Sunday, September 20, 2009

Empirical & Vampirical


I’ve been considering merging my two obsessions into one. Throughout my life I’ve had an interest in gender roles, in part because I so often don’t observe them, and I’m having a torrid love affair with English/American Literature.

I also loathe my generation’s fascination with the novel by Stephanie Meyer, Twilight. It is the only book in the series I’ve ever read. I read it at a friend’s hest and from the first page I just couldn’t stand it, but I did finish it, hoping with each turned page it would get a little bit better. I also saw the film with some friends, and managed to catch some of the dialouge through all of our saturnine comments. I cannot begin to describe how much I dislike both the book and the film, on so many levels, but particularly from the standpoint of good writing and gender roles. It might be interesting to explore this blockbuster film, as well as the book, through these lenses.

I'd like to analyze Bella, the female lead's character, and her relationship with Edward, the leading male, in a number of scenes both in the book and the film. Particularly those when Bella is shown to be so pathetic and yet Edward, some ubermensch, is interested in her. It's very interesting that it's a male vampire and a female human; it's very interesting that Edward is something of a male ideal nowadays. I want to know why. I also want to know why Edward loves Bella so much in return for her piteous mediocrity. What do these things say about being a man? About being a woman?

There’s certainly a surplus of information out there about these bloodsuckers. I don’t think I’d have any trouble providing myself with examples to analyze. Also, my audience would know full well what I was talking about even if I inexactly allude to “that scene in the hospital” or "that scene in the parking lot."


I’ll write for “myself and strangers” first.

I’ll write for the fans of the series as well as the critics, either way those who’ve read the book and/or seen the movie regardless of their reactions.

The critics and the fans want to see the same things, but for different reasons. The critics, in this vampire-crazed culture, would like to know that they are not mad for kneeling at the Cult of the Cullens. Some of them might want educated estimates on why the film is garbage to edify their wordless disgust for the film, and the series as a lump sum.

Yet, interestingly, in attacking an object you support your allies’ cause, but sponsor your opponents. My critic of this film will embolden the zeal of its fans; they will have a perfect opportunity to scream their love of these empty fictional characters at the top of their lungs or their CAPS LOCK!!! In this way, I’ll give them something to look forward to as well.

Either audience wants to see a hard and swift critique. Neither would be interested in my going soft on the film. They probably wouldn’t want me to be soft on the actors or the author, Stephanie Meyer, herself. But, I’ll have to be: I’m disgusted by the message, not those who conveyed it, and certainly Meyer can improve her literary craft—perhaps even by reading my blog!


I’ll give my blog my own special touch. I’m mordacious, but highly lovable. I’m a barbed teddy bear.

I can be a little tangential, but the audience will come away with something. The writing will not be purely critical, like I said, I’ll show some clemency, and I’ll stray from querulous rants and dopey complaints. I’ll stick with something smart, swift and thorough in my delivery. I am savage, yet I’m a savage optimist. There will be moments when, even in my thorniest posts when the one pearl of wisdom somewhere in all of that tasteless melodrama catches my attention and I mention it to the reader. After all, they say nowadays that even black holes give off the briefest flickers of light.

I’m thinking of titles such as

  • “Illuminating Twilight”
  • “Why I Hate Edward Cullen”
  • "Empirical & Vampirical"
  • or, “Glittering Vampires. O Rly?”
Among the posts I'd like to make are, a post where I get all the good I find in the series out of the way and disaffiliate my criticism of the film and the book from the actors, the author, the director and the screenwriter involved. I'd also compareTwilight's vampires to the vampires in other works of film and literature. Yet, the mainstay of my posts would be those which examine the scenes and dialouge attempting to answer some of the initial "why's" I've said above. There are specific scenes I could analyze in a post. Though this might mean, to my trepidation, renting a copy of the book... as well as recalling the film...

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