Thursday, February 4, 2010


Considering the success of the books (and fascinating reviews by John Granger), I wondered whether or not I should read them. Then my cousin purchased Twilight for me; so it was settled, I would venture to Forks...

Having finished, here are some final thoughts before I leave Forks (and never return):

1. A man I trust once told me to find the good in something first, because the bad is often easy to spot. So here's some good about Twilight. Meyer is not a bad writer, her talent best displayed in the scenery descriptions of Port Angeles, the meadows in the mountain, and La Push. Having been a student at the fine institution of BYU, she evidently paid attention in her English courses (she was an Eng. major). When I asked some folk whether I should read this, many disparaged her in an unjust way (some who had never even read the book).

2. It was interesting [sic] to see how she took some criticisms against LDS and turned it on its head. I think Mr. Granger (of Hogwarts) is mostly right about the connections he finds in the books to an unintentional quasi-apologetic of LDS, especially given that Meyer is a pious Mormon. I won't go into that here; you can read his stuff if you wish.

3. Having been an outsider during high-school (I wasn't very "cool" and I never really fit in), I was often sympathetic to Bella--at least in the beginning.

4. Bella and Edward evince that there's more to romance than sexual encounters. I don't know of any girl that would have been happy if I had broken into their house and watched them sleep, but certainly every girl I know wants a boy who is attentive and protective. Edward can provide useful dating advice for many guys, which is to ASK QUESTIONS and really LISTEN with earnest interest.

5. On to the bad. She's not a bad writer, but she certainly isn't a good writer. When she describes certain scenes, she writes in the manner of a professional writer. When Meyer writes about Edward, she writes as if she's a 13 year old school girl scrawling a note she intends to pass to her friend during science class. Even if it is intentional, it is hard to continue reading (after all, the narrator is Bella; so she has fits of sophistication and fits of immaturity--the discontinuity was disconcerting). Furthermore, when she starts to describe Edward, she goes off into an adjective-frenzy... especially with her overuse of 'glorious', a word that lost meaning by the end.

6. From the moment Bella and Edward went on their "first date" to the meadows (where he reveals his diamond-like skin... which is her Faun-by-a-Lampost vision), I started to lose interest. Again, this isn't to say that she's a bad writer; only that I have no preference for what came after (until James the Tracker came; and I hoped he would put an end to all this misery by eating Bella and hopefully killing Edward... such did not come to pass).

7. Some people defend the books because of their moral purity and conservative message. But the film "Fireproof" should teach us that a "good" message is not by itself good art.

8. There's an air of 'snootiness' in Bella. She reminds me of the Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast (not the original fairy story)--someone who is tired of "this provincial life" of Forks and needs someone to rescue her from the tedium that is life with Charlie (her dad) and her school. Her "friends" Jessica, Mike, Eric, etc., eventually dropped into the background as props; she was "above" them all and they fell by the wayside once something bigger and better came along.

9. Romantic love is a god stronger than Edward's monstrosity (and he's not really that vicious; he's cuddly like a little kitten, and as threatening as a dwarf hamster). But is that it? It ends right where Vanaucken's Severe Mercy begins. Van has shown me a love that was stronger than death; Meyer shows me a love that is afraid of death. I choose to side with Van.