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vampires, who likes them, who doesn't?

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Alex, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Not to derail the thread too much, but it's exactly that blank-slate character, that ease of slipping into her shoes, which makes the series so unhealthy and despised in many people's eyes. If girls slip into Bella's shoes, they insert themselves into a relationship of emotional manipulation and abuse masquerading as a romance. Many of those girls are grounded firmly enough in reality to not take that sort of thing to heart, but how many other teens and preteens wish they had a boyfriend "just like Edward"?

    *steps off of her soapbox*
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    This presumes the reader is a complete idiot. Never a good thing for a writer to do :D

    And pointing to the exception is no different than any other argument that has been used to censor art, music, literature, and the like for many years (i.e. a small minority might take it wrong, so it's bad).
     
  3. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    Apologies if I offended anyone.
     
  4. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't think anyone is offended, but you have to admit that when that kind of criticism is thrown out there, what the person making the statement is basically saying is "OK, sure, I get it because I'm clever and smart, but we've got to think of all the morons who won't get it!"

    I think it is a bad assumption to make. I've heard the argument made regarding Bella ad naseum, and I have yet to see a shred of evidence to back up the concern.
     
  5. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    The argument that she's a blank slate, or that her relationship with Edward is unhealthy? I could find several examples pointing to the latter. But I think that's a discussion best left to another thread.
     
  6. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    Two points in response:

    1. If we're worried about the social ramifications of our fictional works, we might as well hang it up right now.

    2. It's not our place to decide what someone else should or should not want in a relationship.
     
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  7. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes, that argument. I'm not talking about pointing to examples of the argument, but to some evidence actually substantiating the effects that those who make the argument claim.
     
  8. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Defend Christopher Paolini? That's a good one. I read his books as motivational material. Never heard of Lindholm and Hobb.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Megan Lindholm and Robin Hobb are the same person. She's sold a large number of books since about the mid- to late 1980s. I have one of her Robin Hobb books in my to-read pile somewhere. The Assassin's Apprentice stuff.
     
  10. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    Plenty of people would proudly defend Paolini. I think they're wrong on a lot of levels, but he's far from universally maligned.
     
  11. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I'm pretty sure there are a number of fans of Eragon and others in the series on these very forums.
     
  12. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I can't say if Twilight will encourage teen girls to seek out abusive relationships. I certainly hope no one out there is that stupid. But if they are... natural selection?

    Anyway, regardless of the effect, my biggest "ick factor" with Twilight is that her relationship with Edward is unhealthy... and the book doesn't even notice. I know you've heard the "watches her while she sleeps" thing before, but its still creepy. And yet the book ostensibly makes it out to be romantic. Also, Bella rejects a genuinely nice person for a self-described vicious undead killer (although thats sort of an informed attribute) and the book seems oblivious to the fact that that's not a good decision. It's one thing to be disconnected from reality, but this series seems disconnected from logic altogether.
     
  13. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    I was going to make this point earlier, but I totally forgot.

    Books are meant to be read; writing is only the act that gets them to the place where they can be read. In that sense, Meyer has been extremely successful in accomplishing the prime purpose of putting out a book. We can diss on the writing, the content, etc. whatever, but we do that as writers of books first and readers second.

    That's why we'll never understand the Twilight fanbase, fundamentally.
     
  14. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Well that's interesting. Maybe we should start a thread about that next. Also, I think I've found the one argument that can convince me to support fan-fiction.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. Ireth

    Ireth Myth Weaver

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    ^ This. It's not that the book is oblivious to the badness of the relationship, it's that it paints the relationship as beautiful and healthy and perfect and dazzling. Which, in a nutshell, is why I hate it. But I'm one person out of ~7 billion, so take my two cents or leave them as you will.
     
  16. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think this is a false statement.

    You're getting the book through Bella's POV, and you see how she feels about things. It is up to you to decide if she is right or not.
     
  17. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I think that's letting the author off too easy. Either the relationship is supposed to seem creepy or its supposed to seem perfectly romantic. If the former, the writer failed somewhere because all Twifans see in Edward is a knight in sparkling armor. If the latter, then both the author and the book have serious issues.
     
  18. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    I think we should bear in mind that what is 'normal' and what is 'creepy' are purely subjective.

    For some people, writing fantasy would be extremely creepy.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I don't agree. That's letting the reader off too easy. There's nothing wrong with an author throwing something out there and letting the reader draw conclusions. Some of the greatest works of literature do just that, without the author intruding and saying "now, you're supposed to think X, Y, or Z."
     
  20. You must not have heard very many, then. I've seen a number of criticisms that focus on things like the fact that Bella and Edward are in what is pretty clearly an abusive relationship, and yet that relationship is lionized as True Love For The Ages, which is an absolutely awful role model for the young women who are the book's core audience. It has nothing to do with jealousy or resentment; it's a perfectly valid criticism of the book's central relationship. And that's just the most obvious one I can think off of the top of my head.

    I'm not making any claim about the relative frequency of arguments-that-are-not-couched-in-jealousy-or-resentment, but to claim they don't exist is absurd on its face.
     
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