Breaking Dawn, Part 1: 5 Weeks Until the Movie Opening

For more on the new Twilight movie, go to, your one-stop source for Twilight news and commentary.

We will, of course, be discussing the meaning of Breaking Dawn here, to include why ‘Part 1’ is best understood as its own book, its alchemical meaning, and why it comes ‘before’ Eclipse in several senses. Not to mention commentary on how Twilight criticism in the mainstream media continues to miss the boat — and why Spotlight continues to be the best guide to thinking on the artistry and meaning of the series.


  1. maddoxhightower says

    Artistry? I am quite appalled at the idea that you think that Twilight is so popular because it is good and “literature”. A good comparison would be Michael Bay. He is as popular as Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, and James Cameron. However, Bay is nowhere near Nolan, Spielberg, or Cameron, and his most popular movie, “Transformers 2”, is also his worst, a convoluted mess of a movie I can’t believe I saw in a theater. In my opinion, Meyer is the Michael Bay of literature, and the Rowling, King, Murakami, Collins, and Franzen are the Nolans, Spielbergs, and Camerons of literature.

    In my opinion (and the opinion of many others), this is the real reason why Twilight is popular:
    [link deleted by moderator]

    Would you please argue against my thesis? (I don’t have any time to read “Spotlight”)

  2. Would you please argue against my thesis? (I don’t have any time to read “Spotlight”)

    You need only search this sight and for most of the arguments in Spotlight.

    Please note that I do not commit the logical fallacy you suggest I do. It is not her popularity that defines the worth of the work but the necessity to examine it to understand its popularity.

    You on the other hand dismiss because of popularity without grounds to dismiss. That is snobbery, pure and simple.

    I deleted the link to your site because the cartoons were intentionally demeaning to Twilight readers. That sort of trollish behavior isn’t what this site is about.



    post: I am obliged to point out that it is obnoxious to make a demand on my time while claiming to have insufficient time to read my arguments presented elsewhere.

  3. I, too, am troubled by your argument, Maddox.

    You suggest that Twilight has no value because it is so popular, and then assert this argument is valid because it is so popular.

    The example where you equivocate the popularity of Twilight and Transformers, which relies on “spectacle” over other elements (presumably including plot, meaning and character) is not an accurate comparison.

    It’s true that just because something is *momentarily* popular doesn’t necessarily mean it is offers great value, and thus most things of that sort come and go quickly — like many pop songs, for instance. Yet, the popularity of Twilight is enduring quite a bit more, longer, and pervasively, than a catchy pop song, however, which suggests it does offer real value. I suspect that as computer graphics improve, Transformers will be forgotten, like the early “talkie” films. Twilight, however, will endure. Like Star Wars and Lord of the Rings, I am quite confident we will be watching all sorts of Twilight-branded entertainments into the far future.

    As for your distaste for spectacle, I agree, but I think Aristotle covered that topic pretty well, so you can take that up with him (see: “Poetics,” eg.,

    Regardless, Twilight does not rely on spectacle for its popularity, or its enduring value, so again, that’s a poor comparison.

    On my own blog, I have written several posts over the years about current criticisms of Twilight. It’s been a while since I have updated that, even though they are very popular. So, right now, the current arguments against Twilight having much value — the “any” value arguments have mostly died off — are usually based in:

    (1) A lack of understanding of Twilight itself (as in, they haven’t read it, carefully), so they hate it;

    (2) A distaste for what Eugenides calls, “The Marriage Plot” (see, where the characters’ marriage is sort of the be-all-end-all choice of life;

    (3) A repugnance for religious allegory, specifically, a disagreement with anything that suggests that people can and/or should become more “godlike,” (like Edward, for instance), and;

    (4) Sadly, and increasingly, religious bigotry, specifically anti-Mormonism.

    So, this is the part where I break those arguments down. Sigh. Here goes:

    1. The allegorical aspects of Twilight are so obvious and profound to the careful reader that those who don’t see them should try, you know, actually reading the series.

