Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

O.W.L.s in Harry Potter (No Spoilers!)

Expand Messages
  • Pauline J. Alama
    I was wondering whether any Britons on the list might clarify just what is being satirized by the arcane scoring system of the O.W.L. exams in the Harry
    Message 1 of 30 , Jul 20, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      I was wondering whether any Britons on the list might clarify
      just what is being satirized by the arcane scoring system of
      the "O.W.L." exams in the Harry Potter books (each score has a
      nonconsecutive letter, and the lowest failing marks is T for Troll).
      It seems pretty obviously to be satirizing something, but not
      something we Yanks would recognize (Yes, we have high-stakes
      standardized testing, but with numerical scores.).

      No plot spoilers, please: I'm still in the middle of "...Half-Blood
      Prince," as I suspect many of us are.

      Thanks!

      Pauline J. Alama
      THE EYE OF NIGHT (Bantam Spectra 2002)
    • Matthew Winslow
      ... I m not a Brit, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I ve been married to one for nearly 16 years and attended school there for a while, so I feel I can
      Message 2 of 30 , Jul 20, 2005
      • 0 Attachment
        On 7/20/05, Pauline J. Alama <PJAlama@...> wrote:
        > I was wondering whether any Britons on the list might clarify
        > just what is being satirized by the arcane scoring system of
        > the "O.W.L." exams in the Harry Potter books (each score has a
        > nonconsecutive letter, and the lowest failing marks is T for Troll).
        > It seems pretty obviously to be satirizing something, but not
        > something we Yanks would recognize (Yes, we have high-stakes
        > standardized testing, but with numerical scores.).

        I'm not a Brit, nor have I ever played one on TV, but I've been
        married to one for nearly 16 years and attended school there for a
        while, so I feel I can answer.

        The OWLS are based on the British system of O-level (Ordinary level)
        exams that are taken usually around age 16 or so. If you plan to go on
        to university, you need to do well on your O-levels and then take
        another 2 years of high school, then take your A-levels (advanced
        level, I believe) to get into university. If your plans are not to go
        to university, you take your O-levels and then either enter the
        workforce or attend a 2-year college (we'd consider it most like a
        vo-tech).

        --
        Matthew Winslow
        mwinslow@...
        www.xreal.org

        Currently Reading: Brilliance of the Moon by Lian Hearn
      • Stolzi
        Matthew has the goods. See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-level http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-level A-levels are graded from A to E, along with a
        Message 3 of 30 , Jul 20, 2005
        • 0 Attachment
          Matthew has the goods. See also:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O-level

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A-level

          " A-levels are graded from A to E, along with a fail grade, U (ungraded). "


          Diamond Proudbrook
        • WendellWag@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/20/2005 8:27:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@comcast.net writes: A-levels are graded from A to E, along with a fail grade, U
          Message 4 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
          • 0 Attachment
            In a message dated 7/20/2005 8:27:27 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
            Stolzi@... writes:

            " A-levels are graded from A to E, along with a fail grade, U (ungraded). "


            O.K., but that doesn't answer Paula's question (I think), which is why do
            the O.W.L. exams in the book have an arcane scoring system with nonconsecutive
            letters?

            I thought that the ideas of O.W.L.'s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) and, if I
            recall correctly, N.E.W.T.'s (which stands for something), as the equivalent at
            Hogwarts of O-levels and A-levels shows why, at a superficial level, the
            Harry Potter books are quite clever and, at a deeper level, they're pretty
            banal. Rowling thinks she is being original by reproducing all the elements of
            English public schools but giving them magic-related names. It's no more
            interesting than if an American had written the books and had football teams,
            cheerleaders, marching bands, homecoming games, gym classes, lockers in the
            hallways, letter jackets, etc., but with magic-related names. The Harry Potter
            books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on everything.

            Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which she said
            that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either _The Lord
            of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.

            Wendell Wagner


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Croft, Janet B.
            Wendell said: Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which she said that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either
            Message 5 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
            • 0 Attachment
              Wendell said: Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently
              in which she said that she never read (or, more precisely, she never
              finished) either _The Lord of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.


              That news story and interview in Time was written by someone who seems
              to know very little about fantasy -- I recall something about all
              fantasy being populated by semi-feudal lords and ladies morris-dancing
              all over the place, which was rather offensive (well, okay, there are
              morris-dancers on Discworld, but they know what morris-dancing is REALLY
              about, so that's different)... So I don't know if I place much credence
              in that story's accuracy as a whole.


              Janet Brennan Croft




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



              The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
              Links
            • Walkermonk@aol.com
              In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time, WendellWag@aol.com writes: The Harry Potter books are still a teenage-angst series with magic
              Message 6 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                WendellWag@... writes:
                The Harry Potter
                books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on
                everything.
                This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between good and evil,
                and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the sacrifices
                required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is quite low compared to
                just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the sole province
                of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The situations
                being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the faint of heart
                or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the situations
                differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't always correct either. But
                they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books aren't my
                favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's contemptuous one-line
                dismissal is far below what the books deserve.


                Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which she said
                that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either _The Lord
                of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                Well, according to this particular article (which immediately loses points
                with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at least read "The
                Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder which one(s)
                she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews and other
                statements about Lewis.

                Grace Monk


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Bratman
                ... It was amusing enough for one book, the theme of which was the astonishment value of going to what s otherwise a perfectly ordinary English Public School
                Message 7 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                • 0 Attachment
                  At 10:47 AM 7/22/2005 -0400, Wendell Wagner wrote:

                  >Hogwarts of O-levels and A-levels shows why, at a superficial level, the
                  >Harry Potter books are quite clever and, at a deeper level, they're pretty
                  >banal. Rowling thinks she is being original by reproducing all the
                  >elements of
                  >English public schools but giving them magic-related names.

                  It was amusing enough for one book, the theme of which was the astonishment
                  value of going to what's otherwise a perfectly ordinary English Public
                  School except that it has magic. But the further on the series progresses
                  the more I wish Rowling had stopped there. I've sludged through about a
                  quarter of book 6's turgid, overweight prose, full of detailed picayune
                  conversations, in which Harry yells crossly at his professors and everybody
                  else, turning on careful Talmudic distinctions between what Voldemort did
                  two years ago and what he did five years ago, so if the reader doesn't
                  remember the difference between what happened in _Harry Potter and the
                  Goblet of Secrets_ and what happened in _Harry Potter and the Fire of
                  Ashbacan_, Rowling will be sure to remind you; and then I went back to the
                  first book. Was it really as bright, fresh, and bouncy as I remember? It
                  is. What a shame, what a bloody shame.

