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vampires, who likes them, who doesn't?

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

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Given all of the books subject to similar criticisms, and what it says about the criticizer's view of the reader, you still have to explain why those criticisms appear with such vehemence with respect to Twilight. And I think Shockley is on the right track.
     
  2. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Also, I think the jealousy and resentment factors explain why it is that, seven years after the publication of Twilight, most of the original fans of the series have moved on to other books, whereas those who get so worked up hating the book that they can't see straight still dredge it up into writing conversations on a very, very frequent basis :)
     
  3. Shockley

    Shockley Maester

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    I think it shares the origin, though perhaps subconsciously for the person making it. There are a lot of works that glorify really awful relationships without ever condemning them, and that's rarely brought up in their criticisms (Off the top of my head: The Fountainhead, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, The Good Earth, The Great Gatsby all have these terrible relationships).

    It seems that the criticism is being applied to Twilight specifically, while other works get a free pass even if they are worse (the prime relationship in the Fountainhead revolves around the love a rape victim has for her rapist, though it's never depicted in such direct terms). I can't buy that it's just moral outrage. I can't.

    Yeah, Edward watches Bella sleep. And Romeo leads Juliet to suicide.
     
  4. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Well, even open-ended works have clues about what the author believes the right opinion is. I have yet to see a work where there's no clear author opinion. And besides, this isn't a morally grey area. Stalking, abusive and unhealthy relationships? It hardly gets more black and white than that. A reader might draw the conclusion that Edward is a great guy, but that's still a wrong conclusion. And if the author makes no attempt to correct this (which Meyer has not AFAIK, she seems content to bask in the "OMG I LOVE YOU EDWARD I WANT YOUR BABIES" fervor of her fans), then the author is complicit in that wrong conclusion.
     
  5. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I disagree with everyone you've said here. So it appears we have a fundamentally different outlook on things.
     
  6. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Books I have never read. And now I won't read them. Thanks for the warning. And if what you say about them is true, they most certainly don't get a free pass. At least not in my book.

    FUN FACT: I've always hated Romeo and Juliet. Every. Single. Version. Of it. West Side Story especially has a distinguished place in my Hall of Hatedom.
     
  7. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    This topic got a bit derailed didn't it?

    I like what I perceive to be the original idea with vampires: undead, everliving creatures of the night who prey on the living.
     
  8. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Yes. I've tried to make this point before as well. If I'm not mistaken, you get a similar dynamic with Angel watching Buffy in the TV show (which I actually like). But, as you say, literature is rife with novels and other works having such relationships. Ah, well.
     
  9. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    This is why it is good that we have the freedom to write and enjoy vastly different works, and why it is good that no single person or group has a free hand to censor what is out there.
     
  10. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    That's how I like them. I think the novelization of 30 Days of Night has been mentioned before. That's a nice, relatively recent example of nasty, vicious vampires.
     
  11. Svrtnsse

    Svrtnsse Staff Article Team

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    They seem to be portraied like that in the Dresden Files as well. Rather nasty creatures underneath the skin.
     
  12. You're trying to claim that a particular criticism of Twilight is invalid not because of the merits (or lack thereof) of the particular criticism, but because of the fact that a lot of people obsess over it. (Or because the same criticism isn't levelled nearly as often at other works that do the same thing.) So what? If I point out that Bella and Edward's love is unhealthy, and I don't point out the same thing about similar characters from some other work, how does that affect the argument that Bella and Edward's relationship is unhealthy?

    Let me ask you this: Whether or not you particularly agree with the idea that Bella and Edward's relationship is unhealthy, do you really think it's not even a valid topic of discussion, just because people exist who attack Twilight for no good reason? Do you really claim that there are no good reasons to criticize Twilight? Because that's the vibe I keep getting from you.

    I agree that, in sum, the vitriol directed against Twilight is excessive; but it is a non sequitur to subsequently claim that any particular criticism of Twilight is therefore unjustified/pointless/irrelevant.
     
  13. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    No, I'm not. Go back and read my posts and respond to what I actually said instead of what you want me to have said. I get that this is a debate tactic, which is fine, but still... :D

    It is possible to discuss those aspects reasonable; most of the hate for Twilight, particularly on writing forums, does not do so. Instead, the language used is irrational and over the top, and the person making the argument discards out-of-hand the counter arguments. I'm not talking about a rational discourse on Twilight or any other work. I'm talking about the vast majority of nonsense you see from people criticizing it, especially if they are writers on writers forums. I might add that I saw the same thing regarding Rowling when Potter was at the height of its popularity, although in that case it wasn't nearly as bad as it is with respect to Twilight. If you can't see that there is something else going on in those cases, apart from an objective critique of the work, then I don't know what to tell you. It seems rather obvious to me.

    I suppose, then, that is it lucky for me I made no such claim.

    Even if someone is making a facially valid argument, I do believe that pointing out inconsistency is an appropriate response. If you believe that works of fiction should only show positive interpersonal relationships, then I've got a huge list of books for you to ban. If you think that fiction read by juveniles should only show positive interpersonal relationships, then I've got a huge list of books for you to ban from high school classrooms and libraries.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2012
  14. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Just showing a negative relationship isn't the problem. It's showing a negative one and passing it off as positive.
     
  15. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    Again, in your view. The author never intrudes into the narrative and says this is how things should be. It is all told from Bella's POV; the reader gets what she thinks and can make up their own mind. You view readers as passive and unintelligent. I say they're thinking creatures. Even if the author had intruded, hypothetically, and said it was good, the reader can still make up their own mind.
     
  16. Well, if you want to talk about attacking things people never said... ;-)

    And, yes, to be fair, I don't think you've explicitly said that the arguments aren't valid because of the excess hate. The issue is that every time someone brings them up, your response rarely seems to be about the argument itself; your response is essentially "Who cares? Twilight hate is overblown." Which is a perfectly fine opinion to have, it's just not a very useful response.

