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RE: [mythsoc] HP6-a different view

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  • 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 1 of 30 , Jul 26, 2005
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      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...



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    • 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 2 of 30 , Jul 29, 2005
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        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 3 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
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          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.


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        • 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 4 of 30 , Jul 30, 2005
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            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.
            >
            >
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            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
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          • 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 5 of 30 , Aug 6 7:15 PM
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              "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 6 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
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                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 7 of 30 , Oct 3, 2005
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                  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 8 of 30 , Oct 6, 2005
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                    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 9 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
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                      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 10 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 11 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
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > > > >
                          > >
                          >
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