                  A good parodist should write a (brief, mind you) parody of a Rowlingesque
                  Book 6 of Winnie-the-Pooh or the Cat in the Hat (each of which had only two
                  books, of which two was enough or, in the Cat's case, more than enough).

                  David Bratman
                • Hugh Davis
                  ... What were the two Cat-in-the-Hat books? Or rather, what was the sequel to Cat in the Hat? I know in the 1960s and 1970s they got into making several Dr.
                  Message 8 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                  • 0 Attachment
                    David Bratman wrote:

                    >A good parodist should write a (brief, mind you) parody of a Rowlingesque
                    >Book 6 of Winnie-the-Pooh or the Cat in the Hat (each of which had only two
                    >books, of which two was enough or, in the Cat's case, more than enough).
                    >
                    >David Bratman
                    >
                    What were the two Cat-in-the-Hat books? Or rather, what was the sequel to
                    Cat in the Hat? I know in the 1960s and 1970s they got into making several
                    Dr. Seuss cartoons beyond the books, such as "The Grinch Grinches the Cat in
                    the Hat" and "The Grinch at Halloween."

                    Technically, aren't there more than two Pooh books? Didn't Winnie the Pooh
                    first appear in a pair of books of verse by Milne?

                    Hugh
                  • David Bratman
                    ... It was called The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, and it is deservedly little-known. ... Technically, those aren t Winnie-the-Pooh books. The titles are
                    Message 9 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                    • 0 Attachment
                      At 01:16 PM 7/22/2005 -0400, Hugh Davis wrote:
                      >What were the two Cat-in-the-Hat books? Or rather, what was the sequel to
                      >Cat in the Hat?

                      It was called "The Cat in the Hat Comes Back," and it is deservedly
                      little-known.


                      >Technically, aren't there more than two Pooh books? Didn't Winnie the Pooh
                      >first appear in a pair of books of verse by Milne?

                      Technically, those aren't Winnie-the-Pooh books. The titles are "When We
                      Were Very Young" and "Now We Are Six". Both have poems featuring
                      Christopher Robin but far more poems which don't. The latter book, which
                      postdates at least the first Pooh book, also has one (just one, IIRC) poem
                      featuring Pooh. In the earlier book, which predates the Pooh books, Pooh
                      is the name of a swan at the zoo. However, there is a poem about a teddy
                      bear that, in Shepard's illustrations, looks like the Pooh we know, and
                      though mostly referred to as Teddy is officially named Edward Bear (also
                      once, and only once, used as the official name for Pooh). Probably he's
                      based on the same physical teddy-bear, but those are the only concrete
                      relations.

                      The poetry books are often put together with the Pooh books because of this
                      relationship and because the four of them make up the classics of Milne's
                      work for children (there's also a long children's fantasy novel that's not
                      so well known). But the cameo appearances no more make them Pooh books
                      than CSL's collected poetry is a Narnia book because it has poems about
                      Narnia in it.

                      David Bratman
                    • Hugh Davis
                      Thanks, David, for the quick response. I could remember one of the poems with Edward Bear: A bear, no matter how hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
                      Message 10 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Thanks, David, for the quick response. I could remember one of the poems
                        with Edward Bear: "A bear, no matter how hard he tries, grows tubby without
                        exercise." As I recall, he's happy when he finds that the Prime Minister is
                        also a bit portly.

                        What is Milne's fantasy novel? I'm embarrassed to say I don't know it.

                        Hugh
                      • Kevin Bowring
                        ... David, I didn t want to have to say it, but I have to agree--and I have trudged through the whole thing. (I don t know whether what I say further counts
                        Message 11 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                        • 0 Attachment
                          | On Fri, 22 Jul 2005 09:30:25 -0700
                          | David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                          | I've sludged through about a
                          | quarter of book 6's turgid, overweight prose, full of detailed picayune
                          | conversations, in which Harry yells crossly at his professors and everybody
                          | else, turning on careful Talmudic distinctions between what Voldemort did
                          | two years ago and what he did five years ago, so if the reader doesn't
                          | remember the difference between what happened in _Harry Potter and the
                          | Goblet of Secrets_ and what happened in _Harry Potter and the Fire of
                          | Ashbacan_, Rowling will be sure to remind you; and then I went back to the
                          | first book. Was it really as bright, fresh, and bouncy as I remember? It
                          | is. What a shame, what a bloody shame.

                          David,
                          I didn't want to have to say it, but I have to agree--and I have trudged through the whole thing. (I don't know whether what I say further counts as spoilers or not. I have tried to speak generally, but perhaps caution is in order.) I would only add that my sense of Books V and VI is that JKR's imagination seems to have flagged considerably, that the books really lack a solid mythological-metaphysical underpinning such as what gives LOR such richness and towards which the early books seemed to hint. One can't blame her for not being Tolkien, but I really hoped that as the books progressed they would grow in depth and richness instead of, as apprears to me, the reverse. Also, there are what I consider some serious moral lapses of vision as well: Harry commits at least one very serious act of what seems a very dark magic but with no consequences; also, if I am not mistaken, Dumbledore seems to endorse revenge as a legitimate motive--this came as a real shock to me!!! Finally, characters and relations go underdeveloped, and I say this of the budding of adolescent love-interest as well (this thoroughly bored me--it was too much like contemporary television and movie ideas of "love"). Unlike the way I felt at the end of books I-IV, where my interest increased with each book and I couldn't wait for the next , , , , well, let's just leave it at that.
                          'Nuff grousing.
                          Kevin
                        • Kevin Bowring
                          Sorry, all. I should have changed the subject on my last email and given everyone the chance to skip it if you haven t finished the Half-Blood Prince. Kevin
                          Message 12 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Sorry, all. I should have changed the subject on my last email and given everyone the chance to skip it if you haven't finished the Half-Blood Prince.
                            Kevin
                          • David Bratman
                            ... It is titled Once On a Time and may be found here and there. DB
                            Message 13 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                            • 0 Attachment
                              At 01:57 PM 7/22/2005 -0400, Hugh Davis wrote:
                              >What is Milne's fantasy novel? I'm embarrassed to say I don't know it.

                              It is titled "Once On a Time" and may be found here and there.

                              DB
                            • Hugh Davis
                              Thanks. I ll try and find it.
                              Message 14 of 30 , Jul 22, 2005
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Thanks. I'll try and find it.

