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Re: [mythsoc] My two bits on HPV

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  • alexeik@aol.com
    In a message dated 6/30/3 5:12:37 PM, Kevin wrote: He called them fancy and imagination,
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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      In a message dated 6/30/3 5:12:37 PM, Kevin wrote:

      <<Coleridge made a distinction between
      fantasy and imagination:>>

      He called them fancy and imagination, however.
      Alexei
    • Kevin Bowring
      You re right of course. (An embarassing slip up that I ll conveniently blame on too little sleep over the last few days.) I would still tend to see Rowling
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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        You're right of course. (An embarassing slip up that I'll conveniently blame on
        too little sleep over the last few days.) I would still tend to see Rowling
        operating at the level of fancy--though I still hope for more.
        Kevin

        alexeik@... wrote:

        > In a message dated 6/30/3 5:12:37 PM, Kevin wrote:
        >
        > <<Coleridge made a distinction between
        > fantasy and imagination:>>
        >
        > He called them fancy and imagination, however.
        > Alexei
        >
        >
        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
      • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
        He called them fancy and imagination, however. OK gentlemen. And how did he define them?
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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          <<Coleridge made a distinction between
          fantasy and imagination:>>

          He called them fancy and imagination, however. >>

          OK gentlemen. And how did he define them? And in which category did the
          Xanadu fragment fall?

          and thank you Alexei for the dictionary info... I was hoping you would jump
          in there. :-)

          Lizzie Triano
          lizziewriter@...
          amor vincit omnia
        • Kevin Bowring
          My goodness, I knew I should keep my mouth shut!!! Here I am, sitting in my office trying to work on my dissertation and now I have created a huge distraction
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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            My goodness, I knew I should keep my mouth shut!!! Here I am, sitting in my
            office trying to work on my dissertation and now I have created a huge
            distraction for myself. I will really have to reply to this later, because the
            answer is quite involved. But a brief, first approximation might be something
            like this:

            Coleridge, following a long philosophic tradition, distinguished between insights
            into the deep structure and meaning of existence which are a reflection of divine
            origin of things (Coleridge calls this Reason, or sometimes the platonic NOUS
            [Latin, Intellectus]), and more superficial insights have to do with means and
            ends or simple causes and effects (this he calls Understanding, or the platonic
            DIANOIA [Latin, Ratio]). Imagination is connected to the deeper form of insight,
            fancy to the more superficial and is characterized by a kind of rearrangement and
            cobbling together of things well known. Fancy, I would say, may be creative,
            inventive, and entertaining (it may also manifest itself as the worst forms of
            kitsch), but Imagination touches some deeper mystery--the mythic, the (Ugh,
            forgive me!) metaphysical. Tolkien's "subcreation" is closely related to
            Coleridge's Imagination.

            These matters are highly controversial in literary circles, of course. I just
            have to say that I am on the side of Owen Barfield's interpretation of all this;
            I would highly recommend his What Coleridge Thought for the details (chapters VII
            and VIII), as well as his Poetic Diction which approaches the same subject matter
            from a rather different direction.

            No doubt, others of you out there know a lot more about this than I do and will
            have some corrections, qualifications, and outright objections. That's one of
            the reasons why I joined this list. If someone better than myself (please God)
            doesn't clear all this up, I will try to put something together when I am at home
            and have to right books at my fingertips.

            Cheers,
            Kevin

            Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:

            > <<Coleridge made a distinction between
            > fantasy and imagination:>>
            >
            > He called them fancy and imagination, however. >>
            >
            > OK gentlemen. And how did he define them? And in which category did the
            > Xanadu fragment fall?
            >
            > and thank you Alexei for the dictionary info... I was hoping you would jump
            > in there. :-)
            >
            > Lizzie Triano
            > lizziewriter@...
            > amor vincit omnia
            >
            >
            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
          • Berni Phillips
            From: Kevin Bowring ... others, ... I just finished it as well. Yes, it had a hefty page count, but it never bored me and I zipped through
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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              From: "Kevin Bowring" <bowring@...>


              > Well, I just finish HPV. I am afraid I didn't enjoy it as much as the
              others,
              > and I agree that it was too long.

              I just finished it as well. Yes, it had a hefty page count, but it never
              bored me and I zipped through it in two days, so I would say it didn't feel
              too long to me.

