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Re: [mythsoc] interesting take on harry potter

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    In a message dated 9/4/00 6:40:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time, ... How did reading the Harry Potter books inspire them to write about 16th century Venice? Is it
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
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      In a message dated 9/4/00 6:40:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
      smasson@... writes:

      > Well, I've just been running writing workshops with kids,
      > based on things I've always been interested in myself--
      > folktales, mythical creatures, monsters and fairies: and
      > guess what? Many more kids are interested in those
      > things now, because of the HP books. They fought over
      > my copy of Katherine Briggs' A Dictionary of Fairies;
      > they wrote brilliant stories about 16th century Venice,
      > alchemists, and the like (my suggestion).

      How did reading the Harry Potter books inspire them to write about 16th
      century Venice? Is it mentioned in one of the later books. (I've only read
      the first.)

      > The HP thing is not a fad; it was created by the children
      > themselves, not by adults--the hype has come later.

      Perhaps the early good reception of the books was created by the children
      themselves, but the more recent publicity campaigns stink to high heaven of
      hype.

      > And children are reading beyond it--my own books are
      > enjoying something of a renaissance because of it.

      I didn't even realize you were an author, Sophie. Are your books only in
      print in Australia? Or are they available elsewhere and I've just missed
      them?

      > I don't have to explain anymore why I like using
      > traditional stories as a base. Let's face it, JK Rowling
      > is not being 'original' ;she is simply reinventing tradition.

      I don't think that anybody here has complained that Rowling is working in a
      bad tradition. I think we all love children's fantasy. If we didn't, we
      wouldn't be contributing to this list. Our complaints are that the Harry
      Potter books just aren't a very good example of children's fantasy.

      > This is an old old way of writing, and a very good one.
      > She is not, by any stretch, the best writer working in
      > this field--but she is good. This is not Goosebumps,
      > that's for sure.

      Are the Goosebumps books that bad? I've never read any of them.

      > As to the complaints about characters--they are
      > archetypes, just as fairytale characters are. Just as
      > the characters in Lewis or Tolkien are. So what?

      What can I say? I like archetypal characters, and I didn't find the
      characters in the Harry Potter books to be interesting archetypal characters.

      > Harry is marked out from birth as the hero with a
      > destiny--all such heroes, from Cuchulain to Arthur,
      > have that about them: this kind of still quality. The
      > people around them often change much more. As
      > to the language--well, the books are not always as
      > inventive in that way as they could be--but let's be
      > honest. Is Lewis? Is Tolkien? Always?

      What can I say? I find Lewis's and Tolkien's language to be consistently
      more inventive.

      > And one must admit her ideas are most inventive,
      > sometimes even brilliant. There's a sprightliness, a
      > delight in tradition which I for one find most appealing.

      Again, what can I say? I didn't find her ideas particularly brilliant or
      inventive

      Wendell Wagner
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      ... youth. ... Mary S
      Message 2 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
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        Here's something fairly wild about Harry:

        > Church to offer Harry Potter service
        >
        > When Brian Coleman, Vicar of All Saints Church in Guildford, Surrey,
        > England, reads the liturgy this week, it won't be the same as in other
        > Church of England parishes.
        >
        > This one will speak of sorting hats, Muggle songs, quidditch, and
        > ton-tongue toffees. It's the Harry Potter liturgy, designed to attract
        youth.
        >
        >
        > "Young folk are all very much into Harry Potter," Coleman tells The Times.
        > "We are using this interest."
        >
        > But the Evangelical Alliance's Paul Harris, also an Anglican clergyman, is
        > dismayed.
        >
        > "We do encourage clergy to connect with contemporary culture," he says.
        > "But it is going too far to use images from Harry Potter. There is a risk
        > that children are going to be very confused by the use of symbols
        > associated with evil."
        >

        Mary S
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 09/03/2000 10:02:04 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Since you ask, Ninzian, I pretty much agree with the article at
        Message 3 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
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          In a message dated 09/03/2000 10:02:04 PM Central Daylight Time,
          Ninzian@... writes:

          > Would be
          > intersted to know what other people think --

          Since you ask, Ninzian, I pretty much agree with the article at
          http://news.excite.com/news/uw/000831/entertainment-arts-93.

          I am a little more sanguine, though, than its author about =some= children
          (at least) being sucked into reading and discovering its pleasures through
          HARRY POTTER.

          Am not so sure about the author's preference for a book called THE WESTING
          GAME. That doesn't sound wike much fun, I would wather be pwaying than
          westing.

          Mary S
        • Berni Phillips
          ... THE WESTING GAME is a good example of a book I think is highly over-rated. Fran Skene told me about it years ago (at the 1989 Mythcon?). She was a
          Message 4 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
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            >From: Stolzi@...

            >Am not so sure about the author's preference for a book called THE WESTING
            >GAME. That doesn't sound wike much fun, I would wather be pwaying than
            >westing.

            THE WESTING GAME is a good example of a book I think is highly over-rated.
            Fran Skene told me about it years ago (at the 1989 Mythcon?). She was a
            children's librarian and said the kids were crazy about this book. It's a
            mystery, not a fantasy, but I didn't find it appealing at all.

