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Re: [mythsoc] Harry Potter IV (w / spoilers)

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... ... Yes, that was rather amazing and appalling, wasn t it? ... I got the impression that V s followers were called Death
    Message 1 of 13 , Jul 26, 2000
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      Diane Joy Baker wrote:
      >
      > Finally finished Harry Potter! As usual, delightful and breezy action.
      > There are spoilers from here on out, and if you haven't gotten your copy or
      > finished it, don't read any further.

      <keeping the spoiler space>

      > s
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      > One of the most interesting aspects is the fact that it's much more evident
      > that the Dementors are not well regarded; the internal politics of the
      > magical community seems as interesting as it is among the Muggle's world.
      > The Muggle world and Magical world are more connected this time: a few
      > Muggles are touched by magical events. Things definitely took a dark turn
      > where Fudge is concerned; his blind desire not to believe that V is back
      > threatens his position.

      Yes, that was rather amazing and appalling, wasn't it?

      > Of course I knew that You Know Who would come back; structurally, makes
      > sense that it would be in the fourth book. One thing I wasn't clear about:
      > What exactly *is* a Death Eater? If it's just the name for those who follow
      > YKW, it's rather misleading, and if there's an actual function for these
      > folk, it's not clear.

      I got the impression that V's followers were called "Death
      Eaters" because he claimed they'd be able to defeat death. It is
      one of the standard "baits."

      > The "foreign" elements were interesting. Are the *veela* a real creation,
      > or did JKR make them up?

      I'd be interested in finding that out, too. She's certainly done
      both in the past -- dug out both obscure and not-so-obscure
      folklore critters, and made up her own. If they are authentic
      folklore, the fact that it's the Bulgarian Quidditch team that
      fields them suggests that they're an Eastern European legend.

      > You have the French, who have always had trouble
      > with England, Germany represented with Viktor, and the Slavic element with
      > Karkaroff.

      Actually Viktor Krum is Bulgarian, so they're both Slavs.
      However, "Durmstrang" certainly sounds German. (Had to snicker
      at that name! Rowling does have a flair for names.)

      What do people think of the house-elf situation?


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • alexeik@aol.com
      In a message dated 7/26/0 12:09:30 PM, Diane wrote: _Vily_ are Slavic water-fairies, originally
      Message 2 of 13 , Jul 26, 2000
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        In a message dated 7/26/0 12:09:30 PM, Diane wrote:

        << Are the *veela* a real creation,
        or did JKR make them up?>>

        _Vily_ are Slavic water-fairies, originally the souls of women who drowned.
        Alexei
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        ... I think they re real: haven t looked it up, but one of the famous arias in THE MERRY WIDOW by Franz Lehar begins, Vilya, O Vilya, the witch of the
        Message 3 of 13 , Jul 26, 2000
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          > > The "foreign" elements were interesting. Are the *veela* a real creation,
          > > or did JKR make them up?


          I think they're real: haven't looked it up, but one of the famous arias in
          THE MERRY WIDOW by Franz Lehar begins, "Vilya, O Vilya, the witch of the
          wood..." at least in its English translation.

          Mary S
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          In a message dated 7/27/00 8:49:43 AM Central Daylight Time, ... Rowling is really writing (among other things) a good anti-racism story here - good because
          Message 4 of 13 , Jul 27, 2000
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            In a message dated 7/27/00 8:49:43 AM Central Daylight Time,
            imladris@... writes:

            > <keeping spoiler spaces in again>
            >
            > >s
            > >p
            > >o
            > >i
            > >l
            > >e
            > >r
            > >
            > >a
            > >l
            > >e
            > >r
            > >t
            > >
            > >s
            > >p
            > >o
            > >i
            > >l
            > >e
            > >r
            > >
            > >a
            > >l
            > >e
            > >r
            > >t
            > >
            >
            >



            > the meanie kids had rotten parents


            Rowling is really writing (among other things) a good anti-racism story here
            - good because it's not tiresomely, obviously, preachily pointed in that
            direction.