    Bella’s trying to become “immortal” with her “perfect,” “angelic,” and “godlike” Edward, for Christ’s sake. How much more obvious could it be?! I mean, people freak out about all the many wondrous epithets ascribed to the Cullens, like the Greek gods of Homeric epic poetry, and never stopped to think about *why* they were there, and *what* they actually mean.

    So to those critics, I have one word: “Duh.”

    And because I am being generous, here’s another: “Godlike.” Think about it.

    If you have only seen the movies, then you don’t know “Twilight” either, as our dear friend, the screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, oh-so-helpfully changed the thematic structure of the books for the films as much as she could sneak past Stephenie Meyer and company, partially negating the films’ impact. I think Rosenberg would have more enjoyed writing a screenplay about, say, a young girl who becomes self-actualized through meaningless choices and sexual profligacy, just like Jessica suggests in her graduation speech as valedictorian(!); Twilight, it should be noted, is not that story.

    And Jessica, it should also be noted, is far from the valedictorian of her graduating class, in the Twilight books. Anna Kendrick is wonderful on screen, but that speech about the discovering the meaninglessness of your life to find meaningfulness in your life (and maybe score some hotties on the way), perhaps was not the best way to increase her screen time, as the entire thematic impact of “Eclipse” is about the monumental importance of Bella’s choices, including chastity. But I digress.

    If you have read Twilight and didn’t see the metaphorical meaning of the work, then you probably don’t understand what allegory is, or can be. To test that, for comparison, you probably don’t like reading scripture much either — something like, “It’s just all these old stories.” As Chief Swan would say, “Well, good luck with that.”

    OTOH, if you’re still in school, and are looking for meaning in Twilight/life, be sure to tune into the whole allegory/metaphor thing when it comes up in class. It’s a much bigger deal than your teacher may realize, because if you can interpret stories, then you can interpret life. As in: Your life. Which is a good thing.

    As my old pal Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” So, you know, make your life worth living, and paying attention in English class may help you to do just that.

    For people already out of school, um, maybe you can give some thought to the potence of allegory and metaphor in your life. For instance, you could start with your wedding ring. And notice how it continues around and around, without end, which is a very Twilight-y thing to consider (and is relevant to our next point). What does your wedding ring mean to you, in the broadest sense? In the deepest? What does the meaning you find in your ring say about your marriage? Now, apply that same approach to other elements of life; rinse, repeat.

    2. The “marriage as important issue” issue. Meyer has created a rich “marriage plot” by tying marriage to eternal life — the immortality of her “angelic” vampires in the Cullen family.

    Um, marriage is still an important decision. It has a great deal of impact on life, even if you could get divorced. For example, try getting divorced and/or married; then get back to me on the whole “low impact marriage” thing.

    I am sorry if getting married is a frustrating challenge for you, personally. I suggest facing that challenge, with effort and patience. I don’t know why girls can’t ask guys to marry, but I see a world full of anxiety due to that single issue. I am not suggesting a solution, necessarily, just stating my sympathy. It’s hard enough to face the many issues of “getting married” when you are the guy, and actually can ask someone to marry. How to face it when you can’t ask anyone… well, perhaps Bella has some allegorical advice for you, that might help. In any case, hating the “marriage plot” of Twilight won’t help eliminate your concerns, and may worsen them besides (see Bella’s frustrations over her mom’s griping about marriage, for an allegorical example).

    Meyer’s source for this topic, no doubt, is LDS beliefs that marriage can endure beyond “til death do us part,” which posits that mortal life is a time to gain experiences which will help ennoble a person for lives to come hereafter. Despite the overt Mormon-ness of that point, I don’t actually know many people (with good marriages) who relish the thought of “til death do us part;” it is a serious concern to many, regardless of personal matters of faith.

    The point here is that lessons learned during mortal life are very important, so it is crucial to examine one’s life carefully and learn as much as possible along the way, so you can make the most beneficial choices in the future.

