Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Potter Mania!!!!!

I remember when my mom came home ten years ago, telling me that she had heard something about some book involving kids and magic and wizards that all the little British kids were going absolutely ga-ga over. It was being hailed the best kids' fantasy series since The Chronicles of Narnia, she said. I was a teenager, and while I still loved re-reading my favorite children's books from time-to-time, the idea of an 8-year old wizard going to school didn't immediately make me jump with excitement. "Oh, really, that's interesting," I said.

My mom bought the book anyway, to read to my then-preschool-aged little sister (I think my sister lost interest at that young age after the first chapter). We had a paperback copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (that's right, the British Bloomsbury version) lying around our house, and being the bookworm that I was, and bereft of anything to read one day, I picked it up and finished it in one sitting. "What'd you think?" asked my mom. I shrugged. "It's okay. I don't get the hype though."

Yes. That was the beginning of my love affair with Harry Potter. Extremely lukewarm. No immediate chemistry. This is very likely due to the fact that the first book was, well, a children's book. And I was at an age where I felt I needed a more "mature" line of plot. But as book after book came out, I kept reading, and with the release of Goblet of Fire, I was hooked. That one was my favorite by far.

Well, now we're at the end, folks. And like any good Potter fan, I've been reading the articles of speculation and reviews and essays coming out. I'll grab anything vaguely Potter-esque to procrastinate time at work with. I've read this really great Stephen King article which captures my sentiment of this series ending perfectly, and I've been reading all the "theories" that NYMag's Vulture blog have been bringing to my attention on various aspects of HP, including the most recent one directing me to this (hilarious? awesome? ridiculous?) book on the "Snape Debate" (well, he's obviously not a traitor).

Yes, I am a Potter dork, and I don't deny it. [However, I do not dress up in costume for movies. Sorry.]

Having finished book 6 again and currently re-reading book 5, I must say the following things that hit me harder than the last time I read it:

1) Is it just me or does the Ministry's way of questioning people remind you of, say, McCarthyism or, like... hmmm.. the war on terror? Sure, the new minister is a lot more tight in his policies than Fudge, and the wizarding world welcomes that, because, well, a time of war calls for a wartime politician, but um... the bus driver dude? I know Rowling is British so maybe it's not the same over there, but I got more than a hint of scary-government-who-will-try-to-take-your-liberties vibe from book 6 this time around. Or maybe that's just me.

2) Dumbledore is "overly trusting" says HP at one point. And it annoys him (cuz of the whole Snape deal), and how Dumbledore keeps hoping that even though Tom Riddle shows his dark side at an early age, that maybe he'd straighten out (foolishly, apparently). Or how Dumbledore gives people second chances. And maybe he's dumb to do so. Maybe he's taken in for a ride. But isn't that part of what makes him so good? Sometimes he may be wrong, yes, as in Riddle's case. But he's not dumb to it. He sees the danger, but he opts to err on the side of hopefulness. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt. The reason this resonates with me is because, well, this is how I try to live my life in regards to my attitude towards people. And I know some people think I'm stupid for it. But I'm not blind to the possibilities and the character flaws in people. But, like Dumbledore, I'd rather hope for the better. Seeing that character trait in someone so archtypically good as he is makes me feel like maybe it's the right way to live.

Anyway. Movie in a few days (Moonrat's seeing it tonight, people!), and when the new book comes out, I'll be disappearing into my hole, not coming up for air until I'm done (ie: all of Sunday the 22nd will be spent reading as the 21st I have another commitment).

Potter and I started out as such a lukewarm love affair. But I've grown to love him, but like any relationship, I guess, we'll soon have to part ways.... *sniff*

1 drops:

moonrat said...

me too!! i hated Potter at first!!!

how our lives change.

Post a Comment