            Wendell: Re the Goosebumps books, they are much more simplistic than the
            Harry Potter books. They're obviously intended for younger readers and are
            light-hearted horror. Steven King for second-graders.

            Berni
          • Sophie Masson
            Hi Wendell I should have explained--the children were writing about 16th cent Venice because that was the idea I was working with them on--I used Renaissance
            Message 5 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
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              Hi Wendell
              I should have explained--the children were writing about 16th cent Venice
              because that was the idea I was working with them on--I used Renaissance
              portraits, some of Shakespeare's plays, stories about alchemists, etc; but
              they were familiar with the idea of alchemists and philosopher's stones etc
              because of the HP books, and very keen on entering what for them was fantasy
              worlds.
              My books are just starting to be published in the US by a small publisher
              called St Mary's press--my novel Serafin, which is based n Puss in Boots and
              the idea of the Nephilim, is now available(you can get it through amazon);
              Malkin, which was published in Australia as Cold Iron, and is based on A
              Midsummer night's Dream and the fairytale Tattercoats(and also features a
              Venetian magician called Oscuro!)will be published early next year, as will
              Clementine, which is based on Sleeping Beauty and also the nexus between the
              beluef in fairies and the pre-industrial world. My Australian-published
              books, through Hodder and Harper Collins and so on, are vailable through the
              Australian Online Bookshop, http://www.bookworm.com.au I'm happy to send
              books of mine to people personally too if they're interested; my forthcoming
              novel, The Green Prince(Hodder Headline Australia)is set around legends of
              water and the sea, it's a young boy's underwater journey to the legendary
              Green Kingdom..
              Back to Rowling. I think that perhaps many people are disturbed by the fact
              that she seems to have no specifically religious framework perhaps in her
              books--but i think many people even now don't realise that Lewis and Tolkien
              did, either. I have a good friend who is an educator and a very committed
              Catholic, and she has written to the effect that she thinks the HP books
              actually do have a very strong religious and moral framework. Others think
              not..
              Re the idea of classics versus fads: I have read the Goosebumps books and
              they are utter tripe; poorly written, exploitative, dull as dotchwater in
              the end. Same for things like Babysitters' Club style stuff. It does not
              extend you. The HP books do. Classics become classics because children grow
              up remembering the total pleasure a book gave them--and as grown ups, they
              rseek the out again and read them to their kids. It will be interesting to
              know whether Rowling's books do this. My feeling is that they will.
              Sophie

              Author site:
              http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

              -----Original Message-----
              From: WendellWag@... <WendellWag@...>
              To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
              Date: Monday, 4 September 2000 23:11
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] interesting take on harry potter


              >
              >In a message dated 9/4/00 6:40:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
              >smasson@... writes:
              >
              >> Well, I've just been running writing workshops with kids,
              >> based on things I've always been interested in myself--
              >> folktales, mythical creatures, monsters and fairies: and
              >> guess what? Many more kids are interested in those
              >> things now, because of the HP books. They fought over
              >> my copy of Katherine Briggs' A Dictionary of Fairies;
              >> they wrote brilliant stories about 16th century Venice,
              >> alchemists, and the like (my suggestion).
              >
              >How did reading the Harry Potter books inspire them to write about 16th
              >century Venice? Is it mentioned in one of the later books. (I've only
              read
              >the first.)
              >
              >> The HP thing is not a fad; it was created by the children
              >> themselves, not by adults--the hype has come later.
              >
              >Perhaps the early good reception of the books was created by the children
              >themselves, but the more recent publicity campaigns stink to high heaven of
              >hype.
              >
              >> And children are reading beyond it--my own books are
              >> enjoying something of a renaissance because of it.
              >
              >I didn't even realize you were an author, Sophie. Are your books only in
              >print in Australia? Or are they available elsewhere and I've just missed
              >them?
              >
              >> I don't have to explain anymore why I like using
              >> traditional stories as a base. Let's face it, JK Rowling
              >> is not being 'original' ;she is simply reinventing tradition.
              >
              >I don't think that anybody here has complained that Rowling is working in a
              >bad tradition. I think we all love children's fantasy. If we didn't, we
              >wouldn't be contributing to this list. Our complaints are that the Harry
              >Potter books just aren't a very good example of children's fantasy.
              >
              >> This is an old old way of writing, and a very good one.
              >> She is not, by any stretch, the best writer working in
              >> this field--but she is good. This is not Goosebumps,
              >> that's for sure.
              >
              >Are the Goosebumps books that bad? I've never read any of them.
              >
              >> As to the complaints about characters--they are
              >> archetypes, just as fairytale characters are. Just as
              >> the characters in Lewis or Tolkien are. So what?
              >
              >What can I say? I like archetypal characters, and I didn't find the
              >characters in the Harry Potter books to be interesting archetypal
              characters.
              >
              >> Harry is marked out from birth as the hero with a
              >> destiny--all such heroes, from Cuchulain to Arthur,
              >> have that about them: this kind of still quality. The
              >> people around them often change much more. As
              >> to the language--well, the books are not always as
              >> inventive in that way as they could be--but let's be
              >> honest. Is Lewis? Is Tolkien? Always?
              >
              >What can I say? I find Lewis's and Tolkien's language to be consistently
              >more inventive.
              >
              >> And one must admit her ideas are most inventive,
              >> sometimes even brilliant. There's a sprightliness, a
              >> delight in tradition which I for one find most appealing.
              >
              >Again, what can I say? I didn't find her ideas particularly brilliant or
              >inventive
              >
              >Wendell Wagner
              >
              >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >
            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 09/04/2000 8:00:26 PM Central Daylight Time, ... fantasy ... But of course the alchemists themselves thought they were being real (not
              Message 6 of 11 , Sep 5, 2000
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                In a message dated 09/04/2000 8:00:26 PM Central Daylight Time,
                smasson@... writes:

