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

Re: [mythsoc] Re: HP6-a different view

Expand Messages
  • 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 1 of 30 , Jul 29 9:41 PM
    • 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 2 of 30 , Jul 30 7:02 AM
      • 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 3 of 30 , Jul 30 8:05 AM
        • 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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 9 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 10 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.