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AS Byatt disses Harry

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  • Joan Marie Verba
    ... Especially interesting, I think, is her reference to the childhood fantasy that one s ordinary family isn t one s REAL family, which is much more exciting,
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 7, 2003
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      Stolzi@... wrote:
      >
      > http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/07/opinion/07BYAT.html
      >
      > I disagree with a lot of this (not the last two paras though) but found it
      > provocative.

      Especially interesting, I think, is her reference to the childhood
      fantasy that one's ordinary family isn't one's REAL family, which is
      much more exciting, and that therefore the Dursley's ARE Harry's real
      family.
      >
      > Here's one in which the Educational Establishment defends itself:
      >
      > http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/index.cfm?id=735522003

      Also interesting.

      Thanks for forwarding these.
      Joan
      ******************************************
      Joan Marie Verba
      verba001@...
      http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
    • David S. Bratman
      I m still only halfway in book 5. Throughout the earlier HP books, I was mildly appalled at what a loose ship Dumbledore runs, allowing students to be put in
      Message 2 of 4 , Jul 7, 2003
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        I'm still only halfway in book 5.

        Throughout the earlier HP books, I was mildly appalled at what a loose ship
        Dumbledore runs, allowing students to be put in needless danger, coddling
        incompetent teachers, and so on. Hagrid makes a wonderful friend, but he's
        a really bad teacher: no lesson plan, no safety considerations, doesn't
        even really know his own material, and so on. I kept wondering why more
        parents didn't withdraw their students from the school.

        So, nasty as Fudge and Umbridge are - and as appalling as they are in other
        ways - I think they have a point. The main reason my sympathies stay as
        strongly with Dumbledore as they do is because on the big issues, he's
        right and Fudge is not only wrong but wilfully blind. But how do we know -
        besides what the characters say - that this is so? Because, uh, Rowling
        tells us so.

        Far more than with a Sauron's-eye view of LOTR, HP needs a Ministry's-eye
        view rewrite. To be fair, Rowling gives them their say. If they were
        right, and the others wrong, about Voldemort, their punishments would be no
        less justified than Dumbledore's sloppiness.

        One stylistic note I find clashing in this book is the way the adults refer
        to each other by first names even when talking to the children, who are
        nevertheless expected to call most of them by last names. (This is more
        obvious in the Order than among the teachers.) I keep having to remind
        myself who this "Molly" is; I know her as Mrs. Weasley. Most of my
        friends' children know their parents' friends by first names; but when I
        was a child, and called my parents' friends by last names, they and my
        parents were all quite consistent in using those last names in talking to
        me, and used first names in my presence only when directly addressing each
        other. Only after I became an adult did I switch to first names. Both
        these systems are consistent; Rowling's strikes me as inconsistent and
        rather odd.

        - David Bratman
      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 7/7/2003 12:49:14 PM Central Daylight Time, ... If you feel this way, you definitely need to read the URL I gave from Scotland.
        Message 3 of 4 , Jul 7, 2003
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          In a message dated 7/7/2003 12:49:14 PM Central Daylight Time,
          dbratman@... writes:


          > Far more than with a Sauron's-eye view of LOTR, HP needs a Ministry's-eye
          > view rewrite.

          If you feel this way, you definitely need to read the URL I gave from
          Scotland.

          http://www.scotlandonsunday.com/index.cfm?id=735522003

          Diamond Proudbrook



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