            Muggling along,
            Mary S
          • LSolarion@aol.com
            In a message dated 07/26/2000 5:52:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time, margdean@erols.com writes: s p o i l e r
            Message 5 of 13 , Jul 28, 2000
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              In a message dated 07/26/2000 5:52:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
              margdean@... writes:

              << What do people think of the house-elf situation? >>
              s
              p
              o
              i
              l
              e
              r

              s
              p
              a
              c
              e

              (w
              h
              a
              t

              a

              g
              r
              e
              a
              t

              i
              d
              e
              a
              )
              I confess that I'm not yet ready to SPEW (wonderfully appropriate acronym
              that). House-elves belong to the magical world, not the muggle world, and
              while the two may have resemblances, each follows its own laws, social as
              well as physical.

              The house-elves are true to their folkloric nature; they like to serve as
              some dogs like to fetch. They are not human, so equality issues don't apply.
              Even if you gave them the freedom humans have, they would continue to serve.
              So what does freedom mean, if not allowing the free to do what THEY want, not
              what WE think they should? So, the well-meaning but do-gooding Hermione
              should follow Ann Landers' advice and MYOB.
            • Margaret Dean
              ... How do you account for Dobby s attitude? Was he sent round the bend by the Malfoys cruel treatment? He seems to continue to enjoy working, but wants to
              Message 6 of 13 , Jul 29, 2000
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                LSolarion@... wrote:
                >
                > In a message dated 07/26/2000 5:52:05 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                > margdean@... writes:
                >
                > << What do people think of the house-elf situation? >>
                > s
                > p
                > o
                > i
                > l
                > e
                > r
                >
                > s
                > p
                > a
                > c
                > e
                >
                > (w
                > h
                > a
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                >
                > a
                >
                > g
                > r
                > e
                > a
                > t
                >
                > i
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                > e
                > a
                > )
                > I confess that I'm not yet ready to SPEW (wonderfully appropriate acronym
                > that). House-elves belong to the magical world, not the muggle world, and
                > while the two may have resemblances, each follows its own laws, social as
                > well as physical.
                >
                > The house-elves are true to their folkloric nature; they like to serve as
                > some dogs like to fetch. They are not human, so equality issues don't apply.
                > Even if you gave them the freedom humans have, they would continue to serve.
                > So what does freedom mean, if not allowing the free to do what THEY want, not
                > what WE think they should? So, the well-meaning but do-gooding Hermione
                > should follow Ann Landers' advice and MYOB.

                How do you account for Dobby's attitude? Was he sent round the
                bend by the Malfoys' cruel treatment? He seems to continue to
                enjoy working, but wants to be paid as a human would. Is he
                enlightened or looneytunes?


                --Margaret Dean
                <margdean@...>
              • LSolarion@aol.com
                In a message dated 07/29/2000 9:18:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time, margdean@erols.com writes:
                Message 7 of 13 , Jul 31, 2000
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                  In a message dated 07/29/2000 9:18:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                  margdean@... writes:

                  <<
                  How do you account for Dobby's attitude? Was he sent round the
                  bend by the Malfoys' cruel treatment? He seems to continue to
                  enjoy working, but wants to be paid as a human would. Is he
                  enlightened or looneytunes? >>

                  s
                  p
                  o
                  i
                  l
                  e
                  r

                  a
                  l
                  e
                  r
                  t