    Are you really saying that the people who have read Twilight and subsequently have the opinion that B&E's relationship is healthy are actually thinking about it? People can certainly be unduly influenced by things they read, especially if they're young and impressionable. I wouldn't be so quick to assume that everyone is always giving everything a proper amount of analysis in its proper context. When someone reads Twilight and then goes around gushing about what a wonderful love it is, it's pretty clear that they haven't thought about it.
     
  17. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

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    I think it is true, Benjamin, that not everyone is putting that level of thought into it. The question, then, is whether authors are supposed to tailor their fiction to what the most credulous, gullible, or susceptible member of the populace might make of it? I don't think that's a good approach, either.

    While I didn't care for the one book in the series I read, I don't have a problem with it, either. I have heard the arguments about the relationship, and I think if presented in a reasonable way, that's a valid discussion to have. But the counter-arguments, about what that says about readers, or where we think the author's responsibilities should lie, or the number of works of literature (classic and otherwise) read by juveniles that portray unhealthy relationships...all of those are valid responses to the relationship argument. And by raising those responses you can find out if the person making the criticism is consistent or not. If they are, then fine - they probably have a consistent moral view on the subject and their view on Twilight is part of that. If they're not consistent (and so far no one I've discussed it with is), then there has to be something else going on specifically with respect to Twilight. Doesn't make sense to me. But then, tearing down writes who have become successful doesn't make sense to me, either.
     
  18. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Wow. I went away for 24 hours and came back to three pages of new posts! o_O

    I'm not feeling so lazy about not posting any parts of my writing in Showcase all of a sudden. I'm not saying that I wouldn't tear apart Twilight's writing--but I tear apart ALL writing. Since I became a writer I have not read a single thing where I was happy with how the other people have written it. Still, I don't believe a reviewer should review with anger in their heart.

    I'm all about non-dry first pages, and I do realize that our society as a whole has progressed to having ADHD, but I dislike the first page for the opposite reason. I HATE FLASH FORWARDS. The TV show Supernatural does this all of the time and I'm always like, "what? what? NOOOoooooooOOOoOOOOOooo." I think the flash forward was put there purposefully so that it is not dry and catches the reader's attention, making them want to find out how someone can kill the girl in a friendly manner.

    That's much better terminology, Shockley. Why do people go to the grave defending things though? I mean, it's OK if someone doesn't like something or if they do and you think it is trash. If we want to talk about specifics and say what caused that dislike or interest, then that is grounds for a good discussion--if we want to just blanket a work by saying it's crap, then that is something else entirely.

    I have not read all of the Twilight series, so I will not attack it other than saying I do not like what I see from their fans. But I rarely care for the obsessed fan in general. Sports teams are much worse in my experience -_-

    I agree. This is crap! Fantasy united!

    I think I made this point at some point in the conversation, but Twilight and Potter and LotR and the recent comic book movies are all making our favorite genre more accepted and bringing more talented people into the genre as well. Sure you can say that Twilight and Potter are trash, but I think of them more like a gateway drug. After consuming those and waking up from the daze, you might want something a little harder, a little more dangerous. That's where the rest of the community can be waiting to pounce on them. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'm out of the usual Twilight for the day, how about some Anne Rice?" "Sorry, no more Potter for you? ...have you ever heard of this wizard named Gandalf?"

    I think a lot of the vitriol comes from that they always loved *THEIR* idea of vampires and she went so far in the other direction. To that I say, make your own vampire story then.

    I agree, although the blank slate turned into a dullard on the big screen in my opinion. Didn't translate so well.

    Agreed.

    Well. Here's the thing. The difference between a stalker and a romantic is only one thing. How the receiver feels about the giver.

    If a woman wants your affections, then stalking them, watching over them while they are sleeping, running into them "accidentally", doing S&M or whatever, is all part of romance. If she doesn't want it, then the nicest guy in the world all of a sudden becomes a douche bag.

    I think I disagree with everything here. If there are clues as to what the author believes, then they are not writing it from the perspective of their character. Unless the clue is the disapproval of another character?

    And did the fans' fervor reach that level before he was portrayed on the big screen? I always assumed that the fervor was for the actor portraying Edward, not for the character from the books. Also, this prompted me to form the theory that women like large foreheads.


    I did not realize they did a novel about this. I read the first graphic novel (before the movie) and it was an interesting idea, although I did not care for the art style. This is all about personal preference again though. Some people don't like vampires to have mouthfuls of teeth. Some want the elegant count with just the two incisors. Some want their vampires to sparkle.

    Aren't all negative relationships passed off as positive? If they weren't, then why do they exist?
     
  19. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    I'd like a bit of elaboration on this point.

    It seems very clear to me that readers are either right or wrong in believing Edward to be a nice guy. I hope we can all agree that they are in the wrong. That being the case, is it not irresponsible on the author's part not to correct this fatal error? If it were only a fringe element of the fanbase that had this opinion, I might understand it not attracting the author's attention. But this glorification of Edward + Bella seems to be at the very heart of Twilight fandom. Ought not the author say something if all these fans are taking her work the wrong way? And if they aren't, if from Stephanie Meyer's perspective her fans are perfectly correct in praising Edward + Bella, then does that not make Stephanie Meyer and consequently her work, wrong? Your mileage may vary on where she is on that scale from creepy to morally bankrupt, but she is on that scale, provided her lack of effort to correct her fans is a signal of tacit approval.

    What exactly do you disagree with and on what grounds?
     
  20. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Here's a concession I am willing to make. I think my distaste for the books might be somewhat conflated with my hatred of the films.
     
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