, I'm getting back to baking terms. I hope I didn't turn anyone off with my discussion of hydraulics.
I normally don't get explicit, but I can also get obsessive when trying to figure something out. It's why I can get long-winded in these posts. I love puzzles. I didn't know how else to put it.
And...there is a weakness to that hydraulics argument, and I HATE to bring it up, but I have to. The whole fluid pressure argument rests on the assumption that there is a biological pump that is creating the pressure. For humans, that would be the heart. For vampires, who knows, they don't have a true circulatory system to speak of, although the arteries and veins are still there. Which makes male vampires even more of a mystery. That leaves the only source that remains, which are venomous fluids that must have some very special qualities to it. Something is going on, otherwise a vampire wouldn't have a very slight flush after drinking blood, that requires some kind of mechanism that pushes the blood throughout the body.
So, I guess the sparkly eclairs and doughnuts of the TW world are sprinkled with magical vampire dust after all. I know something magical is happening, I'm just trying to figure out exactly where.
Getting back to Bree...
IMO, I have come to believe that SM actually did work out that concept of vampire physiology early on. Sex was brought up in the second chapter she actually wrote, the night of the meadow scene. By the time she wrapped around and got to her incubus and succubus research I think it likely that concept was developed. Likely. It's also possible she just decided to wave her hand at the whole thing and not worry about it. That is difficult for me to accept, but then I couldn't imagine developing a story like this and not getting into the details, even if I never planned on publishing them. But then I'm not Stephenie. The romance was obviously more important than the world-building. Aaargh, it's just that she did seem to have so much worked out, but never liked going into certain details. Smitten
, my answer to your questions about "sound" is to say that if there were a lot of strange noises from impacts, SM likely wouldn't want to give us everything on that, it makes the vamps appear even more alien to us. Your suggestion that there appears to be some cushioning from impact (Alice dropping on Jasper) that dampens the noise is actually very good. It is perfectly logical. SM does give us some of that, but not as extensively as you would think should
be there. The only answer I have to that was this was an aesthetic choice of SM.
[EDIT: A good example of SM's aesthetic choices is the complete disappearance of Bella's burning thirst after the Charlie scene. It's there and ever-present, SM just didn't want to bring it up again.]
You see the same aesthetic choice cropping up in BD. We finally have a first-person perspective, but Bella never gets explicit, even where she absolutely should. Whether her experience is one of true stone hardness or one of flexing and giving when in contact with other vampires, she SHOULD have said something more directly. On its own, BD isn't conclusive one way or the other, since no single isolated observation by Bella can be taken as conclusive.
BD is written very cleverly where the nature of vampire flesh is concerned. At no point does SM ever directly indicate that there is any "give" in the flesh. The only evidence there is her frequent references to the texture of the skin as feeling soft due to its smoothness. There is that and our own imagination (mine included) that is far more comfortable with the idea of contact as being at least somewhat human-like. On the other side, any suggestion that there isn't any give, "hard as stone", lips that "held their own", is set into a context that permits those phrases to be interpreted as something other than being literal.
I admit, the reader is allowed to infer certain things, like your "sound" evidence and Bella "squeezing" Edward. You would normally use the term "grasp" when referring to solid objects; I would "grasp" a pencil when picking it up, I wouldn't "squeeze" it. Another good example is one I already quoted, Edward "crushing" his lips to Bella, a commonly used phrase with a common understanding of a fierce kiss between humans with human lips.
Which leaves the Bree comments a mystery. This is the last story officially published, one that was begun during the EC editing process back in 2005. Why would SM leave the whole question on that note? I tend to think that SM wanted us to have that information about "no give", that it wasn't a mistake. This is a vampire who has been in that body for three months, who is intimately aware of what she is, who even had her arm ripped off at one point and had to reattach it. Bree should know whether or not there is any give in the skin when in contact with vampires, it isn't something she should be ignorant about. If Bree was exaggerating to some extent or had actually meant "no give, unless pressing real hard", then that is a terrible way to introduce that since the comment is never revised or extended and can't ever be, now that the series is complete. BD doesn't conflict with it, and nothing else in the Bree Tanner book does either. Bree, in fact, seems to be a clever way for SM to expound upon what Bella means when she says "hard as stone". Perhaps SM meant exactly what Bella said and decided to quantify it with her final publication of Bree. So, Bree makes the "no give" comment explicity about two vampires kissing.
That might not be proof, but that would otherwise mean SM and her editors got pretty sloppy there at the end on a fundamental building block of her TW world, something that should have been worked out long before BD or Bree was ever written. It's like they forgot they were in Forks and ended the series up in Portland.
I can't imagine that kind of marble physical experience. But, why in the world would SM never confirm for us that there actually is give in vampire to vampire contact, why no first-hand observation, why no example of it ever happening, and why use phrases that, taken literally, directly contradict it? IMO, it's because she knew we couldn't relate to it. She was stuck with what she had already worked out. So, she is coy and clever in BD, and with Bree Tanner coming two years after BD and technically not a romance, she decided to go ahead and cough up that last bit of info.Chernaudi, marielle
, I totally agree with your thoughts on the "armor" aspect of vampire skin. There is something that allows for flexibility, otherwise the vampires wouldn't even be able to move. That doesn't quite jive with what I just wrote, I know. My former theory was very similar to yours. I'm thinking now along the lines of the venom not just providing the lubrication for movement but allowing for movement at all in the first place. That would be for another post, though.
P.S. Oops, I missed something. Perhaps there actually were elements of world-building that SM didn't really care about. That would mean SM was being coy and clever in BD due to avoidance, not due to aesthetics. The best evidence for that would be with the imprinting, and there is the appearance of avoidance as well, "it could be genes, it could be preserving the wolf line, or making the pack stronger, or something else." There are other problems with imprinting never addressed, SM simply wanted it to be, she wanted to create romantic relationships. Bree's comments, then, could be a simple aberration. That's still hard for me to fathom, but I always thought the imprinting stuff was a mess, so I can't rule out it didn't get messy with the vampires either.