Showing posts with label Twilight. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twilight. Show all posts

Friday, 6 October 2017

OUT NOW: TransGothic in Literature and Culture, ed. Jolene Zigarovich (Routledge, 2017)

A new academic edited collection on the Gothic, with a chapter from me on Horace Walpole, Twilight, Black Mirror, 17th-century politics and the meaning of romance...

This book contributes to an emerging field of study and provides new perspectives on the ways in which Gothic literature, visual media, and other cultural forms explicitly engage gender, sexuality, form, and genre. The collection is a forum in which the ideas of several well-respected critics converge, producing a breadth of knowledge and a diversity of subject areas and methodologies. It is concerned with several questions, including: How can we discuss Gothic as a genre that crosses over boundaries constructed by a culture to define and contain gender and sexuality? How do transgender bodies specifically mark or disrupt this boundary crossing? In what ways does the Gothic open up a plural narrative space for transgenre explorations, encounters, and experimentation? With this, the volume’s chapters explore expected categories such as transgenders, transbodies, and transembodiments, but also broader concepts that move through and beyond the limits of gender identity and sexuality, such as transhistories, transpolitics, transmodalities, and transgenres. Illuminating such areas as the appropriation of the trans body in Gothic literature and film, the function of trans rhetorics in memoir, textual markers of transgenderism, and the Gothic’s transgeneric qualities, the chapters offer innovative, but not limited, ways to interpret the Gothic. In addition, the book intersects with but also troubles non-trans feminist and queer readings of the Gothic. Together, these diverse approaches engage the Gothic as a definitively trans subject, and offer new and exciting connections and insights into Gothic, Media, Film, Narrative, and Gender and Sexuality Studies.


- Foreword, Susan Stryker
- Introduction: 'Transing the Gothic', Jolene Zigarovich
- Chapter 1: 'Beyond Queer Gothic: Charting the Gothic History of the Trans Subject in Beckford, Lewis, Byron', Nowell Marshall
- Chapter 2: 'Go to Hell: William Beckford’s Skewed Heaven and Hell', Jeremy Chow
- Chapter 3: 'Transgothic Desire in Charlotte Dacre’s Zofloya', Jolene Zigarovich
- Chapter 4: 'That Dreadful Thing That Looked Like A Beautiful Girl: Trans Anxiety/Trans Possibility in Three Late Victorian Werewolf Tales', Ardel Haefele-Thomas
- Chapter 5: 'Monster Trans: Diffracting Affect, Reading Rage', Harlan Weaver
- Chapter 6: 'More Than Skin Deep: Aliens, Fembots, and Trans-Monstrosities in Techno-Gothic Space', April Miller
- Chapter 7: 'Gothic Gender in Skin Suits, or The (Transgender) Skin I Live In', Anson Koch-Rein
- Chapter 8: 'The Media of Madness: Gothic transmedia and the Cthulhu mythos', Jason Whittaker
- Chapter 9: 'Black Weddings and Black Mirrors: Gothic as Transgeneric Mode', Hannah Priest
- Chapter 10: 'The State of Play: Transgressive Caricature and Transnational Enlightenment', Ian McCormick

For more information, please visit the publisher's website.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

OUT NOW: Undead Memory: Vampires and Human Memory in Popular Culture (Peter Lang)

Edited by Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk
Foreword by Sir Christopher Frayling

Vampires have never been as popular in Western culture as they are now: Twilight, True Blood, The Vampire Diaries and their fans have secured the vampire’s place in contemporary culture. Yet the role vampires play in how we remember our pasts and configure our futures has yet to be explored. The present volume fills this gap, addressing the many ways in which vampire narratives have been used to describe the tensions between memory and identity in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

The first part of the volume considers the use of the vampire to deal with rapid cultural change, both to remember the past and to imagine possible futures. The second part examines vampire narratives as external cultural archives, a memory library allowing us to reference the past and understand how this underpins our present. Finally, the collection explores how the undead comes to embody memorial practice itself: an autonomous entity that gives form to traumatic, feminist, postcolonial and oral traditions and reveals the resilience of minority memory.

Ranging from actual reports of vampire activity to literary and cinematic interpretations of the blood-drinking revenant, this timely study investigates the ways in which the 'undead memory' of the vampire throughout Western culture has helped us to remember more clearly who we were, who we are, and who we will/may become.