                                >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                                >Reply-To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] OT: Cat in the Hat & Pooh
                                >Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2005 18:43:49 -0700
                                >
                                >At 01:57 PM 7/22/2005 -0400, Hugh Davis wrote:
                                > >What is Milne's fantasy novel? I'm embarrassed to say I don't know it.
                                >
                                >It is titled "Once On a Time" and may be found here and there.
                                >
                                >DB
                                >
                              • saraciborski
                                ... astonishment ... Public ... progresses ... about a ... picayune ... everybody ... Voldemort did ... remember? It ... Well, I will venture an opinion
                                Message 15 of 30 , Jul 25, 2005
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
                                  > It was amusing enough for one book, the theme of which was the
                                  astonishment
                                  > value of going to what's otherwise a perfectly ordinary English
                                  Public
                                  > School except that it has magic. But the further on the series
                                  progresses
                                  > the more I wish Rowling had stopped there. I've sludged through
                                  about a
                                  > quarter of book 6's turgid, overweight prose, full of detailed
                                  picayune
                                  > conversations, in which Harry yells crossly at his professors and
                                  everybody
                                  > else, turning on careful Talmudic distinctions between what
                                  Voldemort did
                                  > two years ago and what he did five years ago,
                                  ....and then I went back to the
                                  > first book. Was it really as bright, fresh, and bouncy as I
                                  remember? It
                                  > is. What a shame, what a bloody shame.
                                  >
                                  Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
                                  to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love
                                  all the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best
                                  of the lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and
                                  the themes are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging
                                  portrayals of some delightful characters, both children and adults.
                                  What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
                                  occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
                                  story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but
                                  his mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents),
                                  ingenuity, loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities
                                  that develop as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him,
                                  had Rowling stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.

                                  Sara Ciborski
                                • Hugh Davis
                                  http://www.holycomics.com/ Apparently inspired by Captain Marvel, this new comic features a superhero powered by Jehovah. The writer said in an online
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    http://www.holycomics.com/

                                    Apparently "inspired" by Captain Marvel, this new comic features a superhero
                                    powered by Jehovah. The writer said in an online interview that he felt this
                                    would elevate God to the same comic status as Norse or Olympic gods,
                                    pointing out that Thor has done more to spread Norse mythology than any
                                    mythology class or book.

                                    Given one of the Muslim villains is a terrorist named "Sodom," my gut
                                    reaction says this will lean to the offensive side, but I'll reserve
                                    judgement at this point.

                                    Hugh Davis
                                  • Cai Cherie
                                    The Rowling backlash has begun. And good it should, since anything so popular should be questioned. But I m going to play angel s advocate here. I am going
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      The Rowling backlash has begun. And good it should, since anything so popular should be questioned. But I'm going to play angel's advocate here. I am going to contend that Rowling is actually a better, more complex author than even her usual advocates contend. I'm practiced at this since my teen-age daughter, head, heart and senses deep in a Margret Attwood novel, has taken great delight in pointing out to me Rowlings failings.

                                      What I have found interesting is that these failings are the exact same ones that my daughter took great pleasure pointing out to me after reading "David Copperfield," (D.C. is one of my favorite novels -- thou just as "unsophisticated" as the Harry Potter books. And as with so many with the Potter books, first and perhaps best read as a child.)

                                      Think of it -- Dickens, a strong writer if there ever was one, created totally induvidualized characters who were so vibrant and archetypical that many of them have lived independent lives since. Dickens displayed extrodinary descriptive inventiveness-- names, characters, incidences and objects so strange yet pleasing that they are unforgetable. He has been popular (thou often unfashionable among the literary chi-chi) since Pickwick. He has been reviled for flat main characters who don't change enough (actually, what they do is develope, remaining uniquily themselves while growing in understanding and action,) for black and white thinking about good and evil (yet Steerforth is more weakly selfish and vain than evil, while Heep's ill-doing, thou consiously self-chosen and therefor an outright evil, has roots, thou not excuses, in some of the class injustices that Dickens faces and explores. Heep operates as what David might have become if David's heart had been less generous
                                      and his head more calculating. Hmmm-- abit like Harry Potter and Tom Riddle?) Both Dicken's streangths (leading to charges of too much weary-making invention masking lack of depth) and these two supposed weaknesses have been charged against Rowling. The objection agaist Dickens that is irefutable, that he was a sexist pigglet with inadequately-imagined female characters, is true of most 19th century authors and many early 20th century ones as well. Its a generic failing and Dickens's one great failing that Rowling, thanks to the simple accident of having been born female and now rather than then, is free of.

                                      My guess is what really can rile people about Dickens (thou thankfully my daughter missed this one) is the sincerety of his characters. People who aren't sincere can't imagine realistic characters who are. The possibility that such characters exist throws their world out of wack, since it suggests that they have turned therir backs on a primary and possible virtue. While too great sincerity has not been a charge anyone at Mythlore has thrown against the Potter characters, it is one that I have heard elsewhere.

                                      To put it far too simplisticely, Rowling was fathered by Chesterton and grandfathered by Dickens to emerge as ... totally herself. I feel blest to be around to read her. What she wrights about is the forming of character, the education of an induvidual who is both extrodinary and everyperson(as is every soul,) whose main gift is the ability to love.

                                      She is a strong author with a definite taste, which means her streangths are very strong and her weaknesses obvious. Some have a yen for her work more than others. People who enjoy her most probobly prefer Dickens over Thackery. I not only look gratefully forward to the last Potter book(-must- find out what is going on with Snape and if it follows my suspicions) but to what Rowling writes afterwards. She is still reletevly young. If the Potter books are a bit like Dickens earlier stuff, just think of what might follow. I'm sure whatever she writes withh be thouroughly unique and suprising, yet (groan, groan) I nevertheless have great expectations for our mutual friend.

                                      By the way, speaking of generosity, I have come to see these posts we write as gifts. We are trying to give something to each other. So before writing anything -- I ask myself -- is this something I want to give? I think its a helpful question to ask oneself before posting. I hope you don't mind this gift.

                                      Cai







                                      __________________________________________________
                                      Do You Yahoo!?
                                      Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                      http://mail.yahoo.com

                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    • Walkermonk@aol.com
                                      In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time, saraciborski@tds.net writes: Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David s scathing one
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                                        saraciborski@... writes:

                                        Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
                                        to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love
                                        all the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best
                                        of the lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and
                                        the themes are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging
                                        portrayals of some delightful characters, both children and adults.
                                        What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
                                        occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
                                        story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but
                                        his mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents),
                                        ingenuity, loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities
                                        that develop as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him,
                                        had Rowling stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.

                                        Sara Ciborski



                                        -------------

                                        Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
                                        experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is enjoyable -- sweet,
                                        quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more for me, I enjoyed the third
                                        and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In fact, I was actually angry about
                                        the fifth one. It had a couple of really good scenes, but the overall
                                        structure and the ending conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated
                                        on me. And then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really
                                        feel strongly about it.

