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Re: [mythsoc] Harry Potter revisionist history

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  • David S. Bratman
    ... And is pretty funny about it too, therefore on two grounds I disagree with Kevin s description of a humorless Gradgrind. ... The role of pure
    Message 1 of 4 , Nov 8, 2002
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      At 09:13 AM 11/8/2002 , Susan Palwick wrote:
      >The writer has a point!

      And is pretty funny about it too, therefore on two grounds I disagree with
      Kevin's description of "a humorless Gradgrind."

      >On the other hand, at least some readers (although
      >not this one) are a bit uncomfortable with what a huge role luck and chance
      >play in Frodo's quest too -- although Frodo also consistently makes important
      >choices.

      The role of pure happenstantial luck in LOTR is extremely limited. It's
      how Bilbo got the Ring (and note that this event is in The Hobbit, not
      LOTR), but that can hardly be considered lucky for Frodo. Most cases of
      luck in LOTR - especially the luck that gets Frodo & Sam to the Fire - are
      not happenstantial at all, but are the result of characters making their
      own luck through courage and integrity. (There's an old saying, "Luck
      favors the prepared mind.")

      What there's even less of in LOTR than luck is what the writer was
      complaining of in Harry Potter - useful abilities descending on the hero
      without any effort or even awareness on his part, and not at all tied in
      with his other characteristics. (A boy who wears glasses, the best at a
      game requiring spotting a nearly invisible ball? Possible, perhaps, but it
      clashes: Harry seems thrown together out of disparate pieces.)

      >Is anybody going to WisCon this year?

      I'm not, but I've been a couple of times, and enjoyed it greatly. Probably
      one of the best conventions around to discuss literature seriously with
      intelligent people, and its interests and approach differ from Mythcon's:
      feminist "soft" science-fiction is its focus. There will definitely be
      people there - more than at Mythcon, surely - who will remember _Flying in
      Place_, and welcome its author fondly. Tell them now that you're coming,
      and they'll undoubtably put you on programming. Then you can't back out!
      (And then you'll go every year, and perhaps never make it to Mythcon at
      all, sigh.) A few Mythies go to Wiscon regularly, including the Tolkien
      scholar Richard West, who is a local.

      - David Bratman
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