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Friday, April 30, 2010

Even more on Twilight

Had a nice long chat with Suzanne last night; it's been way too long since we caught up. We ended up talking for a couple of hours about Twilight. She had read all 4 books back in the spring of 2008 (well, the 4th book came out that summer), before the first movie was released, after her sister, who never recommends books, had recommended them. She never mentioned them to me, thinking they wouldn't be my cup of tea. Of course, we had incredibly similar reactions to the series - surprised and a little embarrassed how much we enjoyed the books. We both found Stephenie's writing to be quite engrossing - "a page turner" as Suzanne said, and we really like the literary references (Suzanne went back and reread Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre afterwards, and loved them both again). Suzanne confirmed what I had read about the 4th book - that it wasn't what fans really wanted and it's not a worthy finale; she said Stephenie should have waited and written the book that fans deserved. She was also quite disappointed in the first movie, especially how dark it was, and how little time it spent on the lighter, more romantic moments in the book. She's convinced that in 10 years, someone will remake it and take a different approach. Though she admits that when she watched it a second time, without her expectations from the book in the forefront, she enjoyed it more. We also both really loved Midnight Sun and hope that Stephenie will get over herself and finish it (it stops just when the romance starts to heat up).

We made tentative plans to get together the end of July, then we can include Eclipse in our movie marathon (a few weeks after it comes out and hopefully the crowds will have thinned).

I had a thought while we were talking, because we are so in sync about the appeal of the series. I think that in many ways, it's a very old fashioned love story, despite the vampire aspect, especially considering that Pride and Prejudice is the template. So when women of a certain age, like Suzanne, Meredith and I, want a traditional love story, it's not surprising that we would find this teen story fitting the bill. We're not interested in the sexed up historical novel (called a bodice ripper for obvious reasons) and also not that taken with more modern romances, where all the women live in NYC and shop til they drop (I don't care who designed their shoes or what cocktail lounge is the "in" place to drink). But if an adult novel were to stick to the simplistic motif of Twilight, it would seem too banal. This way, we get our cake and eat it too - the classic romantic formula (or formulas) and the naivete of youth, without the elements that we don't require. Meredith has recommended reading some blogs devoted to Twilight, the ones written by women my age. I'm sure this issue is covered in detail. And other conversations should be illuminating as well.



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