Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Wallowing in New Moon (Meyer)

"Many women fixate on Bella's trauma in New Moon," observes journalist Tanya Erzen in Fanpire: The Twilight Saga and the Women Who Love It (2012) , p. 41.

True of me.

While officially contemptuous (of controlling boyfriends and all-consuming relationships), I confess to having devoured the entire Twilight series; and I'll also admit that New Moon, a book that I've wanted to throw across the room ("Bella, stop all this co-dependency and get a hobby!!") is the one that catches my imagination.  Yes, I've found myself dwelling on Bella's emotional pain and wanting to rub Edward's nose in the full extent of it...  If only Bella had some expressive talent!  Violinist?  She might perform Mendelssohn in public--venting all of that grief and fury-- while Edward and the entire Cullen family gasp at the wreck she's become. Seriously, I've listened to that concerto and constructed an entire scene.

And apparently I'm not alone.  According to Erzen, adult women find Bella's pain especially compelling because Bella has permission to wallow.  She can rage and scream; she can descend into a nearly catatonic state; she can sleepwalk through four whole months.  And no one blames her.  On the contrary, her dad tells her that he's never seen anyone try so hard!

As a mom, I really don't have the time and space to indulge my emotions.  Little ones need me, regardless of how I feel-- and so anything negative needs to be pushed down or shunted aside.  I have to get up in the morning.  I have to smile.  I have to listen to others and exercise patience.  If I did otherwise, there would consequences and plenty of blame, too.  Well-deserved blame.

I'd never thought about it before reading Erzen's book, but-- yes, this is why I'll sometimes return to  New Moon.  The catharsis, the vicarious experience of acting out those feelings and finding only acceptance... Fanpire has me pegged!

As a middle-aged wife and mom.

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