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

Re: [mythsoc] O.W.L.s in Harry Potter (No Spoilers!)

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 11 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 12 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 13 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 14 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 15 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 16 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 17 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 18 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 19 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 20 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.