Twilight

March 14, 2009
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I thought I understood teenage girls. Really, I did. But this latest "literary" development turned Hollywood "film" turned cult following has not only belied this idea, it has destroyed it in such an irrevocable manner that I am feeling a steady estrangement from my demographic - who have all incidentally seemed to turn into High School Musical/Hannah Montana/vampire-obsessing fan-girls.

(If you think that line was sensationalized, you have clearly never read the Twilight saga.)

Because the fourth component and the movie adaptation were released within a few months of each other, Twilight became the 2008 mass-phenomena of the teenage girl subculture. But all the hype, all the ridiculous displays of obsession in forms of T-shirts, buttons, and Facebook bumper stickers, hide an essential truth: Twilight is prodigiously bad. It is literature in its lowest-common-denominator form, superficial to the core and hoisting a contrived, redundant plot.
Despite (or maybe even because of) this ' every book in the Twilight series has held the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list, with a collective 13 million copies sold. And on November 21st, 2008 Twilight was unleashed on the big screen, hitting the top of the Blockbuster immediately and selling out at 80% of its screenings. Scariest of all is the cult-like frenzy accompanying all this. Meanwhile, girls everywhere have transitioned into vampire stalker-mode, camping out at malls, stampeding to get autographs, screaming thin'gs like 'Bite me!' at actors.

This all started in 2005 with an emo-looking book that was a direct materialization of a dream about vampires, according to the author Stephenie Meyer. The book regurgitates an incredibly basic sci-fi / overblown romance story: girl meets boy, girl finds out boy is vampire, girl and boy conveniently fall 'unconditionally and irrevocably' in love, boy saves girl, the end.

Yet Stephenie Meyer, with her absolute lack of literary talent, fails to pull off even this most embryonic of action-schemes.

The 'boy' and 'girl' are cookie-cutter boring - no flaws, personality quirks, nothing. Readers are mind numbed by Isabella Swan - the most inane, aggravatingly clich'd narrator ever crafted ' and her ridiculously flowery, excessive discourse throughout the course of the novel.

This is essentially the first paragraph of the novel: "I was wearing a white eyelet lace shirt and my parka was my carry-on and the sky was a perfect cloudless blue." In the next 375 pages, we follow Bella Swan while she eats her granola bar for breakfast, walks to her truck, gets inside her truck, drives to school in her truck, sees an attractive guy whilst in her truck, trips while getting out her truck, etc., etc. etc. Oh. My. God.

When Bella meets Edward Cullen, her angsty vampire soul-mate-to-be, it gets even more disturbing. She spends paragraphs on end gushing over how dazzlingly handsome he is. I will spare you the excerpts, but as a forewarning, she uses the phrase 'beautiful and terrifying' about fifteen times.

And that, right there is the entire appeal of the book. Meyer banks on the superficiality of her readers. That they be so blown away by how incredibly beautiful everybody is, they forget how bad the material is.

Meyer's idea of True Love is decidedly creepy, based entirely on physical appearance and stalkerish tendencies. In two weeks, Edward becomes Bella's sole motivation for breathing for no reason except his attractiveness. Bella's eternal role as 'damsel in distress' places her as one of the weakest heroines in recent history.

Stephenie Meyer is the least evocative reader I have come across. Her imagination is that of a 12 year old with a vampire fetish. Her prose is unbelievably meticulous. Does a book this devoid of quality really warrant thousands of fan-clubs, one based in our own school? Does a book that has so tragically annihilated teenage girls' perception of good literature really deserve to top book lists across the nation?
Honestly, I don't know what to do with my Twilight copy, other than burn it - Qin China style.





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mohinder33 said...
Mar. 26, 2009 at 5:04 pm
YES!!!My thoughts exactly; very little, if anything,(maybe one or two characters) is actually iteresting or well described- but not in an intelligent manner, just slightly less shallow. I would like to add that the Edward/Bella relationship is also abusive. Even more horrible is the chasteness turned into insane lust coming from a religious Mormom woman (I mean no offense, but it just doesn't fit). The fourth novel, which I had to put down because it was so bad and disturbing, is largely comp... (more »)
 
gummibear said...
Mar. 20, 2009 at 8:02 pm
umm how do you like twilight
 
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