The Third Table

Off-Topic Forum for things having nothing to do with Twilight or the entertainment industry

Moderators: bac, cullengirl, una, Nena

Forum rules
Click for Forum Rules

Re: The Third Table

Postby una » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:31 pm

As one who is lurking on this thread, I have truly enjoyed the discussion. I feel that I am poorly equipped to jump in a lot of the time. However, I really enjoy the discussion while you both work to prove your sides and discuss the middle grounds. Before the "Great Crash" I was a serial lurker on the TUPGM thread (or what ever the initials are).

Please do continue, these discussions are fabulous!
I am the Impulsive VampVixen.
Image
Thanks to SprtyGal and Fry for the AWESOME banner!
User avatar
una
Secret Spy for the Warden
 
Posts: 2533
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:18 pm
Location: Sequestered in an alternate reality full of paranormal studs who find me irresitable!

Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:35 pm

una wrote:As one who is lurking on this thread, I have truly enjoyed the discussion. I feel that I am poorly equipped to jump in a lot of the time. However, I really enjoy the discussion while you both work to prove your sides and discuss the middle grounds. Before the "Great Crash" I was a serial lurker on the TUPGM thread (or what ever the initials are).

Please do continue, these discussions are fabulous!



lol...yeah, but whos side are you on :lol:
It is a bunch of fun...I wish my husband read the series, hes great at debating...he spins me in circles..(which isn't hard to do )
I THINK coherently...it's just expressing it thats the problem!
Image
User avatar
MRK
Fishing with Charlie
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:02 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:43 pm

Oh, Alcyone...you're a hard act to follow. Um, bunnies...? (*wipes tears of laughter from her cheeks*)

Alcyone wrote:You've been brainwashing ouisa. I really don't like you right now.

Hee. I haven't, I haven't.... I just post my implausible readings of these books and she reads them. Same as you, only to different effect. Obviously.

Yes, because the world's clumsiest girl isn't self-destructive enough. She needs a repressed, controlling vampire with too many issues to enumerate to seal her fate.

You forgot to mention that she can't even remember to breathe. Talk about deficient survival instincts....

Which nails the precise reason why I first began to have problems with this relationship....We had nothing to go on character-wise; it was almost like he was just a pretty face and it is perfectly acceptable to change all your priorities just for a pretty face. I was raised to believe that physical traits are important--if the physical repulses you, it doesn't matter how wonderful a character the person has, you'll always turn away--nevertheless, character is still the most important and the only means through which to judge someone. However, we had nothing.

Well yes. (Not to repeat myself or anything (*grin*)). I agree: the minute you look at it critically, it's completely unfathomable what Bella sees in Edward (and even more vice versa); but what Stephenie does so brilliantly is to evoke the phenomenology of falling in love. As I think I wrote to Tennyo long ago, it's almost a kind of emotional pornography. Being in love is an intoxicating emotion, and Stephenie has a genius for recalling it to mind. We vicariously feel what Bella feels to a completely preposterous degree. And love is notoriously blind.... Edward could have an Why are we talking about a donkey?'s head on, but the way Stephenie walks us through Bella's emotions, every precious missed beat of her heart, we wouldn't even notice....This is the point of Midsummer, isn't it? Love IS often bizarre and baseless and arbitrary in its inception -- it's only after time that it becomes grounded in something real.

his insufferable arrogance (this coming from someone who admits to being insufferably arrogant and then shudders at the thought of sharing a characteristic with Edward)...

Ok, I'm definitely missing something here (*grin*). Because...Aro is so NOT humble either. Is it only arrogant adolescents that give you the screaming habdabs? Does it become a less grating trait after the first couple of thousand years? Or is it just something irresistible about that oniony skin, so that his defects of personality are as nothing?

(*ducks*)

I'll admit to this image being one of the few I liked (and not because Edward is suffering, though that may be partly it). I'm an author who likes to torture characters. I like pitting everything against them just to see how they stand the blows. Pain and suffering bring out one's true personality, stripped of all facades. At least with this, I agree with you. He withstood the agony with certain grace, even if his actions toward the source of his suffering may be irrational, creepy and sometimes downright frightening. I understand self-immolation, the desire to change one's fate, even applaud it.

Well, yes. (And nicely put!). I rather thought you'd feel this way about it. So tell me then, what do you learn of his true personality? It's still not enough, I take it, to see a point to Edward. Or to like MS better....