    Whether you see that happening in the lives of prominent Mormons, including presidential candidates, is irrelevant to Meyer’s point. Bella learns a great deal from her experiences, and from her carefully interpreting stories of all kinds — films, folktales, and books (hint, hint) — ennobling herself, and helping her to make insightful choices, thereby overcoming the world(s).

    So I don’t see a lot of problems beyond those issues with Twilight discussing marriage in a positive light, or in suggesting that marriage can even be seen in a positive light. If you disagree with that point, I don’t really know what to tell you, except that maybe you and Melissa Rosenberg can get together sometime and discuss. Here’s a topic: “Men/women! Who can stand them?!”

    3. “A repugnance for religious allegory.”

    A lot of people just don’t like religion. So considering religious allegory is distasteful for them. I suspect that many of these people really just don’t like God; after all, why is He so mean to them?

    I say this because why are so many be adamantly atheist people out there not-believing in something that they don’t believe in? I mean, if you don’t believe in God, don’t. There aren’t anti-Martians, or anti-Narnians, or anti-Jedi. Because they don’t exist. Yet there are anti-God people everywhere. So thereby, in a sense, they acknowledge God’s presence, if not his actual person, undermining their own arguments. (I concede that being aggravated by religious people, rather than God Himself, is another matter, but Bella is specifically not a religious person without being atheist or antagonistic toward religious beliefs in general, so there you go. As a result, there are plenty of other, secular ways to look at Twilight so, you know, why get upset with Twilight over religious concerns?)

    Briefly, there are two types of religious beliefs: those rooted in mysticism (what I call the “open sesame” approach), and those rooted in cause and effect (the “get off your butt” approach). That said, it’s not an either-or proposition. Regardless of what an official religious group teaches, folk beliefs run the gamut between these two sides of the spectrum, and extend deeply into secular society: Is life magic, and stuff just happens, or is it rooted in cause-and-effect, in which case you should really get busy? So this spectrum can be kind of a vague thing to identify out there IRL. FWIW, IMHO, Mormonism is, in general, to a certain extent, kinda-sorta… firmly and adamantly on the side of cause and effect (and so is Bella/Twilight).

    So, from that point of view, why is God so mean to you? Because you haven’t gotten off your butt and done something better with your own life. God doesn’t sit on His hands; you shouldn’t either. You have choices; make them. Respond. Choose. Act. Don’t, just, bemoan.

    This is something that is expounded upon greatly in Twilight. Bella bemoans things at first, but ultimately saves herself, saves the Cullens, saves the vampire world from the evil Volturi. Because she does something about it.

    Yet, lots of feminist criticism centers around Bella being a doormat. In short: See point #1, above.

    Bella endures a lot, to be sure, as do the women and men throughout the series. Everyone is in pain, one way or another. They suffer.

    Yet Bella cures them all; the end. She finds a path from clumsily stumbling through life to on-the-path-to-perfection “immortality,” she helps the Cullens get over their hang-ups, helps Charlie move on past his divorce, helps the Wolfpack get beyond their bigotry and fear-based lifestyle, and she convinces the Volturi to acknowledge that they aren’t the arbiters of all truth and dispensers of ultimate justice for everyone on the planet so, you know, relax Volturi.

    Note that Bella doesn’t replace the Volturi in leading the world (or at least, isn’t trying to), hence her embarrassment at the end of BD when she acknowledges she is the superhero “of the day,” only. That’s all. So in the end, there is no ultimate arbiter of truth and justice who lives on this Earth. Which is significant, because of criticism number four.

    4. This is the anti-Mormon point. What with the accolades of the Broadway play, presumptuously titled, “The Book of Mormon,” and the two LDS candidates (Romney and Huntsman) for President of the United States, the topic of anti-Mormonism (as it is called) is a big deal of late (see ).

