The Looking Glass : New Perspectives on Children's Literature, Vol 15, No 1 (2011)

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Vampires Without Fangs: The Amalgamation of Genre in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga

Anne Klaus, Stefanie Krüger

Abstract


Since the publication of the first novel of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga in 2005, millions of readers all over the world, the majority of whom are teenage girls and women, have fallen for the love story of Bella and Edward. Furthered by the release of the movie adaptations of the first three volumes in 2009 and 2010, critics have started to wonder about the foundation of Twilight-mania, especially concerning the basic theme of the story, namely the vampire myth, which, throughout its literary history, is rather a reflection of “adolescent male fantasy” (Twitchell, Living 6). Still, the indisputably kitschy story of an inconspicuous teenager who falls in love with the vampire next door fascinates today’s emancipated and independent females and thus can be regarded as an essential part of the success. It would seem that the attraction derives from Meyer’s unique interweaving of different generic elements, a strategy which can be found in other late 20th- and 21st-century popular literature. In the Twilight saga, we find such an amalgamation of various different literary genres – fantasy fiction for young adults, vampire story, gothic romance, and Arthurian legend. It is a medley, a generic crossing that is – not least due to its focus on an active young heroine – bound to entice a primarily female readership.

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The Looking Glass: new perspectives on children's literature

ISBN 1551-5680