Thursday, December 1, 2011

Comment On Review Of Twilight Breaking Dawn

Take a good look at the following blog:

Twilight: Breaking Dawn. Why Do People Hate it So Much?

The author nails BREAKING DAWN and the whole Twilight thing both correctly and incorrectly.

a) correctly:

From the very opening monologue it’s about some of the deepest things we have: what it takes to become an adult, and what falling in love can involve.

And it hits these concerns full centre, full power.

First of all it’s a neat dramatization of a Love dialectic. We get both versions. Classic romantic, an eternal truth (the vampires), and a more cynically deconstructed scientific notion of a gene-spreading imperative that deceives about its true nature (the imprinting of the werewolves).
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b) incorrectly:
Twilight asks How important is Love? How far would you go? Would you leave everything you value? Would you step into a dark unknown? Would you surrender to a far greater power? Would you dare to swap your soul for love of another? Would you? Would you really? And if you would, how incredible must the experience of that love be?


If you were a teenage girl wouldn’t you thrill to that idea?

Come on. Don’t be curmudgeonly. What’s wrong with making films for teenage girls? Don’t they deserve a bit of the magic too? Especially when it goes so deep into what makes us human.

Genuinely loved it. Can’t wait to see what happens next time.

Oh, and if you want to get into another animated debate here’s another post about Lord of the Rings wiping the floor with Harry Potter. There’s a pretty lively comments section…
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The error here is the "teenage girl" limitation.  Yes, the publishers and film-makers probably narrowed the focus to make it blatantly "teenage girlish" -- but no, that's missing an important point.

Like my Sime~Gen series, both Potter and Twilight are accessible to readers/viewers first in the pre-adolescent and adolescent stages of development.  But human nature, the nature of the adult, is  not to erase all trace of childhood and adolescence and become something utterly new and irrelevant in adulthood.  "Adult" means the product of all experiences back to birth -- and maybe earlier!  Maybe including prior incarnations, who knows?

So works such as Potter, Twilight, or Warhorse, "speak" to every human being at every age or stage of life because they have something to say about "who" you could have become had you made other choices, and they address the entire issue of whether you made an optimal choice and what you choose to do next.

The rejection of your "teenage girl within" (even if you're male) is a major issue, and may have something to do with the rejection of the Happily Ever After ending we've been discussing at length and depth on in my Tuesday posts.

This labeling of TWILIGHT as "teenage girl" material smacks of the labeling of certain science fiction works as "fantasy" simply because they included themes arising from an exploration of human psychology -- examples are Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern (science fiction about a lost Earth colony) and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover novels (science fiction about a lost Earth colony), Katherine Kurtz's Deryni novels, (science fiction about an alternate Earth).

Today C. J. Cherryh is still writing very successful novels in her Foreigner Series, but now that science fiction background is allowed to include that human dimension once forbidden.

So I expect that "teenage girl" dimension will be accepted as adult fare by general audiences just as the "fantasy" dimensions are becoming accepted today (even or especially on TV Series).

Jacqueline Lichtenberg

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