But I can't condone many of his actions toward Bella. The need to torture oneself doesn't mean you can torture another, even if Bella is just as masochistic and senseless in this as he is.

Ah. Interesting. Can you explain this? Pushy and insensitive, I get -- but in what sense is he torturing her? I don't see that (except in the very complicated sense -- which he himself belatedly recognizes in Eclipse -- that trying to get Bella to realize what she's losing if by becoming a vampire only makes her inevitable decision to go ahead with it all the more agonizing...).

...Am I incapable of saying something nice without working in an insult somewhere?

Probably.

December wrote:Yes, it’s the story lurking at the back side of the tapestry of TW -- but what one begins to realize (and this was true even before MS appeared) is that the underside to Bella’s story is much darker and more complicated than she or we readily recognize.

Speak for yourself. After several other YA novels, novels and manga relating to a vampire-human romance, I predicted almost every hurdle in their relationship and all of Edward's conflict (sans the prudyness. Kuroe is not a prude). Made it unoriginal to boot.

Not sure if we're talking about the same thing here or not. What I had in mind wasn't so much the hurdles to their relationship (predictable) as the seriousness with which -- beneath the fluffy romance -- Stephenie was taking the dark side of her vampires' existence. As seen from Bella's starry-eyed,17-year-old perspective (which is to say the reader's), the Cullens' lives are as untroubled as Alice makes it seem. Sparkly superheroes with a disability. Like most readers, I think, I was slow to pick up on the fact that this darker reality WAS part of Stephenie's story (even if she didn't directly show it to us): and its implications were driving her plot and shaping her characters' actions in not-so-evident ways. Until BD at any rate....

But of course, the story of BD was established before she began to explore those implications in MS, NM and EC....

I am capable of not commenting on the control comment. That would just be too easy. *smirk*

Naturally.

Actually, he made his own abyss. That god complex of his...

Now here you've lost me. How is Edward responsible for that first day in Biology when he nearly falls back into the blackest savagery?

Was it firefly who mentioned he would have been more likeable if he'd snacked on infants too?
It was indeed....

Firefly wrote:
Edward should eat a few babies, start a few wars, massacre a roomful of lawyers... It might improve his character.


December wrote:Where Bella is concerned, at any rate, Edward attains the kind of total imperviousness to temptation that has taken Carlisle centuries to perfect. For love...

You are perfectly content with his acquiring this imperviousness through love, while I would prefer it to be mostly due to his own character. Love may have provided the catalyst, but I would consider so much more a stronger character if he'd slaved there without needing that catalyst, through sheer strength of will.

Well, you're a hard taskmaster, aren't you? You want Edward to acquire in a mere seventy years or so the imperviousness it took even Carlisle centuries to develop. I take your point that release from his craving for Bella's blood comes to him out of the blue, gratis, with the shock of believing her dead. (Though of course not from the pain that accompanies the craving). On the other hand, the appalling strength of will it needed to take Bella's blood from her hand (and then stop) when James bit her seems to me trial enough of his character that I'm happy to grant him a few unfought-for blessings, on down the line. It's not as if he hasn't struggled ferociously with his thirst for her every second of the months they've been together.

Or, as had been touched on before, if he simply showed some form of compassion as his family does, rather than sheer selfishness.

Oh I'm getting so confused now...was it earlier on this thread or on TUGMP (or is it a post I'm still drafting?) that I was writing about the fact that there are many roads to virtue -- and if a moral code, rather than naked compassion, is the staff that holds someone up on that stony path, I'm not inclined to cavil.

December wrote:So yes, MS is a love story: Edward and Bella’s love for one another is the radiant spindle around which this other story of darkness and suffering and redemption turns.

He was redeemed? When?

Heh. Well. I guess opinions differ.... If you prefer, released. Plucked out of the dark night of his changeless existence and granted love, joy, the ability to see himself for something other than a monster....
December wrote:though I think Stephenie leaves Edward and Bella’s relationship underspecified deliberately, to allow their love story to be a kind of Everyromance.

But the relationship is just wrong! It is so radically antifeminist and so obviously balanced to favor one direction, rather than both... Doesn't really qualify as an Everyromance. More like a nightmare masquerading as a dream.