                  h
                  e
                  r
                  e

                  As someone pointed out in the book, Dobby was unusual for a house-elf. His
                  attitude was certainly unpopular, even unnatural, from their perspective.
                  It's an interesting question: who gets to define what a certain group's
                  attitude and values are to be? If the house-elves are happy and fulfilled in
                  their natures by freely offered service (and that choice is important; it
                  would be different if overseers with whips were standing behind them forcing
                  them to work against their will -- which of course Dumbledore would never
                  allow), who is some self-righteous meddler to interfere? Should they be
                  "freed" by force? Is that freedom? If it turns happiness into misery and
                  contentment into frustration, how is it a good thing? If a creature's nature
                  is to serve, they are happiest serving. Our natures are disgusted at this, I
                  think, because we are fallen and prone to rebellion against the idea of
                  service (which we label derogatorily as subservience, obsequiousness, etc.).
                  But that's us. We may call a dog's devotion fawning or grovelling (unless we
                  are its object), but to the dog, it's natural.
                • Sophie Masson
                  A veela is indeed a East European(indeed, Bulgarian)creature of folklore--rather like the Rusalka in Russian folklore, or the Yangammara in Australian
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 1, 2000
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                    A veela is indeed a East European(indeed, Bulgarian)creature of
                    folklore--rather like the Rusalka in Russian folklore, or the Yangammara in
                    Australian Aboriginal folklore!
                    Sophie
                    Author site:
                    http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: Stolzi@... <Stolzi@...>
                    To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                    Date: Thursday, 27 July 2000 4:01
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Harry Potter IV (w / spoilers)


                    >
                    >> > The "foreign" elements were interesting. Are the *veela* a real
                    creation,
                    >> > or did JKR make them up?
                    >
                    >
                    >I think they're real: haven't looked it up, but one of the famous arias in
                    >THE MERRY WIDOW by Franz Lehar begins, "Vilya, O Vilya, the witch of the
                    >wood..." at least in its English translation.
                    >
                    >Mary S
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                    >
                  • Julia Palffy
                    The veelas in Harry Potter reminded me of the Wilis in the classical ballet Giselle - though it s a long time since I read that story. I guess they do have a
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 1, 2000
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                      The veelas in Harry Potter reminded me of the Wilis in the classical ballet
                      "Giselle" - though it's a long time since I read that story. I guess they do
                      have a common source, and that the original figure was adapted to the
                      respective works.

                      Julia Palffy
                      Zug, Switzerland
                      jupalffy@...

                      > -----Original Message-----
                      > From: Stolzi@... <Stolzi@...>
                      > To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                      > Date: Thursday, 27 July 2000 4:01
                      > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Harry Potter IV (w / spoilers)
                      >
                      >
                      > >
                      > >> > The "foreign" elements were interesting. Are the *veela* a real
                      > creation,
                      > >> > or did JKR make them up?
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >I think they're real: haven't looked it up, but one of the
                      > famous arias in
                      > >THE MERRY WIDOW by Franz Lehar begins, "Vilya, O Vilya, the witch of the
                      > >wood..." at least in its English translation.
                      > >
                      > >Mary S
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                      >
                      >
                    • Margaret Dean
                      ... The next question that comes to mind at this point (at least to mine) is how the house-elves came to have that nature in the first place. What are their
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 1, 2000
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                        LSolarion@... wrote:
                        >
                        > In a message dated 07/29/2000 9:18:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                        > margdean@... writes:
                        >
                        > <<
                        > How do you account for Dobby's attitude? Was he sent round the
                        > bend by the Malfoys' cruel treatment? He seems to continue to
                        > enjoy working, but wants to be paid as a human would. Is he
                        > enlightened or looneytunes? >>
                        >
                        > s
                        > p
                        > o
                        > i
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                        >
                        > a
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                        >
                        > As someone pointed out in the book, Dobby was unusual for a house-elf. His
                        > attitude was certainly unpopular, even unnatural, from their perspective.
                        > It's an interesting question: who gets to define what a certain group's
                        > attitude and values are to be? If the house-elves are happy and fulfilled in
                        > their natures by freely offered service (and that choice is important; it
                        > would be different if overseers with whips were standing behind them forcing
                        > them to work against their will -- which of course Dumbledore would never
                        > allow), who is some self-righteous meddler to interfere? Should they be
                        > "freed" by force? Is that freedom? If it turns happiness into misery and
                        > contentment into frustration, how is it a good thing? If a creature's nature
                        > is to serve, they are happiest serving.

