OK. I am feeling kinda sorry for E.L. right now. However . . .


EL James recently held one of those Twitter Q&As. Not sure she will do another one anytime soon, as the “50 Shades” author apparently got raked over the coals. (See the link below for an MSN story about the debacle)


Now, our own Wydville happens to be acquainted with Ms. James in real life and can attest she is a funny, bubbly sort of individual who is probably well aware she is not the second coming of Shakespeare. And I can’t help feeling twinges of sympathy for anyone undergoing trial by Twitter. I have sort of been there myself and it ain’t pretty. I hope Mr. A never has such an unpleasant experience via social media.

Then again–I have to give James’ detractors credit for getting in some good zingers.

“What do you dislike more, Independent strong woman or the English language?” (tweeted by “90210” actor Trevor Donovan)

After the success of ‘Grey,’ have you considered re-telling the story from the perspective of someone who can write.”

But there were serious tweets along with the snarky ones, such as this one:

“how do you feel knowing that you have essentially invalidated the experiences of many abuse survivors around the world?” 

Having read not only comments on the post I wrote about “50 Shades” from individuals who had experienced abuse but the emails they also sent me privately, I know how hurt and disappointed many felt by this fractured fairytale. As if they’d been assaulted all over again. And I confess that is what I have such a hard time getting past in terms of her wildly successful trilogy.  That, and that far better writers are out there struggling to get their stuff read. Well, whoever said life was fair?

As for my trepidations about her new novel “Grey” (after reading those random cringe-worthy lines US posted)–seems my fears were justified. Entertainment Weekly’s  Jessica Goodman had a review of the book in last week’s issue. It got a D+. It seems the story when told by Mr. Grey does make you wonder what in the world poor sheltered Ana ever saw in the creepy stalker guy in the first place, helicopter or no helicopter. I quote, “Swapping out Ana’s ‘inner goddess’ for Christian’s freakish musings leaves you with a guy who pretty much fits the definition of sociopath.”

No arguments from me.

About fedoralady

I'm an LA native--Lower Alabama, that is. My husband of more than 30 years and I live here on a portion of my family's former farm with two gorgeous calicos and a handsome GSD mix. My background is art education, and over the years I've been a teacher, department store photographer, sales associate and a journalist. My husband, his business partner and I have Pecan Ridge Productions, a video production company, for which I shoot & edit video and stills and manage marketing. I also still write part-time for the local paper. I love movies, music, art, photography and books, and my tastes in all of them are eclectic.

19 responses »

  1. Not in the least sorry for her. She’s set the causes of feminism, understanding of sexual abuse, and good writing back about 50 years, while raking in the millions. No one coerced to dump that swill on the public, and she’s been vastly successful without a crap of talent or understanding.

    I’ll save my sympathies for the millions worldwide who have been the victims of stalking, sexual slavery, sexual abuse, domestic abuse and who live in terror and despair.

    • I have hoped that she would use some of that money to try to help victims of domestic violence and abuse . . . women’s shelters, organizations like our Safe Harbor here that helps children who have witnessed or been victims of violence and abuse . . . The funny thing is, for a while there you read almost nothing but gushing praise for her books (EW gave the first one an A-) . . . and now it’s as if the media and much of the public have done a 180. Sooner or later, we all sit down to a banquet of consequences, or so I’ve heard.

      • EW doesn’t have a good track record for credibility afaiac. I particularly remember some bad reviews of the original LOTR trilogy that were completely off the mark, but there have been other occasions when I’ve felt annoyed with them.

        • That really irritated me when they gave it a good review because that was one of the things that led me to read the books . . . and not long after that they gave “Battleship” a B+ and other than the special effects, that was a pretty bad movie. It was the same reviewer both both reviews and when she ended up leaving the mag I wasn’t sorry. “ :/

            • Apparently so. And she wanted to be a book editor, which I found rather amusing, as the books Ana appeared in sorely needed one—a good editor, that is. The books were set in the US yet she had people saying things like “I will collect you after work.” Uhmm, I think you mean “pick you up” She kept betraying the fact she was British.

              • I’ve been reading some more commentary on this. The saddest one was that on mtv’s report about the twitter disaster, the comments were all from presumably young women (some only semi-literate, apparently) who *liked* the book and who didn’t believe anyone should be allowed to criticize it. One even wrote ‘ 50 shades is a piece of art’ and then inexplicably compared it to Chaucer (wtf?)

              • Chaucer?? Have they actually read Chaucer, I wonder. Well, you know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, and all that. I remember one person commenting on my blog and describing a sort of shrine she had created in her home where she kept the books. Alrighty then . . .

              • http://www.mtv.com/news/2199471/el-james-twitter-q-and-a/
                Here is the comment

                aleena 1 day ago
                I couldn’t help but write this. 50 shades is a piece of art. And for those of you who cannot stand the book,no one is “tying you to a chair” and asking you to read it and same goes for the movie. When Chaucer wrote Prioress in his Canterbury tales,it was not about the nun breaking away from the church’s rules and coming out successfully. It was about the nun,who had inner desires. And this was also not “socially” acceptable. It takes courage and imagination and a lot of other things to write a book. #50ShadesForever.

                To me this comment reads like someone had Chaucer as an assigned class reading and thought that they would trot it out.
                Many commenters claim that there is no “acceptable” porn for women. WTF? The bookstores are full of novels aimed at the female market with explicit (and grammatical :p ) sex scenes. A lot of them are kind of silly and masquerade as ‘historical fiction’ using real people (rpf where you don’t have to worry about offending the real people).
                Or they could look out a copy of Moll Flanders and see some real historical erotica told from the pov of the female protagonist. Or read some Anais Nin.
                The kink is nothing new either. As a friend of mine reminded me this goes back to early 19th century novel The Lustful Turk. This theme was carried on by endless Victorian and pseudo-Victorian novels published as ‘anonymous’.

              • Well, of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, just as we are to disagree with it. Poor Chaucer, being dragged into this, rolling in his grave.

                One of the things that really got to me was how some people seemed to think these books reinvented the wheel—as if it was all so groundbreaking. As you pointed out, it’s been done before, and better, by more gifted writers with a better grasp of grammar. I sort of wondered where some of the readers had been—hiding under a rock? Or maybe busy raising a family and missing out on the spicy stuff, hence the “mommy porn” tag attached to her writing.

              • I was a little ‘wtf’ about the use of Chaucer as comparison because it didn’t seem to coincide with my recollection of the Prioress’s Tale.
                The Prioress is described as someone who wants wants to be high-class, and tries to copy the manners of the nobility. Iirc she wasn’t happy as a nun because she would rather be a mother (and expends her maternal feelings on her dogs) and live out of the church. There are some people who dwell on the fact that she ‘thinks of’ both men and women, but I am not sure how this compares in any way to the (at best) co-dependent bdsm relationship Anastasia Steele has with Christian Grey.
                In any case, society’s options for a 14th century nun =/= those of a 21st century woman, no matter how naive, sheltered and emotionally messed up. To suggest that Chaucer could have written a story about the Prioress ‘coming out’ shows a complete lack of knowledge of the context of Chaucer’s story. Is there something about this story that I don’t recall that would tie the Prioress to AS?

  2. Ftr, favorite quote from the Q&A “Is there a safe word which will stop you from writing anymore of this bollocks?”

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