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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Forbidden Love

So I was hiking in Washington State two weeks ago and stayed in Forks. It's a little logging town that has become 'famous' as the setting of the Twilight series of books. If you don't know what that is, you are old and out of touch.

This got me thinking about the increasingly common plot, in novels, television, and film, of the 'impossible' love between a (usually male) vampire and a (usually female) human. There is Twilight, the teevee series (short-lived for good reason) Moonlight, and I'm sure I could come up with other examples.

I was thinking that for romance to be interesting, dramatically, there must be obstacles to the lovers' embrace. Now, historically, barriers to romance were dramatically easy: Lovers from different social strata, from different (feuding) clans or families, interracial couples. Not to say that these things are necessarily easy in the contemporary world, or even common, but in terms of their dramatic potential, they are used up. Royal marries a commoner? Been done. Feuding clans? Just Romeo and Juliet, redux. Interracial? Somewhere between Guess Who's Coming to Dinner and Jungle Fever. The increasing normalization of same-sex coupledom, while far from complete, means that teh gay is not even much of a dramatic obstacle today.

Where is the writer of the modern romance to look for a barrier to true love? Among the undead!

The last forbidden love is vampire love. Because you can't be in love with a vampire because they can't consummate the love. (This appears to be the reason.) And certainly the other vampires won't approve, on one side, and humans have a long-abiding dislike of vampires--I think it's safe to say.

This is my Twilight thought. Just to be clear, I haven't read the books, though.


At 5:17 PM, Blogger fronesis said...

All true.

But you left out the most important and by far best example!!!!

Buffy (a SLAYER of vampires) and Angel (a vampire with a soul).


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