Notes on Twilight 

Twilight is a cultural icon whether you like it or not. It has a very homey vibe and the writing is half-decent and simple. The plot is engaging because it’s perfectly average. It managed to set the background (moving to a perpetually rainy small town, from a big sunny city) very well, and hence defines the man (love interest) before he comes into the picture. This means there’s no journey, no acclimitization period for the reader in which decisions can be doubted — you either accept Edward or move on.
This is also why the resulting fanfiction (50 shades) doubled down on this theme. The setting can’t be stolen, so it’s just the actions that are amplified, and it leads to sadist smut.
Bella Swan calls her father “Charlie” until the reader is comfortable enough to call him dad. It’s a decent name, average but respectable.

Twilight is written by a woman. In the hands of a man, it would not have had Vampires with weird abilities and would have involved some mysticism. Mind-reading would have been handled differently.
it should have been only one novel, with Bella a vampire forever in the end. The author tried to exercise her artistic license and get off the money train by writing The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, which made the case that only men can write women well.

Joe Hill’s Horns is a good novel to compare. Its plot is (slightly) better than Twilight’s, and it doesn’t have a sequel. Joe Hill, being the son of Stephen King, added a decent amount of disturbing imagery in his book. The movie stars Daniel Radcliffe, and “Juno” “Temple” as the deceased love interest.
Compare this to DC Comics’ Amazons who might as well be men. A more engaging story would involve a chaotic female society that wisps like a cloud and makes statues of men, with the one aberration leading to Diana (Wonder Woman).

Kristen Stewart, who plays the female lead in the theatrical adaptation, has a Melon front. Compare her with a Thal woman and you’ll see. I think she was cast perfectly because she personifies the inner social competitiveness of a woman. Hermione Granger is just a plot accessory when compared, and arguably a cardboard cutout in comparison for women. Bella Swan is liked, and not Kristen Stewart. Emma Watson is famous, not Hermione Granger.

The male lead is a porcelain god. An unattainable ideal for a woman. The actor who plays Edward Cullen has the features but not the strength of character.

Gary Cooper, who plays Howard Roark, has similar features.

Also see Gabriel Macht (Harvey Spector) from Suits for a (comparatively) more “realistic” portrayal of an Alpha/Sigma.

(1:45 to 3:35, 4:30 to 5:05)

Henry Cavill is popular but he can’t compete with these men. He can play Sherlock Holmes but he just doesn’t have social graces written in his face. His face is blank and that is why people credit his dressing sense and his muscles.

The soundtrack is incredible. Here’s how I would rank it:

  • Eyes On Fire
  • Full Moon
  • Flightless Bird, American Mouth
  • Supermassive Black Hole
  • Tremble For My Beloved
  • Decode
  • I Caught Myself
  • Bella’s Lullaby
  • Go All The Way (Into Twilight)
  • Decode [Acoustic]
  • Leave Out All The Rest
  • Spotlight (Into Twilight)
  • Love Is Worth The Fall
  • Never Think

This is the cover art:

This borrows from Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring. “Twilight” substitues for the pearl earring, with the actually handsome vampire juxtaposed over the plain girl made beautiful by the impeccable lighting and purity of soul. Edward is staring at the earring. The “pearl earring” here mocks the premise.

“Twilight” here is the loss of virginity.

From “Eyes on Fire“:
And just in time
In the right place
Suddenly I’m melting with grace

It’s not just two hooks and a beat, it’s a story. Kids overhearing adult chatter.

Flightless Bird, American Mouth” is surreal, the lyrics don’t make sense.

If there’s a sape-melon-thal triad in every situation, then the context and environment in Twilight is Thal.

If women are married to the highest power then sape women are mirrors, and Edward Cullen is a melon in disguise.
Who are these books written for, then, really? Who was Harry Potter written for? What awesome power does a half-decent story hold to inspire more than 2 million fanfics?