              From here on, I'm going to go into spoiler territory, so

              SPOILER SPACE

              S

              P

              O

              I

              L

              E

              R


              S

              P

              A

              C

              E



              >During this book I kept re-imagining scenes in
              > forms that I would have liked better. Coleridge made a distinction
              between
              > fantasy and imagination: Rowling seems to operate from the former more
              than the
              > latter--she doesn't really seem to reach the "mythic" very often, and I
              keep
              > wanting to sense something deeper going on beneath the story surface.

              I felt this was a transitional book. Harry is so moody, he is much less
              likeable. It was kind of a shock to find out that his father tormented
              Snape when they were students. James Potter and Sirius were likened to Fred
              and George, but their bullying behavior was more like Malfoy and his
              cronies. It was inexcusable at any age. So maybe James wasn't the shining
              hero we've been led to believe. And Aunt Petunia is shown in a slightly
              more favorable light.

              I see the whole series as light fantasy -- not much of the mythic except in
              the creation of a hidden world of magic and her use of mythological
              creatures -- including the original ones which Hagrid brings into class.

              >I felt
              > this from the beginning, but the earlier book were enjoyable for their
              shear
              > inventiveness.

              I agree, this is one of the series' strongest charms. There was not much
              new except for Fred's and George's joke-shop inventions, which weren't
              terribly amusing to the reader.

              >Also, I want Harry to
              > grow as a character, but he seems much the same at the end of HPV as he
              does at
              > the beginning, despite everything that has happened.

              No, he doesn't really grow. He's stuck in an adolescent state of hormones
              and rebelliousness that isn't terribly attractive.

              Ginny Weasley, though -- keep your eye on that girl! Note how smoothly
              she's going through puberty, socially-speaking. She's picking and choosing
              which guys she wants to date, she's good at Quidditch, and she's showing
              strong skills as a wizard already.

              Another one who grew in this book was Neville. I was afraid that he was to
              be the one killed off, which would have been a pity as he is just now
              blossoming. Wouldn't it be a hoot if he were the one who kills Voldemort in
              the end after all?

              I found the death of Sirius didn't really touch me that much. He, too, was
              much less appealing in this book. We saw him as a teen, egging on James to
              torment Snape. He tries to live vicariously through Harry, egging him on to
              what he shouldn't. His death was nowhere near as touching as the torment
              Mrs. Weasley went through with the boggart showing her all her loved ones
              dead.

              It was good to get a good reason why Harry has to return to Privet Drive
              each summer and also that the Sorting Hat had wanted to put Hermione in
              Ravenclaw, where she so clearly belongs.

              Berni
            • Kevin Bowring
              ... I agree--I thought they were positively tedious, despite their usefulness against Umbridge. ... This was part of the problem with the book: over the course
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 30, 2003
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                Berni Phillips wrote:

                > There was not much new except for Fred's and George's joke-shop inventions,
                > which weren't terribly amusing to the reader.

                I agree--I thought they were positively tedious, despite their usefulness against
                Umbridge.

                > No, he doesn't really grow. He's stuck in an adolescent state of hormones
                > and rebelliousness that isn't terribly attractive.

                This was part of the problem with the book: over the course of some 870 pages, a
                little growth would be good, even if as you rightly say this is a "transitional
                book".

                Also, I entirely agree with you about Ginny and Neville, although Ron and
                Hermione seemed a little flatter as characters.

                > I found the death of Sirius didn't really touch me that much. He, too, was
                > much less appealing in this book. We saw him as a teen, egging on James to
                > torment Snape. He tries to live vicariously through Harry, egging him on to
                > what he shouldn't. His death was nowhere near as touching as the torment
                > Mrs. Weasley went through with the boggart showing her all her loved ones
                > dead.

                This is exactly the kind of thing that was problematic to me. And because you
                don't feel strongly about the death of Sirius--a character I had really liked in
                the previous books--Harry's anger at Dumbledore seems forced and too peevish.
                Also, the confrontation between Harry and Dumbledore opened up enormous
                imaginative possibilities that, it seemed to me, never came to fruition. I hate
                it when I am imagining something better than what is in the book! I also found
                myself circling clunky phraseology. (Maybe I was just getting cranky from doing
                so much writing of my own.)

                > It was good to get a good reason why Harry has to return to Privet Drive
                > each summer and also that the Sorting Hat had wanted to put Hermione in
                > Ravenclaw, where she so clearly belongs.

                Again, couldn't agree more--but more could have been, should have been, done with
                it.

                Berni, I appreciated all your comments

                Kevin
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