... when the teenager stays at home re-arranging his room and doing his music practice while his parents go out to see the new teenage sparklie vampire love storie movie. The movie was washed down with a bag of mixed lollies and some tall glasses of Westgarth's finest sangria. As Chaucer says, "This ys absolutelie the beste teenage sparklie vampyre love storye ich haue evir reade" and the same goes for the movies, too. I've now read the last two books and seen the first two movies, and so while I can't quite remember what happens in Volume 3, I think I have a reasonable grasp of the entire sorry trajectory.
I say "sorry", because although in the first movie I was completely entranced by the brooding mystery of Edward, this movie reminded me that I don't really like vampires very much, despite what Chaucer describes as the "fayre skyn and fashion-sprede slow-mocioun hotenesse of the Cu Chulainn clan, the which have all eaten long ago of the magical Irisshe Salmon of Really Good Hair (oon byte of this magical salmon and ye shal have good hair for evir)."
There's been an awful lot written and said about Stephanie Meyer being a Mormon, and the programmatic chastity of the Twilight sage: no sex — or becoming a vampire — until you are married. Again, I'll quote Maister Chaucer (who's proving himself a most adept textual and cultural critic), when he remarks, "Ther is considerablie moore sexual tensioun than in Piers Plowman." This is undeniably true. But there's something disturbing, and I would have thought rather un-Mormony about the idea that you might well have a soul; but that you would willingly destroy it for love. I can see romance fiction not being bothered with the idea of a soul, but once you invoke that metaphysic, don't you have to do something with it? Not easy, of course: and even Philip Pullman, for all his brilliance, couldn't quite bring it all off. If Meyer — and the films — get away with invoking the idea of a soul as a plot device, but countenancing perpetual everlasting romantic love and sexual desire and a prodigious child as sufficient compensation for its loss, it's not in any easy agreement with any model of Christianity I'm familiar with.
So the easy dismissive reading of Meyer — that she is somehow cynically exploiting teenage desires to push a Mormon model of sexual restraint— seems to me rather a thin one. Or perhaps it's true that for this religion, morality is more important than spirituality.