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Old 09-29-2010, 11:28 AM   #61
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Harry Potter tops my list of my favorite banned books. I've got to read more books on this list. Who are these people who want to ban these books?
J. R. R. Tolkien once asked a question about people who vilify escapist literature. Who would be most hostile to the idea of escape?

His friend C. S. Lewis answered: "Jailers"
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:55 PM   #62
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It has to do largely with the final book, and the last few chapters. I am somewhat hesitant to give away too much because it revolves around some of Harry's final actions, and the results of those actions. He is his mother's son. (Maybe another thread so no accidental spoilers? And I don't want to go too far afield this early in this thread.)
I give you full credit for reading the series because the sect you belong to is against it, to see for yourself what the books say. That's a rare attitude anywhere. And I'm pleased you found them worthy.

That said, you can find just about anything in anything if you strain hard enough, and I can't help feeling you are seeing Christian themes more because you really want them to be there than because they truly exist.

I'm curious: if you had read the series, and had not found what you consider to be evidence of Christian underpinnings, what would your opinion have been?
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:01 PM   #63
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I had an enlightened English teacher for my 9th grade English class - who gave us "A Clockwork Orange" to read. I've never forgotten either the book or the teacher. Opened my sheltered midwest eyes wide open.
A high school English teacher introduced me the the Lord of the Rings. She apparently felt that if I was going to read books in her class that weren't part of the assigned reading, they might as well be good ones.

She also lent me a copy of Fraser's abridged Golden Bough.

I have no idea where she is now or what she's doing, but I hope life has been fine for her. She's certainly a fond memory of mine.
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Old 09-29-2010, 01:25 PM   #64
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WOT?

What wot?
Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. Fantasy, though you can make a decent case for SF.

The premise is that ages ago, the Creator made the Wheel of Time, and set it spinning. In the process, it weaves a Pattern, containing all the events and people. The Creator also bound Shaitan, the Great Lord of the Dark, away in a cosmic prison. The turning of the Wheel generates a mystical energy called the One Power, that can be "channeled" by a small fraction of the population to do all sorts of things.

Each turn of the Wheel is an Age, and during each Age, the Great Lord attempts to break free of his prison and remake creation to his liking. He is opposed by the Dragon Reborn, the Creator's designated champion, who must somehow stuff him back into his cosmic cage.

In the WoT series, Rand Al Thor, son of a peasant in the village of the Two Rivers in the Kingdom of Andor, discovers that he might be this Age's Dragon Reborn, and that the ancient prophecies about the Great Lord trying to break free again will happen in his lifetime. He must flee his home with several close friends, in the company of an Aes Sedai. The Aes Sedai are the ones in Rand's age who can manipulate the One Power. They are all women.

In the previous Age, the Age of Wonders, men and women could channel. At the climax of the Age, Aes Sedia under the command of Lews Therin Telemon, that Age's Dragon Reborn, were able to block the Dark One and seal the hole in the Pattern that would let him escape, but his counter stroke tainted the part of the One Power usable by men, and drove all male Aes Sedia insane. In the course of their insanity, they caused tectonic disturbances that destroyed large portions of the world. An order of the Aes Sedai called the Red Ajah exists specifically to find and "still" males who can channel before they become insane and cause more destruction.

So Rand must come to terms with his destiny, avoid the Red Ajah as it becomes apparent he can channel, somehow unite the world he lives in to face the Dark Lord, and deal with the ghost of Lews Theron Telemon, who seems to live in his head and is quite mad.

Fun, but drawn out. It's probably easier for folks coming to the series now who don't have to wait a year or more for one installments. (The second part of the last volume will be published in November.)
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Old 09-29-2010, 02:38 PM   #65
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You know I actually have a paperback copy of "Towing Jehovah" that's been on my to-read list since it was available.....
It's lovely. Morrow is an ex-Catholic with a rather jaundiced view of religion, and pulls few punches about it.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #66
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I've thouroughly enjoyed all of Harry Potter, all of the "dark material", and am anxiously awaiting the next WOT even WITH Sanderson at the helm.
Sanderson is doing a decent job. He decided not to even try to match Jordan's style, and simply concentrate on finishing the story according to the outline and notes Jordan had left, along with what he completed before he died.

Jordan was determined to finish WoT with the last book, no matter how big a book it was. I met him years back on a signing tour. In response to a question, he stated he knew what the last scene in the last book was, but not precisely how he would get there. He was adamant, however, that it would not be a twelve book series. When I read the book he had been signing, I said "He's right. It won't be a twelve book series. It will require at least thirteen!

