February 14th, 2013
|das_mervin||07:17 pm - Breaking Dawn: Preface II|
Book I Summary | Table of Contents | Chapter 8 (Part I)
Book Two: Jacob
MERVIN: And we are back. I had a very nice vacation from this book. We’re all rested up and ready to take on Book II of Breaking Dawn! Yes, it is time to begin the infamous Jacob Black section of this novel.
Firstly, I am going to make a very happy announcement—we are bidding farewell to one count. It is never going to show up again. So, I am happily gonna throw SYMBOLIC DREAMS right out the window. That’s right—it’s DONE. And you know what? That count also demonstrates how Meyer wrote Forever Dawn before New Moon and Eclipse. There were only five instances of symbolic dreaming in Book I, which means five total for Breaking Dawn. In Twilight, the offending symbolic dreams were ridiculous, yes, but there really weren’t very many. However, in New Moon and Eclipse, Bella was symbolically dreaming all over the place. And now…she’s not. Oh ho.
Anyway, Book II.
I’ll be perfectly honest, dear readers: I have not been looking forward to this. In fact, I’ve flat-out been dreading it. I honestly don’t know which section is worse—this one or the third one. I think that, because I’m doing this one right now, it’s the one I hate the most right now.
But enough of my whining. Let’s get the opening quote out of the way. I am unsurprised by the one that Meyer chose.
And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays.
Yep—she quoted the Bard again. Specifically, she quoted A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Why did she quote A Midsummer Night’s Dream? Because of this quote from chapter nineteen of Eclipse!
"The imprinting compulsion is one of the strangest things I've ever witnessed in my life, and I've seen some strange things." He shook his head wonderingly. "The way Sam is tied to his Emily is impossible to describe — or I should say her Sam. Sam really had no choice. It reminds me of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with all the chaos caused by the fairies' love spells… like magic." He smiled. "It's very nearly as strong as the way I feel about you."
Okay, so, lemme get this straight. You already failed spectacularly by bringing up that particular play in relation to imprinting when you first brought it up in Eclipse to try and make Edward and by default yourself look literary—because when I think about people being forced to love and have sex with women not of their own choosing through brainwashing, I don’t think, “Aww, that’s so sweet, and that is truly a love I can only dream of having,” I think, “GET ME MAH RAPE WHISTLE.” But now, you pulled this. You decide to preface Jacob’s section with a quote from the same play that you deliberately tied up with your imprinting one book previous. Meaning…you basically just told us what he’s going to be doing in his section and have started the counts back up with the quote.
SUBTLE FORESHADOWING: 1
SLEDGEHAMMER OF SYMBOLOGY: 1
And yes, she did. One could look at that from a different angle—that one paragraph with Eclipse combined with all of the messed-up stuff going on in this section? That quote is actually applicable and fairly subtle. One could argue I’m being too harsh. Well, until you see what goes down in a couple of chapters. Nope! We get hammered by this comparison again. You’ll be seeing it. So, yeah—this is a fail and gets the points, even if they are retroactive. Meyer just revealed what was supposed to be the big twist at the end of Jacob’s section with the opening quote.
That has got to be a new record.
It’s not a preface and we all know it. It’s a prologue, and Meyer can eat me. And normally, I’d be sporking it. Except there’s nothing to spork. This is the prologue, guys.
Life sucks, and then you die.
Yeah, I should be so lucky.
And that, unfortunately, sets our tone for the entire Jacob segment. Just this whiny, bratty little boy moaning about how horrible his life is and complaining and whining about it three times more than Bella Swan ever managed. This guy doesn’t shut up. He is the most selfish creature ever written—more than Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. With those two, not only do they give us breaks by punctuating their whining with overblown descriptions of how beautiful and perfect the other is, but you can sometimes ignore it because when they start wailing selfishly about their own pain, it’s so hammy and overdramatic that it’s almost comical. Not to mention that during those times, they at least try to fool us into believing that it’s them whining about somebody else’s pain. Here? It’s not. It’s all about Jacob’s own pain and how everybody’s picking on him and nobody will give him his way and him complaining about it in the most obnoxious, self-absorbed, juvenile fashion you will ever see and he never stops doing it for his entire section. I mean that literally.
We have eleven chapters of this to endure. To put that into perspective, that’s 228 pages and 54,826 words, which is thirty percent of the novel.
(Just as a reminder, the counts are being reset after every Book to highlight the focus and the style of each section.)
