Monday News: YA diversity & the “problem book,” Spider-Man deal with Marvel & Sony, Masters & Johnson, and Polidori’s Vampyre
I don’t have any definitive proof that there’s an invisible ceiling on the number of issues a YA novel can contain, but reviews such as those above do police the boundaries of what is acceptable in a realistic YA novel. I have talked to many authors who feel that this invisible ceiling does exist; it is basically common knowledge among minority authors that including more than one minority identity in a book is a huge risk for your career.
In the real world, plenty of individuals deal with more than one minority identity at the same time, every day. Obviously a novel is not reality — often, reality is too unbelievable for fiction — but YA fiction that seeks to deal with real-world experiences must be able to address the lives of teens who check more than one minority box. –Diversity in YA
Marvel has long wanted to put Spider-Man in its movies, but since Sony Pictures controlled the rights to the character since 1999, the web-slinger has been off limits. Making a crossover could have been costly, since Disney would have been expected to shell out millions. But the actual deal turns out to much cheaper — more like free.
Marvel Studios won’t pay Sony Pictures for the rights to put Spider-Man in “Captain America: Civil War,” the “Avengers” franchise or its other superhero films, as part of its new partnership with the studio, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. At the same time, Marvel won’t receive a cut of the box office for any of Sony’s films that feature Spider-Man. Sony won’t receive a percentage of the revenue Disney makes from Marvel’s films that have Spider-Man, either. –Variety
Thomas Maier, who wrote a biography of Masters and Johnson (called “Masters of Sex”), said the couple dealt with virtually every aspect of human sexuality.
“Instead of the male being the more powerful of the sexes, what they were clinically showing was that women actually had a greater capacity for sex,” said Maier. . . .
Then, the prevailing success rate treating sexual problems: maybe 15 percent.
They reported an astonishing 80 percent.
The best part: The treatment only took just two weeks.
“Essentially what they did was they taught couples how to touch one another again, literally how to communicate physically, where it had broken down,” said Maier. –CBS News
Knowing the context of Polidori’s story, it is hard not to read “The Vampyre” as an allegory of the doctor’s relationship with Byron, a text that is seamed with the mocking laughter of a man possessed of the power to debilitate through the force of personality alone. Furthermore, it rewrites the well-known story of Byron’s success since the publication of Childe Harold, wherein a young nobleman goes abroad and returns filled with capacious understanding of himself and the world, by showing that his melancholy air is a deceit, a mendacious con perpetuated on a gullible claque of fools for the purpose of their exploitation. As a meditation on the degeneracy of a society that has encouraged the excesses of celebrity to such an extent that it has been allowed to dwarf the higher values and enable the abuse of the virtuous and the innocent, it damns absolutely the superficial lure of fame. –Public Domain Review