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Old 01-23-2008, 06:04 AM   #12
montsnmags
Grand Sorcerer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpiderMatt View Post
Cool, thanks for sharing. It was a good article. I'm definitely one of those people who underestimates the power of Potter, though.
Excellent, I sort of thought/hoped you might like it. There's no onus to agree with it, of course.

Quote:
Reading Harry Potter is popular. I'm skeptical about its long-term carryover effect for other literature.
There's nothing at all wrong with skepticism - it's how I run my life (that, and the red, blue and green pills, and the daily paid-for beatings, and the icecream...but I digress... ).

Quote:
As someone who has loved books his entire life, I found it pretty irksome when the Pottermania hit and I had to suddenly defend my literary tastes against those who viewed Harry Potter as the pinnacle of literary achievement
I wonder if it's worth considering whether you "had to" defend your literary tastes. Sometimes it is an exercise in frustration and pointlessness to defend yourself against someone who is launching their attack from an immovable position (especially when their position may seem irrational and untenable ). It's also worthwhile considering whether you might be similarly staged. I am thinking (from experience of doing the same) that "irksome" might be an intentional understatement on your part, yes?

On the other hand, if you figure out how to resolve such an internal, intellectual stand-off, please advise.

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(an old argument with a friend from school comes to mind: he tried to argue that HP was better than Tolkien's LOTR; the heated emotion and sense of blasphemy that I felt is hard to explain).
...and, hey, that's fair enough. It is completely abhorrent and your friend should be beaten about the head with a large, hardback tome of the combined Lord of the Rings books (with The Silmarillion and The Hobbit jammed in each nasal orifice for good measure)...you know, just by way of offering a convincing contrary argument. I feel the blasphemy, I do!

We should probably not turn it into a religious issue though, hey?

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Only after I read the first four books of HP (which is how many there were at the time) did I understand why it was a popular series. It is a good series, but not great.
I would tend to agree. It's how I felt too - I actually resisted for some time, being a LotR "purist", but I'm glad I let my "purity" (ie. snobbery) go, as I did enjoy them. My only view that might contest my agreement is that HP's "greatness" may show in what it did. Never in my life have I seen so many (so young!) children reading such large books everywhere, with parents lining up for a new release and buying each of their children, and themselves, a copy, and then watching coffee shops fill up with these people as they couldn't wait to get it home to start. Add that to the rest of the "mania", and, well, it's pretty impressive...great even. See, Harry Potter is mostly over, but the kids, started in on this, will want more. For me, this has lead them into great things, and perhaps they'll get around to some of the greatest (LotR? ).

I really like that, and I like JKR for doing that. The best part for me though is that one of those kids may be inspired (even, or especially, if it's from an already "I can do much better than JKR" attitude) to write something that might leave all our favourites and greats behind. That's a great dream I like to hold up there as a possibility.

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I can't help but feel that if these people read more, they would understand that.

Sorry for my literary snobbery. It's just how I've always been and I see no reason to change.
...but they will read more. As mentioned, when the source runs dry, you've got to find another well.

As for your "literary snobbery", just so's long as your lack of "reason to change" isn't because "it's just how [you've] always been". That way lies stagnation, and you don't seem to me at all to be the stagnant type.

Cheers,
Marc
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