Book I Summary | Table of Contents | Chapter 8 (Part I)
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)|| |
Great. A whole section of Jacob whining about Bawla Swan. Could it get any better?
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 01:57 am (UTC)|| |
A perhaps more appropriate quote for what comes next...
Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 03:49 am (UTC)|| |
The game's afoot;
Follow your spirit: and upon this charge,
Cry — God for Harry! England and Saint George!
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 05:56 am (UTC)|| |
How about "it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing"?
(I don't want to call Ms. Meyer an idiot--the rest of it just seems to fit so well . . .)
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 05:05 pm (UTC)|| |
While I agree that the series is ultimately meaningless, it doesn't contain either sound or fury. It induces fury, but that's another matter.
As for Meyer's intelligence, I won't comment.
I think it does contain "sound and fury" in a way. All the characters, even the villains, all strut and fuss about their lives and worry over appearances and the shallow power they have. Everything they do has a lot of boom but nothing to back it up, like having thunder but no lightning. Bella's life really is exactly as that verse is. She's a poor actor who frets through her play and will eventually be snuffed out once the little idiot finishes her tale. In the end, everything the Cullens, the pack, and the Volturi do have no content and signify nothing. There's absolutely nothing behind them.
|Date:||February 17th, 2013 09:57 pm (UTC)|| |
Another possible interpretation would be that "sound and fury, signifying nothing" means that stuff just kinda happens and leaves no real impression on the viewer. Take any Michael Bay movie, for example - there's lots of stuff happening, and it's all very pretty, but you probably won't remember most of it five minutes after leaving the theater, if that.
In contrast, the Twilight books tend to be a lot of little-to-nothing happening at all, as these sporkings have demonstrated, and I doubt even the fans will remember it in a few years.
As an aside, I love that this conversation is happening. It's so much more interesting (not to mention less painful) than dealing with the books themselves.
I see the Twilight books having "a lot" happening, as in little useless things going on that are blown up to sound like actual events. In Twilight, Bella meets Edward, Edward disappears and Bella thinks it's her fault, there's the assassination attempt by Tyler's van, Bella meets Carlisle at the hospital, Edward gives mixed messages, there's the blood test scene, there's Jacob's intro, attempted rape, date scene at a real restaurant that is likely very profitable after tourism, the meadow scene, meeting Edward's family, the baseball scene, going into hiding, and the not-climax. All those are events in the first book that are all blown up as being very important to the book overall since Meyer absolutely REFUSED to cut any of it. However, there's no substance behind any of it. If we could cut the book down, it'd probably just be Edward meeting Bella, the baseball scene, and the not-climax (turned into an actual climax).
All of these "events" are puffed up and announced but have no substance. Sure there's no action but events in romance don't have to be action scenes. Simply, the scenes have to be character-revealing and relevant to the conflict the couple must deal with whether it comes from an outside source or from within. The relationship developing between the two characters has to share the story with the conflict, and Twilight has the temptation of taking Bella's life to serve as a conflict Bella and Edward must deal with. However, because of Meyer's telling tendencies, this too is nothing but an illusion. Many of the scenes show nothing about the characters other than the unintended and do not help Bella and Edward become closer together. Rather, Bella and Edward just are close right from the get-go. They do not develop as a couple and stay in the same stage of falling in love. The point of it being a romance is absolutely defeated by just that.
Many things happen in Twilight books. They just simply do not contribute, add nothing, don't help the characters grow, go nowhere, and do nothing about the conflict. Thus, the sound and fury part of nothing happening, having just as much content as an off-brand puffed cheeto or Edward's threats against Jacob's pack.
*snortsnickersnort* Much more aprops
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 03:24 am (UTC)|| |
A Midsummer Night's Imprinting
The quotation James chose is truly special. Here's the whole thing:
I pray thee, gentle mortal, sing again.
Mine ear is much enamored of thy note.
So is mine eye enthrallèd to thy shape.
And thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me
On the first view to say, to swear, I love thee.
Methinks, mistress, you should have little reason for that. And yet, to say the truth, reason and love keep little company together nowadays. The more the pity that some honest neighbors will not make them friends. Nay, I can gleek upon occasion.
So let's see what we have here:
An inhumanly beautiful woman;
Someone who is part human and part animal;
The woman falling for the part-animal man thanks to a magical curse imposed on her by two other members of her kind;
The man admitting that there's no reason she should love him;
The man saying that it's a pity that reasons and love can't be introduced (before brushing that away and saying he was joking).
