Last night as I was avidly ignoring the washing up, karma found me. Between the
perfumed pages of Elle it jumped out at me, fangs bared, ready to destroy my
faith in humanity and my fantasy cocktail party to boot. Seemingly these days karma takes the pale form of a vampire. Or, to be more specific, a badly written
franchise involving quite a few vampires. Yup, I’m talking about Twilight.
In a feature about writing that has changed the life of Stevie Nicks, among classics such as The Complete Tales & Poems of Edgar Allan Poe and Jean Rhys’ beautiful Wide Sargasso Sea, was The Twilight Series. I stared, stricken, at the words in front of me. Fleetwood Mac provided the soundtrack to my childhood. I used to dance around my living room pretending to know the words to Rumours. I remember thinking that Stevie Nicks, with her bizarre dancing and black layered outfits, must be some kind of witch. I figured she was crazy in a good way. Apparently not.
She writes of the literary abomination that is Twilight, “I think that Meyer’s stories are magnificent and I’m amazed at how she has built her complex world”. At this stage I am pretty much speechless with horror. Stephanie Meyer cannot use punctuation, let alone create a ‘complex world’ (see http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/). Perhaps the misused dashes, colons and semicolons made the story seem complex? Or maybe Nicks has taken so many drugs that everything is complex now? I imagine that LSD is the only excuse for what she goes on to say. Be warned: if you appreciate literature, love, or common sense you may want to have a mixing bowl handy to vomit into. “I think the love story between Edward and Bella is going to live on forever, like Beauty and the Beast.”
Let us pause for a moment to digest that sentence. (But try not to concentrate on
the thought of Twilight living on forever or you will definitely need that mixing bowl.) Beauty and the Beast is a story based around not judging a book by its cover whereas Twilight is a story based entirely around judging a book by its cover. The random punctuation upsets me greatly, but not as much as the supposed ‘love’ that is portrayed. I do not claim to be an expert in the field of romance, but I do quite like Boyfriend. I do not only like him because of his looks or his diet. I would not like him half as much if he killed people in his spare time. I would definitely not like for him to kill me and turn me into a vampire, vegetarian or otherwise.
Meyer compares Bella and Edward’s love to that of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. This is because Meyer is an idiot. Bella is not like a modern day Juliet. If
anything she is more of an Ophelia. She is only able to define herself against
her damaging relationships with men – her father, her lover – to the point
where she is so lost without them that she attempts suicide.
I could go on to express concern for the thousands of girls on ‘team Edward’ or ‘team Jacob’ but I am far too depressed to continue. If you consider yourself a
member of either team then I am going to do my best impression of Doctor Who
and say, I am sorry. I am so sorry. But I definitely do not have any more time
to try to save you – I have to wash up before someone tells me something awful
about David Attenborough.