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Re: [mythsoc] interesting take on harry potter

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  • 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 1 of 11 , Sep 4, 2000
      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 2 of 11 , Sep 5, 2000
        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 3 of 11 , Sep 6, 2000
          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 4 of 11 , Sep 7, 2000
            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 5 of 11 , Sep 7, 2000
              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 6 of 11 , Sep 9, 2000
                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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