Friday, 4 February 2011

My stance on the Twilight debate.

My post on Aimee L. Salter's Blog at...

Seeking the Write Life

I have been reading with interest, the backlash that the Twilight Saga seems to have provoked.
I love the Twilight series and have re-read them several times. I have a crush on Edward Cullen to the point of middle aged silliness. I am also an English teacher and scholar of twentieth Century literature - so I know how to read for inference and gender political issues - however, it comes back to the point above - Edward Cullen is a fantasy.
I adore the Twilight series because I can completely identify with the scenario and characters. (Obviously my first love wasn't a vampire - but in all other ways X was very much an Edward Cullen - Dark, brooding, intense, Oxbridge candidate, insecure and overly confident all at the same time) First love can be like a disease. It doesn't make you act rationally - it doesn't make you respond intelligently. At this stage in your life it's all about emotion and a primal urge that is beyond articulation. It's as Zizek would philosophise - DAZZLEMENT.
There have been a lot of criticisms levied at Edward Cullen's passive aggressive behaviour and his perpetuation of patriarchal oppression - well yes - he's a moody sod that has an issue about asserting his authority in order to defend the love of his life. He's seventeen! And to be frank - for all his faults at least he isn't base - he's working to a set of higher moral ideals - even if misguided.
There is also the uncomfortable concept that for some very intelligent and empowered young women there is a fantasy of submission. (Feminists may scream at me now) Sometimes when you are a girl / woman being super grounded, being super competent, being super intelligent there is an eroticism to the concept of being over powered. Again, I emphasise that this is FANTASY and I do not think that Meyer's work glorifies abusive relationships in any way at all. It offers girls a dark and taboo fantasy - one that has been in literature for hundreds of years.
I have a boxed set put aside for my incredibly strident and bluestocking daughter and I will offer them as a gift to her for on her fourteenth birthday - I hope my gift will be one that allows her to understand the sublime danger, beauty and passion of first love.

No comments:

Post a Comment