- Introduction - Simon Bacon and Katarzyna Bronk

Part I: Death and Becoming: How the Human Past Becomes the Vampire Future

- Memento (non)mori: Memory, Discourse and Transmission during the Eighteenth-Century Vampire Epidemic and After - Leo Ruickbie

- Vampire Narratives as Juggling with Romanian History: Dan Simmons's Children of the Night and Elizaeth Kostova's The Historian - Marius Crişan

- André Gide, Nosferatu and the Hydraulics of Youth and Age - Naomi Segal

- Constitutional Amnesia and Future Memory: Science Fiction's Posthuman Vampire - Hadas Elber-Aviram

Part II: Vampiric Memorials: Place, Space and Objects of Undead Memory

- Archives of Horror: Carriers of Memory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - Katharina Rein

- Vampire Echoes and Cannibal Rituals: Undead Memory, Monstrosity and Genre in J.M. Grau's We Are What We Are - Enrique Ajuria Ibarra

- 'Old things, fine things': Of Vampires, Antique Dealers and Timelessness - Sorcha Ní Fhlainn

Part III: Memory Never Dies: Vampires as Human Memory and Trauma

- Pack versus Coven: Guardianship of Tribal Memory in Vampire versus Werewolf Narratives - Hannah Priest

- Death and the City: Repressed Memory and Unconscious Anxiety in Michael Almereyda's Nadja - Angela Tumini

- The Inescapable Moment: The Vampire as Individual and Collective Trauma in Let Me In by Matt Reeves - Simon Bacon

For more information about the book, please see the publisher's website.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Twihards and Directioners

So… it’s been a good week for derisively labelling young women as mentally ill.

In the worlds of (predominantly) female fandoms, there have been two big stories this week. The first, an interview with Stephenie Meyer in Variety in which the author was quoted as saying she is ‘over’ Twilight.* This was greeted by a wave of responses by self-described ‘Twihards’, which, in turn, was met with mockery and criticism. The second story followed Channel 4’s broadcasting of a ‘documentary’ entitled Crazy About One Direction.

Before I start (what is probably going to turn into a rant), I want to make it clear that I don’t think Twihards and Directioners are the same thing, or that these respective fandoms have much in common. The object of attention for these fandoms – a multi-media franchise for one, a pop band on the other – are completely different. The methods and media through which Twihards and Directioners express their devotion are also substantively different, though there is occasional overlap on social media. However, I am linking these stories because of the connection Twihards and Directioners share in terms of demographics: on the whole, they are young women, or at least imagined to be so by their detractors.

The Twilight Story

Stephenie Meyer’s throwaway comment in the Variety interview might make complete sense to other writers, many of whom have expressed their sympathy for the backlash she has faced. Meyer wrote a series of books which became a phenomenon, attracting both a legion of devoted (and vocal) fans and an army of cynical, snide critics. Let us remember, Twilight was Meyer’s debut novel; it must be kind of weird to have your first published works publicly ripped to pieces by Stephen King. Or to see reports that fans of your work have mobbed a waxwork model of an actor who portrayed one of your characters on screen. Perhaps we can excuse Meyer for wanting to take a (permanent) break from this.

I don’t really want to discuss the rights and wrongs of Meyer’s comment, or the question of whether she was accurately quoted. What I’m interested in is the reaction of the fans – specifically the Twihards. After the article was published, it received a number of comments from self-described Twihards decrying Meyer’s ‘rejection’ and ‘humiliation’ of her fans. I say ‘a number of comments’, in fact that same comment was posted a number of times by different people. Here is the comment in its entirety:
Stephenie, do you think that maybe you thought of us, the fans and admirers, who for all these years not only followed your Saga but also followed you, your life and your other work and showed true love for your writing that not only made us fall in love but also changed the lives of each and everyone of us? By saying that “it’s not a happy place to be” you despised and you humiliated us all. This is OUR place, and you are responsible for it. In IT we are happy, and it is just unforgivable for you to try to take it away from us. It might not be for you, but for us it is FOREVER Sincerely, Twihards #TwilightIsAHappyPlace
Reading these comments, which are interspersed with more personalized commentary from Twilight fans and a number of critics questioning both Meyer’s talent and the Twihards’ response, is a somewhat bizarre experience. The comment is repeated, occasionally with an additional ‘hey’ or ‘hi’ at the beginning, sometimes with the first part of ‘Stephenie’ missing. It appears in Portuguese at least once, and some posts have slightly odd formatting. My first reaction, I must admit, was to describe these comments as Annie Wilkes’s sentiments written in Jack Torrance’s style.