    An aside: I don’t attend any church, but I’ve lived among many religious communities across America, and now live in lovely rural Utah. IMO, religious social groups have all of the same problems that other social groups have. Plus, gather a few million people together and, dang, you’re bound to have a few “winners” in the group — the nuts, crackpots, and wolves-in-sheep’s-clothing who make things difficult for everyone else. Religious groups, especially, seem to attract people who are having especial difficulties in life, so they may wind up with a subset of nuts that is larger than most social groups. I don’t know that for sure, because I haven’t counted, but I’ve seen it all. That said, the Mormons do as well as any other religious/social group I’ve lived with. And to be honest, better than most. Which is why I live here, greedily devouring the pleasantly sociable Mormon ambiance without having to actually go to 17 meetings each week (or whatever) myself.

    On hypocrites: People outside of religious groups often get aggravated at them, because they don’t like their worldview (which is one thing) and accuse them generally of hypocrisy (which is quite another). Aspiring to live better, when you aren’t already living better, makes you a hypocrite, they say.

    But to actually live better, you have to aspire to do so, first. Accordingly, what some call hypocrisy, I would call “trying.” Nothing wrong with that. So, I don’t think that “trying” means religious folks are hypocrites. If they don’t seem to be genuinely trying, well, maybe they are and we should just be glad they aren’t as bad as they used to be, and (God help us) hope they continue to improve.

    And I don’t think fears of hypocrisy should result in people not trying hard to live better in their life (which I have actually seen people do, far too often).

    That said, everyone seems to know that Mormons believe their church is true. *The* true church, in fact. Shock and dismay among non-believers follows.

    Um, just want to point out that in my experience, most churches believe they are true. In fact, pretty much all of them. Hence, the whole “church” thing. So, you know, get over it. Churches believe themselves to be true, or the true-est thing out there. Nothing to see here; move along.

    What many assume is that for Mormons to be right, that must make everyone else “wrong.” I’m certain some LDS people get their backs up with other religions along those lines (and most certainly toward polygamist splinter groups, who go on TV claiming they are “Mormons,” who annoy actual LDS people no end; so, you may be annoyed by “Mormons” but nowhere near as much as LDS people are).

    Officially, however, LDS beliefs state that all churches (and belief systems in general) have truth. Maybe not all, but certainly some. And that people will be judged on the Last Day not by LDS beliefs but by their own, personal, genuine beliefs. If you’re Catholic; great, say the Mormons, be a good Catholic. If you’re born again, wonderful, then act like it. If you’re Shinto, new age, nature worshipper, whatever; knock yourself out. Go for it. Whatever you believe, do it (see number 11 here:,4945,106-1-2-1,FF.html).

    Mormons don’t seem at all surprised if others think their beliefs are pretty stringent and occasionally surprising, they just don’t know why you’re so upset about it, when it’s not your burden to bear. Even when they are a little chagrined to have it pointed out specifically, as all religious groups do. And they probably feel like they could use a cup of coffee, too. As very-not-Mormon, pro-skater Tony Alva once said, “Go for what you know” — a pretty good sum up of Mormon beliefs.

    So, ease off on the Mormon thing. They got their own problems, like 17 meetings to get to this week alone. They sure like to meet. And besides, Twilight isn’t *that* Mormon-y anyway. So relax.

    And go read “Twilight” again. You might learn something along the way.

    Now, John’s book, “Spotlight,” contains what some Mormons would consider intelligent, well-informed, non-Mormon analysis of Mormon theology and influence in the Twilight Saga, as well as Mormonism’s likely impact on Stephenie Meyer personally (which is a little presumptive, if I may say so). Meanwhile, other Mormons would consider it anti-Mormon propaganda. And they probably have, I suppose. Personally, I think the critics, and John, should have eased off a bit. Which John and I have talked about personally before, as I recall. If you could offend potential readers/buyers, why include it? (John has some strong and well-laid out reasons why, but I’ll leave that argument to him.)

    Regardless, there is a lot of great stuff in there (yes, John, I just referred to your one of your master works as “stuff” 🙂 ). Even if you’re Mormon. Or even merely Mormon-friendly, shall we say. So, if that could/would offend you, be prepared to skip over a few pages, like a ten or so, out of the 250-page book.