                > used Renaissance
                > portraits, some of Shakespeare's plays, stories about alchemists, etc; but
                > they were familiar with the idea of alchemists and philosopher's stones etc
                > because of the HP books, and very keen on entering what for them was
                fantasy
                > worlds.

                But of course the alchemists themselves thought they were being real (not
                fantasy) scientists. CS Lewis writes about this somewhere...

                Sounds like you had a great unit.

                Mary S
              • LSolarion@aol.com
                In a message dated 09/04/2000 11:11:10 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Stolzi@aol.com writes:
                Message 7 of 11 , Sep 6, 2000
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                  In a message dated 09/04/2000 11:11:10 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                  Stolzi@... writes:

                  << it won't be the same as in other
                  > Church of England parishes.
                  >
                  > This one will speak of sorting hats, Muggle songs, quidditch, and
                  > ton-tongue toffees. It's the Harry Potter liturgy, designed to attract
                  youth. >>

                  From clown masses in the seventies to this! You've come a short way, baby.
                  I suppose it's inevitable that once the Church waters down or loses sight of
                  the eternal, it will fall for the trendy, trading reverence for relevance.
                  Not a good bargain, in my book. Instead of trying to be what it's not and
                  chasing after every elusive fad that dies daily like the mayfly, not like St.
                  Paul, why can't the church focus on the everlasting Gospel, which is what so
                  many are looking for? Churches that do that are not hurting for young
                  members, who aren't fooled by a lot of patronizing old folks trading their
                  birthright for the pottage of appearing "with it." Young people want older
                  folks to be genuine, not blundering imitations of youth.
                • Stolzi@aol.com
                  In a message dated 09/06/2000 8:43:38 PM Central Daylight Time, ... No Harry Pottage, you re saying? :) Mary S
                  Message 8 of 11 , Sep 7, 2000
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                    In a message dated 09/06/2000 8:43:38 PM Central Daylight Time,
                    LSolarion@... writes:

                    > who aren't fooled by a lot of patronizing old folks trading their
                    > birthright for the pottage

                    No Harry Pottage, you're saying? :)

                    Mary S
                  • Sophie Masson
                    Hear, hear! Sophie Author site: http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm ... From: LSolarion@aol.com To: mythsoc@egroups.com
                    Message 9 of 11 , Sep 7, 2000
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                      Hear, hear!
                      Sophie
                      Author site:
                      http://members.xoom.com/sophiecastel/default.htm

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: LSolarion@... <LSolarion@...>
                      To: mythsoc@egroups.com <mythsoc@egroups.com>
                      Date: Thursday, 7 September 2000 11:35
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] interesting take on harry potter


                      >
                      >In a message dated 09/04/2000 11:11:10 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                      >Stolzi@... writes:
                      >
                      ><< it won't be the same as in other
                      > > Church of England parishes.
                      > >
                      > > This one will speak of sorting hats, Muggle songs, quidditch, and
                      > > ton-tongue toffees. It's the Harry Potter liturgy, designed to attract
                      > youth. >>
                      >
                      >>From clown masses in the seventies to this! You've come a short way, baby.
                      >I suppose it's inevitable that once the Church waters down or loses sight
                      of
                      >the eternal, it will fall for the trendy, trading reverence for relevance.
                      >Not a good bargain, in my book. Instead of trying to be what it's not and
                      >chasing after every elusive fad that dies daily like the mayfly, not like
                      St.
                      >Paul, why can't the church focus on the everlasting Gospel, which is what
                      so
                      >many are looking for? Churches that do that are not hurting for young
                      >members, who aren't fooled by a lot of patronizing old folks trading their
                      >birthright for the pottage of appearing "with it." Young people want older
                      >folks to be genuine, not blundering imitations of youth.
                      >
                      >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                      >
                    • LSolarion@aol.com
                      In a message dated 09/07/2000 7:40:38 AM Pacific Daylight Time, Stolzi@aol.com writes:
                      Message 10 of 11 , Sep 9, 2000
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                        In a message dated 09/07/2000 7:40:38 AM Pacific Daylight Time,
                        Stolzi@... writes:

                        << No Harry Pottage, you're saying? :)
                        >>

                        I hope not! Hair in my pottage makes my throat tickle.

                        Steve
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