Ah well. Tastes differ. But yes you're right: there probably can't be such a thing as Everyromance for just that reason. Leaving her characters underdefined allowed Stephenie to make her fantasy as capacious as possible, but if it doesn't float your boat to start with -- if it's more like a cannonball below the waterline -- nothing is going to make the romance more appealing to you....

ETA
I tried to make this shorter. Honestly, I tried....
Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

Re: The Third Table

Postby Li'lBit » Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:52 pm

If bad things happening to women in a book is anti-feminist, then by the same logic Dickens was anti-youth and Weisel was anti-Semite. I think it's an important distinction that these acts are not glorified in the book. They're horrific crimes. Esme lived in a time when women were often mistreated - drawing attention to this as unacceptable and cruel is not a bad thing. Women are raped far more often than men. They are abused more often than men. The fact that this very sad reality is reflected in the books isn't anti-feminist.

The Volturi are a great example - they have powerful women who don't seem to get the same respect as the men. And they're the bad guys. Not exactly the kind of people we're meant to admire and look up to as moral compasses. The vampires who are set up as good in this book are very different. The Cullen women are respected and treated as partners with the men. Alice is every bit as valued as Edward, both for herself and her ability. They worry about Edward being incomplete because he doesn't have a partner to share his life with (they don't see women as incomplete without a man - they see a person as incomplete without someone to love fully and share their lives with both physically and emotionally).

I'm leaving off of Bella and Edward's relationship because as someone else pointed out so much more eloquently than I could, what is acceptable and beautiful in relaionships and love differs so much from person to person (and by level and type of experience).

Bella's relationship with Charlie is different from her relationship with Renee. To make them the same in BD would have been incredibly forced and contrived. Renee hasn't been to see Bella in how long? She may be loving and caring, but she's loving and caring from a distance in all of the books. Neither of their relationships have changed as a result of Bella's new circumstances. Charlie is still happily in denial, and Renee is still the doting mother on the telephone and emails. Charlie may know something's up, but he doesn't know the details any more than Renee does.

Oh- cross posted with you December!
"Sure, [snow] was drier than rain -- until it melted in your socks."
Li'lBit
Wandering Through Town
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby MRK » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:00 pm

Li'lBit wrote:If bad things happening to women in a book is anti-feminist, then by the same logic Dickens was anti-youth and Weisel was anti-Semite. I think it's an important distinction that these acts are not glorified in the book. They're horrific crimes. Esme lived in a time when women were often mistreated - drawing attention to this as unacceptable and cruel is not a bad thing. Women are raped far more often than men. They are abused more often than men. The fact that this very sad reality is reflected in the books isn't anti-feminist.

yeah thats what i was tring to say! thanks!
Image
User avatar
MRK
Fishing with Charlie
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 3:02 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby nissanmama » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:10 pm

Alcyone wrote:And it's Marcus, not Marco. Marco Polo is a different Italian.
Ah yes..I stand humbly corrected. See Marcus is so bored so much of the time that he bores me as well. *yawn* No wonder I got his name wrong. I wonder if he had been able to run away with Didyme if they would have eventually joined the Cullens or their lifestyle?
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/p ... directlink
40-something and feeling a little like Mrs. Cope.
Banner by Fry
User avatar
nissanmama
Officially Bitten!
 
Posts: 1533
Joined: Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:48 pm
Location: I'm not gonna tell.... (Rhage! Shhh!)

Re: The Third Table

Postby Ouisa » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:18 pm

a few things:

Marcus' wife had a power yes. She made everyone happy. Little singing birds and glitter and happy ponies. Then, because this wasn't power to the use and liking of Aro, he murdered her. Therefore I think Alcyone's complaint about the Volturi women and their lack of power to be valid. Especially if you have read her amazing AB type and met her kick a-- Volturi women.

As for bad things happening to women as a sign of anti-feminism. I think both Alcyone, MRK and Lil Bit have valid points. I'd like to speak to what I suspect Alcy is thinking. The thing is not that bad things happen to women*. First I don't think Alcyone's point was "bad things" it was violence afflicted by men. It's the preponderance of this violence happening to women with no corresponding violence to men. Edward died of the flu. Emmett died after a bear attack these things happen in life. Esme, Rose and to some extent Alice died or suffered in their mortal lives from cruelty and violence. (The only exception to this is Jasper who was killed by a woman.) I'm pretty sure too that Alcyone is disturbed by the continued trend of violence inflicted by men on women in The Host. There is a subtle pattern in these stories. And I can kinda see her point.

