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Re: [mythsoc] article on HP and mythopoesis

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  • Matthew S Winslow
    ... character ... speak ... be ... Dursley ... So, which one are you, Wendell? Harry or Dudley? In a more serious vein, I think kids probably /can/
    Message 1 of 10 , Feb 22, 2001
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      On Thu, 22 Feb 2001 10:14:12 EST WendellWag@... writes:
      > I think that whenever J. K. Rowling does a book
      > signing, she should ask the children as they come up to her, "Which
      character
      > in the books do you think your life most resembles?" Anyone who says
      > "Harry Potter" she should slap silly. Yes, there are children who live

      > unhappy lives these days, but any child who gets to go see an author
      speak
      > and have them autograph their copy of the book is extremely unlikely to
      be
      > one of those children. On the other hand, if a child says "Dudley
      Dursley"
      > she should shake their hand and praise them for at least being honest.

      > Then she should slap them silly for having been spoiled all their life.

      So, which one are you, Wendell? Harry or Dudley? <g>

      In a more serious vein, I think kids probably /can/ identify with Harry
      in the same way people can identify with Frodo or Sam. Not that any of
      them have had their finger bit off by Gollum, or accompanied their master
      to the Cracks of Doom, but in that the travails of a certain character
      can resonate with one. It's the whole idea of empathizing with a
      character: you don't necessarily have to have gone through Harry's total
      experiences, but any child who feels he or she has had a particularly
      rough childhood and has been unjustly picked on can identify with Harry.

      Of course, I realize you ask particularly about resemblance and not about
      identification, so I'd say your question immediately begs the answer. /Of
      course/ no one's life resembles Harry's, but no one's resembles Frodo's
      either, for that matter.

      Matt

      Currently Reading: The World Turned Upside Down by Christopher Hill
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    • David S. Bratman
      ... character ... Methinks this protesteth too much. Grotesque child abuse at home is not the sole component of Harry Potter s life. The keynote in his
      Message 2 of 10 , Feb 22, 2001
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        WendellWag@... writes:

        > I think that whenever J. K. Rowling does a book
        > signing, she should ask the children as they come up to her, "Which
        character
        > in the books do you think your life most resembles?" Anyone who says
        > "Harry Potter" she should slap silly. Yes, there are children who live
        > unhappy lives these days, but any child who gets to go see an author speak
        > and have them autograph their copy of the book is extremely unlikely to be
        > one of those children.

        Methinks this protesteth too much. "Grotesque child abuse at home" is not
        the sole component of Harry Potter's life. The keynote in his life is
        being secretly special but generally unappreciated, and I suspect most
        children feel that way. That is probably part of what makes him popular in
        the first place.

        David Bratman
      • daeron@bellsouth.net
        ... [snip] ... Well, it was new to me. I m kind of a newbie here. I m no stranger to the fictional works of Lewis and Tolkien but I did not know what the
        Message 3 of 10 , Mar 2, 2001
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          --- In mythsoc@y..., Matthew S Winslow <mithlond@j...> wrote:
          > Here's an interesting article on Harry Potter that talks a bit about
          > mythopoesis. Nothing really new to this group
          [snip]
          > www.cornerstonemag.com/cm/imaginarium/features/muggle.html

          Well, it was new to me. I'm kind of a newbie here. I'm no stranger
          to the fictional works of Lewis and Tolkien but I did not know what
          the term "mythopoesis" meant nor that they had coined it. I can see
          that it's going to be something of a life changing concept for me.

          Is the definition in the above referenced article satisfactory for
          everyone? Is there a better or more complete one I should know of?
          Where can I find a more thorough discussion of the idea, preferably
          by Lewis or Tolkien?

          David Finnamore
        • Trudy Shaw
          Welcome, David -- Start with Tolkien s essay On Fairy-Stories in The Tolkien Reader, which I m sure is still available in paperback (I hope so, since I m
          Message 4 of 10 , Mar 3, 2001
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            Welcome, David --

            Start with Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories" in The Tolkien Reader, which I'm sure is still available in paperback (I hope so, since I'm about ready for a new one). Then, in the same book, move to "Leaf by Niggle" for a delightful use of the ideas. "On Fairy-Stories," in fact, includes the poem which Tolkien says he "...wrote to a man who described myth and fairy-story as... 'Breathing a lie through Silver.'" The man he wrote it for was C.S. Lewis, and although the poem isn't given a title in the essay, it usually goes by "Mythopoesis."

            That's just the beginning. The door opens wide from there, with Tolkien's own letters, other people's books on Tolkien's writing (I'd especially suggest those by Verlyn Flieger), and comments by Tolkien's son Christopher in the many books he's published of his father's work posthumously.

            I'm more of a Tolkien person than a Lewis one, so there are others here who can comment on him. Of course, the only reason I'm sending this note instead of any of the other members here who could give the same info, is that I seem to have gotten to the computer first this morning! Others will add more, I'm sure. It's a fantastic journey that never ends.

