Friday, August 28, 2009 - 9:23 AM

Writers write, and I certainly have no shortage of things to write. While I'm attending to that shortage, I have a number of thoughts today that some of you may even find interesting.
I finished 'Twilight' a few days ago. After having let the book sink in a bit, I came to the conclusion that no, I did not particularly enjoy the book. I do stand by my previous opinion that it is an excellent depiction of a world seen through the eyes of an adolescent, and whether or not this was voluntarily done by the author makes little difference to me. That she has provided this view in a literary form is significant, and judging from the success of the book, she wrote it at the exact right time. It provides an extended metaphor for the uncomfortable process of self-knowledge and the advent of sexuality, even as much as the story glosses over both of these subjects (after all, Bella doesn't get where she is in the process, and few teens ever do). I can already see the literary essays on the hidden stories in 'Twilight', because they would be really easy to write, but I'll spare my audience here.

One of my commentators stated that I was being too kind to the author. Let me amend that. I downplayed my irritations with the book because everyone else seems interested in expressing their irritation with the book, and why be redundant? Further, I really do think that as a piece of literature, 'Twilight' is significant in this day and age. I think everyone should read it.


I am not enthusiastic about reading any further books in the series, and briefly, I am going to tell you why. Bella is annoying. She's not as loathsome as Thomas Covenant, say, but I'd love to put the two of them into the same room (and my money would be on Covenant). Her involuntarily placement as Center of the Universe takes on an almost hilarious aspect by the end of the book. Her supporting cast of characters end up coming off more as incompetents, sycophants and stalkers (roughly in that order of frequency). Let's face it: vampires in the world of 'Twilight' are dumb. I really don't care that they sparkle; they are so super-everything in every other sense, why not sparkle? And isn't it refreshing how their beauty is a disadvantage? (I guess). I'll give Meyer this; she makes vampires how she wants them to be. Unfortunately, her depiction of hundred-plus year old super-humans is distinctly lacking.

Anyway, when conflict in 'Twilight' extends beyond relationship issues between our desperately obsessive Edward and poor talented and beautiful Bella, the book suffers a lot. I'm not going to spoil the story for anyone who hasn't read it, but I'll leave it at this: it is a really predictable book, and the end will not surprise you.

Closing notes: The dialogue is sometimes painful. The story is trite. I found only one interesting character in the whole book, and he's second-shelf, two-dimensional like everyone else. Also, some people talk about how many times the word blood is used in 'Macbeth'; I will mention how many times people smirk, snicker and roll their eyes in 'Twilight'... because they do. All the time.

Well, that's it for 'Twilight'.

Also in the news, the characters in my DnD group apparently consider going to a remote dungeon location that has nothing to do with a huge overarching plot to be a VACATION. Can we say professional adventurers? I knew we could.

A few random other comments:

To all food manufacturers: STOP PUTTING SUGAR IN MY FOOD. Tomato sauce doesn't need sugar. Fruit juice, of all things, does not need sugar. I reiterate: STOP PUTTING SUGAR IN MY FOOD.

To all governmental structures in the United States: The purpose of having a government is to provide a framework for building the future. If you are an elected official, and are sincerely interested in the future of whatever place you happen to govern, STOP CUTTING MONEY FROM EDUCATION. Take the long view, people. Why are my teachers taking a 10 percent pay cut just to stay in the game when you aren't? Leadership isn't about accolades or personal gain. At its root, leadership is about sacrificing yourself for the whole. Put your money where your mouth is.



At September 1, 2009 6:56 AM, Blogger C Hanson said...

Adding a bit of sugar to the "gravy" to mitigate the acidity of the tomatoes is an old Italian grandmother's trick, or so I once heard from someone who had an old Italian grandmother. :-) But I suspect it depends on the style of homemade sauce, the quality of the tomatoes, and the intended use, as well as individual taste. In commercial sauce? I'm with you, they should stop it.

There's also something to be said for keeping up with cultural trends, reading something like "Twilight". I assume you feel the same way about top 40 pop megahits? "People should hear them. Once."


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