November 21, 2011

Twilight: a retraction

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 3:11 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I admit it: I’ve been a hater. I, like so many around me, have mercilessly mocked the Twilight book series for content, writing style, and the religion of the author. But you know what? I’m officially changing my mind. I actually like outdrawn over-the-top gothic romance stories, as does over 100 million others according to the sales of this series worldwide. I think anything that can sell like that has a certain appeal.* And even if I didn’t like the first book enough to buy the rest at Walmart ($4.99 each), I still think it’s completely okay that others do.

It’s time to admit that even though young girls might learn some questionable lessons from this book series, they will learn a lot more questionable things from television, computer games, and the people around them. People know the difference between fiction and reality. If you’re really worried, then make sure your kids watch Buffy: the Vampire Slayer as well, and that they read other books in addition to this one, like Collins’ The Hunger Games and Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale. I read Orwell’s 1984 when I was nine. Changed my life by shaking my trust in the state as an institution.

I might not agree with the sexual policies of the Twilight series, or find the idea of stalker love appealing, but I don’t read books just to agree with them. If that was the case, I’d never be able to stand Shakespear’s Romeo and Juliet (unnecessarily tragic stalker love with borderline pedophilia thrown in) or SΓΌskind’s The Perfume (about a serial killer searching for a scent of his own), and don’t even get me started on the morals of fairy tales like The Little Mermaid or Bluebeard. So what if Meyer is a mormon? I don’t care if she’s a duck as long as she gets kids reading. We all know that best selling authors make the world better for all us struggling ones. Keep making people flip pages Stephanie Meyer!

*I’m not changing my view on Dan Brown, however. Sorry man, I have to agree with Steward Lee on this one. (And I still hate the twilight movies. No one can take that away from me.)



  1. My problem isn’t really the stalker-y boyfriend, or the no-sex-till-marriage bit – my main problem with the series (and I’ve read all the books, and seen the movies, because I want to be able to say that I know what I’m talking about when I say I sort of hate them πŸ˜‰ ) is that the heroine is so f*cking suicidal.
    As far as I can tell, any and all conflicts is seen by Bella as an opportunity to sacrifice herself (in a helpless, “I’ll throw myself off a cliff or into the arms of the killer vampire” sort of way, not a useful “I’ll do a suicide run with a handgrenade or flamethrower” way) so that everything will be fixed and everyone else will get to live happily ever after.
    Not a good example for hormon-ridden teenage girls who seem far too prone to suicidal tendencies to start with.
    THAT’s why I don’t like Twilight, and why I would stear my girls onto Buffy or Anita Blake instead.
    Because frankly, I’d rather have them be sluts than dead – and if I’m lucky, they’d be kick-ass! πŸ™‚

    Comment by Annika M-B — November 21, 2011 @ 3:52 pm | Reply

    • I agree that she’s really lame. Hell, even Stephanie Meyer described the story as a tale about a vampire who fell in love with a human, even though she wrote the damned thing and should know who was supposed to be the main character. What can I say, I guess Bella in her self-sacrificing, suicidal, clumsiness is just, well, forgettable.

      But my point wasn’t whether or not it’s good literature, or if it has good morals to teach, just that I’m happy people are reading, and that twilight has lead to a whole slew of other series with female protagonists (The Vampire Diaries and Secret Circle to mention two).

      I’d push my kid towards Buffy too. She’s a way better character, but if my kid wanted to read Twilight, I’d be happy s/he was reading, not worried about what s/he read. (Not sure about Anita Blake. She started out kick-ass but I’m not sure I’d be comfortable with my mom suggesting soft core porn to me, so I guess I shouldn’t expect my kid to be either.) πŸ˜‰

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 21, 2011 @ 5:01 pm | Reply

  2. I’m not a fan of the “Twilight” saga, either. And yeah, Bella is just not an impressionable character. I like Buffy better, too. But you’re right. At least “Twilight” prompted kids to read. Better that than nothing.

    Comment by Anna — November 22, 2011 @ 3:12 am | Reply

    • Not the most passionate of defenses, but there you have it. πŸ™‚

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 22, 2011 @ 9:34 am | Reply

  3. What is the point of prompting kids to read, when they only read garbage? As if any of those teen girls who’s never picked up a book before in their lives is gonna open up Kafka or Milton after reading “Twilight”. If they read anything else, it’ll just be more brainless garbage; more badly written, lousy, mythology raping crap, with no story and characters without personalities. The reason it sells so much isn’t because it’s in any way good – it’s because even morons can read it. I hope Stephenie Meyer never writes another book again. Ever. And if I were to have kids, I’d rather have them not reading at all, than reading this kind of trash.

    Oh, and Dan Brown and his books are worth a million of S. Meyer’s. At least his has a plot, and makes for cool films.

    Comment by Vero — November 23, 2011 @ 3:40 pm | Reply

    • Wow. I couldn’t disagree more. Of course they’re more likely to pick up other books after they’ve gotten a taste for reading. I started reading Conan the Barbarian, Margit Sandemo and the Eva series (1960s books that were all about 16 year old girls who married 22 year old medical students). Then I read everything else in the world. If you were right, I would still be reading only the kiosk literature and maybe the odd graphic novel.

      And I’d prefer to watch Twilight: Eclipse again to having to see Tom Hanks run while he’s explaining the plot once more. Or Ewan McGregor parachute out of an explosion. Give me the over-dramatic romance of teenage girls any day.

      (I was joking about Dan Brown though. I can’t stand his books, but he goes in the same category as Meyer. He sells a lot, which means publishers earn a lot of money on him, which means they have enough money to support new, quirkier book projects. Good for us all.)

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 23, 2011 @ 6:08 pm | Reply

      • Conan and Margit Sandemo is high literature compared to Twilight. Conan is an epic, classic graphic novel, and Sandemo plays with myths and legends, unlike Meyer who only rape them. πŸ˜›

        (Never heard of the Eva series, so no comment on that.)

        Comment by Vero — November 26, 2011 @ 7:53 am

      • I dunno. I think Margit Sandemo writes the same story over and over (the unpopular girl gets the hot guy in the end), but since that’s a story I like, I quite enjoyed her books. I think they’re about the same level though.

        And Conan is so anti-feminist that my mom, who mostly let me read whatever I wanted, forbade me to read it. (of course, that only made me want to know more).

        Comment by nascentnovelist — November 26, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

  4. Lol. I like to stay out of the Twilight stuff as much as possible. I just don’t like the ideas of vampires in general. I stopped reading Twilight when it started talking about how Edward couldn’t resist Bella’s scent.

    Comment by Rain — November 24, 2011 @ 12:16 pm | Reply

    • I’d be okay with that part if it didn’t mean that he really, really wanted to kill her. Also, the heroin addiction part.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — November 24, 2011 @ 3:10 pm | Reply

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