                                        Thanks for your post!
                                        Grace Monk



                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Croft, Janet B.
                                        Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It s character that does it for me, and there is that Dickensian way with both the eccentric and sympathetic
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It's character that does it for
                                          me, and there is that Dickensian way with both the eccentric and
                                          sympathetic characters, and even (or perhaps especially) the villains.
                                          And there's the background, the elaboate twists and cliff-hangers, the
                                          sense of a whole elaborate and crowded world. Thank goodness she's gone
                                          light on the death-of-Tiny-Tim sort of pathos that ruind Dickens for
                                          many people. I know David doesn't like Dickens much, and maybe that's
                                          the difference -- Dickens people and those who aren't Dickens people may
                                          have different reactions to Rowling.

                                          I didn't like Harry much in Book 5 either, but now I find him more
                                          sympathetic...











                                          SPOILER ALERT







                                          Though I am getting REALLY TIRED of heroes telling their girlfriends
                                          that it's too dangerous to be with them. Let the girl make up her own
                                          mind how much danger she's willing to face, fer heaven's sake! Though I
                                          can't see Harry's girl sitting meekly at home and staying out of
                                          things... She'll find a way to fight by his side.


                                          Janet Brennan Croft

                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                          Of Walkermonk@...
                                          Sent: Tuesday, July 26, 2005 11:27 AM
                                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] HP6-a different view


                                          In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                                          saraciborski@... writes:

                                          Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
                                          to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love all
                                          the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best of the
                                          lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and the themes
                                          are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging portrayals of
                                          some delightful characters, both children and adults.
                                          What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
                                          occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
                                          story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but his
                                          mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents), ingenuity,
                                          loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities that develop
                                          as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him, had Rowling
                                          stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.

                                          Sara Ciborski



                                          -------------

                                          Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
                                          experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is
                                          enjoyable -- sweet, quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more
                                          for me, I enjoyed the third and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In
                                          fact, I was actually angry about the fifth one. It had a couple of
                                          really good scenes, but the overall structure and the ending
                                          conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated on me. And
                                          then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really feel
                                          strongly about it.

                                          Thanks for your post!
                                          Grace Monk



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                                          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org Yahoo! Groups
                                          Links
                                        • Debra Murphy
                                          I think Janet s is an astute observation. Rowlings has always reminded me of Dickens more than anyone, and it s a wild-and-woolly type of imagination,
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            I think Janet's is an astute observation. Rowlings has always
                                            reminded me of Dickens more than anyone, and it's a wild-and-woolly
                                            type of imagination, especially with characters, that I find
                                            enormously attractive.

                                            My kids (aged 7 to 24) and I all love HP, and some of us are going to
                                            be re-reading the entire series in the next year in order to put
                                            together our own scenarios of how we think JKR will finish it all up.

                                            I, too, was somewhat annoyed with Harry in book 5, but felt it was not
                                            only important for the boy's character arc as an adolescent, but may
                                            also have plot significance which will only be illumined in no. 7.
                                            Loved number 6--Harry's maturity, the tightness of the plot, and the
                                            maddening cliffhanger about a certain character-who-will-not-be-named.

                                            Debra Murphy



                                            > -----Original Message-----
                                            > From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                            > [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Croft, Janet B.
                                            > S
                                            >
                                            > Yes, I have to agree with both of you. It's character that
                                            > does it for me, and there is that Dickensian way with both
                                            > the eccentric and sympathetic characters, and even (or
                                            > perhaps especially) the villains.
                                            > And there's the background, the elaboate twists and
                                            > cliff-hangers, the sense of a whole elaborate and crowded
                                            > world. Thank goodness she's gone light on the
                                            > death-of-Tiny-Tim sort of pathos that ruind Dickens for many
                                            > people. I know David doesn't like Dickens much, and maybe
                                            > that's the difference -- Dickens people and those who aren't
                                            > Dickens people may have different reactions to Rowling.
                                            >
                                            > I didn't like Harry much in Book 5 either, but now I find him
                                            > more sympathetic...



                                            ___________________________________________________________
                                            $0 Web Hosting with up to 200MB web space, 1000 MB Transfer
                                            10 Personalized POP and Web E-mail Accounts, and much more.
                                            Signup at www.doteasy.com
                                          • David Bratman
                                            ... I m curious as to what generated that remark, for two reasons. First, the Rowling backlash, which I d define as an illogical burning resentment against
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Jul 29, 2005
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              At 08:22 AM 7/26/2005 -0700, Cai Cherie wrote:

                                              > The Rowling backlash has begun.

                                              I'm curious as to what generated that remark, for two reasons.

                                              First, the "Rowling backlash," which I'd define as an illogical burning
                                              resentment against the books for having the temerity to be popular, has
                                              been around since the first book. It sounds like you hadn't noticed this;
                                              if not, where have you been?

                                              Second, I don't recall anything on this list that could fairly be described
                                              as part of a "Rowling backlash." Certainly not from me: I went out of my
                                              way to say that I liked the first book and still do, and my post was merely
                                              a report that I found book 6 to be turgid and overweight.


                                              I find it interesting that the defenses of the book 6 that have come in
                                              since my post are not really disagreements with the problems I cited with
                                              it. I'm not sure if I should infer an acknowledgment that these problems
                                              are there, but the emphasis has been on why people who've enjoyed it have
                                              done so anyway, and what I might be lacking that I did not do so.

                                              The consensus seems to be that I'm just not that much into the characters.

                                              Well, it's true that the qualities I most admire in fiction are captivating
                                              prose and a compelling plot, not the personally-appealing qualities of the
                                              characters. But on the other hand I do expect the characterization to be
                                              moving: this is the reason I can't get into Thursday Next - the prose is
                                              great, but I can't figure out who these characters are or why I should care
                                              about them.

                                              And more relevantly there's this: it appears that among most Harry Potter
                                              fans the least-liked book is number 4. But that one was my favorite after
                                              number 1. Why? Because unlike numbers 2-3, where everything in the book
                                              was at the direct service of the plot, in number 4 there was room for the
                                              characterization to live and breathe and go off in directions of its own.
                                              I felt that this time I really got to know Harry and his friends as people.

                                              So I respectfully deny any implication that I have trouble dealing with
                                              books whose greatest virtue is the characterization. I wouldn't have
                                              thought, from what I read of it, that in-depth characterization was HP6's
                                              particular virtue anyway.

