Sunday, January 30, 2011

Literary Vampirism: Why Buffy Matters

I'm enjoying my sideline of reading critiques of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a TV show that I completely missed while it was on air. That isn't unusual; I rarely watch any TV until years after it is produced. I have to go to my sister's house to watch, for one thing, except for the power of hulu and such. That's probably why my children are so intellectual (cough, cough, violent coughing).

Rhonda Wilcox specializes in Buffy, and her articles in Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer bring back cozy memories of my college English major. Why Buffy Matters is a good example of why it's worth learning to examine literature -- it works just as well on popular (or not-so-much) shows as it does on Dickens and Shakespeare. Most chapters are coherent and interesting; nothing is earth shattering and sometimes the connections make the base material tremble under their weight (but honestly, that's true for most texts). I'll have to remember this book when my sons whine in high school about the pointless nature of their dead English text studies. It proves that literary analysis is a living art.

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