There Alcyone was that enough of the dark side for you?

* (oh I am hearing Phantom of the Opera in my head. "Si these things do happen and until you stoppa these things from happening. This thing does NOT happen.")
Image
User avatar
Ouisa
Taking over the world and making it pretty!
 
Posts: 200
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 7:45 pm
Location: Visiting Isle Esmandy

Re: The Third Table

Postby December » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:33 pm

Alcyone wrote:
MRK wrote:Seems more anti-man to me personally...
Right. Because the man is the one being hurt.

Hmmm. You're not trying to have it both ways here, are you? If it makes women look bad to depict female characters who are brutal, callous or sadistic (Victoria, Jane, Gianna (presumptively)), shouldn't it make men look bad too? Or conversely, make those sadistic women characters look strong? We get to watch Jane torturing Edward (which ought to brighten your day, oughtn't it?)

But I do take your point about the pattern of Stephenie's preferences. Do you feel the same about the Host? Can you tell me about it without sending Ouisa's nice thread up in flames?

If I were a despot...

If? (*grin*)

ETA
Crossed with you Ouisa! And with you Lilbit as well!
Image
“When did you ever promise to kill yourself falling out of Charlie’s tree?”
User avatar
December
Muse of Philosophical Discussion
 
Posts: 2711
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:09 am
Location: Putting the "Longa" into Ars Longa....

Re: The Third Table

Postby Li'lBit » Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:59 pm

Ouisa wrote:First I don't think Alcyone's point was "bad things" it was violence afflicted by men. It's the preponderance of this violence happening to women with no corresponding violence to men. Edward died of the flu. Emmett died after a bear attack these things happen in life. Esme, Rose and to some extent Alice died or suffered in their mortal lives from cruelty and violence. (The only exception to this is Jasper who was killed by a woman.) I'm pretty sure too that Alcyone is disturbed by the continued trend of violence inflicted by men on women in The Host. There is a subtle pattern in these stories. And I can kinda see her point.


Thanks for the clarification! I can see why this is disturbing - it disturbs me to see this kind of inequity as well. But it's one of the reasons I feel the way I do about this. The extreme unbalance is a reflection in real life, I believe (especially when you consider the time period these women lived in, but even without that consideration and even more so when you include the world at large). I would LOVE to see this change - it's appalling. But I don't think we affect the change or vindicate women by writing books that pretend that such things are more equally distributed across the sexes, or offer equal violence of women against men to make it seem more fair. Bringing it to our attention makes us confront our own feelings on the disparity in reality as well as in the books. Seeing it for what it is and being appalled by it is far more likely to inspire change in the world than writing as if it didn't happen that way.

That being said, I don't like to read about it. Not at all. In fact, I sometimes skip those parts in the Host because it's truly awful. I don't much like to read about violence of any kind, to be truthful, against men or women of any age. I'm not pro-violence, I just don't find the realistic unbalance of violence against women in the books anti-feminist.
"Sure, [snow] was drier than rain -- until it melted in your socks."
Li'lBit
Wandering Through Town
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:03 pm

Re: The Third Table

Postby LisaCullenAZ » Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:47 pm

I'm with you, Li'lBit. It may be awful (I agree) and I don't like much, but it's not out of proportion to what real life has to offer us. That's the ugly truth.

I've never once felt any sense of anti-feminism coming from these books. Maybe that's because I personally see feminism as a promotion of women's freedom to chose without fear of opression or unbalanced scrutiny. I hate how women have to be tough and man-less in order to be considered free and equal. It doesn't have to be that way unless the woman in question WANTS it that way. If a woman wants to stay home and bake cookies barefoot in the kitchen her whole life, then that's her choice. And if I put pressure on her to be something other than what she, by innate desire, wants to be... why, then I am no better than the idiots who put pressure on women to get married and start a family instead of pursuing a career. There is absolutely no difference, IMO.

I can't fault Bella for freely chosing to swoon over this mysterious man in her life. Nor her choice to give up everything for him. I hesitate to impose my beliefs on anyone, because then it's ME who is putting the squeeze on freedom and equality.
Last edited by LisaCullenAZ on Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Image
...masterpiece created by Chaos. Thank you!
User avatar
LisaCullenAZ
Buying a Better Raincoat
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:59 pm
Location: My Happy Place

PreviousNext

Return to Flight to Phoenix

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 11 guests