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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Remembering Harry, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 23 of 23
1. ANTONIA QUIRKE on Kathleen Turner's New Memoir

Antonia Quirke, author of Choking on Marlon Brando, reviews Kathleen Turner's new memoir Send Yourself Roses in The Times: "Oh, this is a very mad memoir indeed. I challenge you to put it down for even one moment. Up Turner rises — unfettered now, vibrant, and gives us a series of the maddest chapters I have ever read (“Hillary Clinton said I should publish my speeches”) in which she insists she likes this or that friend because they accessorise well with belts. She accepts her genius (“all my experiences and all my power and knowledge and connections and finances. And the legacy I want to leave”). She celebrates her voice (“my voice has been called smoky, husky, sexy, tobacco-cured, scotch-laden, iconic . . .”) and her need to communicate on deeper levels (“at the spa that night at dinner, I couldn’t resist reading an essay by Maya Angelou to the whole group”). She leaves her husband of more than 20 years, visits AA, supports the Long Island fishing community, lectures on stage technique at college (a personally designed course called Practical Acting: Just Shut Up and Do It!) and over the radio about the Patriot Act, challenges the Broadway audience (“f*** American puritanical hypocrisy, f*** it all”) and talks to old people on the telephone (“most of them don’t know who I am, which is rather sweet”). There may be four or five people left in New York who haven’t yet been helped by Turner. Kathleen, I am in awe. Be madder still, please. Because, really, who gives a fig about sanity anyway? Nobody ever comments on it. So, take it away, woman. Go shopping in the third person (“Kathleen Turner wants a bacon roll with no salad”). Fall in love again (“God, I’m horny”). And after Hillary Clinton has projected your speeches on the moon, get up on stage and — quite seriously, it’s so obvious — give the best Gertrude in the history of the theatre. All the while knowing that this, that more, that everything, should be yours. "

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2. Remembering Harry: Sprechen Sie Potter?

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3. Remembering Harry: Alison Lurie’s Take

Alison Lurie ranges broadly, writing novels and nonfiction for adults as well as literary criticism on a range of subjects. Her provocative essays on children’s literature have been published in collections such Boys and Girls Forever and Don’t Tell the Grown-Ups. And now she has weighed in on Harry Potter at The New York Review of Books.

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4. Remembering Harry: Harry Potter as Global Folklore

Daniel H. Nexon, a professor of government at Georgetown University, has some extremely interesting things to say about Harry Potter in the world. Thanks to a post at Hogwartsprofessor I found his notes for the keynote he gave recently at the Prophecy 2007 conference. Among other things Nexon sees Harry Potter, “… not merely a reinterpretation of folklore, it is a, functionally speaking, contemporary folklore. And more than that, it is folklore on a global scale. Or, as I’ve argued in various settings, Harry Potter is cultural globalization: it is part of the creation of transnational common currency of narratives, personages, themes, and other circulating commonplaces.” I also found this very interesting article of his, “How Harry Potter Explains the World.”

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5. Remembering Harry: NY Times’ Book Review Editors Weigh In

After reading Christopher Hitchens’ review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in today’s New York Times Book Review, you can listen to a podcast of the editor, Sam Tanenhaus, and children’s book editor, Julie Just, discussing “the Harry Potter phenomenon.” During the very interesting conversation, Just explains why she thought Hitchens would be a worthy candidate to review the book.

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6. Remembering Harry: An Imagined Community?

On child_lit someone noted how extraordinary it was to be part of a world of readers that Saturday, July 21. To be aware that millions all over the world were all reading the same book you were. Incredible …. And so I am now fascinated by the way so many of us are experiencing this particular story. We often read and then extend our readings by talking about a particular book. Sometimes we see a movie of it too. And sometimes we may also read or see interviews with the author about the book. Hear them talk about their books and read from them. But I feel this is somehow different (or maybe just more). To have the story of Harry Potter heightened by Jim Dale, Rupert, Emma, and Daniel; by the online conversations, the release parties, Rowling’s interviews — all of this is turning it into a very interesting new kind of story I think. Does anyone else feel this way or am I just getting carried away?

After writing this in a post to the ccbc-net list serve yesterday I received an interesting email from Marc Aronson who suggested that this was what sociologist Benedict Anderson called the “imagined community.” One compelling example Marc offered was that of large numbers of people reading a particular part of a religious work all over the world at services on a particular holy day. Completely unfamiliar with this idea and curious to see if I could find a bit more about it in terms of books and reading, I did a little looking around and found this article about bloggers being an imagined community and this conference built around the idea, “The notion of the imagined community in our program title, of course, refers to Benedict Anderson’s concept of the nation as a particular kind of imagined community, in which experiences of commonality, and a sense of the self as being part of a wider national community, are to a large extent facilitated by shared practices of reading mass mediated texts.” Unfortunately, I truly don’t have the time to go down this path, but if anyone knows more and/or has some sources to explore, please do provide them in the comments. And, of course, if you just want to weigh in on the idea, please do that too!