Ironically, the last book Sanderson is finishing would have been book twelve, titled _A Memory of Light_. But it couldn't be published that way. When he first was selected to complete the work by Jordon's wife (who was also his editor at Tor Books), Sanderson estimated it would be 250,000 words. As he got into it, he discovered it would more likely be twice that or more. Tor CEO Tom Doherty asked "Do you have about 250,000 words and a suitable stopping point, so we can get something out the door now, and you can complete the book later?" The answer to that question was _The Gathering Storm_, the current volume. The second segment, _The Towers of Midnight_, is due in early November. The third and concluding portion, _A Memory of Light_, is due sometime in 2011.

Things actually had been moving a bit faster in the last couple Jordan had written. It was obvious he was moving his pieces on the board to position them for the end game, and there was an end in sight.
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Old 09-29-2010, 03:26 PM   #67
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Earlier this past year, I heard about a local school banning Running with Scissors. Here's how it played out, for anyone who's interested.

Part One: http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dai...ounty-schools/

Part Two: http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dai...with-scissors/
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:19 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by DMcCunney View Post
Sanderson is doing a decent job. He decided not to even try to match Jordan's style, and simply concentrate on finishing the story according to the outline and notes Jordan had left, along with what he completed before he died.

Jordan was determined to finish WoT with the last book, no matter how big a book it was. I met him years back on a signing tour. In response to a question, he stated he knew what the last scene in the last book was, but not precisely how he would get there. He was adamant, however, that it would not be a twelve book series. When I read the book he had been signing, I said "He's right. It won't be a twelve book series. It will require at least thirteen!

Ironically, the last book Sanderson is finishing would have been book twelve, titled _A Memory of Light_. But it couldn't be published that way. When he first was selected to complete the work by Jordon's wife (who was also his editor at Tor Books), Sanderson estimated it would be 250,000 words. As he got into it, he discovered it would more likely be twice that or more. Tor CEO Tom Doherty asked "Do you have about 250,000 words and a suitable stopping point, so we can get something out the door now, and you can complete the book later?" The answer to that question was _The Gathering Storm_, the current volume. The second segment, _The Towers of Midnight_, is due in early November. The third and concluding portion, _A Memory of Light_, is due sometime in 2011.

Things actually had been moving a bit faster in the last couple Jordan had written. It was obvious he was moving his pieces on the board to position them for the end game, and there was an end in sight.
______
Dennis
kinda figured it would have to be 13, that there was no way this book coming in November would wrap it up

so sad that he passed. what a wonderous mind!
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Old 09-29-2010, 04:59 PM   #69
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kinda figured it would have to be 13, that there was no way this book coming in November would wrap it up
_The Memory of Light_ will be book fourteen, as published.

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so sad that he passed. what a wonderous mind!
He gets knocked for being longer-winded than the critics think he needed to be.

But he had three supreme virtues. The first was the ability to keep a dozen plot lines and associated major characters in the air, without dropping balls. The second was the ability to give each character a distinctive voice. You seldom find yourself losing track of who is talking in a sequence of dialog. And he was highly inventive in not going where you thought he was. If you assumed, based on what you had read, that he was going here, when he arrived you'd discover you were there instead, and it was implicit in the build-up all along.

I understand why a lot of people gave up and stopped reading WoT, thinking it would never end, bu I don't begrudge the effort.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:15 PM   #70
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My favorite banned books are:

"Heart of Darkness": Joseph Conrad
"Fade": Robert Cormier
"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest": Ken Kesey
"Of Mice and Men": John Steinbeck
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:18 PM   #71
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_The Memory of Light_ will be book fourteen, as published.


He gets knocked for being longer-winded than the critics think he needed to be.

But he had three supreme virtues. The first was the ability to keep a dozen plot lines and associated major characters in the air, without dropping balls. The second was the ability to give each character a distinctive voice. You seldom find yourself losing track of who is talking in a sequence of dialog. And he was highly inventive in not going where you thought he was. If you assumed, based on what you had read, that he was going here, when he arrived you'd discover you were there instead, and it was implicit in the build-up all along.

