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Transcript of Twilight
The Identity Problem
"vampires have never appeared more sensitive or romantic"
Folkloric vampire: disease, death, bodily dissolution in pre-industrial society
(Cattle-blood drinking peasant)
Throwback to mythic family of the past
"Bitten by the Twilight bug"
(fever, madness, hysteria, obsession"
Levels of reading
1) typical romance
2) christian allegory
Post-feminist; post-racial; post-puritanical?
"Liberation of the vampire"
racism and capitalism
alternative gender, sexual,
and familial formulations
"A way of inhabiting difference; embracing otherness"
ideal for changing global world?
boundary-breaking, transgressive, queer
Kane: "the vampire is a queer figure because it is disruptive; the vampire breaks down categories, transgresses boundaries, and upsets the very premises upon which systems of normalcy are structured"
Vampires proliferate during periods of social change
I'm not really an expert on the subject of vampires. I haven't read many vampire novels - maybe one, but I don't remember its title, and I don't think I have ever seen a vampire movie. I have been asked in interviews, one for Amazon.com, for example, to name my favorite vampire book and favorite vampire movie, and I can't. Some people would like me to be more of a vampire-ophile than I really am for some reason
His face was a strong, a very strong, aquiline, with high bridge of the thin nose and peculiarly arched nostrils, with lofty domed forehead, and hair growing scantily round the temples but profusely elsewhere. His eyebrows were very massive, almost meeting over the nose, and with bushy hair that seemed to curl in its own profusion. The mouth, so far as I could see it under the heavy moustache, was fixed and rather cruel-looking, with peculiarly sharp white teeth. These protruded over the lips, whose remarkable ruddiness showed astonishing vitality in a man of his years. For the rest, his ears were pale, and at the tops extremely pointed. The chin was broad and strong, and the cheeks firm though thin. The general effect was one of extraordinary pallor.
Seifert: “Bella is not in control of her body...she is absolutely dependent on Edward’s ability to save her life, her virginity, and her humanity” (25).
Seltzer:“even while inverting the positions, Meyer doesn’t change the game. Purity is still the goal. Man, or vampires, are still dangerous and
threatening while females are still breakable and fragile”
Do not exist in isolation
Self found in community (marriage and parenthood), and in family and groups
"Soft" identity of romance heroine
moulded through relationship to male lover
male identity secure; fixed point
women's subordination as natural to her sex rather than constructed or gendered
Self and Identity
“[The loss of Edward involved]more
than just losing the truest of true loves....
It was also losing a whole future, a whole family” (398)
young adulthood not a break
from the family towards individuation and autonomy
pain accepted as a female condition,
sexuality equated with danger
marriage after failed rebellion
regression from full societal participation
"growing up female as a choice between auxiliary or secondary personhood, sacrificial victimization, madness, and death.”- Annis Pratt
Dominant social norms for womanhood
in novel of development:
child coming of age
rising action; pivotal event
process of self-discovery toward maturity
assimilation of contemporary cultural values
participation and recognition of that individual by society.
Rational, civilized, good
.Instinctual, irrational, evil
The Edward appeal
Dracula: "symptom of a wish, largely sexual, that we wish we did not have" - George Sade
Effect of repressing wish is to turn it into a horror
Stoker: Victorian sexual anxieties
"I'm so clumsy I'm almost disabled"
"'you spied on me?'...but somehow I couldn't infuse my voice with the proper outrage. I was flattered"
Vampire: whiteness; civility, intellect; culture
Werewolf: blackness; feral; instinct; nature
Pride and Prejudice?
Romance hero: "Brooding, handsome, also capable of soft, gentle gestures"
Polluting figure: racism, sexism, homophobia, anti-semitism
texts as "symbolic acts"
"protopolitical response to a historical dilemma"
"Consumer capitalism on over-drive"
Text = "supermarket" (Certeau)?
Not other but better
Horror and Romance: affective reading
"received consciousness"; product of socialization (mass media)
Exploration and containment; "release valve"
ideology by the spoonful
Typical view: legitimates power of a dominant social group or class.
Neutral? Martin Seliger: "sets of ideas by which men [sic] posit, explain and justify ends and means of organised social action, and specifically political action, irrespective of whether such action aims to preserve, amend, uproot or rebuild a given social order."
Genres as static
"In the Romance genre, Urban Fantasy tends to trip over and knock knees with Paranormal Romance. It gets confused with it, because Paranormal Romance has been around for a long, long time, and established roots and built genre enclaves, RWA* chapters, publisher imprints, special sections in bookstores and more, while Urban Fantasy is the orphan left on the doorstep that no-one knows what to do with that has the same red hair as Paranormal romance, so everyone tries to put it on the same shelf as Paranormal, thinking it belongs there. Really, they’re only distantly related…although they’ll end up looking the same because of shared DNA."
rban fantasy romance: multi-volume; back story/history; war between species and races; recurring characters; wordiness
"ideological tool used to curb teenagers' libido"
Charles Sarland: “The research evidence…uncovers a complex picture of
the young seeking ways to take control over their own lives, and using the
fiction that they enjoy as one element in that negotiation of cultural meaning
and value” (44).
Owning female desire?
The Young Adult Reader
Polidori, "The Vampyre"
Bram Stoker's Dracula