    And to Mrs. Meyer, I suggest you don’t read “Spotlight” at all, even if much of it may be addressed towards you; just go work on “The Host” sequel, or any unfinished books-which-shall-not-be-named instead. Please.

  4. maddoxhightower says

    Well, I have the time to read all those articles you read about Twilight and fhsprofessor, so I’m sorry if I said that I didn’t have any time to read “Spotlight”. And I do not dismiss her popularity without grounds to dismiss. The website (and I acknowledge that that first cartoon is just demeaning to Twihards) I posted made this arguments about the reason of its popularity, taking the first 400 pages of “Twilight”, which kind of represents my views and the views of 95% off all the people who don’t like Twilight, in non-troll language:

    – To a sane person, the book is horribly written (this is true, even Meyer acknowledges it. However, you avoid this argument by belittling Stephen King’s ability. I also haven’t read him, but from what I’ve heard, is the closest the English-speaking world has today to Haruki Murakami in terms of equal widespread critical and popular acclaim, and his (and Lev Grossman’s) appraisal of “Harry Potter” helped legitimate Rowling from Harold Bloom et al.).

    – The protagonist is an “empty shell”. Her features are never fully described, and her personality is that of your average pubescent teenage girl, so female readers easily wear her like a pair of pants. As her name is very rarely mentioned (even though it begins with a “B”), the article (and my summarization, for the sake of consistency) will call her “Pants”.

    – After a few chapters about how she fumbles through life, she meets Edward Cullen, the Perfect Man. In fact, the article ridicules the repetitiveness of the phrase “Edward’s perfect face”, and how much she desciribes virtually every single part of Edward’s body (a major reason why literary critics just don’t like Meyer’s writing).

    – Very few straight males love Twilight (to put the article in ways that can be published here).

    – The movies are as bad as the books (that also is true. The movies have had low critical acclaim, and have had multiple Razzie nominations).

    – In conclusion, Twilight is just another bad vampire romance novel. It breaks ground in vampire fiction by portraying them as wimps who live on the forest sucking the blood of animals. The book is mostly made up of Pants and Edward flirting and long, detailed descriptions of Edward’s body (and very little of Pants’). And, at least for the first 400 pages of “Twilight” (which is still a great part of the saga), Pants is a static character who does nothing but pine over Edward.

    – The reason for success of Twilight is:
    A character any 17 year old girl (or a woman who still thinks like a 17 year old girl) can relate to + a Mr. Darcy who happens to be a mythical creature = success.

    So in other words, I’m not a snob, I just think that “Twilight” is a poorly written book that is popular because teenage girls can sympathize with Pants, or, as she is more properly called Bella (to be fair, Suzanne Collins never really describes Katniss Everdeen’s appearance, or mentions her by name. I don’t remember where in the books does it say that Gale’s last name is Hawthorne. But nobody calls Katniss an “empty shell”, or compare her to a pair of pants. But then, she’s got far more self-esteem than Bella seems, from what I’ve heard, to have). It’s not because it’s that good, in my opinion.

    And I agree, analyzing why something is popular may take out some prejudices on something. For example, I’ve noticed that people who analyze why Michael Bay is so popular have far better esteem of his directing abilities (I’ve always seen him as a good director who can make good special effects scenes but, unlike Cameron, can’t transcend the bad scripts that he chooses to direct) than those who just simply trash him. And, I must admit, Stephenie Meyer may be a good plotter, but so is Dan Brown, who knows all the tricks of plotting, but is full of static characters and poor researching. However, it seems that her writing has improved, and I won’t opt out that “The Host” is legitimately good.

  5. Maddoxhightower, I think that it hardly makes sense for someone to be so worked up about a book you haven’t read. I conclude that, instead, you are worked up over issues which you think (or others have told you) the book promotes, which I detect to largely be sexism against women. You also feel the book is poorly written.