I understand why a lot of people gave up and stopped reading WoT, thinking it would never end, bu I don't begrudge the effort.
______
Dennis
I envy people encountering his books for the first time to be ableto read them all back to back.

have you ever done the "what if it were a movie" and tried to cast some of the characters (talk about a cast of thousands!)
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:23 PM   #72
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I give you full credit for reading the series because the sect you belong to is against it, to see for yourself what the books say. That's a rare attitude anywhere. And I'm pleased you found them worthy.

That said, you can find just about anything in anything if you strain hard enough, and I can't help feeling you are seeing Christian themes more because you really want them to be there than because they truly exist.

I'm curious: if you had read the series, and had not found what you consider to be evidence of Christian underpinnings, what would your opinion have been?
______
Dennis
Well, I didn't really present the textual evidence for my argument in the other thread. The smallest I have it down two is about two long posts worth, and I still haven't decided if I should post it. Anyway, it's understandable that some people are assuming I'm jumping to conclusions.

Actually, I can answer the other question honestly. Prior to the final book, I felt that Harry wasn't really setting the best example as a heroic figure. It seemed to me his character faults (his general anger, his hatred of Malfoy) sometimes outweighed his virtues. But, then again, I could credit Rowling with creating a very realistic young boy! My view of Harry largely changed when he sat in the train with Neville and Luna and wanted to be there, which I think was one of my favorite moments in the whole series (along with Harry discussing Sirius' death with Luna).

I think what makes that a good point of discussion is that Harry shows both sides of humanity, and that's a great catalyst for a discussion. Sadly, we get hung up on the word "witch" for female wizards, and that's all she wrote. No discussion possible. I don't think this is endemic to Christianity in particular, but humanity as a whole. It's easier to view art purely from the surface, knee jerk reaction, rather than put the time and thought into truly exploring it.

-Pie
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:08 PM   #73
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I never knew all these books were banned.

If they were banned, how come you all are able to read them?

I get more confused every day with this stuff. Who does all this banning?

Are the puritans taking over?
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:16 PM   #74
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I never knew all these books were banned.

If they were banned, how come you all are able to read them?

I get more confused every day with this stuff. Who does all this banning?

Are the puritans taking over?
The banning being objected to occurs either in school systems or in public libraries, which choose not to stock or make available certain titles.
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Old 09-29-2010, 08:41 PM   #75
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Actually, I can answer the other question honestly. Prior to the final book, I felt that Harry wasn't really setting the best example as a heroic figure. It seemed to me his character faults (his general anger, his hatred of Malfoy) sometimes outweighed his virtues. But, then again, I could credit Rowling with creating a very realistic young boy! My view of Harry largely changed when he sat in the train with Neville and Luna and wanted to be there, which I think was one of my favorite moments in the whole series (along with Harry discussing Sirius' death with Luna).
We'll, yes. I knew people reading the series partway through who wanted to slap Harry into next week for being an immature little jerk. But when they thought about it, it was realistic. Harry was a teenager, going through the angst and hormonal swings associated. He was in the process of growing up the hard way. For parts of the series, he was an immature little jerk.

He certainly wasn't an example of a heroic figure. But then, heroes generally don't seek the role: they find it thrust upon them, and either rise to meet the challenge and become a hero, or fail and perhaps die. (And sometimes being a hero requires dying, which is another matter entirely.)

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I think what makes that a good point of discussion is that Harry shows both sides of humanity, and that's a great catalyst for a discussion. Sadly, we get hung up on the word "witch" for female wizards, and that's all she wrote. No discussion possible. I don't think this is endemic to Christianity in particular, but humanity as a whole. It's easier to view art purely from the surface, knee jerk reaction, rather than put the time and thought into truly exploring it.
It is, and a good deal of the hysteria applied to the term "witch" seems misplaced. The textual genesis of it is mostly the Old Testament. But by the standards of the hysterics, a "witch" is a woman who sold her soul to Satan for power or other advantages. Some of the biblical proscriptions, like "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live", likely date from before Christianity, and from before Satan became accepted in Christianity as the Great Enemy of God. You have to ask what that phrase meant to those who coined it.

Yes, Harry shows both sides of humanity, but so do may others in literature and real life that aren't considered in any way "Christ like", and merely doing so is no evidence in literature of Christian theme. What I'm actually asking is how much the presence of Christian themes is necessary to your ability to appreciate the books. I can understand that finding evidence of such themes will make the book more acceptable if you belong to an evangelical sect that disapproves of them. But if you didn't find such evidence, would that have made the books unacceptable?
______
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