Wednesday, November 14

Ira Levin, R.I.P.

Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby and Stepford Wives, passed away at 78. For some reason, I feel this more than Norman Mailer's passing. Admittedly, Mailer was more entertaining to watch, but I was bored to tears trying to read his work. Meanwhile, I read and watched most of Levin's works.

Levin himself was never really bothered that he wasn't considered a heavy weight literary novelist in his time. Some critics also confined his work to genre: "Combining elements of several genres — mystery, Gothic horror, science fiction and the techno-thriller — Mr. Levin’s novels conjured up a world full of quietly looming menace, in which anything could happen to anyone at any time. In short, the Ira Levin universe was a great deal like the real one, only more so: more starkly terrifying, more exquisitely mundane."

He did that quite effectively, I think. So much so that he was able to really infiltrate popular imagination. What he wasn't thrilled about was the upsurge of Satanism that seemed to occupy popular culture since Mia Farrow spawned the devil's son. But given that, I'd think he was amused that "Stepford" is now used as an adjective. At least I use it. He didn't ask me for any royalties though.

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