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7. Remembering Harry: For the Serious Reader

Here’s a very interesting blog for those interested in further exploration of some of the scholarly issues around the series.


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8. Remembering Harry: After the End

Every day there is more and more to learn about the Potterverse (did I get that right?).  For years there were the fan sites, fan fiction, and the movies which all stretched and expanded the original books in inventive ways.

I read book seven the day after seeing movie five.  And I did notice when the descriptions of  characters deviated from what I had just seen on the screen. Recently Rick Riordan wrote, “One thing I had trouble with (which has nothing to do with the book): for the first time as I read a Harry Potter book, I could not get the images of the movie actors out of my head. I kept seeing Daniel, Emma and Rupert – which I didn’t really want. Before, I’d always formed my own images of what the characters looked like, but the movies are just too hard to ignore.”

Now, most fascinating to me, we’ve got Rowling herself answering questions here and there about what happened to her beloved characters after the end.   And she says she can’t wait for the theme park due to open soon in Florida.

So the story about the boy who lived has gone out into the world in a way unlike any I can think of before.  I mean, when has an author done what Rowling has done the last week or so? I’m not faulting her at all; I think it is great fun to hear what she, their creator, knows happened to all of them (although her speaking of them in the present tense is a tad odd).  But it seems just so unusual.

What with two more movies to go and the theme park, the evolution of Harry Potter into a unique narrative continues.  Blimey!,  as Ron would say.

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9. Remembering Harry: Multicultural?

Much as I love the Harry Potter books I do think that Rowling’s efforts to multiculturize them are clunky. While watching the Order of the Phoenix movie the other day, Roxanne and I muttered to each other “Who is that?” as a handsome black man, dressed in African garb and called Kingsley, spoke up at the Order of the Phoenix meeting. When he reappeared in the final book I realized we’d obviously just forgotten about him, probably because he didn’t do enough of significance for us to remember him. This all came to mind when reading Uzodinma Iweala’s insightful piece in today’s Washington Post, “Stop Trying to ‘Save’ Africa.” It seems to me that Rowling is as well-meaning in what she did with Kingsley as those Iweala writes about. Please read it.

And then there is the Native American reference on Page 216 of Book VII. “The mother, Kendra, had jet-black hair pulled into a high bun. Her face had a carved quality about it. Harry thought of photos of Native Americans he’d seen as he studied her dark eyes, high cheekbones, and straight nose, formally composed above a high-necked silk gown.” Since there was no further mention of her or anything Native American what was the point? Debbie Reese asked about this on child_lit and wrote about it on her blog, “Native Imagery in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Please read it too.

Finally, Debbie points to a provocative 2005 article by Keith Woods, “Harry Potter And the Imbalance of Race.” Please go read it and then come back and tell me if he’s on target or not.

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10. Remembering Harry: Poems


Harry flies from book to book,
racing time and destiny.
Final answers coming soon,
but never soon enough for me.

Brigette from Fairfield, USA

More winning poems from the AbeBooks poem contest are here.

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11. Remembering Harry: Whose Ending is it Anyway?

So the good old New York Times asked several people to come up with their own endings.

Andrea Dezso’s visual idea (is in the lower left corner)

Damon Lindof’s The Boy Who Died.

Meg Cabot’s When Harry Met Davey

Larry Doyle’s Made in Hogwarths

Polly Horvath’s Hermione Tells All

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12. Remembering Harry: Or Maybe We Won’t Have To…

because he just won’t go away.

Some think the poor boy will be dust.

Some think he will live forever in our hearts.

And some figure that they can force Ms. Rowling to keep poor old ‘arry going forever.

Now they aren’t being quite as crazy as the fan in Stephen King’s Misery, but they are being really annoying.

I mean that irritating petition to “Save Harry Potter.”   It reminds me of the ones my students occasionally start, demanding ice cream every day or skateboarding during recess.  Somehow they think that all you need to do if you really want something is get a bunch of people to sign a petition asking for it, and —voila— you get it!  Forget about whether there is money for ice cream (or if it is healthy); forget about some other kids who don’t want skateboarders taking up all the space (not to mention the safety factor) —  enough signatures and we and Ms. Rowling should reasonably give in.