    Arguing that something is poorly written is a minefield discussion that requires that we first establish some kind of objective measuring stick for what is good. Since that’s next to impossible, I think worrying about whether the book is “good” or not is a subjective issue best determined by individuals. What is good to me may not be good to you, etc., etc.

    Sexism against women is, indeed, a horrible issue in society that most people find repugnant. I applaud you for taking such a firm stance against it. However, I believe your efforts would be better placed in a forum that directly addressed this issue. Transferring your ire to a book you haven’t read and arguing with someone whose arguments you haven’t read puts you at a serious disadvantage in any kind of intellectual discourse. Were the ideas you are spouting here your own, I might be inclined to engage you on some of them. Since they are not, I don’t feel discussing Twilight with you would be very fruitful. Nor, I imagine, would it be much fun.

    I apologize if this post comes off as dismissive. I am sincere in my hope that you can determine what it is about Twilight that upsets you so deeply and do what you can about that issue. Barring that, I suppose, you could read the book for yourself and see how you felt about it afterwards. At that point, views like Granger’s might be interesting to you as well. Personally, I thought his discussion of the way Meyer’s Mormonism may have led her to construct a metaphor for salvation from romantic or sexual love was very, very intriguing. (And I’m probably not summing it up quite accurately there either. You should read the original blog posts.)

  6. How very odd, maddoxhightower: every nuance of your post is juvenile in the extreme (including contributing to cruel, belittling sniping that is tantamount to bullying). Yet, you accuse both Meyer and her readers of immaturity. Nor is it very mature to question the sanity of the serious readers here (and the sexual orientation of the male ones, eek!)

    You also accuse Meyer of sloppy writing, but it seems only a sloppy reader would be unable to get a pretty clear visual image of Bella (it is interesting that you contrast her with Katniss, whom many of my student readers initially assumed was male for the first chapter of The Hunger Games but who is also very thoroughly described throughout the course of the novel).

    It is also very odd that you would critique books based on their film adaptations. We have legions of posts and comments here about how film has often let us down.

    It’s just as peculiar to judge a book by the fans at the premieres for those movies; a large number of these individuals have not read the books anyway.

    How surprising you’ve not read King. I thought I detected his influence in your writing, though perhaps that was just because you employ so many of the same “colorful” turns of phrase.

    If you’d care for a more thoughtful way of using reading to analyze writing, I highly recommend C.S. Lewis’s An Experiment in Criticism. Lewis uses his remarkable skill to look at how we read, but he never resorts to name-calling of those whose reading tastes and habits differ from his own. Nor does he look down his nose from the heights of the ivory tower. He was never a snob in his reading.


  7. maddoxhightower says

    V.J., I don’t think Twilight is sexist. Those who think so think that all girls must be like Buffy Summers, which I find totally unrealistic. From what I’ve heard, Bella (Pants?) is the damsel in distress due to her own clumsiness, so I don’t consider the books sexist.

    As I’ve said, the reason why I’m skeptical (for the lack of a better word) about Twilight is because its nothing but a poorly-styled book about an extremely emo girl with no self-esteem who is madly in love with a boy with a perfect face and ochre eyes and other features that are make up just about most of the book. And I prefer my books to be well-written. Books I really like include “The Great Gatsby”, “The Old Man and the Sea”, “Harry Potter”, “Seabiscuit”, “The Hunger Games” trilogy, “The Hobbit”, “The Fellowship of the Ring”, and “1984” (especially “1984”).

    But then, I have made myself a pledge to finally get to reading the books sometime in December 2012, when the Twimania has died down, in order to get an objective view of the books. Who knows? Maybe Meyer might overcome her lack of prose with an interesting story, and I am just following the popular trend of Twibashing.

    And yes, I find Granger’s views interesting. I think his view on deconstructionism is valid for all of YA literature. But I believe he highly belittles form and style, something that is essential to any smart discussion on literature (even though I do not believe it is the only way to judge literature).

