Reader’s Indigestion: Twilight and the moon cycles

Juliet Brooks ('13)/Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Twilight, the 500-page epic poem by Stephanie Meyer, is about the hour between afternoon and night. This informative nonfiction piece, composed of 632 sestinas and four limericks broken into 58 informative “chapters,” took the modern world by storm several years ago due to its innovative format and revolutionary organization. Critics called it “a masterpiece in the making” and “a modern classic destined to sit on bookshelves for centuries.”

A decent third of the sestinas cover the simple cyclical aspect of twilight: how it comes every day, exactly after the sun has set and before the stars really rise, and how it is incredibly reliable. In fact, Meyer posits the widely-accepted theory that there has never been a sunset without a subsequent twilight. Other sestinas talk about the historical aspect of twilight, and how it has been used by mystics and shamans for centuries as a time of great magical potential. In fact, an entire three chapters of this astonishing work cover the myths and legends that center around the twilight hour.

Meyer’s 58 chapters are divided into three larger theses: first, the previously-stated theory that twilight will always follow sunset; second, the thesis that after every twilight will come a deepening of the night, and third, that the majority of the civilized world is aware of twilight’s existence, allowing for some cultural barriers preventing this knowledge’s complete matriculation throughout the population.

Meyer explained that she wanted all three theses in one work. “A lot of people said it might be too much for my readers to handle,” Meyer admitted. “But I had faith in my readers.”

So much faith, in fact, that she felt confident expanding her repertoire to include four other books; three are in the “Twilight Saga.” New Moon is an epic poem of 700 pages devoted entirely to admiration of the night sky without the moon in it. Meyer got a lot of “internet hate” for this book, as the moon is widely regarded a wonderful addition to the night sky. Regarding this, Meyer said, “I don’t know why everyone was so angry. I admire the night with and without the moon, and I disagree with allegations that the book falls into the realm of realistic fiction. It’s very informative. I spend eight whole chapters on the moon cycle. So what if I spend fourteen chapters on how it feels to dance on a moonless night? I get the point across, don’t I?”

In Eclipse, fans felt that she returned to her original intention with Twilight: namely, to inform readers without soliloquizing. Eclipse was received with renewed critical acclaim. “Her acrostic poems about the relative positions of the sun and moon were incredibly informative,” wrote professional blogger/part-time mother Ellen Darkins. “I love this series so much, and so do all of my friends!” At around the time of Eclipse‘s release, Meyer’s fanbase expanded to include a number of mothers and other adult women intent on expanding their knowledge of the logical and realistic truth about how things work in life and in the sky.

The final book in the aptly-named “Twilight Saga” focused entirely on the dawn, and was named Breaking Dawn. Fans appreciated that she ended the series here. “It turns full circle. She starts with the sun setting and ends with the sun rising. Radical!” wrote edd35427omgtwilightyayayayay on tumblr. However, some felt that the last 300 pages, with one haiku per page, were a cop-out. “I paid twenty-seven dollars for this book, and it’s mostly blank paper,” wrote Shady McPerson in a comment on Amazon. “Do NOT BUY, I repeat, DO NOT BUY. The haikus don’t even rhyme!!!!!!!”

Meyer’s fifth book, which she markets as separate from the others, is called The Host. The Host is a separate work, this time written entirely in sonnets, about cows that host parasitic microscopic organisms in their stomachs.