I was not the only person to engage in a bit of snark about these commenters. Other posters spoke of the Twihards’ need to develop some ‘manners’ or to act like ‘normal fans’. They criticized the Twihards for copying and pasting a group response, rather than expressing something personal. And, some used this as an excuse to trot out the usual ‘Twihards are frightening/mentally ill’ rhetoric. As one commenter succinctly says at the end of their post: ‘Yikes!’

However, if you pay a little more attention to what the Twihards are saying here – and, particularly, to their explanation for the copy-and-pasted comments, another story emerges. Apparently, the comment originated on a fan forum and was written out in English to help Brazilian fans who weren’t confident to post in English. Immediately, then, we should distance these fans from the figure of Annie Wilkes. They are also not a ‘mob’: they are part of a community, who communicate and offer assistance to each other where necessary. They also organize group expressions of fan loyalty. Am I the only one who thinks that Annie Wilkes would have been a lot happier if she’d joined a board like that, maybe written a bit of fan fiction, got a Twitter account? I’m sure most people agree, there is something empowering and healthy about being part of a community – online or IRL – and the Twihards’ response to Stephenie Meyer highlights the communal aspect of fandom perfectly.

As an academic, I also have to say that I believe the Twihards were absolutely right in their sentiments. Particularly when they say ‘this is OUR place’. I’ve written elsewhere about (failed) attempts by authors to limit fan appropriation of work, and the ways in which these strategies reveal the last, dying grasp of the Author (with a capital A). In her defence, I should say that Meyer herself did not attempt to wrest any control of her work from the Twihards – that was the work of commentators who claimed that it was Stephenie Meyer’s right to decide when Twilight was ‘over’, and she (alone) could say when fans should ‘move on’.

Theorists from Roland Barthes to Henry Jenkins would beg to differ with that. Twilight is as much the property (and, speaking theoretically here, creation) of the readers and fans as it is of Meyer. Put this way, the anger of the Twihards is justifiable, given that they interpreted Meyer’s words as a rejection of their continued investment in the series.

Whether or not you agree with the ‘death of the author’ premise I’m hinting at here, there is a more pressing question. Why does any of this make the Twihards ‘insane’? Why is a Twilight fan who refuses to accept the end of canonical production ‘mad’, but a Star Wars fan who disavows The Phantom Menace (or a Watchmen fan who won’t watch Zack Snyder’s film adaptation) is a purist?

The answer should be sadly obvious. It relates to the gender and (perceived) age of the Twihards. Star Wars ‘purists’ tend to be males or females aged around forty and above (I’m using Barney Stinson’s Ewok Line for want of a more academic resource here). I’m not going to rant about this again, as I’ve already talked about the relationship between criticisms of the Twilight series and the perceived gender and age identities of its fans on a blog post for the Gothic Imagination.

The important takeaway from this story, though, is actually just one word. The Twihards spoke out, as a group, in defence of their fandom, and the response was: ‘Yikes!’


The One Direction Story

The next female fandom to come under attack – in a more authoritative way this time – were the Directioners. On Thursday 15th August, Channel 4 broadcast the ‘documentary’ (and, as this is a rant, I’m going to keep the scare quotes around that term) ‘Crazy About One Direction’. That’s right. Crazy. They used the word ‘crazy’.

Here’s the trailer (apologies for quality):

This documentary is a tired attempt to draw teenage female fans as mentally ill. The programme makers have barely even attempted to hide their intentions. The trailer opens with a young woman stating that her fandom ‘could kill you’, and the soundtrack (despite the other songs by the band that could have been chosen) is One Direction’s cover of Blondie’s ‘One Way or Another’, with its repeated refrain of ‘I’m gonna get ya’. Note as well the voiceover’s subtle distinguishing of the ‘general public’ who voted One Direction to stardom on X-Factor and the ‘army of fans’ who are responsible for the band’s continued success. Because… erm… the band’s fans aren’t part of the ‘general public’ any more than the Twihards are ‘normal fans’.

Sadly, the ridicule to which the Directioners were (and are) held up is also new. Nor is the suggestion that this fandom might be dangerous or harmful in some way. Nor is the suggestion that belonging to this fandom might be symptomatic of mental illness. A quick glance at a history of female fandoms in the twentieth century will show a long list of groups who have been held up to similar criticism, mockery and censure. In fact, this entire history can be summed up in one word: Beatlemania. Mania. As in madness.

