1. FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, WHY?

Posted on September 28, 2012

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Few years ago, when the Twilight saga ( whether we wanted or not) arrived into our life  the curiosity overwhelmed me and, greedy to know the secret of such a success, I devoured the four books.

After thousands and thousands of pages I learned something about Stephenie Meyer: her extraordinary ability to talk about nothing.

When I thought it was over, a new threat arrived, E. L. James and her ability to talk only about sex.

You can’t escape, it is everywhere: advertised in the tube, in every newspaper; big and disturbing boards adorn every single bus and I almost regret those half-naked women promoting a perfume, a holiday, a bra  AND, as if it is was not enough, immense and scaring posters showing a grey tie welcome you at the entrance of a book shop, which, I strongly believe, it  is the most inappropriate place for Fifty shades of grey.

Let’s be honest, Twilight doesn’t seem really bad right now.

Fifty shades of grey, which is followed by Fifty shades darker and ( yes, it’s a trilogy) Fifty shades freed has been selling millions of copies in few months and it is literally impossible to ignore the phenomenon.

After the accusation of being merely a porn, the author  E L James defended her work defying it as a “passionate love story” which, anyway, did not give hard time to book reviewers: the book is about sex  accompanied by corporal punishments. A lot of sex, very few love. End of the review.

In my opinion, a passionate love story is the one of the Bronze horseman, for example, The thorn birdsEl amor en los tiempos del cólera or A man. The list is endless and includes all those books whose  authors perfectly describe the tumults of the soul. So I would suggest to James to leave particular  epithets to others.

It’s not difficult to understand why the book has caught so many people’s attention: sex sells  and will always sell.

My surprise, therefore, doesn’t lay in the book itself but in the fact that thousands of people, mainly women of different age, are literally crazy about it.

The question is therefore spontaneous in my mind: what happened to literature? What happened to dialogues, well-constructed stories, mystery, plots, characters, what happened to the endless power of words?

What happened to readers?

A book is an experience that starts with the first page, it is a door opened to a new world: the world of imagination, of daily life written by different points of view; a book, when it is well done, is able to arouse feelings and emotions, a book is a self- discovering, a deep introspection, a big magnifier on humanity.

In an era where reading is becoming more accessible with the advent of internet, social medias  and e- books, why is everything reduced to a mere description of sadism-masochism intercourse  able to obscure any other book recently published?

The answer probably lies in the changes of our society: we live in a culture where success is more important than talent, where Lady Gaga, extraordinary piano player chose, instead, to constantly surprise us with blasphemous  songs and absurd outfits.

Exceeding and shocking  are nowadays rules. We live in a world where cheap singers and actors domain the red carpet accompanied by reality shows winners: people who become famous for being too often deplorable.  And nothing else.

Let’s forget about names such as De Niro, Beatles, Sophia Loren; apart from few ( too few) exceptions, mediocrity is the new key of success: the less skills you have, the more luckily you are to be known.  The proof is constantly before our very eyes: the showbiz churns out daily useless ‘talents’ whose aim is to entertain us in the most unskilled ways.
No wonder, therefore, books like Fifty shades of grey are bound to become international bestsellers.

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