                                              I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                                              on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                                              happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                                              story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                                              sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                                              efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                                              undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                                              end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                                              of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                                              endings. Narnia works because the books are different kinds of stories
                                              about different characters. But if you keep writing story after story
                                              about the same characters, the tendency is to just keep throwing more and
                                              bigger problems at them. I don't find the position of "Well, Harry's an
                                              interesting character; how's he gonna handle THIS doozy?" to be sufficient
                                              to keep me reading. There's no closure, no satisfaction, the created world
                                              tends to collapse in on itself and the improbability level starts climbing,
                                              and a terrible sense of ennui rises up.

                                              The end of a singleton Harry Potter book would have given off an air of
                                              Harry settling down at Hogwarts after learning his way around, and yeah
                                              that brush with Voldemort was dicey, wasn't it? Maybe, since Rowling is
                                              trying to turn towards more adult stories, she could have written one
                                              sequel set in year 7 or after graduation in which Harry and Voldemort have
                                              a second and final showdown, and whose beginning would allude to the
                                              successes and minor adventures of the intervening years.

                                              David Bratman
                                            • Debra Murphy
                                              This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it is one
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it is one of the most heartbreaking endings in literature. Not overtly tragic, like Tess of the d-Urbervilles, sure; Bilbo is happy, Sam, Merry & Pippin all seem to end up fine, in spite of the Scouring of the Shire (the very thought of which kills me), but it seems to me that happiness is almost hard-wired into those characters' nature.

                                                Frodo, however, about whom we most care, has wounds that will never heal, and he is so broken he has to leave his beloved Shire for a measure of peace and healing--for me, his sailing into the West, though it may literally be a kind of "riding off into the sunset", has nothing of the happy-ever-after feel, or at least a sense of clusure, that I normally associate with that ending--say, the ending of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. On top of that, add the passing of the Elves, the preview (from the appendices) of what's to shake down in the lives of Aragorn and Arwen...yikes, I find it so painful in a way, that the older I get the harder time I have re-reading it.

                                                Debra Murphy

                                                ---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
                                                From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>

                                                >I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                                                >on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                                                >happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                                                >story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                                                >sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                                                >efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                                                >undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                                                >end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                                                >of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                                                >endings.


                                                ___________________________________________________________
                                                $0 Web Hosting with up to 200MB web space, 1000 MB Transfer
                                                10 Personalized POP and Web E-mail Accounts, and much more.
                                                Signup at www.doteasy.com
                                              • David Bratman
                                                Maybe Dave , whoever he is, thinks that LOTR has a purely cheerful ending, but David, the person you re replying to, said specifically that the book has a
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  Maybe "Dave", whoever he is, thinks that LOTR has a purely cheerful ending,
                                                  but David, the person you're replying to, said specifically that the book
                                                  has a very mixed ending. The point of distinguishing "happily ever after"
                                                  and "riding off into the sunset" is that they're different. An ending
                                                  could be both at the same time, but "riding off into the sunset" is not a
                                                  subset of "happy ever after."

                                                  Even the happiest endings for Tolkien's characters have a bittersweet tinge
                                                  (Sam will always miss Frodo, and Tolkien goes out of his way to remind us
                                                  that Aragorn is mortal; other authors writing adventure stories have their
                                                  characters miss the excitement and comradeship of their adventuring days
                                                  but know they can never return).

                                                  I haven't seen the Indiana Jones film you mention (the first one was boring
                                                  and tedious enough, full of sound and fury signifying nothing), and I
                                                  vaguely recall they're not in chronological order which confuses things,
                                                  but it's already a series of sequels, and aren't they always threatening to
                                                  make yet another one? That doesn't sound like a story with real closure to me.

                                                  The point, though, is that the kinds of endings I'm referring to do have
                                                  closure. More things may happen to these characters (see the "riding off
                                                  into the sunset" ending of _The Princess Bride_), but we're not going to be
                                                  told of them. The story is over, no sequels. No worthwhile novel could be
                                                  made of the further adventures of Merry and Pippin, and what happens next
                                                  to Frodo is literally unimaginable by fallible mortal.

                                                  If a story does have real closure, an author wishing to write another one
                                                  has two choices: 1) get around the closure by writing a different story; 2)
                                                  undercut the closure. The first choice can work; the second almost always
                                                  retroactively destroys the effectiveness of the original. The third choice
                                                  is to avoid giving closure in the first place. Rowling knew she'd be
                                                  writing more HP books, so she avoided making closure noises at the end of
                                                  book 1 that she'd later have to undo, but the result is that the story
                                                  doesn't end.

                                                  David Bratman




                                                  At 07:02 AM 7/30/2005 -0700, Debra Murphy wrote:
                                                  >This is interesting to me that you have this reaction, Dave, to the end of
                                                  >LotR, because I have a completely different reaction to it. In my view, it
                                                  >is one of the most heartbreaking endings in literature. Not overtly tragic,
                                                  >like Tess of the d-Urbervilles, sure; Bilbo is happy, Sam, Merry & Pippin
                                                  >all seem to end up fine, in spite of the Scouring of the Shire (the very
                                                  >thought of which kills me), but it seems to me that happiness is almost
                                                  >hard-wired into those characters' nature.
                                                  >
                                                  >Frodo, however, about whom we most care, has wounds that will never heal,
                                                  >and he is so broken he has to leave his beloved Shire for a measure of peace
                                                  >and healing--for me, his sailing into the West, though it may literally be a
                                                  >kind of "riding off into the sunset", has nothing of the happy-ever-after
                                                  >feel, or at least a sense of clusure, that I normally associate with that
                                                  >ending--say, the ending of INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. On top of
                                                  >that, add the passing of the Elves, the preview (from the appendices) of
                                                  >what's to shake down in the lives of Aragorn and Arwen...yikes, I find it so
                                                  >painful in a way, that the older I get the harder time I have re-reading it.
                                                  >
                                                  >Debra Murphy
                                                  >
                                                  >---------- Original Message ----------------------------------
                                                  >From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
                                                  >
                                                  >>I do, however, freely admit that when I read a good story, my first thought
                                                  >>on finishing is NOT "I want to find out what happens to them next." What
                                                  >>happens to them next should be what happens after the end of every good
                                                  >>story: they live happily ever after, or at the very least ride off into the
                                                  >>sunset. Tolkien understood this: when beginning LOTR he went to great
                                                  >>efforts to figure out how to write a sequel to _The Hobbit_ that didn't
                                                  >>undercut the earlier book's ending, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the
                                                  >>end of his days." And the ending of LOTR was a beautifully modulated mix
                                                  >>of the "happily ever after" and "ride off into the sunset" kinds of
                                                  >>endings.
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >___________________________________________________________
                                                  >$0 Web Hosting with up to 200MB web space, 1000 MB Transfer
                                                  >10 Personalized POP and Web E-mail Accounts, and much more.
                                                  >Signup at www.doteasy.com
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                  >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                • Mike Foster
                                                  As the tomcat said when he kissed the skunk, Though it s been grand I ve enjoyed about all of this that I can stand . No offense & I ll come back later, but
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Aug 6, 2005
                                                  • 0 Attachment
                                                    "As the tomcat said when he kissed the skunk, 'Though it's been grand
                                                    I've enjoyed about all of this that I can stand'."

