How Twilight is kind of like porn

Well, I finished Twilight last night and loved it. More for the story than the writing, although sometimes Meyer surprised me with her turn of phrase. But mostly I’m a sucker — no vampire pun intended — for intense, irresistible love.

That said, I surprisingly feel no urge to rush into the rest of the series. For me, the hold was the romantic tension between Bella and Edward, and all the squishy nostalgic feelings their relationship stirred inside me. (I’m very stable and happy with Andy, so it was a lot of fun to relive that drama vicariously.) But Twilight ends with them happily together, whereas the rest of the books seem to unnecessarily complicate that — I know because I’m horrible and read the Wikipedia summaries! — so I think I’ll wait. Besides, the iPod app (Stanza) is doing some funny formatting things to the eBooks I downloaded (i.e., not breaking the lines in the right places) and I think I’d enjoy a properly formatted book more.

By coincidence, John August recently linked to an interesting and humorous op-ed about Twilight called “What Girls Want” (by Caitlin Flanagan, Atlantic Monthly, Dec 2008). These were my fave parts:

The salient fact of an adolescent girl’s existence is her need for a secret emotional life — one that she slips into during her sulks and silences, during her endless hours alone in her room, or even just when she’s gazing out the classroom window… This means that she is a creature designed for reading in a way no boy or man, or even grown woman, could ever be so exactly designed, because she is a creature whose most elemental psychological needs — to be undisturbed while she works out the big questions of her life, to be hidden from view while still in plain sight, to enter profoundly into the emotional lives of others — are met precisely by the act of reading.

Reading the book, I sometimes experienced what I imagine long-married men must feel when they get an unexpected glimpse at pornography: slingshot back to a world of sensation…

EXACTLY!

Because it takes three and a half very long books before Edward and Bella get it on — during a vampiric frenzy in which she gets beaten to a pulp, and discovers her Total Woman — and because Edward has had so many decades to work on his moves, the books constitute a thousand-page treatise on the art of foreplay.

Teehee.

Anyway, now it’s back to the real world. The real world in which I need to start a story or a novel soon. Like, yesterday soon. Like, omigosh I’m already 23 and not a literary superstar soon!

Sigh…

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11 Comments

  1. your title totally teased me to read this post. :(

  2. Hehe, that was sort of the point, no? (Actually I just LOVED that line in the op-ed. And I decided to try to forget my parents have started reading…)

  3. I read the first book in the series but haven’t read the others. I was unimpressed by the writing. You are a better writer than Meyer is BY FAR!!

    • Twenty Four At Heart’s recent blog post: I’m Such a Bitch, I Can’t Stand Myself

  4. Sy

    I tried reading Twilight multiple times to figure out what all the hype was about. Bless your soul for actually getting through with it.

    I skimmed a few pages & found that Edward had to be the shiniest fucking ornament on the planet & Bella just has no personality …

    If she had written it better – or maybe if JK Rowling had written it – then I would’ve totally gone with the flow.

    Meyer is just a horrendous writer. She should’ve just taken her novel to fictionpress.

    Okay, I’m done. LOL. But kudos, again, for reading it :)

    • Sy’s recent blog post: How The Singles Have Fallen.

  5. TFAH-
    Aw, thank you!! From your lips to a publisher’s ear, lol.

    Sy-
    Haha. You know, I went in expecting to hate it, so I probably set the bar so low that it was only natural for me to be pleasantly surprised. I will say that the very beginning starts off weakest writing-wise, but it does get better.

  6. The writing thing is pretty tricky. I used to write a lot of fiction – actually wrote few novel-length things in my early- and mid-20s. I think I took myself a little too seriously with those efforts LOL. Then about 4 years ago, before my first child was born, I started writing something really fun. Got halfway through and stopped. Now I am now trying to finish it. But it’s hard. Unfortunately, we can’t force the muse to visit us on command, can we?

    How about I try to get a muse to visit you, and you do the same for me? We live far enough away from each other that there shouldn’t be too much muse competition. ;)

    • Sonja’s recent blog post: I’m not always a complete dick and other revelations

  7. Sadly no… But your plan sounds good to me! :D

  8. haha – already 23! hope you’re not serious. :) you have your whoooole life to write a novel.

    • floreta’s recent blog post: Lost [In Translation]

  9. My daughter keeps bugging me to read Twilight. And all my female (reading) students love it.

    • Pseudo’s recent blog post: Spin Cycle: Change

  10. Stephanie Meyer and I went to school to gether at BYU. Same English Lit classes and everything.

    Interesting though, I couldn’t make it past page 74 of this novel. I had no interest. I thought the movie was much better at capturing the intense desire between the two characters!

    • D’Arcy’s recent blog post: Latter-Day Saints Part II

  11. Floreta-
    Haha! Only partially serious… ;)

    Pseudo-
    You know, if you go into it with realistic expectations (i.e., not “this should be the greatest book ever, since so many people love it!” but more like, “this could be a good story and is aimed at tween girls”) then I think you have a better chance of enjoying it. That’s a big part of the reason I never jump into fads.

    But also, it might just not be your thing. I could totally understand that. Even after reading and loving it, I’m still a little surprised at WHAT a phenomenon it has become.

    D’Arcy-
    Seriously?? That’s kind of a fun little factoid. (Hopefully someone I went to school with will comment about being in classes with me someday! :P)

    Yeah, as I wrote above to Pseudo, it doesn’t surprise me that the book is not for everyone. Actually I doubt if the movie is either, but I thought it was a really interesting choice to make the movie more like a brooding Victorian romance in style/tone (especially with muted color palette and music) than a bright, fast-paced, special effects flashy film (like Harry Potter).

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