Saturday, March 27, 2010

What I've Been Wanting to Say About Twilight

One of my favorite pastimes: trash talking Twilight. NPR gets in on the action HERE.

My comment:

The Twilight books are absolute crap as literary works go. I actually listened to all four books via my MP3 player and the experience of hearing them read aloud brings more of their failings to light. I guess it’s because you don’t have the luxury of skimming over anything. You hear every_single_ridiculous_word of the story. Meyers is a hack writer. The eye-roll factor is off the charts when it comes to her cliché phrasing, flat characters, pacing stretched out like a taffy pull, excessive (nay, abusive) use of adverbs and clunky dialogue. And yet, this woman ignites a rabid fan base and is set for life before she’s 40. Her stories have entranced a worldwide audience—and they eat it up. The movies, merchandising and licensing opportunities afforded to this story in no way indicate that it’s good, just bankable.

The author, so clearly in-love with her creation, substitutes characters’ internal contemplation for compelling storytelling. But while she stumbles through the writing of this series, she has managed to capture one thing truly and correctly: the insane, obsessive drama of first love. Tempering these irrational feelings seems impossible since they are fueled by the entitled desire for fairytale endings and off-the-chart hormones. Anyone who has known this experience can attest to the singular sickening fixation that dominates all rational thought.

But in this story I find it interesting that there is never a chance lost to describe how beautiful, brooding and misunderstood Edward is. If he were a normal high school-aged guy and not a mysterious, ice-cold vampire, he would be no more than a stalker-y brooding misfit with an anger management problem. No self-respecting girl in her right mind would rush into his arms. But then again Bella isn’t. She is focused on the one person she should not be. And to boot, she is so clumsy and awkward, it’s distractingly unrealistic and annoying for the author to keep reminding us of all her apparent shortcomings. She is a regrettable creature who I fear is being envied and emulated.

1 comment:

Bev said...

I've only read the first book but I was impressed that Bella and The Vampire could love so deeply on a pyschic level.

I thought it was really cool to show how deep a love could grow through internal development - a message for high school kids.

I also think her work is reflective of the general high school internal mind. Girls are attracted to something quite different from themselves - entranced. Couldn't the vampire image be analogous to the male lover with his capacity to devour ... our minds and leaving us susceptible with only a passion-driven brain?

Also, remember, this is written for the developing high school mind whose reasoning brain is not fully developed until the late 20's. It is just possibly relfective, through metaphors and symbols, of their own inner conflicts.

But at 60, I still have to say, love in its initial flash flood stage creates a scenario where you may be obsessively compelled to give of yourself to your object of love - no matter how dangerous your rational mind realizes he is. I'm not so sure age is such a factor.

The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet stands as a universal lesson in the potential degree the passionate brain usurps the rational mind.

In the end, Kali, your rational brain has withstood the weather and has brought you a successful life.

Finally, I think the pharmeceutical companies should develop the brain (or hormone) regulator pill.