  8. Maddox,

    On a sentence-to-sentence basis, I was unimpressed with the writing of Twilight. As I read them, it continued to bug me. But she is such a master of writing plot that in spite of the fact that, away from the reading experience, I noted holes or improbabilities or other things, I read all four books in 5 days in the middle of a term of school (and still finished homework and such).

    I wouldn’t consider myself a Twihard by any means, and I’d have to re-read the books to see if Granger’s arguments are as convincing to me (I find them intriguing and plausible for now) as they were with the artistry in Harry Potter, but in my opinion, Meyer does overcome her simplistic writing style in how well she deals with plot, pacing, etc.

    (Also, I’ve read 5 of the 8 different books/series you mention, and all five I’ve read [I’m still missing out on “The Old Man in the Sea,” “Seabiscuit,” and “The Fellowship of the Ring”] make my list of top favorites as well.)

  9. maddoxhightower says

    Elizabeth, I’m really sorry for what I said about Twihards having the mentality of 17 year olds, when in fact, one of things people point as Stephenie Meyer’s strengths is writing in a way that makes women feel like they’re like if 17 and in their first love again (even I don’t understand why straight males who love Twilight do so).

    And of accusing me (or at the guy who wrote the demeaning article, to be more exact) of sloppy reading, well I think everybody does so at least once in a while. Remember that I’ve never figured out where in the books can I find Gale’s last name, and the poor students who thought that Katniss was a boy! But Meyer’s sloppy styling has no excuse.

    And sorry about comparing apples with oranges by judging the books by those crappy movies that I will forever stay clear from.

    And you see that I write like Stephen King even though I haven’t read King (except from some EW pieces, that is). Proof that the “Hunger Games is Battle Royale rip-off” argument just doesn’t make any sense (Collins (and I) haven’t read the book or seen the movie (even though I have the movie on my Netflix queue and will only watch it after I watch “The Hunger Games” movie)).

    And about “An Experiment in Criticism”, I read about the ideas in it, and I somewhat find it valid. For instance, I unapologetically am a huge fan of Jerry Bruckheimer movies. You may roll your eyes, but I believe he is a talented producer. However, due to his long collaboration with executive Don Simpson, he has long stopped taking risks, thus leading to relatively uninspiring (but still good, in my view) movies. In fact, he did “Top Gun” a movie that is aethestically uneven, but has a tale well told that it’s fondly remembered as a classic today (and inspired a hillarious parody of desconstructionism many take for as fact). You know, I am thinking of reading Twilight early in 2013, after all the buzz has died out. Maybe I’ll like it. Maybe I won’t.

    And Rochelle, I hope you’re right about Twilight having it’s horrid writing being overcome by good plotting and pacing.

  10. Maddox, I do hope you’ll give Twilight a real try when you’ve the time. I know we can’t all get around to the experiences others find meaningful (as I keep telling all my friends who think I should “experience” Dr. Who. I don’t dislike the Doctor or anything. I don’t really know him, but he seems to represent such a huge investment…)
    This conversation has made me wonder about how the Hunger Games will be seen by those who have not yet read the books, but who only see the crazy movie hype. Having taken part in that odd Capitol website/facebook set-up, I am baffled by the way some of these fans seems to think the Games are “cool.” Did we read the same book? How will the Hunger Games look to those who have not read the books until after the movies? Will the movie broo-hah-ha “spoil” the reading of the books?
    I know the Harry Potter films have encouraged many readers, but I also know many who have not read the books and have been discouraged from doing so by the impression that they have gotten from media coverage of movie premieres. Based on the nonsense we’ve seen from CNN and other media outlets trying to jump on the Hunger Games bandwagon, we may see this novel rejected out of hand by those who have been bombarded with film coverage or encounters with not-terribly-introspective fans. I expect I will begin to see some strange “I saw the movie instead of reading the book” student responses on myHunger Games assignments come next year.

    And, though I don’t care at all for Stephen King’s novels (just much too far over my “yeeech” threshold), his book On Writing is fantastic.

