The Third Table

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Re: The Third Table

Postby NoWorries » Sat Oct 18, 2008 8:45 pm

Alcyone wrote:[snip]In MS he doesn't sound in love; he just sounds obsessed. Creepily so. When he calls it love, it sounds more like a euphemism. There's just something about it that "love" I don't believe, as if it's contrived rather than flowing naturally. Not to mention Edward is narrating and I don't believe him to be any more a reliable narrator than Bella.
[emphasis mine]

Ok, see, I tried to stay away . . . ;)

Here's my thing: how Edward "sounds" to one person does not an argument make. It's a perception -- a perfectly, brilliantly valid perception, albeit one I happen to disagree with. I've been perusing and I can't find a single snippit of "evidence" proffered to back up that perception and I suspect I never will because, ultimately, it all boils down to a personal interpretation. And that can never be successfully argued.

What I've seen in this discussion thread is a lot of suggestion about what people *personally* find appropriate in behavioral matters of love. And though that is all we can ever use to contextualize our readings, it's really terribly unfair to characters who have their own parameters. The only thing that can be suggested as evidential regarding this perception is what the person who invented it meant to convey. SM has, as far as I know, repeatedly insisted that Edward truly loved Bella well before New Moon. Whether or not that comes across to each and every one of us is a combination of personal mores and authorial insufficiency. If she's telling us what she meant to convey, but some aren't "getting" that, then it's either a personal thing or it's relative artistic failure.

Y'all can decide which. But that, too, is something that'll never be successfully argued.

And while I'm at it . . . I'm not sure where I stand on the position of; "I know what she (SM) said, but that's not what I believe." We're all given books to do with what we will, but I don't know how far I, personally, can stand up and say that I disagree with the intent of the person who invented the story. I can certainly say, where applicable, that I disagree with the expression of it, or the idea of it, but I don't think I'd have a reasonable leg to stand on if I were to effectively tell the author that she were . . . wrong.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Sun Oct 19, 2008 10:38 am

NoWorries wrote:
Alcyone wrote:[snip]In MS he doesn't sound in love; he just sounds obsessed. Creepily so. When he calls it love, it sounds more like a euphemism. There's just something about it that "love" I don't believe, as if it's contrived rather than flowing naturally. Not to mention Edward is narrating and I don't believe him to be any more a reliable narrator than Bella.
[emphasis mine]

Ok, see, I tried to stay away . . . ;)

Here's my thing: how Edward "sounds" to one person does not an argument make. It's a perception -- a perfectly, brilliantly valid perception, albeit one I happen to disagree with. I've been perusing and I can't find a single snippit of "evidence" proffered to back up that perception and I suspect I never will because, ultimately, it all boils down to a personal interpretation. And that can never be successfully argued.

What I've seen in this discussion thread is a lot of suggestion about what people *personally* find appropriate in behavioral matters of love. And though that is all we can ever use to contextualize our readings, it's really terribly unfair to characters who have their own parameters. The only thing that can be suggested as evidential regarding this perception is what the person who invented it meant to convey. SM has, as far as I know, repeatedly insisted that Edward truly loved Bella well before New Moon. Whether or not that comes across to each and every one of us is a combination of personal mores and authorial insufficiency. If she's telling us what she meant to convey, but some aren't "getting" that, then it's either a personal thing or it's relative artistic failure.

Y'all can decide which. But that, too, is something that'll never be successfully argued.

And while I'm at it . . . I'm not sure where I stand on the position of; "I know what she (SM) said, but that's not what I believe." We're all given books to do with what we will, but I don't know how far I, personally, can stand up and say that I disagree with the intent of the person who invented the story. I can certainly say, where applicable, that I disagree with the expression of it, or the idea of it, but I don't think I'd have a reasonable leg to stand on if I were to effectively tell the author that she were . . . wrong.


well said
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Alcyone » Sun Oct 19, 2008 11:32 am

Please refrain from quoting most above you and then just saying you agree as per the forum rules. Such posts don't add to the topic and just clog bandwith.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:36 pm

Alcyone wrote:Please refrain from quoting most above you and then just saying you agree as per the forum rules. Such posts don't add to the topic and just clog bandwith.


Sorry, Although, I didn't say I agreed...I was saying her point was "well stated."
I thought her opinion was very well thought out and nicely articulated.
In the future I will refrain from quoting a previous post and complimenting it.
Thank you for the reminder.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Alcyone » Sun Oct 19, 2008 2:46 pm

You're welcome! :mrgreen: There's always the PM function for that.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:44 am

Hem. On the subject of one-line posts, people....

Ok. Moving on....

Alcyone wrote:In MS he doesn't sound in love; he just sounds obsessed. Creepily so. When he calls it love, it sounds more like a euphemism. There's just something about it that "love" I don't believe, as if it's contrived rather than flowing naturally.