The idea that women (especially young women) are trivial and frivolous by nature is pretty engrained in European culture. Thus, cultural productions aimed specifically at women have always granted less cultural worth. And those primarily consumed by younger women (teenagers, once the concept of the teenager was invented) even more so.

Among the arguments regularly made for the lower cultural capital of young women’s cultural productions is that this specific audience is less discerning, more susceptible to manipulation and more like to give in to a group mentality. The latter has even been pathologized – as hysteria – the highly contagious, terrifying female ailment that is usually diagnosed in cases of Beatlemania and related conditions.

The other two arguments are more problematic to explore. In order to decide that teen girls are less discerning in their cultural tastes, you need to have already made a decision about the cultural validity of the products they are consuming. In other words, if you think Directioners (or the Twihards or the women who inspired Jane Austen’s Catherine Morland) are less discerning, you must have already decided that One Direction (or Twilight or eighteenth-century Gothic novels) are trash. So you have to have listened to all of One Direction’s music, read all four Twilight novels (and watched the film adaptations), and pored over The Mysteries of Udolpho, The Monk and all the other less well-known fictions that Austen parodied. In my experience, most critics of teen girls’ fandoms have done none of these things.

So, how about the argument that young women are more susceptible to manipulation? This is something that comes up a lot in criticisms of Twihards and Directioners. These fandoms are being manipulated in their devotion by cynical media companies and advertising campaigns – they are being told what to like, what cultural productions to buy.

Yes. Of course they are. All fans are.

A teenage girl queuing up for a midnight showing of Breaking Dawn: Part 2 is no different to a grown man queuing up for a midnight showing of (yet another) remastered version of The Empire Strikes Back. I know a case of an older gentleman (let’s call him ‘my dad’ for argument’s sake) who has devoted his entire adult life to collecting EVERYTHING Bob Dylan has ever recorded. Pre-internet, he used to trawl record fairs and magazines tracking down rare bootleg recordings. It took him ages. But when the record company released an ‘official’ box-set of those exact same recordings – he went out and bought that as well. Does that mean that I get to claim that middle-aged men are ‘more susceptible to manipulation’? No. It means that fans will always be persuaded to part with their money to express their devotion and loyalty.

And I’m not even going to address the issue of One Direction being a manufactured band put together by a record company to make money. So were The Sex Pistols, who have been used to flog everything from fashion to butter (and at least Niall Horan can play the guitar).

Reading the fan responses to the Channel 4 documentary last night was both heartbreaking and eye-opening. So many Directioners tweeted and, later, commented on online articles, about their distress and embarrassment following the broadcast. It should be noted that there were also (as yet unsubstantiated) rumours of suicide attempts.

But, in addition to this, many Directioners were eloquent about what they saw as the injustice of the programme. They spoke of a perceived ‘dehumanization’ (which, in my opinion, is a very apt summary of the programme’s intentions). They also wrote of poor journalistic techniques and a strategy of sensationalizing. Some spoke of the programme as an attack on an already vulnerable group of young people – many Directioners mentioned loneliness, depression and self-harming tendencies which they had come to terms with through their identification within a fandom community. A number of fans wrote about regret over their previous treatment of ‘Larry Shippers’ (a subgroup within the fandom who came under particularly cynical scrutiny in the show.

While Channel 4 seemed to be at pains to point out the power that the Directioners apparently wield, the responses to the show highlighted this group’s powerlessness and its vulnerability. These are not people who have a platform from which to argue their own case – the ‘responses’ I speak of were Twitter conversations that I (hate to admit it) eavesdropped on. This is a group that are ridiculed online and IRL frequently, who are already decried as being ‘mad’, ‘unnatural’ and ‘frightening’ and yet are in many cases, by Western legal standards at least, children.

When I mentioned the Twihards above, I spoke of the community aspect of fandom. This was something highlighted in the Channel 4 documentary as one of the more unsettling aspects of the Directioners’ fandom – i.e. community = potentially dangerous mob. I think it’s worth thinking for a moment about just how dangerous the Directioners really are, and how that might compare with other fandoms.

Here’s a scenario: if I post something on Twitter criticizing One Direction, there’s a small chance I might get trolled. If I post something seriously insulting about them, I might get some systematic trolling. I might have to block some people.

Here’s another scenario: I, as a woman, state that I believe ewoks are fully responsible for saving the Rebel Alliance and defeating the Empire (and that the wookie simply brought the equipment). Not only does a view like that provoke trolling, it encourages misogynistic slurs, questions about my intelligence, and (this really did happen, IRL not online) a threat that I might ‘learn that opinions like that can be dangerous’.

