Saturday, December 3, 2011

Why Shitty Writing is a Tragedy

Okay, so nobody cares about Twilight, but I'm going to talk about it anyway.

I think, in the hands of a half-decent writer who didn't have weird Mormon ideas about gender roles, Twilight could have been a pretty good vampire story. Even with the sparklevamps. Fine, that's kind of cheesy, but whatever - it's a reimagining of a mythos that has remained pretty stagnant for a long time. We all know the vampire story. There have been different explanations for the sun/garlic/whatever "allergies" but it's usually pretty much the same. So, Stephenie Meyer came up with something totally different as far as vampire physiology. Fine, good for her. Unfortunately, she is a shitty writer and a mysoginist sympathizer.

So, here's the thing. Yeah, it makes sense that Edward is creepy and makes comments about how he could kill her, and fine, so he can be a controlling jerk, too.  He is a vampire, it's not that weird to assume he might have a bit of a superiority complex. Even if in this mythos he can feel love. He can still be a dick. I can accept that.

And Bella, being human, you can rationalize that she'd be enamoured by Edward and strangely drawn to him, and unable to say no to him or whatever. You can rationalize all of that in terms of the vampire mythos, both established and Meyer's new version.

However, if Meyer had taken that weird creepy relationship, and then... wrote it as a weird, creepy relationship? It would have been ten times better.  Instead of making it "romantic".  It wouldn't have been all that hard.  Most of the dialogue could have even remained the same, but if Bella had actually had a sense of self-preservation, and recognized that she shouldn't be doing this, if she had ever suggested that the whole situation made her feel uncomfortable but she just couldn't resist... etc. It would have been a way better book.

It would have been more along the lines of a horror or thriller; it would have been truer to the vampire mythos that, even while changing it somewhat, Meyer owes some homage to; and it would have addressed the awful dynamic of the Bella/Edward relationship. It could have been a fantastic allegory for semi-abusive/controlling relationships (the one's that toe the line, the ones that teenage girls are the most in need to be taught about. Sure, maybe he's never hit you, but you never know when that line can be crossed if he treats you in certain ways).  It could have been a great book to teach girls what an unhealthy, emotionally unstable relationship looks like.

You could even do the 6 months of depressioin thing in the second book, while still highlighting how messed up that is.  There are so many ways that Twilight could have been written as a cautionary tale that would teach girls to be strong women, but instead it's crappily written in a sick patriarchal fantasy world.

I don't know. Just thoughts.

Wooden Bird 

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