                                                    No offense & I'll come back later, but after an eight-armed twelve-hour
                                                    day of tweaking & polishing & printing out two papers for Brum, getting
                                                    23 days of England>Geneva>Burgundy region>Alps packed into one carrion
                                                    bag, and getting my Gilbert magazine piece on Brideshead Rev. by E.
                                                    Waugh from nada to down from 756 to 706 words with 106 still to be cut
                                                    by Sunday night, I am as toasted as a crumpet.

                                                    John Updike was in Peoria speaking right after Rabbit At Rest was
                                                    published in '99? and I asked him if we had seen the last of Rabbit.

                                                    JU: 'Well, he wasn't looking very good the last time I saw him'

                                                    Balderdoodahdash; there was
                                                    a prequel in the New Yorker within months.

                                                    But carry on & carrion. I'll be back. I go to watch Scorpio rising
                                                    over the corn crib at Foster's Farm with a wee glass of plonk.

                                                    Take good care of that kitten, Berni.

                                                    Cheers,
                                                    Mike




                                                    Walkermonk@... wrote:

                                                    >
                                                    >In a message dated 7/25/2005 10:46:27 PM Central Standard Time,
                                                    >saraciborski@... writes:
                                                    >
                                                    >Well, I will venture an opinion contrary to David's scathing one (and
                                                    >to the negative views expressed in a couple of other posts). I love
                                                    >all the Harry Potter books and I think the 6th, though not the best
                                                    >of the lot, is a great read. They are not literary masterpieces and
                                                    >the themes are at times muddled. But they are wonderfully engaging
                                                    >portrayals of some delightful characters, both children and adults.
                                                    >What draws me into Rowling's world and holds me there through
                                                    >occasional lapses in the writing is Harry himself: what counts in the
                                                    >story, what decides the outcome is not the magic tricks he does but
                                                    >his mix of courage, determination, longing (for his parents),
                                                    >ingenuity, loyalty, recklessness, fun-lovingness and other qualities
                                                    >that develop as he grows up. I would have missed getting to know him,
                                                    >had Rowling stopped with the bright, fresh and bouncy first book.
                                                    >
                                                    >Sara Ciborski
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >-------------
                                                    >
                                                    >Sara, I agree with many of your points. In contrast to David B.'s
                                                    >experience, I found the first one to be enjoyable like candy is enjoyable -- sweet,
                                                    >quick, and gone. The second one didn't do much more for me, I enjoyed the third
                                                    >and fourth, and hated much of the fifth. In fact, I was actually angry about
                                                    >the fifth one. It had a couple of really good scenes, but the overall
                                                    >structure and the ending conversation between Dumbledore and Harry especially grated
                                                    >on me. And then somehow I find myself loving "Half-Blood Prince." I really
                                                    >feel strongly about it.
                                                    >
                                                    >Thanks for your post!
                                                    >Grace Monk
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                    >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                    >
                                                  • Mike Foster
                                                    I second Ms. Monk s motion. Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis and perhaps is second only to Tolkien. Rank rash dismissal of her
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
                                                    • 0 Attachment
                                                      I second Ms. Monk's motion.

                                                      Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                                                      perhaps is second only to Tolkien.

                                                      Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a retired
                                                      ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                                      "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there were a
                                                      lot of people who were skeptical."

                                                      Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                                                      finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should not be
                                                      sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.

                                                      As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                                      "Rowrbazzle!"

                                                      Cheers,
                                                      Mike

                                                      Walkermonk@... wrote:

                                                      >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                      >WendellWag@... writes:
                                                      >The Harry Potter
                                                      >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on
                                                      >everything.
                                                      >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between good and evil,
                                                      >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the sacrifices
                                                      >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is quite low compared to
                                                      >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the sole province
                                                      >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The situations
                                                      >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the faint of heart
                                                      >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the situations
                                                      >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't always correct either. But
                                                      >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books aren't my
                                                      >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's contemptuous one-line
                                                      >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which she said
                                                      >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either _The Lord
                                                      >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                                      >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately loses points
                                                      >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at least read "The
                                                      >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder which one(s)
                                                      >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews and other
                                                      >statements about Lewis.
                                                      >
                                                      >Grace Monk
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                      >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                      >
                                                    • WendellWag@aol.com
                                                      In a message dated 10/3/2005 11:47:03 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, mafoster@direcway.com writes: Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
                                                      • 0 Attachment
                                                        In a message dated 10/3/2005 11:47:03 A.M. Eastern Standard Time,
                                                        mafoster@... writes:

                                                        Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                                                        perhaps is second only to Tolkien.


                                                        Oh, I think that Rowling's names are superb. If only the other aspects of
                                                        her books were as good.

                                                        Wendell Wagner


                                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                      • Lezlie
                                                        Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...) I like Rowling OK-- don t get me wrong. I just wish she d stop saying dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the
                                                        Message 27 of 30 , Oct 6, 2005
                                                        • 0 Attachment
                                                          Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                                                          I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop saying
                                                          dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                                                          conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                                                          while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                                                          information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not know"
                                                          any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                                                          much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy* fan
                                                          after all.)
                                                          Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving elfish
                                                          critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is compete
                                                          claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                                                          skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                                                          *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                                                          Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                                                          the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better. Personal
                                                          taste, you know...

                                                          Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                                                          Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era (for
                                                          a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that is).