    (And I also have a weak spot for a rip-roaring Bruckheimer adventure. Just as Lewis loved H.Rider Haggard, I’ve set sail with Capt. Jack a fair few times….)

  11. maddoxhightower says

    Yeah, as I said, I might go and read the Twilight books once the hoopla dies down.

  12. Now, I haven’t read Twilight or the Hunger Games yet and don’t know if I ever will – so I’m not going to discuss the author’s style, plotting skills, characters or research.
    The only thing I know about Twilight is the trailers I’ve seen at the cinema and that the latest film is in two parts (bandwagon or necessity?). I haven’t seen any news coverage about the Premieres of the Twilight movies but I think it wouldn’t keep me from reading the books. However, if I know that a movie is based on a novel I’d try to read the book first – with the exeptions of ‘The Kite Runner’ and ‘Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy’ (which I went to see the first time because it has Gary Oldman and a few others from HP in it) – even if that means I’ll have to wait for the DVD.
    As we do seem to agree that Harry Potter are good books I will post this here…

    ~Deαr Twilight, Our Chαrlie works with dragons – yours is α bαd pαrent. Our Bellα is α psychotic fighter – your Bella couldn’t fight her wαy out of α pαper bαg. Our Jαmes wαs α Mαrαuder – yours wαs some creepy guy. Our Alice still loves her son even though she’s lost her mind – yours is αn overly preppy irritating child. Our Blαcks are a complicated fαmily wαrring between them over the rights …of good αnd evil – yours αre two idiots who think they know everything. Our Robert Pαttinson is a good, loyal, mαn who got murdered by Voldemort – yours sparkles in the sun. Our werewolf died trying to create α better world for his son to live in – yours fought over α girl who wαs αlreαdy tαken. Sincerely, The people who wαnt you to stop stealing our nαmes (stolen from Ron: Why spiders? Why couldn’t it be “follow the butterflies”?)

    One of my friends posted it on facebook the other day and I think it’s quite funny.

  13. Tinuvielas says

    “… its nothing but a poorly-styled book about an extremely emo girl with no self-esteem who is madly in love with a boy with a perfect face and ochre eyes and other features that are make up just about most of the book.” – can’t really agree about this, sorry – and I did read the four TL-books and recently “Midnight Sun”. (I have also read all but one, and love more than one, of the books you mention, btw).

    Ok, Meyer’s style isn’t Tolkien (the repetition of the verb “stare” especially kept bugging me), her plotting isn’t Rowling and her prose not Hemingway – but her characters come to life. Bella especially qualifies as an appealing hero character in my book: a postmodern loser and outsider “by choice” whose choice turns out to first put her in a position of weakness and danger and eventually to become a protector (see the indogerman root of the word hero: “ser”, i.e. “protector”) against the narrative evil. And that’s the top layer of the story!

    Which, I should add, is also quite entertaining – not at all because of the description of male body parts, but because it manages to capture and convey the feeling of (first) love, that unconditional, not yet disillusioned life-or-death-devotion of the ideal which is set up via the hero-risking-his/her-life in practically all films and books of our time (Katniss, Frodo, Harry included…) as a shield against modern individualism, utilism and egoism. Tough luck for Meyer/Bella/her readers that it’s the romantic version of love as opposed to the more fashionable philia she uses to build her story on. However, what is the couple (and the code “the two of us against the rest of the world”) but the smallest possible group, whereby to escape postmodern loneliness?

    Anyway, I can’t really say more in-depth stuff about the books right now since it’s two years that I’ve read them – but it was fun doing so, I’d recommend a first-hand experience, and I also think John’s right about the other, deeper Twilight-layers he wrote about in Spotlight and on this site.

  14. I don’t think anyone can argue that J.K. Rowling’s individual sentences are extremely well-written. That’s not what makes her books so great.
    I haven’t read Twilight, but I wouldn’t use poor individual sentences as an argument that the books aren’t good.

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