Friday, January 27, 2012

Sparkly Thoughts: Twilight and Philosophy

Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality  (0470484233) cover image

I've become a big fan of Blackwell's Philosophy and Pop Culture Series, where philosophical people look at some of the big media events of our time -- Harry Potter, Southpark, etc.  There are actually several publishers combining the odd bed mates of philosophy and modern video, and I've enjoyed reading from Open Court's books as well, but I did appreciate Twilight and Philosophy: Vampires, Vegetarians, and the Pursuit of Immortality.

Most of the essays do seem to start with a philosophy statement and then start digging through the material to find examples or support, but a few times the essays start from issues worried at in the text.  I actually like both sorts; I finally learned a bit about semiotics in the final sections here.  There was a good diversity of opinions, from the fundamental questions of Team Edward vs Team Jacob (both sides are represented) to the feminist questions of whether Bella is a flat cypher, a feminist hero, or a sexist dinosaur.  It's clear she's no Jane Eyre, but I preferred the essays that didn't dismiss her with contempt.

Anyway, it's not a college class (at least I hope not) but it was a fun way to revisit a topic that makes so many headlines.  I started the book just before I went to see the latest movie, which starts with Jacob ripping off his shirt and running about to show off his abs; now that's a quick way to establish the underlying thesis of a film!

1 comment:

Christina T said...

I do like the sound of this book. I have enjoyed some of the other Blackwell titles and I may have to pick up a copy of this. I am planning to reread the Twilight saga this year for the first time since Breaking Dawn was published and these essays might help me think about the books more critically. Great review!