The 13 essays in this volume explore Stephenie Meyer's wildly popular Twilight series in the contexts of literature, religion, fairy tales, film, and the gothic. Several examine Meyer's emphasis on abstinence, considering how, why, and if the author's Mormon faith has influenced the series' worldview. Others look at fan involvement in the Twilight world, focusing on how the series' avid following has led to an economic transformation in Forks, Washington, the real town where the fictional series is set. Other topics include Meyer's use of Quileute shape-shifting legends, Twilight's literary heritage and its frequent references to classic works of literature, and the series' controversial depictions of femininity.
|Publisher:||McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers|
|Series:||Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy , #25|
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Amy M. Clarke is a continuing lecturer in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. She teaches courses in science fiction and fantasy, including seminars on both the Harry Potter and Twilight series, and has recently published a study of Ursula Le Guin. Marijane Osborn is professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Davis. She has written or been a major contributor to several books on Beowulf and has published three books on Middle English topics.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 1
Introduction: Approaching Twilight
AMY M. CLARKE 3
Luminous and Liminal: Why Edward Shines
MARIJANE OSBORN 15
Narrative Layering and “High-culture” Romance
YVETTE KISOR 35
Carlisle’s Cross: Locating the Post-Secular Gothic
LORI BRANCH 60
Eco-Gothics for the Twenty-First Century
JAMES MC ELROY AND EMMA CATHERINE MC ELROY 80
Noble Werewolves or Native Shape-Shifters?
KRISTIAN JENSEN 92
ANN V. BLISS 107
Is Twilight Mormon?
SARAH SCHWARTZMAN 121
Bella and the Choice Made in Eden
SUSAN JEFFERS 137
Bella and Boundaries, Crossed and Redeployed
KERI WOLF 152
Sleeping Beauty and the Idealized Undead: Avoiding Adolescence
JANICE HAWES 163
Why We Like Our Vampires Sexy
STEPHANIE L. DOWDLE 179
Forks, Washington: From Farms to Forests to Fans
CHRISTINE M. MITCHELL 189
The Pleasures of Adapting: Reading, Viewing, Logging On
PAMELA H. DEMORY 202
About the Contributors 217
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Overall I like the connections made in the articles in this book. Not exactly a fast paced read, but if I were to have this book be available for a school discussion it would be excellent. Yes I've read all the Twilight books and I've seen the current Twilight movies but I've also studied religions, cultural anthro and art history (and fairy tales!) so - for me- I enjoyed this critical aspect this collection has taken on the "Twilight" series by Stephanie Meyer.
This excellent collection of scholarly essays broadly surveys, as the title suggests, the mystique of Stephanie Meyer's saga and the subsequent films. While singular studies in their own research and topic, editors Amy M Clark and Marijane Osborn have selected general themes as a method of covering 4 books, 3 films, and millions of devoted fans and critical satirists. Essays included consider fantasy and romance as literary genres, religion (particularly Meyer's Mormonism), feminism and gender studies, and those Twilighters who likely made reason for such scholarship in the first place.I did not like the books before reading The Twilight Mystique and I still question their ability to become worthy of serious study. However, this compilation softens my critique. As an infrequent reader of fantasy, and never of romance, I must remember that each literature has its expectations; these essays suggest Meyer's may well have satiated vampire and fanciful romance readers. My perspective on the clumsy, mindless Bella was also challenged, though I maintain that the characters are flat and rely too much on dialogue. Though I am unimpressed with Meyer's writing and slow storyline, I now am able to admire her ability to fit so well into a subculture while breaking all its rules. As with any good book, she's made us passionate (for or against), thereby creating conversation (and shouting matches). The Twilight Mystique elects to take this conversation into academic inquiry without snubbing any fans who just enjoy a good, clean love story.
As a fan of the Twilight series, I really enjoyed this book. My undegrad is in English and I wish I had access to this book during those years. I would have loved to write a critical paper on the series and this book would have been the perfect academic source. As other reviewers have mentioned, this book contains many essays that tackle a whole range of issues brought up by Meyer's hugely successful saga. (Although, one should note that one of the editors doesn't like the use of the word saga to describe this series!) Some essays are of course more interesting than others. For example, I found one of the first essays in the collection, a piece on the literary heritage of Meyer's vampires' propensity to sparkle in the sun, to be a bit dense and truly hard to understand. On the other hand, I was absolutely absorbed by an essay that appears later in the collection, which details the economic impact the series had had on the real life town of Forks, Washington.
An interesting collection of essays that range from the critical to the apologetic in terms of the merits of the Twilight Series. I found it interesting that the editors berate the academic community for condemning the series before reading it in full, though she later admits to the mediocre writing of the first book and structural problems with the second. Regardless of this, there are essays that bring up questions that many have had about the series, the relationship to a modern fairy tale, the creation of "luminous" vampires, the influence of Mormonism, and more. This collection would be highly sought for by college students wanting to write critically on a series that they enjoy.