The Twilight Saga and the pleasures of spectatorship
The broken body and the shining body
in Open Graves, Open Minds
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This chapter argues that Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga complicates the story of spectatorship by positioning the female heterosexual viewer as ambivalent agent, not just victim. Twilight finds unexpected pleasures in both the broken body and the shining body. In the Twilight Saga, the role for female bodies is to break: Bella's injuries throughout the saga are extensive. The Twilight Saga, both books and films, poses two invitations to spectatorship studies. First, the chapter examines why the books and films may have generated such a vast popular appetite among women for the sight of another woman being progressively mutilated. Next, it describes the films' recurring fascination with looking at the body of a man, the female spectator's gaze simultaneously tempted and defensively obscured by the glitter of vampire skin. Gaylyn Studlar says of masochistic spectatorship in general that 'the apparent victim speaks a deceptive discourse masking the true hierarchy of desire'.

Open Graves, Open Minds

Representations of Vampires and the Undead from the Enlightenment to the Present Day

Editors: Sam George and Bill Hughes


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