Sunday, May 04, 2008

The original concept for this blog was that it would be a place for dialog on literature. At the time I created it, I was minoring in English and still studying Political Science. Those days seem so far away now.

In just a few short months, unless Murphy decides to show up and wave his law around, I will be graduating with a masters in mathematics. Later this summer I will be celebrating my second wedding anniversary, and next year I will be attending my sister's wedding. Isn't it amazing what a few years will do?

For the past few years, I have been tied up with my studies. Let no one say that a masters in mathematics is an easy degree. It meant lots of sacrifices including not writing and less reading. Yet that chapter of my life is drawing to a close, and I find myself returning to this blog. It will be a few months before I write anything here, but already I am ogling my bookshelf. I want to reread Harry 7 and then start in on Neal Stephenson and Neil Gaiman and of course more Dumas.

Since I can only be who I am, I believe this means I will return to writing and all of the wonder it provides. Just a month and a half from now, I will be back.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I would like to say thank you to everyone who has been commenting lately. :) In answer to your questions, yes, I have read the seventh book and I am debating writing a review. Without spoiling anything, there is a lot of great imagery in this book and I think I won't be able to help but write on it. For now, have fun reading! If you have read, leave a comment and let me know what you thought.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I placed the seventh book on the shelf today, feeling a slight pain in my stomach as I did so. I was saying goodbye to my good friends, until I returned to visit them once more. As the Three Musketeers had stolen my heart, so had Ron, Harry, and Hermione.

There are many who are quick to point out the Harry Potter series is not brilliant, nor is its plot entirely original. Many who do not understand the wonder that the world has found in this saga. Yet it is not the story itself, but rather how the story is told, that captured our imaginations. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are the best of friends, bonded together by love and hope in an unending testament to loyalty, bravery, and self-sacrifice. They are our friends, too, as we turn each page, and Hogwarts is perhaps even our second home. Dumbledore, Neville, McGonagall, and all the other characters that so enthralled us are there, waiting for us to visit them once again.

The wonder I found in these books goes beyond what I find in most. They are of a rare variety, the book that so captures us that we cannot help feel entwined in each word, each laugh, each tear. For a few days I might feel a loss after finishing a final page in a regular book, but for Harry, I shall always feel that burning to return to his world and life--to return to my friends and the love that dwells with them.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I just saw the Harry Potter movie and it's the first one I really loved since the first came out. The director perfectly meshed the fantasy/wonder element with the dark world that Harry must face.

Every bit of it was perfect except for Michael Gambon. He was a better, more believable Dumbledore in this movie, but there were moments that were so un-Dumbledore like I cringed and I was thrown out of the story. There were others complaining about it after the film as well. I know a handful of people that like him as Dumbledore, but to me he is the antithesis of what Dumbledore is all about. Gambon plays an emotional, often surprised or taken aback character, while the Dumbledore I read is a calm man that is seemingly always in control. Much of his power actually lies in his ability to take things seemingly in stride. Unlike Gambon's Dumbledore, he would never yell at kids to get back to studying, especially not out of his own frustrations. (Just as in the fourth movie, my Dumbledore would never have taken Harry and started shaking him while asking if he put his name in the goblet). Still, in the ending scene, Gambon was the Dumbledore I would have expected, and that was when it was most important.

The whole movie just wowed me. There were clearly many in the theater that hadn't read the books and they were loudly enjoying it/showing their shock at different scenes. I think this enhanced the whole experience. Tonks was pretty cool, Luna was perfect, Voldemort was just as I envisioned.

Most important, however, was the strength of love and friendship in this movie. The possession scene is especially well done on that front and more frightening than how it was written in the book. In the end the Harry Potter books are not about the darkness Harry must face, but about the strength he finds in love. This movie shows that in all its pain and glory.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention Umbridge. She was more powerful in the magical sense in the movie than the book, but this served only to make her that much more dangerous. She had the "hem hem" down perfectly and was exactly how I had pictured the character.

All in all a great movie that I plan to see again and again.

