Monday, December 20, 2010

How Twilight (Almost) Ruined Twilight for Me

Last week, the dark, cold winter made me want to read something dark and mysterious, and as I had been planning to do this for some time I decided to reread The Twilight Saga. Unexpectedly, although I should have been prepared for this, upon starting reading I was shocked by two things. Firstly, I was amazed to (re)discover how much the book is better than the films. And secondly, I was rather devastated by how seeing the films has ruined my reading experience.

Naturally, as an avid reader, I have always preferred book to film, because I have always gained much more from reading a book than watching a film. Considering The Twilight Saga, I somehow managed to forget that, so it was a surprise to me how much more the book offers. I read the books a few years ago and later I saw the three films. Nevertheless, rereading was almost as reading the books for the first time, (re)discovering details as well as the big picture. So, in this aspect, rereading surprised me in a positive way.

However, seeing the films I find it difficult rereading the books. I am the kind of a reader who can imagine what I read about very vividly and I sort of create my own film in my head while reading a book. This worked beautifully the first time I read The Twilight Saga. Now, after seeing the films, it literally saddened me that I am unable to recall my vision which was substituted by cinematic visualisation which is very difficult to block out.

Therefore, rereading The Twilight Saga for me is a struggle in which I’m trying to revive my previous experience. Yet, no matter how hard I try, success is only partial, that is why this rereading feels to me like mourning for the images which have been lost forever. At the same time, to my relief, it also feels like an adventure of hunting for forgotten treasures.

As I mentioned before I hadn’t expected seeing the films would have such a disturbing impact on my reading experience, because this rarely happens to me. This is why I started thinking about the reasons behind it. I believe the discrepancy of such proportions between reading the books and seeing the films occurs because of mis-targeting the films. The marketing has been launching the films as romance intended for teenage audience. But, in my opinion, the themes examined in The Twilight Saga demand viewers mature enough to comprehend the basic existential issues the Saga deals with.

All the same, I am still enjoying rereading The Twilight Saga. Rereading it, makes me remember again all the things it can be appreciated for (I wrote about that in The Twilight Saga and The Host by Stephenie Meyer). Despite everything, I’m still looking forward to the Breaking Dawn films; hopefully, they will bring a good conclusion to the Saga as far as cinematic adaptation is concerned. 

1 comment:

  1. That's a very interesting issue that you raised! Movies CAN ruin your perception of beloved books, which is sad. I really hope you get back that first world you imagined while reading the saga. I understand the problem - the movies made everything too commercial and when someone says Edward, I think about Robert Pattinson. I don't think a saga has ever been discussed so much for various reasons and that takes away its appeal, I suppose. But you just keep persisting and the first experience will come back to you. I managed to get my own experience back with The Phantom of the Opera by Leroux.


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