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

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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 1 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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    • 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 2 of 30 , Aug 6, 2005
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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
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
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        >
      • 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
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                  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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                • 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 8 of 30 , Oct 13, 2005
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                    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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