Thursday, September 10, 2009

My take on Stephanie Meyer

Editor's Note: This is an old post I finally got around to finishing. There is another book worth far more carping from me than Twilight, but more on that one anon.

From out of the Mormon stronghold, from out of the hallowed halls of Brigham Young University, grasping a degree in English Literature, there came a woman, one Stephanie Meyer, who had a dream, a vision, which she wrote down, and, over time, fashioned into a story which is now all the rage, setting many a young heart a flutter. Such success should satisfy any writer's thirst for fame and fortune. Who could take issue with or argue against such a book?

A lowly Freshman, heading toward an English Degree at a snail's pace, steps up to the plate.

I'm not going into the details of my grievances with Twilight. I'll just say the story was compelling right up to the meadow scene and went flaccid from that point on. Hey, I've heard it happens to many a writer. The book was interesting for me as I read and wondered what kind of allegory I had in my hands. Poor old Edward could hardly contain himself and keep from biting young Bella. Are not young boys, or even immortal boys frozen into late teen years, always aware of the uncontrollable urge to penetrate the women with some personal protrusion? As I read about love in Forks Washington, I wondered if this was an example of how true love waits. Sort of like Dracula joins Focus on the Family. I'm being whimsical, of course. I read on to see how things would play out, but after the meadow scene, flop. The story lost it's narrative thrust. Cheap pun? Hey, this is commercial fiction.

Am I to believe that along with some modern chivalric code, this story demonstrates how, when confronted with astonishing male beauty, a girl will choose to follow a man no matter the cost? Take a look at the cover of the book. Two female hands hold an apple, alluding to the choice given humankind in the Garden of Eden. But what is Bella choosing? Is effulgent Edward the new serpent? Who are they rebelling against? What other choices are being made besides following one dude no matter what? I didn't see an immediate answer. Oh well, he's an angel, a protector, and god like, and that, along with his beauty, seems enough for many readers. I'm able to realize an old lesson from reading this book: if you hit the right cord with your readers, you win. Good enough. And back to my studies I go.