Nov 19, 2009

[This is the Deal With Twilight...]

I posted a random one-off question a long time ago asking why the heck these mediocre books are so popular. And I think Cleolinda has hit the nail on the head:

"I started thinking about romance myself, and I think I've figured it out: the key component of romance is tenderness. Because something can be totally sexyhot without tenderness; it's tenderness that creates the "romantic" atmosphere, the one that a lot of guys tend to turn their noses up at--because tenderness requires you to be vulnerable, to open yourself up and say, I want you, I need you, I am incredibly blessed to even be touching you right now. (Maybe that's where the honesty comes in after all.)

So if you buy your girlfriend a dozen roses at the supermarket and toss them at her on Valentine's Day all, "LOOK, here you are, now SHUT UP until next year," you are doing it so very, very wrong, and she probably feels it. It's not about hearts and flowers and chocolates and money spent, and in fact all that ephemera is a convenient way to dodge actual tenderness, because you can feel like you've done something without putting any real feeling into it. And Twilight? Is all about the freakin' tenderness. It's larded with tenderness; feeling drips off the pages and oozes from the film stock and romantics eat it up and then turn around and line up for more. I mean, that slow dance at the end of the first movie, he is crying while they're eyesexing, for God's sake. That's like--the emotional equivalent of--I don't even have an adequate pornographic metaphor for that."

So yeah, the books are failures on a literary level... but it's not the story that the fans love so obsessively. It goes a lot deeper than that. Which actually makes me disappointed that a story that celebrates so many dysfunctional and dangerous relationship aspects has managed to hit this nerve that so many women have.