As in her best-selling vampire-love obsession-filled thrillers.)

I'm getting a vibe (from this and past comments/posts) and I want to make sure I'm not making any assumptions. Because you know what happens when one assumes... ;)

Annette Lyon said...

Man, I was totally unclear! My bad. Trying again:

What I "don't get" is the absolute obsession that so many grown, married women have with a teenage drama, which is basically what the Twilight books are. Enjoying a fun yarn in one thing, but for a lot of people, it's an addiction.

I know one woman who rereads the books when she's mad at her husband and fantasizes that she's married to Edward. THAT is what I don't get. It's not healthy. (That, and to me, Edward isn't my idea of attractive. So I don't get that, either. But to each her own.)

So no, I have no problem at with any literature being translated into another language. I didn't mean to imply that at all. I had a few people over there even ask if my books would eventually be translated into Finnish--highly doubtful, of course, but that would be kinda neat, in theory.

It's just the marketing machine for the books and the power of Disney itself that have me blown away.

I struggle to keep my kids grounded and not focused on material things. Frankly, it's tough to find a pair of SHOES without a Disney or Nick Jr. character on them. So seeing Disney's marketing reach the other side of the globe made me realize that it's an almost impossible job to keep it away from our kids.

Holy cow, it's everywhere! You can't escape it!

Clearer? I hope? :)

Anonymous said...

Stephanie Meyer Vampire books suck. They are for dimented readers who haven't the good sense God blessed them with.

And you translate that into Finnish Cheryl....

Heather Moore said...

I'm surprised her books are in Finnish, too (not surprised if they are in French, German, etc.) It must have made you feel right at home. LOL :) When I lived in Israel, they always had American movies splashed all over, except they didn't carry ratings. You have to select carefully which one you should see simply by what was depicted on the poster. Also, the "American" tv shows they had piped into Jerusalem were the soap operas. So go figure--that's what the Israeli's thought the Americans were like. (I'm sure some are, but hopefully not as a whole).

Annette Lyon said...

Anon, I wouldn't go that far. Every reader has their own opinion, and each is just as valid. I personally don't understand the craze with the books at all--they aren't my cup of tea--but I have a lot of people I respect who DO like them. That doesn't make them idiots.

Going back to my original post (and I think I may just have to post again to clarify some of this!), it wouldn't have surprised me much to, say, see the books in London or even translated into French in a Paris bookstore. But Finnish? That's not the first language you think of when considering foreign rights (for me, it probably wouldn't have made my top ten, and I'm half Finnish). The fact that the books have gone THAT FAR--and that I feel like I can't escape them here in the U.S. and STILL ran into them over there--was irony.

I really need to post again on this!

Don said...

Hey - I remember At the Water's Edge. In fact, I just loaned it to a friend who served her mission in Finland.

I'm looking forward to the pictures.

No opinion on the whole Twilight thing. Sorry.

Annette Lyon said...

Yay! Someone remembers! :D

If she served between 84-87, let me know. She'd be one of "our" missionaries. Thanks for passing it on!

Cheryl said...

Thank you! See? One should never assume.
It was the comment you had left on my blog about Shannon's take on writing and defending Stephenie, and with this, too, I was concerned you were upset that Stephenie was having success. Which is a lousy assumption to begin with, what with your own succes, so...
But you know? I totally get where you're coming from. I loved reading the Twilight Series, I really did --but I doubt I'll ever read them again. They were like candy to me, but I can't imagine becoming so obsessed with them it would ruin my marriage. I also know of someone who is having marriage problems because her husband isn't like Edward. That's insane! INSANE.
So, I agree with you on that point: YA novels adults are obsessing over is kind of crazy. But it is an interesting phenomenon.
P.S. Ha! The Meyer books are following you...

One should never assume, okay?

Annette Lyon said...

Oh, yeah, Cheryl! THAT post!

Maybe I can clarify my position on that, too: From a purely structural/writing/critical perspective, I think Meyer dropped the ball on book four and broke the contract she'd built for her readers--so I thought she shouldn't be upset or surprised when her die-hard fans suddenly didn't like #4. She'd led them to expect one thing and then gave them something else.

That was the point I tried to make--that Shannon's defense didn't quite wash with me (although it's perfectly valid when talking about why one person likes a book another doesn't)--Meyer's fans were *already* doing their part. They were eager and willing to like what she'd promised to deliver, but they got a bait and switch. IMO.

As far as her success goes, more power to her! She hit a reader nerve, and it has served her well. Yay for her! It's amazing to watch. She's making history.

And I actually liked The Host, MUCH more than the Edward soap opera. I'm sure I'll read whatever she puts out next.

Melanie Jacobson said...

There is nothing more disconcerting to me than finding a McDonald's in an Italian piazza or bib Coca-Cola signs all over Cairo. It's strange, and I do wish I could see those places as they were before the influx of American cultural influences. Or rather, marketing influences. Sigh.

Karlene said...

I decided I'd take advantage of the Twilight craze and make perfumes and jewelry inspired by the whole thing. It was really just an experiment, but it's been selling really well. And I've had people contact me from Australia, Hong Kong, Germany and a few other places asking if I ship internationally. (Which I'm now trying to figure out how to do easily.) Weird, huh?

And I liked her books okay, even #4, but I'm not a fanatic. I liked The Host much better.

Cheryl said...

I agree. The Host was much, much better and I'm looking forward to the sequel.

But yes! It was *that* post. :) Your clarification here makes a lot more sense to me; I wasn't quite sure how Shannon's post would bother you, but now I can understand your perspective. Thank you!

Btw, I'm embarrassed to say this, but which book (of yours) should I read first? I'm finally getting some time to plow through my reading list and I'd like to read yours next!

Annette Lyon said...

Melanie, I thought the same thing when we visited Israel a couple of years ago. Here we are looking out over the Sea of Galilee, and right next to us is the golden arches in Hebrew. A little weird at best.

Cheryl, I'm flattered that I'm on your upcoming reading list! Yay! My first two are out of print (although in Utah you can probably find them at your library), but of my historicals, you'd probably want to start with either House on the Hill or Spires--at least, if you think you might read another one. At the Journey's End takes one character from HOTH and continues the story, so while it can stand alone, it'll ruin the end of HOTH. If that makes sense. And Spires stands alone.


Heffalump said...

I could have sworn I commented on this one...something about the long arm of advertising. Weird.
I must have gotten nervous about my lack of punctuation and grammar skills and not actually published my comment!

Alison Wonderland said...

It's so funny that you mentioned at the water's edge because I was just going to email you because I read it. I thought it was really good by the way. But there was more I wanted to tell you so I'm still going to email.
Oh and get out of the way of the Disney marketing machine or it WILL run you down!

Anonymous said...

Well I'm with you on the books. Sure they're engaging but there are loads of things to dislike about the main characters.

I've often wondered if I'm too critical of Stephenie's books because I know she's Mormon and assume that her books ought to promote good things (not unhealthy lustful relationships).

I wish people could just enjoy a story and not be driven to worship it.


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