That is one flippant example. There are literally hundreds of other examples of how male fandoms are genuinely unsafe spaces for women. Never mind objectification and dehumanization in canon, there’s sexual harassment at conventions, threats of sexual assault and rape, silencing of female writers and artists, the list goes on. Traditionally male fandoms can actually be physically, emotionally and psychologically harmful to women. I think this deserves a ‘Yikes!’ more than a copy-and-pasted declaration of love.

And yet, it is the Twihards and Directioners (and others like them) that are labelled as ‘mad’ or ‘dangerous’. Consistently. Just as the Take That fans who mourned their split in 1996 were labelled as ‘hysterical’ and ‘pathetic’. Just as the girls in my class at school who broke down in tears when they heard about the death of River Phoenix (showing my age) were laughed at by our teachers and told to ‘stop disrupting the class’ – a class, I might add, that was completely disrupted (at the instigation of the teacher) after Graham Taylor took Gary Lineker off in the match against Sweden in Euro 92. Regardless of whether football fans commit more acts of vandalism and violence than grieving River Phoenix fans, or whether sci fi conventions face more accusations of sexual harassment than Justin Bieber concerts, it is female fandoms that are labelled as ‘dangerous’, ‘disruptive’, ‘unhealthy’ and ‘insane’.

The Channel 4 documentary is the most recent attempt to label young female fans as mentally ill, but it belongs to a long, rant-inspiring tradition. It also highlights the continued strategies used to denigrate the cultural preferences of a social group with limited cultural capital and platform. In the words of One Direction’s Liam Payne, these strategies are ‘full of bullshit’, and should have been left behind a long time ago.

* Meyer has since expanded and clarified this point in a statement on her own website.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

OUT NOW: The Modern Vampire and Human Identity (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013)

Edited by Deborah Mutch

Blurb: Why are we surrounded by vampires in the twenty-first century? From the global phenomena of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse, through films such as Underworld and Blade, television series such as the The Vampire Diaries and Being Human, to video games like Bloodrayne and Legacy of Kain, the reader, viewer and player has never had so many vampires to choose from. This collection considers the importance of the current flurry of vampires for our sense of human identity. Vampires have long been read as bodies through which our sense of ourselves has been reflected back to us. These essays offer readings of the modern vampire as a complex consideration of our modern human selves. Now that we no longer see the vampire as essentially evil, what does that say about us.

Editor: Deborah Mutch is a senior lecturer at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. She has recently become interested in the modern Gothic and has published an article on the Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse series in Critical Survey. She has also published widely on fin-de-siecle British socialist fiction.


1. Blood, Bodies, Books: Kim Newman and the Vampire as Cultural Text by Keith Scott
2. Buffy vs. Bella: Gender, Relationships and the Modern Vampire by Bethan Jones
3. 'Hell! Was I Becoming a Vampyre Slut?': Sex, Sexuality and Morality in Young Adult Vampire Fiction by Hannah Priest
4. Consuming Clothes and Dressing Desire in the Twilight Series by Sarah Heaton
5. Whiteness, Vampires and Humanity in Contemporary Film and Television by Ewan Kirkland
6. The Vampiric Diaspora: The Complications of Victimhood and Post-memory as Configured in the Jewish Migrant Vampire by Simon Bacon
7. Vampires and Gentiles: Jews, Mormons and Embracing the Other by Clare Reed
8. Transcending the Massacre: Vampire Mormons in the Twilight Series by Yael Maurer
9. The Gothic Louisiana of Charlaine Harris and Anne Rice by Victoria Amador
10. Matt Haig's The Radleys: Vampires for the Neoliberal Age by Deborah Mutch

Monday, 14 May 2012

Journal Announcement and Call for Submissions: Monsters and the Monstrous

Volume 2, Number 2
Special Issue on Monstrous Pedagogy: Teaching and Reading the Twilight Saga

As we approach the release of the final cinematic installment of the Twilight Saga we want to focus on monsters and pedagogy and in particular the relation between “Twilight and the Classroom”. How do we teach Twilight? Why do we teach Twilight? Should we teach Twilight?

The Editors welcome contributions to the journal in the form of articles, reviews, reports, art and/or visual pieces and other forms of submission on the following or related themes:

● Twilight and Gender and Sexuality Studies

● Twilight and Literary Studies

● Twilight and Cultural Studies

● Twilight and Film Studies

● Twilight and Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity

● Twilight and Disability Studies

● Twilight and Religious Studies

● Twilight and Psychology

● Twilight and Sociology

Submissions for this Issue are required by Friday 3rd August 2012 at the latest.