Here’s Jean Hannah Edelstein at the Guardian blog on “Do We Want Harry Back For Good?

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13. Remembering Harry: One Who Would Prefer Not To

There’s a discussion going on in the comments of this Harry Potter post over at Roger Sutton’s blog. Much of it is a rehash of the same old same old — complaints that the books are not well-edited, that Rowling herself is too self-indulgent, followed by strongly-voiced defenders. In the midst of it all, un-Bartleby-like, Roger explained:

And after two- or three-and-a-half (can’t remember just where I gave up) Harry Potters, I realized I was simply Not There. Rowling writes (or wrote, anyway, in those three books) in a way that made me feel pushed out. Not unwelcome, but unnecessary. Every scene, character, action, motive, and joke was described and explained, frequently more than once. There was nothing for me to do.

What struck me forcefully about this response is that it yet again reinforces how much each reader interacts with a book in his/her own unique way. And how important it is to respect these differing responses. Roger has been direct and forthright in his comments; those who feel differently should be so as well.

And so, here I go. While I don’t think the books are perfect (more in a moment), my own experience with them has been quite the opposite from Roger’s. That is, far from feeling pushed out, I feel I’m very much in them — mucking about as I pick up this clue and consider it, wonder about that person, about the prophesy, about Voldemort, about how Rowling will end it, and so on. That it is a school story, something I always like, makes it even more fun, and best of all — there is that wizarding world Rowling has so cleverly put together in a way that parallels our own. From exams to communications devices, she’s got them all in there.

I do think the sentence level writing is definitely nothing to write home about. I’ve long railed about those darn adverbs (and I think ever since people started pointing them out Rowling has put even more in to get back at them/us:); I’m currently listening to the sixth book and must say that I’m getting a little tired of the boys smirking and sniggering every few pages while certain girls giggle way too much.

Still while I do think Harry Potter is an experience of our time that doesn’t mean I think everyone has to read the books or acknowledge that they are more important in 2007 than the…um….Beatles were in 1966. I plan to have fun next Friday and Saturday and will, no doubt, be online busily debating what it all means once I’m done with the book along with many others. But for those who prefer not to — no problem!

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14. Remembering Harry: Would the Real Arthur. A. Levine Please Stand Up?

The US editor of the Harry Potter books would have been a perfect choice for the game show, To Tell the Truth (where a celebrity panel had to guess which of several contestants was the “real” person being discussed — in other words, it was a show about good liars.)




The cartoon above is from Time Magazine’s “The Saga of the Seventh Manuscript.” Arthur is suppose to be the guy on the right, I believe.


Now here’s the real Arthur! (From this NPR piece, “Potter Publisher Predicted Literary Magic.”)



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15. Remembering Harry: Reduced Harry Potter

You know the Reduced Shakespeare Company?  That troupe of three guys who do “All 37 Plays in 97 Minutes!”? Well now there is Reduced Harry Potter! The BBC is, “…is setting you a challenge to tell the entire story so far in 100 words or fewer.”  Go here for more details and to read submissions so far.  (Thanks to GraceAnne A. DeCandido for the link.)  (80 words this post. No way could I do HP so far in 100 words!)

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16. Remembering Harry: The Potterologist’s Perspective.

Dubbed a Potterologist by Time Magazine, Cheryl Klein,  continuity editor of the books, was on Talk of the Nation yesterday talking about the various ways she sees to it the books are consistent not to mention that “… everything is spelled correctly in Harry’s magical world.”  The show should be available here soon.

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17. Remembering Harry: My Ending (Scar or No Scar)

Two years ago I wrote the following on child_lit:

On 7/26/05, Monica Edinger <monicaedinger at gmail.com> wrote:
> Okay, apparently the last word of the last book is “scar.” So how
> about some attempts to write the last paragraph? (I figured those who
> love the books and those who hate them might both have fun with this!)
> Monica

“I guess it is up to us now, “said Ron blithely as the three looked out at the smoking ruin that had been Hogwarths. ” What do you think, Hermione? Three houses this time — Weasley, Potter, and Granger? But what about the sorting?”

Hermione just smiled and stayed uncharacteristically silent while Harry slowly raised his bad arm to his hat. “Here,” he said softly. “Why don’t we use this?”

As the sun began to rise the three raised their wands toward the hat, a bit torn and battered, just like they were. “And let’s give it a new name — Potter’s Scar.”

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18. Remembering Harry: And The Sweathogs

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19. Remembering Harry: My First and Last Release (No Worries, No Spoilers)

Roxanne and I first went to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and enjoyed it tremendously. Then we headed over to Soho and Scholastic. Suzanne Murphy had convinced me that I (an early-to-bed-early-to-rise-crowd-hater) should not miss this one. She was right! So, thanks, Suzanne and all the folks at Scholastic for a really terrific time.

