Despite the fact that I am deeply suspicious of the book and have yet to see the movie, Hanna has decided to hold me personally responsible for the phenomenon of Twilight, and specifically the chivalrous male lead, Edward Cullen, whom she has taken to referring to as “your stupid vampire.”
Given that my name will thus inevitably–at least in our apartment–be linked to many adolescent girls’ (and adult women’s!) lust for “vegetarian” vampires with stalker tendencies, I figure it’s only fair that I get to post links here to some of the awesome (and hilarious) deconstruction of the series that’s taking place around the blogosphere.*
Thus, two links that came across my desk today:
The first is Amanda Marcotte’s rant on Pandagon,
Vampires, liberals, and blood-sucking pretend liberals, which manages to connect the hate-mongering commentary about Proposal 8 to reactionary adoration of Twilight (apparently, the popularity of the series “means feminism is bound to fail”) through the person of Caitlin Flanagan. I have to say, when I saw that Flanagan had reviewed Twilight over at the Atlantic this week I about popped a blood vessel. Anyone who declares halfway down the first page of a review of teen lit that “I hate Y.A. novels; they bore me” has absolutely no business reviewing (or claiming to understand the popularity of) young adult literature — let alone explaining with condescending smugness the desires of adolescent girls with such generalizations as “the salient fact of an adolescent girl’s existence is her need for a secret emotional life.” Thank you, Amanda, for giving this review the critical attention it deserved — and most importantly connecting it to larger themes of political conservatism.
And in case political analysis is not your bailiwick, commenter annejumps on the Pandagon thread provided a link to The Secrets of the Sparkle, a three-part (plus drinking game!) send-up of the series written by an ex-Mormon. (To explain title of the post: apparently, Edward Cullen sparkles in the sun. Like, literally. It’s a detail I sadly forgot from my reading of the novels last year. Damn.) It’s sort of like a picture book cliff notes version of the first three books . . . through the lens of LDS theology. Trust me.
Okay. That’s my fun for this evening. Back to editing the final draft of my history term paper! The semester’s almost over!
*I want to reiterate here that 1) my reservations about the series does not mean I think we should disparage the pleasure girls are getting out of the romance of the books–though we can encourage them to think critically about messages that Twilight conveys about sexuality and gender, and 2) that my reservations also don’t mean I fail to get pleasure myself out of stories about scary, sexy vampire bad boys. I just happen to like my heroines with a little more bite and my sex with a little less prudery.