Contributions to the journal should be original and not under consideration for other publications at the same time as they are under consideration for this publication. Submissions are to be made electronically wherever possible using either Microsoft® Word or .rtf format.

Length Requirements:

Articles - 5,000 – 7,000 words

Reflections, reports and responses - 1,000 – 3,000 words

Book reviews - 500 – 4,000 words

Artworks and photographs (Copyright permissions required)

Poems, prose and short stories

Other forms of contributions are also welcome

Submission Information:

Send submissions via e-mail using the following Subject Line: ‘Journal: Contribution Type (article/review/...): Author Surname’ and marked "Monstrous Pedagogy."

Submissions E-Mail Address

Submissions will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt.

Contributions are also invited for future issues of the journal which will include: "Monstrous Spaces/ Spaces of Monstrosity" and "Monstrous Beauty."

We also invite submission to our special features on Non-English Language Book Reviews, and Monstrous Pedagogy. Please mark entries for these topics with their respective headings.

We look forward to folks getting involved in and with the journal.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Light of my life... fire of my loins... My Comment on Twilight

In the past ten days, I have worked my way through Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series. Although I have been tweeting my immediate reactions to the books, I felt that a lengthier review was in order. This post is intended to address my main misgivings with the series. I think my approach should be fairly self-explanatory.

Quotations are taken from Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita (1955; Penguin Books, 1995) and Stephanie Meyer, Twilight (Atom, 2006); Eclipse (Atom, 2007); Breaking Dawn (Atom, 2008)

Light of my life... fire of my loins...

"While my body knew what it craved for, my mind rejected my body's every plea. One moment I was ashamed and frightened, another recklessly optimistic. Taboos strangulated me." (Lolita, p. 18)

"He started to pull away - that was his automatic response whenever he decided things had gone too far, his reflex reaction whenever he most wanted to keep going. Edward had spent most of his life rejecting any kind of physical gratification. I knew it was terrifying to him trying to change those habits now." (Breaking Dawn, p. 23)

"He had the utmost respect for ordinary children, with their purity and vulnerability, and under no circumstances would he have interfered with the innocence of a child, if there was the least risk of a row. But how his heart beat when, among the innocent throng, he espied a demon child..." (Lolita, pp. 19-20)

"'Quil... imprinted... with a two-year-old?' I was finally able to ask.
'You're making judgments,' he accused. 'I can see it on your face.'
'Sorry,' I muttered. 'But it sounds really creepy.'
'It's not like that; you've got it all wrong,' Jacob defended his friend, suddenly vehement. 'I've seen what it's like, through his eyes. There's nothing romantic about it all, not for Quil, not now. [...] When you see her, suddenly it's not the earth holding you anymore. She does. And nothing matters more than her. And you would do anything for her, be anything for her...'" (Eclipse, p. 156)

"Let me repeat with quiet force: I was, and still am, despite mes malheurs, an exceptionally handsome male; slow-moving, tall, with soft dark hair and a gloomy but all the more seductive cast of demeanour. Exceptional virility often reflects in the subject's displayable features a sullen and congested something that pertains to what he has to conceal. And this was my case. Well did I know, alas, that I could obtain at the snap of my fingers any adult female I chose; in fact, it had become quite a habit with me of not being too attentive to women lest they come toppling, bloodripe, into my cold lap." (Lolita, p. 25)

"'That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him.'" (Twilight, p. 19)

"When he sat next to me in class, as far away from me as the table would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence." (Twilight, p. 59)

"I find it most difficult to express with adequate force that flash, that shiver, that impact of passionate recognition... the vacuum of my soul managed to suck in every detail of her bright beauty..." (Lolita, p. 39)

"I could see that now - how the universe swirled around this one point. I'd never seen the symmetry of the universe before, but now it was plain.
The gravity of the earth no longer tied me to the place where I stood.
It was the baby girl in the blonde vampire's arms that held me now." (Breaking Dawn, p. 331)

"I shall probably have another breakdown if I stay any longer in this house, under the strain of this intolerable temptation, by the side of my darling - my darling - my life and my bride." (Lolita, p. 47)

"'Why are you doing this to me?' he said through his teeth, his tone suddenly angry. 'Isn't it hard enough without all of this?' He grabbed a handful of lace that was ruffled on my thigh. For a moment, I thought he was going to rip it from the seam. Then his hand relaxed. 'It doesn't matter. I won't make any deals with you.'" (Breaking Dawn, p. 93)