                        The next question that comes to mind at this point (at least to
                        mine) is how the house-elves came to have that "nature" in the
                        first place. What are their origins? Did they come to be
                        independently, with the impulse toward service already there? Or
                        did some primal wizard or group of wizards alter them somehow?
                        If the latter, does that count as enslavement?

                        > Our natures are disgusted at this, I
                        > think, because we are fallen and prone to rebellion against the idea of
                        > service (which we label derogatorily as subservience, obsequiousness, etc.).
                        > But that's us. We may call a dog's devotion fawning or grovelling (unless we
                        > are its object), but to the dog, it's natural.

                        It's natural to a dog because it serves a practical purpose in
                        the social organization of dogs. That it transfers over to
                        humans in some situations turns out to be beneficial for both
                        species (by and large. There are dog owners, of course, who take
                        just as fearsome advantage of the dog's natural inclinations as
                        the Malfoys did of Dobby's). How about house-elves? Same or
                        different? Were their impulses directed toward humans (wizards)
                        originally, or were they =conditioned= to direct them that way?
                        If the latter, is the resulting symbiosis beneficial?


                        --Margaret Dean
                        <margdean@...>
                      • alexeik@aol.com
                        In a message dated 8/1/0 2:53:54 PM, Julia Palffy wrote:
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 1, 2000
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                          In a message dated 8/1/0 2:53:54 PM, Julia Palffy wrote:

                          <<The veelas in Harry Potter reminded me of the Wilis in the classical ballet
                          "Giselle" - though it's a long time since I read that story. >>

                          They're the same. _Willi_ is just a German spelling of South Slavic _vily_.
                          Adam's librettist obviously got the story from a Germanic (probably Austrian)
                          source.
                          Alexei
                        • Sophie Masson
                          The idea for house-elves came, I m sure, from the story The Elves and the Shoemaker, in which the naked elves are given clothes and shoes at the end, and thus
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 1, 2000
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                            The idea for house-elves came, I'm sure, from the story The Elves and the
                            Shoemaker, in which the naked elves are given clothes and shoes at the end,
                            and thus lose their servitude. They in turn have echoes in folklore with
                            brownies and the like, who are tied to people's houses--and in turn derive
                            in a way from the Roman 'genii loci' who had their own shrines in each
                            house, and protected it.
                            Very clever, as usual, for JK to use these pre-existing things--my only
                            problem with it is that the house-elves' language and attitudes sound very
                            close to the 'happy slaves' idea of the Deep South..but then, I think that's
                            probably meant deliberately. Everyone except Hermione has a blind spot about
                            it.
                            Sophie
                            Author site:
                            http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

                            -----Original Message-----
                            From: Margaret Dean <margdean@...>
                            To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                            Date: Wednesday, 2 August 2000 3:05
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Harry Potter IV (w / spoilers)


