Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Stephanie Meyer plagiarized Twilight?

Fans of Stephanie Meyer's seminal 'Twilight' saga were in for a shock today: They learned that the popular author was being accused of plagiarism by a former college roommate.

"She got those ideas from me," snapped stay-at-home mum Heidi Stanton, "I wrote a fictional short story with the same ideas when we were in college together!"

Given just how pervasive the Twilight phenomenon has been, it seems somewhat incredulous that Heidi could have been completely oblivious to her roommate's fame for the last half-decade - or, at least, to the four-book Vampire saga that some have labeled 'the new Harry Potter.'

Nevertheless, the mother of four has filed papers in Salt Lake City. Subsequently, production of the movie version of Meyer's second book, 'New Moon,' has been halted until this situation is resolved.

Is there any validity to Stanton's claim?

"Yes," says Doctor Peter Benton, who taught Heidi while she and Meyer were students at Brigham Young University.

"She did write a vampire story that stood out in my mind, at the time, because it was more advanced than most sophmore students usually presented," Benton claims. "Also, the vampire theme stood out because I had recently taught a series of lectures on Brahm Stoker's Dracula."

Whatever the contents of that short story, it's tenuous to believe that Stephanie Meyer could have spun that yarn out across four large books.

Hate it or love it, Meyer's saga resonates with a vast (mostly female) audience and it's difficult to believe that she owes all of that to a couple of pages written by her roommate in the early nineties.

Besides, who exactly owns the copyright on vampires?

But this is America - the most litigious nation on Earth. What's right, wrong or even factual in most civil court cases falls to the wayside when hungry lawyers and greedy plaintiffs spot what's really at stake - a big, fat chunk of somebody else's money.

I'm no great fan of Stephanie Meyer and her Mormon-inspired melodramas, but I certainly don't think these allegations ring true.


Meghan said...

It does seem fishy that the lawsuit is coming after fame and fortune has struck.

April said...

I'm on the fence with this news. Partly because I am bitter and jealous and think the whole Twilight stuff is CRAP. Yes I read the books, yes I loved the first and hoped to love the rest, but by the fourth I could not take any more of the self righteous, melodramatic, preposterous BULLSHIT.

But I am curious Roland. Maybe I am stupid (it's certainly possible), but how is Twilight "Mormon inspired?" I grew up in Utah and though I am not a Mormon, I do think I know a thing or two about them. I am surprised the church is not condemning this woman. I'd love to hear more of your thoughts on this.

Roland Hulme said...

LOL! Well, April, I don't think it's exactly 'Mormon' inspired, but apparently the whole chastity and self control thing is a little bit of a morality tale probably stemming from Stephanie Meyer's Mormon background, as they're quite religiously conservative.

So I can't really back that up - but it did make for some lovely alliteration! 'Mormon-inspired melodrama.'

Oh, dear. I'm as bad as the Daily Mail, aren't I?

April said...

It was a beautiful example of alliteration! :)

And I see what you mean now. I read a little more about this last night and I definitely think she stole the idea from her roommate, but I think she wrote all the books on her own. What a bitch. ;)

ME said...

It's definitely plagarized!! All you have to do is read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse seris and L.J. Smith's Vampire Diaries and there's the whole storyline in all 4 of the twilight books. Someone needs to sue this woman because she's just getting credit for what others have done and watering it down into her disgusting version. It's NOT FAIR!

Alice said...

If getting an idea from somebody els is plagiarism, then somebody should please inform the estate of Bram Stoker that there are children running around in Dracula costumes, movies being made around vampire themes, television shows being made - ALL ON VAMPIRE THEMES! I find it strange that it took this roommate 5 years or more to "realise" that her ideas was plagiarised. Wake up, Lady! If you were so talented, YOU would have written the books! Grow up and stop trying to catch a ride on somebody else's work!

Anonymous said...

I have read the Twilight series. I have afterward read Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse. The similiarities are astonishing. Some have attempted to wave the identical likeness of the books based on the history of vampires and what historicallyis known, (issues with the sun, blook sucking etc.). Sorry, but Mrs. Harris' books (published first) has extremely extremely finite details with Meyers mimics. For example, vampires like to drive expensive cars, the telepathy aspect.). The ONLY difference in the books exclusing Harris is a far better writer--the sexuality. Harris' books are for adults.

Meyers really should be ashamed. Some of the artistic fencing she has taken liberty with are astounding. WOW!

It is absolutely astonishing how much she really has lifted. Read the books--the plagiarism may not be in direct quotes but it sure is in format, ideas, plot development---WOW