                                                          Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot on,
                                                          spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that he
                                                          has done his research – no question—.
                                                          On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                                                          her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche has
                                                          become) I guess. Lezlie



                                                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                                          > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                                          >
                                                          > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis' and
                                                          > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                                          >
                                                          > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a retired
                                                          > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                                          > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there were a
                                                          > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                                          >
                                                          > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                                                          > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should not be
                                                          > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                                          >
                                                          > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                                          > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                                          >
                                                          > Cheers,
                                                          > Mike
                                                          >
                                                          > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                                          >
                                                          > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                          > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                                          > >The Harry Potter
                                                          > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped on
                                                          > >everything.
                                                          > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between good
                                                          and evil,
                                                          > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the sacrifices
                                                          > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is quite
                                                          low compared to
                                                          > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                                          sole province
                                                          > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                                          situations
                                                          > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                                          faint of heart
                                                          > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the situations
                                                          > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't always
                                                          correct either. But
                                                          > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books
                                                          aren't my
                                                          > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                                          contemptuous one-line
                                                          > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which
                                                          she said
                                                          > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished) either
                                                          _The Lord
                                                          > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                                          > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately loses
                                                          points
                                                          > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                                          least read "The
                                                          > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder which
                                                          one(s)
                                                          > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews and
                                                          other
                                                          > >statements about Lewis.
                                                          > >
                                                          > >Grace Monk
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                          > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                          > >
                                                        • Pauline J. Alama
                                                          I think one of the reasons that stories about teenagers are popular - - whether the teenagers are named Harry Potter, Buffy Summers, Wart/Arthur, Theseus, or
                                                          Message 28 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
                                                          • 0 Attachment
                                                            I think one of the reasons that stories about teenagers are popular -
                                                            - whether the teenagers are named Harry Potter, Buffy Summers,
                                                            Wart/Arthur, Theseus, or Perceval le Galois -- is that
                                                            adolescence/coming of age/whateveryouwwannacallit is an important
                                                            time in most people's lives, a time when we became the people we
                                                            are, and made some of the choices that have formed the rest of our
                                                            lives. Rather than dismissing HP because it's "teen lit" one might
                                                            more fairly say that part of its compelling appeal for many,
                                                            including many adults, is because of its honesty in portraying the
                                                            struggles and follies of adolescence. I know that in reading HP 5 I
                                                            kept saying, with a rueful groan, "Oh, yes--I remember being 15." A
                                                            couple of friends who are teachers found that book a bit of a
                                                            busman's holiday, becuase Harry seemed too much like their students.
                                                            Why make a weakness out of one of the series' strenghts? I admire
                                                            the candor and perceptiveness with which Rowling captures the
                                                            nuances of adolescents' mood swings, foibles, and triumphs. And she
                                                            never cheats. She never gives Harry insights inconsistent with his
                                                            level of maturity. She never steps out of POV in the Harry-POV
                                                            chapters to deliver Authorial Wisdom (except indirectly through a
                                                            more mature character's dialog). I think point of view is very
                                                            important in fiction, and Rowling's skill at this technique is not
                                                            often enough praised.

                                                            Pauline J. Alama
                                                            THE EYE OF NIGHT

                                                            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                                            >
                                                            > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                                                            and
                                                            > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                                            >
                                                            > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                                                            retired
                                                            > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                                            > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                                                            were a
                                                            > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                                            >
                                                            > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of the
                                                            > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                                                            not be
                                                            > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                                            >
                                                            > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                                            > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                                            >
                                                            > Cheers,
                                                            > Mike
                                                            >
                                                            > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                                            >
                                                            > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                            > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                                            > >The Harry Potter
                                                            > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names slapped
                                                            on
                                                            > >everything.
                                                            > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                                                            good and evil,
                                                            > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                                                            sacrifices
                                                            > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                                                            quite low compared to
                                                            > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                                            sole province
                                                            > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                                            situations
                                                            > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                                            faint of heart
                                                            > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                                                            situations
                                                            > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                                                            always correct either. But
                                                            > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP books
                                                            aren't my
                                                            > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                                            contemptuous one-line
                                                            > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in which
                                                            she said
                                                            > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                                                            either _The Lord
                                                            > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                                            > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                                                            loses points
                                                            > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                                            least read "The
                                                            > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                                                            which one(s)
                                                            > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                                                            and other
                                                            > >statements about Lewis.
                                                            > >
                                                            > >Grace Monk
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                            > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            > >
                                                            >
                                                          • Pauline J. Alama
                                                            I wouldn t say Rowling s folklore was off (by which I suppose you mean inaccurate ), but that she has decided to do different things with the folklore. As
                                                            Message 29 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
                                                            • 0 Attachment
                                                              I wouldn't say Rowling's folklore was "off" (by which I suppose you
                                                              mean "inaccurate"), but that she has decided to do different things
                                                              with the folklore.

                                                              As Pete Seeger said of folk music, that's what makes it folk --
                                                              everyone sings it in their own way.

                                                              Pauline J. Alama
                                                              THE EYE OF NIGHT

                                                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lezlie" <lezlie1@z...> wrote:
                                                              >
                                                              > Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                                                              > I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop
                                                              saying
                                                              > dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                                                              > conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                                                              > while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                                                              > information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not
                                                              know"
                                                              > any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                                                              > much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy*
                                                              fan
                                                              > after all.)
                                                              > Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving
                                                              elfish
                                                              > critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is
                                                              compete
                                                              > claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                                                              > skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                                                              > *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                                                              > Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                                                              > the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better.
                                                              Personal
                                                              > taste, you know...
                                                              >
                                                              > Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                                                              > Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era
                                                              (for
                                                              > a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that
                                                              is).
                                                              >
                                                              > Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot
                                                              on,
                                                              > spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that
                                                              he
                                                              > has done his research – no question—.
                                                              > On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                                                              > her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche
                                                              has
                                                              > become) I guess. Lezlie
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              >
                                                              > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                                              > > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                                                              and
                                                              > > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                                                              retired
                                                              > > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                                              > > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                                                              were a
                                                              > > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of
                                                              the
                                                              > > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                                                              not be
                                                              > > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                                              > >
                                                              > > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                                              > > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Cheers,
                                                              > > Mike
                                                              > >
                                                              > > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                                              > >
                                                              > > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                              > > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                                              > > >The Harry Potter
                                                              > > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names
                                                              slapped on
                                                              > > >everything.
                                                              > > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                                                              good
                                                              > and evil,
                                                              > > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                                                              sacrifices
                                                              > > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                                                              quite
                                                              > low compared to
                                                              > > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                                              > sole province
                                                              > > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                                              > situations
                                                              > > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                                              > faint of heart
                                                              > > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                                                              situations
                                                              > > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                                                              always
                                                              > correct either. But
                                                              > > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP
                                                              books
                                                              > aren't my
                                                              > > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                                              > contemptuous one-line
                                                              > > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in
                                                              which
                                                              > she said
                                                              > > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                                                              either
                                                              > _The Lord
                                                              > > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                                              > > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                                                              loses
                                                              > points
                                                              > > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                                              > least read "The
                                                              > > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                                                              which
                                                              > one(s)
                                                              > > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                                                              and
                                                              > other
                                                              > > >statements about Lewis.
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >Grace Monk
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                              > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              > > >
                                                              >
                                                            • Lezlie
                                                              All I can say is this: I don t like Pete Seeger s expurgated renditions of old folk songs, either. His orgiinals are fine, very sing-alongable -- So, there
                                                              Message 30 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
                                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                                All I can say is this: I don't like Pete Seeger's expurgated
                                                                renditions of old folk songs, either. His orgiinals are fine, very
                                                                sing-alongable -- So, there you have it. Matter of personal taste, I
                                                                *suppose*.