What they didn't show was the animosity between Harry and Snape when Harry finds out Snape was the one that had turned his parents in. I don't know how they'll recover that for the sixth movie, since much of the foundation of the second to last book was that hatred and anger between Snape and Harry.**/SPOILERS**

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bumper Sticker and more thoughts

Potter for President 2008! Buy a bumper sticker and enter to win the book. I just think the bumper sticker looks cool.

Since these comments don't seem to have a nifty reply feature, I want to wave hi to the most recent readers/comment makers. I'm glad you're enjoying the ideas here!

I personally don't think she will kill Harry if only because the coming of age theme seems stronger than the epic theme. A sacrifice will have to be made, but I'm not convinced it is Harry. I do, however, worry about Neville, Ron, Luna, etc. I guess we'll know soon enough!!!! I'm really worried about Ron because of the unicorn hair and the willow wand, but he's my favorite character so I'd rather he lived.

Friday, June 29, 2007

So it is no secret that I don't exactly update this site very often. I am always surprised when someone leaves a comment. It is especially a laugh when someone reads one of my outdated articles and comments how stupid I must be to not have seen in one of the later books how my ideas were clearly contradicted. Um, it would help if the commenter paid attention to when the essay was written. I'm also awed when someone uses my work for reference or just stops by to read. It is sad that I have lost most comments due to not being able to access my haloscan account.

I do actually love this site, which is why I haven't taken it down yet. Some of my ideas may be antiquated, but many of them are still holding true. A part of me knows that when I delete this site, I will deleting a chunk of my life in a way. The part of me that used to write essays on literature. Somewhere along the way math took over English and here I am.

Harry Potter. I still can't believe the final book is almost here. So much has happened to me since I first picked up The Philosopher's Stone. I've finished school, on no less than three occasions! I've gotten married. I've been pregnant then miscarried. I've lived more than I ever could have expected. There's still more ahead of me, and much behind, but finishing this last feels so strange. Like me, Harry has grown so much. He went from being a miserable child that was lost in a dark world, to a young man that, though in a different sort of dark world, found his purpose. He has loved just as he has hated. He has laughed and he has cried. He has grown with me, and I fear our time to say goodbye is here.

In most epics, I read the story knowing the main character will die. I may grow with them, but they usually lead a full life before I have to turn away. Would Rowling dare kill Harry at such a youthful age? I don't think so, if only for the reason that he is our friend and companion, we need to have hope in his future. However, I fear that she might kill others. Is Ron safe with his willow wand and unicorn hair? What of Neville or Hagrid? Part of me dreads picking up this last episode in Harry's life, because I am bound to say goodbye to someone. Just as in life, I have had to say goodbye to many.

As the seventh book draws closer, I thank all of you who ever read one of my essays or gave me input, you made the Harry experience that much more entertaining. I hope that the last and final book ends on a solemn chord of hope, begging us to return to the many volumes again and again, as though visiting an old friend. For Harry, Rodney, Hermione et. all, they are my friends in my heart, no further away than my own imagination.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm rereading book five of the Harry Potter series and I'm realizing what a terrible way to end the books it would be if she killed Harry. From a literary sense, actually it would fit in well with the whole sacrificial love idea, but from a reader's point of view...I don't know. It almost would feel like cheating. She introduced us to a kid who had nothing and found himself a world where he was special, and while Harry has had to live through quite the ordeals over the last few years, I want to see him succeed. I want him to be an auror or a professor or among the next greats. I want to be able to imagine him eventually getting married, having kids, and continuing the cycle of love that was started with his family. If he dies, I'll be robbed of this unless I decide to let my imagination run AU. I think Rowling knows this so I'm thinking she won't kill him. It's her books to do as she wants, but I can hope.

In a similar light, I really want Snape to be good. I know, I know, it could go either way and it really is up to her, but I always saw these books as having a tone of redemption in them. In earlier books, I read Snape as a figure that had gone as dark as dark could get then realized that even power wasn't worth it. Was he still evil in his own way? Probably. But he had chosen a better way at some point and it spoke to his character. I don't know if this is the route she will actually go, however, and if she is basing a lot of this on Machiavelli's The Prince as it seems, well, I wouldn't be surprised if Snape was working for no one but himself. But I need him to have some good inside of him. I need her to show that as Sirius said, the world isn't divided into just deatheaters and good guys.

I guess that's enough rambling for now.