Twilight, Abstinence and Desire

Following the ten year anniversary of the publication of Twilight (2005), Eva Wiseman has written an article about its presentation of sexuality, chastity and vampiric desire, ‘Vampires, blood and chastity: how Twilight turned teens on’. Though the opening paragraphs were a little suspect, putting forth the assumption that Meyer’s novels are attempting to indoctrinate teenagers into abstinence and that Gothic equals emo/ depressive, Wiseman does attempt to analyse the appeal of Bella and Edward’s relationship. She explores the power of fanfiction and the reader’s imagination in embellishing what is presented as a rather old-fashioned and restrained relationship. In doing so she deconstructs the rather problematic suggestion that young females passively ingest Gothic texts by presenting an engaged, and inflamed, reader.

Unfortunately, I feel that the article reaches its’ conclusion a little quickly and I would have liked to see her explore some of the arguments surrounding the series a little more fully. Treating Twilight as an aberrant occurrence in the history of both vampiric and Gothic literature needs to be countered or at least defended effectively. Otherwise scholars run the risk of repeating the historical snobbery that allowed Gothic literature to sink into oblivion until the late twentieth-century.

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