"By this time I was in a state of excitement bordering on insanity; but I also had the cunning of the insane. Sitting there, on the sofa, I managed to attune, by a series of stealthy movements, my masked lust to her guileless limbs. It was no easy matter to divert the little maiden's attention while I performed the obscure adjustments necessary for the success of the trick." (Lolita, p. 58)

"His hand curved around my elbow, moving slowly down my arm, across my ribs and over my waist, tracing along my hip and down my leg, around my knee. He paused there, his hand curling around my calf. He pulled my leg up suddenly, hitching it around his hip.
I stopped breathing." (Eclipse, p. 165)

"In my self-made seraglio, I was a radiant and robust Turk, deliberately, in the full consciousness of his freedom, postponing the moment of actually enjoying the youngest and frailest of his slaves." (Lolita, p. 60)

"'Getting married is a stretch for me. I'm not giving in unless I get something in return.'
He leaned down to whisper in my ear. 'No,' he murmured silkily. 'It's not possible now. Later, when you're less breakable. Be patient, Bella.'
[...] He was too beautiful. What was the word he'd used just now? Unbearable - that was it. His beauty was too much to bear...
[...] 'I'm not saying no,' he reassured me. 'I'm just saying not tonight.'" (Eclipse, p. 399)

"The word 'forever' referred only to my own passion, to the eternal Lolita as reflected in my blood." (p. 65)

"I laughed breathlessly when his urgent kiss interrupted my efforts again.
[...] 'Damn it,' he growled, kissing hungrily down the edge of my jaw.
'We have plenty of time to work on it,' I reminded him.
'Forever and forever and forever,' he murmured." (Breaking Dawn, p. 699)

"Then she crept into my waiting arms, radiant, relaxed, caressing me with her tender, mysterious, impure, indifferent, twilight eyes - for all the world, like the cheapest of cheap cuties. For this is what nymphets imitate - while we moan and die." (Lolita, p. 120)

"... so tonight I pulled out one of the scarier pieces as I got ready in the panelled bathroom. It was black, lacy, and embarrassing to look at even when it wasn't on. I was careful not to look in the mirror before I went back to the bathroom. I didn't want to lose my nerve.
I had the satisfaction of watching his eyes pop open wide for just a second before he controlled his expression.
[...] I couldn't tell if he was moved by the tears trembling in my voice, or if he was unprepared to deal with the suddenness of my attack, or if his need was simply as unbearable in that moment as my own. But whatever the reason, he pulled my lips back to his, surrendering with a groan." (Breaking Dawn, pp. 92; 98)

"I was still firmly resolved to pursue my policy of sparing her purity by operating only in the stealth of night, only upon a completely anaesthetized little nude." (Lolita, p. 124)

"I still didn't turn around. 'How often do you come here?'
'I come here almost every night.'
I whirled, stunned. 'Why?'
'You're interesting when you sleep.' He spoke matter-of-factly." (Twilight, p. 256)

"This was a lone child, an absolute waif, with whom a heavy-limbed, foul-smelling adult had had strenuous intercourse three times that very morning. Whether or not the realization of a lifelong dream had surpassed all expectations, it had, in a sense, overshot its mark - and plunged into a nightmare. I had been careless, stupid, and ignoble." (Lolita, p. 140)

"His eyes tightened. 'How badly are you hurt, Bella? The truth - don't try to downplay it.'
[...] 'Why would you jump to that conclusion? I've never been better than I am now.'
His eyes closed. 'Stop that.'
'Stop what?'
'Stop acting like I'm not a monster for having agreed to this.'
[...] Under the dusting of feathers, large purplish bruises were beginning to blossom across the pale skin of my arm. My eyes followed the trail they made up to my shoulder, and then down across my ribs. I pulled my hand free to poke at a discoloration on my left forearm, watching it fade where I touched and then reappear. It throbbed a little.
So lightly that he barely touching me, Edward placed his hand against the bruises on my arm, one at a time, matching his long fingers to the patterns.
[...] 'I'm... so sorry, Bella,' he whispered while I stared at the bruises. 'I knew better than this. I should not have -' He made a low, revolted sound in the back of his throat. 'I am more sorry that I can tell you.'" (Breaking Dawn, pp. 80-82)

"Presently, making a sizzling sound with her lips, she started complaining of pains, said she could not sit, said I had torn something inside her." (Lolita, p. 141)