We were given V.I.P. treatment which was quite cool: “All Access” badges giving us priority to all the events (say making wands in the Scholastic store), a private “Deathly Hallows Lounge” (with “tasty delights” like Butter Beer — evidently root beer and ginger — I didn’t try it), all sorts of entertainment (say amazing magicians), and easy access to all the fun on Harry Potter Place (a huge party taking up the whole street behind the Scholastic building).

img_0949.jpg img_0924.jpg

That is the Muggle Board where people wrote messages of all sorts including (according to fellow V.I.P. Jordan Sonnenblick) one stating that Snape (Jordan, correct me if this is wrong) was bigger than Jesus. (Could John Lennon have imagined the Beatles being usurped like this back in 1966?)


A really adorable Harry under the Whomping Willow.


Scholastic’s Pensieve containing all the books including the final one signed by Ms. R. herself!



The count-down clock.


The Daily Prophet, natch.


A really, really tall witch and a really, really short Muggle.


Another Muggle with her zen wand and some cute owls.


Some of our fellow V.I.P.s.

Evidently many of the other V.I.P.s were kids who had won contests, various folks who had been involved with Scholastic, authors and editors (besides Jordan I only knew Laura Godwin and Lisa Sandell), and top Scholastic brass like Dick Robinson and Lisa Holton. (Jordan also pointed out Salman Rushdie — how cool is that?) A few minutes before midnight Dick Robinson encouraged us to join the throngs outside for the countdown. There we finally connected with Cheryl Klein who had been at the apparently insane Union Square Barnes & Noble, experienced the countdown, picked up our complementary books, walked out past the media frenzy, miraculously got a cab, and went home to start reading.


Here I am, seconds before the release, flanked by Cheryl and Jordan.


Harry is waiting; must get back to him now.


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20. Remembering Harry: A Big Pile of Paper

Lovely Nightlight segment featuring Cheryl Klein: Profile of a Potterologist.

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21. Remembering Harry: Satisfied (No Spoiler Whatsoever)

Just finished.  Could have done so yesterday, but I did not want to finish it late at night and then lie awake unable to sleep (something that often happens to me).

I wondered too if we’d want to talk about it when it was all over.  But, yes.  Yes, indeed.

And by the way, the annoying adverbs and overuse of certain words I’ve commented upon on occasion— lost in the intensity of everything else. The woman truly knows how to pace, create tension, create memorable scenes, characters, and more.  It was tremendous fun to be so lost in that world for the last 40 hours or so.  And I was really lost.  Well done, Ms. Rowling, well done.

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22. Remembering Harry: And the Beatles

I know, I know. Way too many Harry Potter posts. I’ll get over it in another week or so, I’m sure. Bear with me, till then.

Anyway, I really liked Lisa Holton’s take on the last few days (from a Scholastic press release):

“The excitement, anticipation, and just plain hysteria that came over the entire country this weekend was a bit like the Beatles’ first visit to the U.S.”, stated Lisa Holton, Chief Muggle, Scholastic (aka President, Scholastic Trade and Book Fairs). “This weekend kids and adults alike are sitting on buses, in the park, on airplanes and in restaurants reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. The conversations the readers have been waiting to have for 10 years have just begun.”

We keep trying to say nothing has ever been like this or try to link it to something else bookish like Dickens or filmish like Star Wars. (Roger Sutton in the comments of this post of his mentioned a movie for which advertising was heavily about the secret — revealed by Roger so don’t read the comments if you don’t want to know). But I think the Beatles analogy is an excellent one in terms of the fan frenzy.

I was in 6th grade when the Beatles came and was completely disgusted by the fuss. I remember going to a sleepover where they played “She Loves You” over and over and over and over….till I was about to scream. I thought the girls (and it was all girls) were stupid and decided I would have nothing to do with the Beatles….and didn’t till The White Album years later. It had nothing to do with whether I liked them or not, but because I couldn’t stand the insanity. Given that I’m such a reader (and fantasy lover) there is no way I’d have been able to resist Harry Potter at that age. However, I suspect I’d have been a little snot about the frenzy and done something lame like gone off to some sort of small alternative thing.

But I’m not a little snot now and enjoyed my Harry Potter weekend  tremendously. “She Loves You” ain’t so bad either.

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23. Remembering Harry: The Digested Version

If (as someone complained elsewhere ) saying you are satisfied is a spoiler, this certainly is:

The digested read by John Crace in the Guardian

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