                                                                There are Other authors I like better, even for youth, but Rowling
                                                                serves a very important purpose in the literacy battle. And, that
                                                                battle, we cannot afford to loose. More HP, I say! Bring them on!

                                                                Lezlie

                                                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Pauline J. Alama" <PJAlama@e...> wrote:
                                                                >
                                                                > I wouldn't say Rowling's folklore was "off" (by which I suppose you
                                                                > mean "inaccurate"), but that she has decided to do different things
                                                                > with the folklore.
                                                                >
                                                                > As Pete Seeger said of folk music, that's what makes it folk --
                                                                > everyone sings it in their own way.
                                                                >
                                                                > Pauline J. Alama
                                                                > THE EYE OF NIGHT
                                                                >
                                                                > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Lezlie" <lezlie1@z...> wrote:
                                                                > >
                                                                > > Hi all- (a bit of a ramble...)
                                                                > > I like Rowling OK-- don't get me wrong. I just wish she'd stop
                                                                > saying
                                                                > > dumb things about *Witches* . As a teacher & parent, the endless
                                                                > > conversations about "pretend witches" gets a bit wearing after a
                                                                > > while... it isn't as if there isn't piles of readily available
                                                                > > information these days. In 2005, there is little excuse to "not
                                                                > know"
                                                                > > any longer. Yeah-- the truth is very boring and fiction is ever so
                                                                > > much more *fun* ...<sniff>... and all of *that*. (I am a *fantasy*
                                                                > fan
                                                                > > after all.)
                                                                > > Some of her folklore is a bit off, too...especially involving
                                                                > elfish
                                                                > > critters. Of course, her knowledge of the occult in general is
                                                                > compete
                                                                > > claptrap, but it's fine for fiction, I suppose. Her world-building
                                                                > > skill is improving, however. Well, I could say all of that about a
                                                                > > *lot* of writers about a *lot* of things.
                                                                > > Rowling tells a good tale. Mostly. But, I haven't gone out and read
                                                                > > the last. I've been reading other people I like a lot better.
                                                                > Personal
                                                                > > taste, you know...
                                                                > >
                                                                > > Not really impressed with the name-thing... not really... a bit too
                                                                > > Dickensonian, IMHO. A little *obvious* in this post modernist era
                                                                > (for
                                                                > > a novel set in modern times with magical twists and turns that
                                                                > is).
                                                                > >
                                                                > > Now, Charles de Lint, in comparison, has his folklore right spot
                                                                > on,
                                                                > > spins magical yarns – if a bit awkward at times – . He shows that
                                                                > he
                                                                > > has done his research – no question—.
                                                                > > On the other hand, Rowling is incredibly successful; I have to hand
                                                                > > her that. And, the kids love her. Mostly harmless (as the cliche
                                                                > has
                                                                > > become) I guess. Lezlie
                                                                > >
                                                                > >
                                                                > >
                                                                > > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Mike Foster <mafoster@d...> wrote:
                                                                > > > I second Ms. Monk's motion.
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > Rowling has a nominative (name-giving) gift that exceeds Lewis'
                                                                > and
                                                                > > > perhaps is second only to Tolkien.
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > Rank rash dismissal of her reminds me of remark made to me by a
                                                                > retired
                                                                > > > ICC earth science prof at an ol' bleeps' breakfast last week:
                                                                > > > "When you started teaching that Tolkien class [in 1978], there
                                                                > were a
                                                                > > > lot of people who were skeptical."
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > Yeah, well, coprolites to you, chum. Tolkien is literature of
                                                                > the
                                                                > > > finest. Rowling may be nowhere near that level, but she should
                                                                > not be
                                                                > > > sneered away to the toy department, Wendell.
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > As Pogo the possum used to say:
                                                                > > > "Rowrbazzle!"
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > Cheers,
                                                                > > > Mike
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > Walkermonk@a... wrote:
                                                                > > >
                                                                > > > >In a message dated 7/22/2005 9:48:29 AM Central Daylight Time,
                                                                > > > >WendellWag@a... writes:
                                                                > > > >The Harry Potter
                                                                > > > >books are still a teenage-angst series with magic names
                                                                > slapped on
                                                                > > > >everything.
                                                                > > > >This is incorrect. The stories are about the struggle between
                                                                > good
                                                                > > and evil,
                                                                > > > >and how difficult it is to sometimes recognize good and the
                                                                > sacrifices
                                                                > > > >required for doing what is right. The ratio of magic names is
                                                                > quite
                                                                > > low compared to
                                                                > > > >just regular names. And teenage angst? When did angst become the
                                                                > > sole province
                                                                > > > >of teenagers and why is there contempt for teenage feelings? The
                                                                > > situations
                                                                > > > >being confronted by the teenagers in the HP books aren't for the
                                                                > > faint of heart
                                                                > > > >or the immature of character. Do the teenagers handle the
                                                                > situations
                                                                > > > >differently than the adults portrayed? Yes. The teens aren't
                                                                > always
                                                                > > correct either. But
                                                                > > > >they matter, and I don't see anything wrong in that. The HP
                                                                > books
                                                                > > aren't my
                                                                > > > >favorite and I think they have some flaws. But Wendell's
                                                                > > contemptuous one-line
                                                                > > > >dismissal is far below what the books deserve.
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >Incidentally, I read a news story about Rowling recently in
                                                                > which
                                                                > > she said
                                                                > > > >that she never read (or, more precisely, she never finished)
                                                                > either
                                                                > > _The Lord
                                                                > > > >of the Rings_ or _The Chronicles of Narnia_.
                                                                > > > >Well, according to this particular article (which immediately
                                                                > loses
                                                                > > points
                                                                > > > >with me by mentioning Rowling's haircolor), Rowling must have at
                                                                > > least read "The
                                                                > > > >Last Battle." So if she hasn't finished Narnia, then I wonder
                                                                > which
                                                                > > one(s)
                                                                > > > >she left out. This is at odds, btw, with many other interviews
                                                                > and
                                                                > > other
                                                                > > > >statements about Lewis.
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >Grace Monk
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                                                                > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > > > >
                                                                > >
                                                                >
                                                              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.