The Twilight Mystique

Critical Essays on the Novels and Films

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About the Book

The 13 essays in this volume explore Stephenie Meyer’s wildly popular Twilight series in the contexts of literature, religion, fairy tales, film, and the gothic. Several examine Meyer’s emphasis on abstinence, considering how, why, and if the author’s Mormon faith has influenced the series’ worldview. Others look at fan involvement in the Twilight world, focusing on how the series’ avid following has led to an economic transformation in Forks, Washington, the real town where the fictional series is set. Other topics include Meyer’s use of Quileute shape-shifting legends, Twilight’s literary heritage and its frequent references to classic works of literature, and the series’ controversial depictions of femininity.

About the Author(s)

Amy M. Clarke is a continuing lecturer in the University Writing Program at the University of California, Davis. She teaches courses in science fiction and fantasy, including seminars on both the Harry Potter and Twilight series, and has recently published a study of Ursula Le Guin.
Marijane Osborn is professor emeritus of English at the University of California, Davis. She has written or been a major contributor to several books on Beowulf and has published three books on Middle English topics.

Bibliographic Details

Edited byAmy M. Clarke and Marijane Osborn. Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 247
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2010
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4998-9
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6204-9
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments      1

Introduction: Approaching Twilight

AMY M. CLARKE      3

Luminous and Liminal: Why Edward Shines

MARIJANE OSBORN      15

Narrative Layering and “High-culture” Romance

YVETTE KISOR      35

Carlisle’s Cross: Locating the Post-Secular Gothic

LORI BRANCH      60

Eco-Gothics for the Twenty-First Century

JAMES MC ELROY AND EMMA CATHERINE MC ELROY      80

Noble Werewolves or Native Shape-Shifters?

KRISTIAN JENSEN      92

Abstinence, American-Style

ANN V. BLISS      107

Is Twilight Mormon?

SARAH SCHWARTZMAN      121

Bella and the Choice Made in Eden

SUSAN JEFFERS      137

Bella and Boundaries, Crossed and Redeployed

KERI WOLF      152

Sleeping Beauty and the Idealized Undead: Avoiding Adolescence

JANICE HAWES      163

Why We Like Our Vampires Sexy

STEPHANIE L. DOWDLE      179

Forks, Washington: From Farms to Forests to Fans

CHRISTINE M. MITCHELL      189

The Pleasures of Adapting: Reading, Viewing, Logging On

PAMELA H. DEMORY      202

About the Contributors      217

Bibliography      221

Index      227

Book Reviews & Awards

“academics…discuss how author Stephenie Meyer uses various traditions in new ways, refers to earlier works of literature, and promotes abstinence. How the novels relate to the Gothic and Quilete traditions and Mormonism and whether the main character is a role model for girls are also examined. Other essays address whether Meyer follows vampire lore and tradition, the impact of fan activity on the setting’s town of Forks, Washington, and fan fiction”—Reference & Research Book News; “a fascinating book…informative and elegant…thought-provoking”—Margaret W. Ferguson, editor, The Norton Anthology of Poetry.