            --Trudy Shaw

            --- Original Message -----
            From: daeron@...
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 4:49 PM
            Subject: [mythsoc] Re: article on HP and mythopoesis


            --- In mythsoc@y..., Matthew S Winslow <mithlond@j...> wrote:
            > Here's an interesting article on Harry Potter that talks a bit about
            > mythopoesis. Nothing really new to this group
            [snip]
            > www.cornerstonemag.com/cm/imaginarium/features/muggle.html

            Well, it was new to me. I'm kind of a newbie here. I'm no stranger
            to the fictional works of Lewis and Tolkien but I did not know what
            the term "mythopoesis" meant nor that they had coined it. I can see
            that it's going to be something of a life changing concept for me.

            Is the definition in the above referenced article satisfactory for
            everyone? Is there a better or more complete one I should know of?
            Where can I find a more thorough discussion of the idea, preferably
            by Lewis or Tolkien?

            David Finnamore


            Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



            The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Ted Sherman
            Also, read Lewis s Preface in the Eerdmans editions of George MacDonald s _Lilith_ and _Phantastes_, in which he discusses mythopoesis and asserts that
            Message 5 of 10 , Mar 3, 2001
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              Also, read Lewis's Preface in the Eerdmans editions of George MacDonald's _Lilith_ and _Phantastes_, in which he discusses mythopoesis and asserts that MacDonald is the supreme mythopoeic artist.

              Ted Sherman

              Trudy Shaw wrote:

              > Welcome, David --
              >
              > Start with Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories" in The Tolkien Reader, which I'm sure is still available in paperback (I hope so, since I'm about ready for a new one). Then, in the same book, move to "Leaf by Niggle" for a delightful use of the ideas. "On Fairy-Stories," in fact, includes the poem which Tolkien says he "...wrote to a man who described myth and fairy-story as... 'Breathing a lie through Silver.'" The man he wrote it for was C.S. Lewis, and although the poem isn't given a title in the essay, it usually goes by "Mythopoesis."
              >
              > That's just the beginning. The door opens wide from there, with Tolkien's own letters, other people's books on Tolkien's writing (I'd especially suggest those by Verlyn Flieger), and comments by Tolkien's son Christopher in the many books he's published of his father's work posthumously.
              >
              > I'm more of a Tolkien person than a Lewis one, so there are others here who can comment on him. Of course, the only reason I'm sending this note instead of any of the other members here who could give the same info, is that I seem to have gotten to the computer first this morning! Others will add more, I'm sure. It's a fantastic journey that never ends.
              >
              > --Trudy Shaw
              >
              > --- Original Message -----
              > From: daeron@...
              > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Friday, March 02, 2001 4:49 PM
              > Subject: [mythsoc] Re: article on HP and mythopoesis
              >
              > --- In mythsoc@y..., Matthew S Winslow <mithlond@j...> wrote:
              > > Here's an interesting article on Harry Potter that talks a bit about
              > > mythopoesis. Nothing really new to this group
              > [snip]
              > > www.cornerstonemag.com/cm/imaginarium/features/muggle.html
              >
              > Well, it was new to me. I'm kind of a newbie here. I'm no stranger
              > to the fictional works of Lewis and Tolkien but I did not know what
              > the term "mythopoesis" meant nor that they had coined it. I can see
              > that it's going to be something of a life changing concept for me.
              >
              > Is the definition in the above referenced article satisfactory for
              > everyone? Is there a better or more complete one I should know of?
              > Where can I find a more thorough discussion of the idea, preferably
              > by Lewis or Tolkien?
              >
              > David Finnamore
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              >
              >
              >
              > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/

              --
              Dr. Theodore James Sherman, Editor
              Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Mythopoeic Literature
              Associate Professor of English
              Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
              Murfreesboro, TN 37132
              615 898-5836 Office
              615 898-5098 FAX
              tsherman@...
            • daeron@bellsouth.net
              Thank you, Trudy and Dr. Sherman! I ve read The Hobbit, LotR, the Silmarrilion, and The Lost Tales many times but somehow have never gotten ahold of The
              Message 6 of 10 , Mar 3, 2001
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                Thank you, Trudy and Dr. Sherman! I've read The Hobbit, LotR, the
                Silmarrilion, and The Lost Tales many times but somehow have never
                gotten ahold of The Tolkien Reader. I was oblivious to George
                MacDonald until I subscribed to this list. Looks like I've got some
                reading to do. Don't tales ever have an end? :-)
              • Wayne G. Hammond
                ... I m sure is still available in paperback (I hope so, since I m about ready for a new one). Then, in the same book, move to Leaf by Niggle for a
                Message 7 of 10 , Mar 3, 2001
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                  Trudy wrote:

                  >Start with Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories" in The Tolkien Reader, which
                  I'm sure is still available in paperback (I hope so, since I'm about ready
                  for a new one). Then, in the same book, move to "Leaf by Niggle" for a
                  delightful use of the ideas. "On Fairy-Stories," in fact, includes the
                  poem which Tolkien says he "...wrote to a man who described myth and
                  fairy-story as... 'Breathing a lie through Silver.'" The man he wrote it
                  for was C.S. Lewis, and although the poem isn't given a title in the essay,
                  it usually goes by "Mythopoesis."

                  The title of the poem is "Mythopoeia". Only a few lines are quoted in "On
                  Fairy-Stories". For the complete poem, don't go to _The Tolkien Reader_,
                  but instead, find one of the editions of _Tree and Leaf_ beginning in 1988
                  that say "including the poem Mythopoeia": in these the complete poem has
                  been added to the volume.

                  Wayne Hammond
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