                            >LSolarion@... wrote:
                            >>
                            >> In a message dated 07/29/2000 9:18:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                            >> margdean@... writes:
                            >>
                            >> <<
                            >> How do you account for Dobby's attitude? Was he sent round the
                            >> bend by the Malfoys' cruel treatment? He seems to continue to
                            >> enjoy working, but wants to be paid as a human would. Is he
                            >> enlightened or looneytunes? >>
                            >>
                            >> s
                            >> p
                            >> o
                            >> i
                            >> l
                            >> e
                            >> r
                            >>
                            >> a
                            >> l
                            >> e
                            >> r
                            >> t
                            >>
                            >> h
                            >> e
                            >> r
                            >> e
                            >>
                            >> As someone pointed out in the book, Dobby was unusual for a house-elf.
                            His
                            >> attitude was certainly unpopular, even unnatural, from their perspective.
                            >> It's an interesting question: who gets to define what a certain group's
                            >> attitude and values are to be? If the house-elves are happy and fulfilled
                            in
                            >> their natures by freely offered service (and that choice is important; it
                            >> would be different if overseers with whips were standing behind them
                            forcing
                            >> them to work against their will -- which of course Dumbledore would never
                            >> allow), who is some self-righteous meddler to interfere? Should they be
                            >> "freed" by force? Is that freedom? If it turns happiness into misery and
                            >> contentment into frustration, how is it a good thing? If a creature's
                            nature
                            >> is to serve, they are happiest serving.
                            >
                            >The next question that comes to mind at this point (at least to
                            >mine) is how the house-elves came to have that "nature" in the
                            >first place. What are their origins? Did they come to be
                            >independently, with the impulse toward service already there? Or
                            >did some primal wizard or group of wizards alter them somehow?
                            >If the latter, does that count as enslavement?
                            >
                            >> Our natures are disgusted at this, I
                            >> think, because we are fallen and prone to rebellion against the idea of
                            >> service (which we label derogatorily as subservience, obsequiousness,
                            etc.).
                            >> But that's us. We may call a dog's devotion fawning or grovelling
                            (unless we
                            >> are its object), but to the dog, it's natural.
                            >
                            >It's natural to a dog because it serves a practical purpose in
                            >the social organization of dogs. That it transfers over to
                            >humans in some situations turns out to be beneficial for both
                            >species (by and large. There are dog owners, of course, who take
                            >just as fearsome advantage of the dog's natural inclinations as
                            >the Malfoys did of Dobby's). How about house-elves? Same or
                            >different? Were their impulses directed toward humans (wizards)
                            >originally, or were they =conditioned= to direct them that way?
                            >If the latter, is the resulting symbiosis beneficial?
                            >
                            >
                            >--Margaret Dean
                            > <margdean@...>
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                            >
                          • LSolarion@aol.com
                            In a message dated 08/01/2000 10:10:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time, margdean@erols.com writes:
                            Message 13 of 13 , Aug 3, 2000
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                              In a message dated 08/01/2000 10:10:23 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                              margdean@... writes:

                              <<
                              The next question that comes to mind at this point (at least to
                              mine) is how the house-elves came to have that "nature" in the
                              first place. What are their origins? Did they come to be
                              independently, with the impulse toward service already there? Or
                              did some primal wizard or group of wizards alter them somehow?
                              If the latter, does that count as enslavement?

                              > Our natures are disgusted at this, I
                              > think, because we are fallen and prone to rebellion against the idea of
                              > service (which we label derogatorily as subservience, obsequiousness,
                              etc.).
                              > But that's us. We may call a dog's devotion fawning or grovelling (unless
                              we
                              > are its object), but to the dog, it's natural.

                              It's natural to a dog because it serves a practical purpose in
                              the social organization of dogs. That it transfers over to
                              humans in some situations turns out to be beneficial for both
                              species (by and large. There are dog owners, of course, who take
                              just as fearsome advantage of the dog's natural inclinations as
                              the Malfoys did of Dobby's). How about house-elves? Same or
                              different? Were their impulses directed toward humans (wizards)
                              originally, or were they =conditioned= to direct them that way?
                              If the latter, is the resulting symbiosis beneficial?
                              >>

                              :::silky voice of the Enterprise computer answers:::"I'm sorry; insufficient
                              data to answer these questions."
                              Speaking hypothetically, if a wizard in the past had changed the nature of
                              house elves to make them love to serve, I suppose you could make a case for
                              saying that the particular elves so changed were enslaved. However, there
                              just isn't a mugglish analogy. Elves are magical creatures, with different
                              natures than ours. Perhaps they are unfallen, and therefore lack the
                              instinctive rebelliousness of our sinful natures (though of course Rowling
                              offers no such hints, thank goodness). We just don't know.

                              However, service seems to be the current dominant value in house-elf society,
                              as can be seen by the sudden hostility that greeted Dobby when he preached
                              (somewhat defensively) his ideal of freedom. Much like the village idiot
                              spouting the praise of folly at a Mensa convention. Poor Dobby can't help it,
                              he's a bit, you know, off...but trying to convert others arouses the social
                              defense system.
                              The symbiosis seems to work to everyone's benefit, I think; at least,
                              everyone but Hermione the meddler and Dobby the house-elf village idiot are
                              happy with it. If the house-elves see no harm in it, why should we?
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