"I took a deep breath. I was feeling more of the soreness now, but it wasn't that bad. Sort of like the day after lifting weights." (Breaking Dawn, p. 83)

"I want to protect you, dear, from all the horrors that happen to little girls in coal sheds and alley ways, and, alas, comme vous le savez trop bien, ma gentille, in the blueberry woods during the bluest of summers. Through thick and thin I will stay your guardian, and if you are good, I hope a court may legalize that guardianship before long." (Lolita, p. 149)

"'It's going to sound cruel, I suppose. But I've come too close to losing you in the past. I know what it feels like to think I have. I am not going to tolerate anything dangerous. [...] No werewolves.'
'I'm not going along with that. I have to see Jacob.'
'Then I'll have to stop you.'" (Eclipse, pp. 29-30)

"'I don't need any fanfare. You won't have to tell anyone or make any changes. We'll go to Vegas - you can wear old jeans and we'll go to the chapel with the drive-through window. I just want to make it official - that you belong to me and no one else.'" (Eclipse, p. 404)

"... with patience and luck I might have her produce eventually a nymphet with my blood in her exquisite veins, a Lolita the Second, who would be eight or nine around 1960, when I would still be dans la force de l'age..." (Lolita, p. 174)

"'Because you're the one who told me this. Do you remember? You said we belonged in each other's lives, right? That we were family. You said that was how you and I were supposed to be. So... now we are. It's what you wanted.'
[...] 'You think you'll be part of my family as my son-in-law!' I screeched.
[...] 'Do you remember how much you wanted me around three days ago? How hard it was to be apart from each other? That's gone now for you, isn't it? [...] That was her,' he told me. 'From the very beginning. We had to be together, even then.'" (Breaking Dawn, pp. 415-16)

"First the old ogre drew up a list under 'absolutely forbidden' and another under 'reluctantly allowed'... She might visit a candy bar with her girl friends, and there giggle-chat with occasional young males, while I waited in the car at a discreet distance..." (Lolita, p. 186)

"The Quileute school was already out for the summer, so he told me to come over as early as I could. I was pleased to have an option besides being babysat. There was a tiny bit more dignity in spending the day with Jacob.
Some of that dignity was lost when Edward insisted again on delivering me to the border line like a child being exchanged by custodial guardians.
[...] He laughed again, but suddenly stopped when we turned the last bend and saw the red car waiting. He frowned in concentration, and then, as he parked the car, he sighed." (Eclipse, pp. 282-83)

"On playgrounds and beaches, my sullen and stealthy eye, against my will, still sought out the flash of a nymphet's limbs, the sly tokens of Lolita's handmaids and rosegirls." (Lolita, p. 257)

"I kept going north, and it got more and more crowded. Eventually, I found a big park full of kids and families and skateboards and bikes and kites and picnics. [...] I walked around for what felt like hours. Long enough that the sun changed sides in the sky. I stared into the face of every girl who passed anywhere near me, making myself really look, noticing who was pretty and who had blue eyes and who looked good in braces and who had way too much make-up on. I tried to find something interesting about each face, so that I would know for sure that I'd really tried. [...] As time went on, I started noticing all the wrong things. Bella things. This one's hair was the same colour. This one's eyes were sort of shaped the same. This one's cheekbones cut across her face in just the same way." (Breaking Dawn, pp. 304-305)

"She was frankly and hugely pregnant. Her head looked smaller (only two seconds had passed really, but let me give them as much wooden duration as life can stand), and her pale-freckled cheeks were hollowed, and her bare shins and arms had lost all their tan, so that the little hairs showed. She wore a brown, sleeveless cotton dress and sloppy felt slippers." (Lolita, p. 269)

"Bella's body was swollen, her torso ballooning out in a strange, sick way. It strained against the faded grey sweatshirt that was way too big for her shoulders and arms. The rest of her seemed thinner, like the big bulge had grown out of what it had sucked from her. It took me a second to realize what the deformed part was - I didn't understand until she folded her hands tenderly around her bloated stomach, one above and one below. Like she was cradling it.
I saw it then, but I couldn't believe it. I'd seen her just a month ago. There was no way she could be pregnant. Not that pregnant." (Breaking Dawn, p. 160)

"'You chump,' she said, smiling sweetly at me. 'You revolting creature. I was a daisy-fresh girl, and look what you've done to me. I ought to call the police and tell them you raped me. Oh, you dirty, dirty old man." (Lolita, p. 141)