- 2,99 €
The cult status acquired by Stephenie Meyer's Twilight saga (2005-2010), described as a 'romance ... with a paranormal twist' (Backstein 2009: 39), has been offset by criticism that savages its stereotyping, sexism, limited vocabulary, pathetic storyline, and several other aspects. Meyer may be, in my opinion, rightly accused of all these, yet she has managed to persuade customers to queue up all night waiting for bookstores to open so they can get their hands on the new volume. Meyer represents, with all her flaws, a significant moment in teen romances, and merits study just for the popularity the saga has accrued. I assume here that popular culture is the site of struggle over meanings. Cultural Studies which deals with popular texts examines the practices, institutions and modes of representation through which norms and values are circulated and instilled in populations. Attention must therefore be paid to works like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight, the popular fiction of Brett Easton Ellis (seen as heralding a new Gothic with American Psycho, 1991) and horror writer Stephen King to see what kinds of meanings and values are generated in their work--meanings that constitute, through a slow but steady osmotic absorption, the cultural imaginaire and frames of reference in public culture, offering us a repertoire of images and ideas from which we draw and which we use to interpret the world. We therefore need to examine popular modes such as television, fiction and film through which culturally accepted social relations or sexual norms are made available. Thus Rebecca Feasey's 2008 study of masculinities on popular television looks at teen programming, reality TV, crime and police drama, sports, lifestyle, situation comedy on TV in order to examine the 'norms' and 'models' of masculinity that are being suggested to us viewers. The present essay is one such preliminary exercise, an anterior moment in what could be studies of masculinity, gender relations, the familial and sexual politics of popular vampire tales.