DOGGONE EVERYTHING (In Search of Something)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire.
J'adore The Atlantic, and this piece by Caitlin Flanagan, in particular, about the Twilight books and their effect on young women/girls, but also older women(!) and the significance of this series. I agree with her that it is a throwback to the novels of old (although I think I am a generation or 2 behind her): nary a hint of cell phones, no texting, and only ocassional email references. It does seem mired in another time. I am hooked on these books - on their romanticism; the idea of the hero and the heroine, good & evil, right & wrong. It's almost like a story from generations ago about a chivalrous hero/knight (Edward) and a pining, but intriguing, heroine/princess (Bella). And yes, it helps that Stephenie Meyer has a literature background.

Flanagan, in her best line, and the one to which I relate, writes: "Twilight is fantastic. It’s a page-turner that pops out a lurching, frightening ending I never saw coming. It’s also the first book that seemed at long last to rekindle something of the girl-reader in me. In fact, there were times when the novel—no work of literature, to be sure, no school for style; hugged mainly to the slender chests of very young teenage girls, whose regard for it is on a par with the regard with which just yesterday they held Hannah Montana—stirred something in me so long forgotten that I felt embarrassed by it. 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 that, through sheer force of will and dutiful acceptance of life’s fortunes, I thought I had subdued."



  • me Twilight is just a well written B novel. I think it's appeal to the teen girls is twofold. Firstly, girls love to identify with Bella, the girl all the boys fall in love with, even the mighty never smitten before vampire Edward. I'm afraid that they will be woefully disappointed in real life when nothing remotely similar happens for them. Secondly, the vampires with super powers and eternal life is in and of itself an attractive novelty. In the words of my twelve year old granddaughter, "Young people love randomness and violence."

    By Blogger SusanCantey, at July 08, 2009 9:38 AM  

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