And, of course, this relationship is temporary. Titania does not stay with Nick Bottom; she is restored to sanity and goes back to her own kind. and her own husband. This "love" was caused by Oberon so that to humiliate Titania and manipulate her into surrendering a half-human changeling to be his page. And Bottom, at the end of the play, stops being an ass--at least physically.
So if Meyer is alluding to imprinting? She's doing so using a quote from dialogue about the love of Nick Bottom imposed on Titania--a love stated in the text to be fervent, passionate, almost delirious...and completely false.
The quotation all but sporks itself.
Midsummer Night's Dream, eh? You mean the play that basically mocked the whole idea of love by having it be caused instantaneously by magic flowers thus ridding them of free will and having those affected turn into complete morons? That MND?
Oh, SMeyer. Honey. Baby. Just leave things like this to Neil Gaiman, OK?
Whining? Nothing but whining? This is like reading a bad fanfiction complete with a stupid Gary Stu and Mary Sue--
...oh, right. *hits self*
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)|| |
Jacob referring to something from Midsummer Night’s Dream? Seriously?
Jacob is 16(?), he's dropped out of school, he likes mechanics, cars, bikes and scrap fighting. He's meant to be the "bad boy" of the series so why is he referencing Shakespeare.
Bella might as well make a NASCAR reference for all the sense that makes, Meyer can't even stick to her own canon.
|Date:||February 15th, 2013 05:09 pm (UTC)|| |
"Jacob is 16(?), he's dropped out of school, he likes mechanics, cars, bikes and scrap fighting. He's meant to be the "bad boy" of the series so why is he referencing Shakespeare[?]"
Because Meyer allegedly has a degree in English Lit. and feels the need to show it by making references and allusions to things she clearly doesn't understand. But it's okay - neither do her hardcore fans.
I have to say, I'm glad you sped up the posting schedule, because I can't wait for you to tackle the Host and I was getting worried I might be *shudder* in my twenties by the time you got there! And since I don't have a sparkling abusive boyfriend to make me young and pretty forever, that was a problem for me.
I agree. I cannot wait for The Host that book just makes me so angry as a sci-fi fan.
There's something seriously creepy about how Meyer thinks forced love is romantic (don't even get me started on how this sometimes means falling for small children). Okay, LOTS of stuff about Meyer is creepy, but that's REALLY creepy.
Anyway, I've been literally counting the days for this. Don't worry, you're among friends, you'll get through it.
Maybe she is so focused on the ‘romance’ aspect of it that she doesn’t care how that romance was achieved? Maybe she thinks that as long as a person finds romance, it doesn’t matter how they got there or if they truly want it because it’s just so great to have romance. I don’t know. *shrugs*
As for the pedophilia aspect…yeah. It’s one thing to have a Cinderella Complex, the fantasy of a rich and powerful man falling in love with you and sweeping you away and taking care of you with all of his riches and responsibility. But to fantasize about that happening to a *child?* Umm, Ms. Meyer, you do know that child marriages are no longer seen as socially or morally acceptable within the U.S. (and, indeed, most of the world) anymore, right? That people recognize that children are better off going to school, playing, and generally just being kids? Not shackled to an arrangement that they know nothing about and will have no concept of until they’re much older?
|Date:||February 17th, 2013 06:17 pm (UTC)|| |
I have to admit, it was the whole imprinting thing that interested me about twilight in the first place and ultimately, what brought me here, since I was never really exposed to the hype, or people liking the book. I heard about that imprinting idea somehow, googled it and somehow found a link to mervins rant about it in new moon. Your writing was so amusing that I read all the recaps, learned what sporking was, and have stayed ever since.
I totally agree with everything you have to say about imprinting and the whole Quil/Clare thing. But... I can't help but still feel intrigued by the idea of it and there is an innocent part of me that views Meyers creation as an interesting story device/ idea. And in the hands of skilled writer I would love to read about imprinting and exploring what it means. And in that light, I would be willing to believe that even though imprinting is a scary, free-will robbing kind of sickness, that there could be innocence in it. But I agree that Meyer completly fails to present it as such.
I've only read the sporkings of Myer, so I can't say this is the exact type of imprinting you're looking for, but it is a very good version of it. It has real drama, magical au, actual developing of feelings beyond the imprint and is a wonderfully crafted story. It is male/male slash, so if that's not your thing, speed past those bits;)http://archiveofourown.org/works/542489
|Date:||February 18th, 2013 11:19 pm (UTC)|| |
I'll write a coherent comment after I read it!
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D