Well, it's an interesting question. There's definitely something to your observation about the dry and obsessional character of MS. Much as I love that book, I have to agree that you never get that exhilarating sense of the romance of this story which absolutely leaps off the pages of Twilight. But I'm inclined to think that this isn't so much a giveaway of Edward's true psychology (he doesn't really love her the way she loves him) as a problem of narrative. For me, it's more plausibly (or at least interestingly) seen as reflection of the tremendous disparity between Edward's story and Bella's. This is not boy meets girl. This is vampire meets girl -- for him there is so much more to this love story than the romance of it.

I mean, let's go back to the very beginning and that archetypal dream-scenario in the Meadow: a boy and a girl desperately in love -- and he wants to kill her. On Bella's side you have the compulsive (and yes in its own way obsessional) attraction that impels her to give herself to him, knowing that it may mean her death. Not an ordinary romance, but still it's entirely the love which occupies her field of vision -- dominates it indeed to the exclusion of everything else including commonsense instincts of self preservation. Whereas on Edward's side,

Oh Dammit. Just hit submit instead of preview. Back with the rest as soon as I can. Sorry!...(*grin*)
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Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Mon Oct 20, 2008 12:41 pm

I think I get what your saying...
To me Edward may seem obsessed, because he's lived so long and never been in love...and now *BAM* it hits him upside his head and his whole world has changed. He doesn't want a moment without Bella. To me, hes been around long enough to have fallen in love, and since he hasn't it makes his love for Bella that much more real. I put it at a level with the werewolf imprinting honestly. His whole focus shifted to her and her needs.

Love has so many layers...just because he acted like a silly, infatuated 17 year old in the beginning doesn't make it less true.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby LisaCullenAZ » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:04 pm

I agree, MRK...

and I pretty much take Stephenie at her word. Like NoWorries was saying, just because I may or may not feel that she expressed something appropriately or sufficiently doesn't change the facts of what IS. The author has TOLD us what is real and what is happening. I may wish some of the stuff that happened in BD didn't, but that won't ever change it.

Luckily for me I don't have any problems with the way Edward is depicted in Midnight Sun. I felt his reactions were completely understandable given his unique situation. If he'd reacted like any other normal guy... THAT would have freaked me out. Instead I find his obsessiveness matches his other intense eccentricities. If he hadn't been so passionately ardent about this it would have felt unbelievably out of synch with everything else I know about Edward. And seeing him out of character would have been the creepy part, IMO.
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Re: The Third Table

Postby Ouisa » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:23 pm

Okay. I'm gonna post about how I feel about dear Edward. Deep breaths Ouisa, deep breaths. I so don't have time to post a long post right now.

Lisa's right. Edward, well he's obsessive. About EVERYTHING. And it occurs to me that this might be what saves him, and Bella too. If Edward wasn't so gosh darn repressed, obsessive, controlling...what ever term you choose to describe his behavior, would he really have the power to overcome the bloodlust? Not just to not eat Bella but to not eat people in the first place? Perhaps his obsessions and his powerful force of will (ha see how I didn't call him controlling) is a necessary trait to his lifestyle. Of course this is not to say I always like how he treats Bella. But one of the best things about the lexicon and threads like this is to try to see the text from another's perspective. I've learned much about dear Edward from December by trying to see the text through her eyes.

From my perspective, I'm not a fan of Edward. (no no keep reading). But my feelings towards him have always been about my personal preferences about how people who care about each other should act. I know these are unique to me and not something that everyone does, or should feel. I think this is quite true of many of the more famous Anti-Edward ladies. Just as there are very few universal truths in the world, so is there no one true way to love someone. We talked earlier about how our mates are in relation to the men we prefer in the stories. Just as not all of us would want to be with the same mate, not all the Twilight men appeal to all of us. (Except Mike...that's a hunk of burning love right there and y'all know it!!)
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Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:44 pm

Ouisa wrote:If Edward wasn't so gosh darn repressed, obsessive, controlling...what ever term you choose to describe his behavior, would he really have the power to overcome the bloodlust? Not just to not eat Bella but to not eat people in the first place? Perhaps his obsessions and his powerful force of will (ha see how I didn't call him controlling) is a necessary trait to his lifestyle.


Well, anyone who waded through my posts about this on EdCon will know I agree with you here! I think that for Edward, there's a very intimate connection between control and self-control. Both temperamentally (it's partly his arrogance which enables him to drive himself to such extremes of self-discipline) and very practically: here he is, exercising the most appalling feats of self-control to ensure that Bella stays alive and human -- he's damn well going to do his best to make sure she doesn't scupper his efforts! So it does look as if the personality and the moral excellence come as a package.

Though Carlisle is an interesting counterexample. His self-restraint is as great as Edward's, but he's spectacularly less high-handed. Which really just goes to show -- as you were observing in a slightly different context -- that there are no universals where people are concerned, only individuals. And decent individuals come in many forms. For Carlisle, it's compassion that shapes both his relations to others -- his tolerance and forgiveness -- and his extraordinary self-control. Edward clearly has different gifts (or weaknesses), and you may or may not find it more attractive to be like Carlisle. But Edward too has taken what he was given, and attained a degree a moral self-discipline I can't imagine coming close to, myself....
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