More than a year ago I watched the first of the Twilight films; it was a lousy copy with a bad translation but it somehow managed to catch my attention. Rob Pattinson's white face and stiff smile were so enticing, that I wasn't able to tell if it was the actor or the character I was attracted to (time showed me that it was, in fact, the character). I promised myself that I would watch it again as soon as I could lay my hands on a decent copy in the original language. I forgot about it during a while.
Then, at a time when my feelings where all messed up I remembered about the saga; I dismissed my interest as foolish and naïve; I had spent several weeks doing barely more than watching films in search of whatever it was that eluded me, so it would be no surprise that this, too, was an escape. But nonetheless some of it still crept occasionally in my imagination; at the same time I was aware that the films had been an enormous success, drawing fans all over the world. Being it so I began to think that there had to be a reason for this, that the story must somehow speak to an unconscious craving of the spirit; it made me curious enough as to try to decipher what it might be.
I searched for the films -I was decided to postpone watching until I had the complete saga- and then I remembered that it was based on a novel; so I got the four novels AND the partial draft of Midnight Sun. As the character that interested me the most was Edward and I had a rough idea of the events in Twilight proper, I began reading Midnight Sun. It literally blew my mind as I took in the tangle of feelings that twisted Edward, I felt so identified! Of course, with its 264 pages it was not enough, I needed more; I wasn't much for reading Bella's point of view after having been so thoroughly moved by Edwards cogitations but on the other hand I really, really needed to see how it went on, step by step.
This way I spent about a week immersed in my reading, wanting nothing else than going further into the novels, paying as little attention to everyday matters as I could without letting my surroundings collapse, forgetting sometimes even to eat (those who know me will fully understand what this amounts to).
When I was done with the four and a half novels I had to begin again; I didn't seem able to set aside the world of Edward Cullen and his freaky, wonderful family. I was undoubtedly disturbed by this, it didn't seem at all normal to be in such a trance by a teenager-oriented novel or collection of novels; I loathed myself somewhat. But then I remembered what my motivations had been in the first place and found exactly what I was looking for. All the while I was aware of the intense feelings that accompanied each piece of reading, feelings that arouse from far in the past, from a time when I had experienced precisely those same feelings. Feelings that were so overcoming that I had buried most of them in a hollow chest.
They resurfaced with incredible force making me feel alive again. A sudden surge of creativity swept over my whole being, I felt full of energy -even if I spent the most of it on reading until crazy hours-, I had a couple of significant dreams pointing me in an altogether different direction as the one I had been heading to, I felt an urgent need to write about my feelings, about those emotions and events that had led to my present state; I began to practice again the piano excercises that I had long, long ago tried with the deepest pleasure and where as profoundly forgotten as the emotions that where resurfacing...
And then I knew that the value of Twilight does not lie on the story itself but on the way it expresses and manipulates feelings. The plain story might be construed as a rather shabby description of an abusive relationship; but there is more, much more to it; but the most important contribution of the novel can only be acquired -as far as I conceive it- when one sees it as a description of internal processes, of an eternal struggle between opposing poles, between the forces of nature and of the intellect, all pursuing a higher conscience. With that in view, the human girl might represent the barely conscious everyday mind that tries to blend in all the archaic elements of nature (the sun, the beach, the heat) with the distant elements construed by the intellect (the cold, the overthinking, the restraint), making an unbeatable whole where body, soul and mind are all one.
So, summing up, I am really grateful to the novels and their author for giving me one more chance to rethink my life. Finally, I would like to comment that I found at least one other person that made a similar reading raid, who finished all the four books in a week and had to start again as soon as she finished. Her account is here; she justified her second pass telling herself that she was analyzing the writing technique; I told myself that I was improving my English. But all in all, we seem to have fared quite similarly in that respect ;)