Why the British Tell Better Children’s Stories by Colleen Gillard [The Atlantic] Their history informs fantastical myths and legends, while American tales tend to focus on moral realism.
If Harry Potter and Huckleberry Finn were each to represent British versus American children’s literature, a curious dynamic would emerge: In a literary duel for the hearts and minds of children, one is a wizard-in-training at a boarding school in the Scottish Highlands, while the other is a barefoot boy drifting down the Mississippi, beset by con artists, slave hunters, and thieves. One defeats evil with a wand, the other takes to a raft to right a social wrong. Both orphans took over the world of English-language children’s literature, but their stories unfold in noticeably different ways.
JK Rowling reveals why the Dursleys dislike Harry Potter so much. [The Guardian]
Some readers, Rowling writes, “wanted more from Aunt Petunia during this farewell”. At the start of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry leaves his family behind for good - his cousin Dudley shakes his hand, his uncle Vernon roars “I thought we were on a tight schedule”, and his aunt gives him a final look. Rowling writes in the novel that “for a moment Harry had the strangest feeling that she wanted to say something to him: she gave him an odd, tremulous look and seemed to teeter on the edge of speech, but then, with a little jerk of her head, she bustled out of the room after her husband and son.”Previously. [more inside]
Geeky women's clothing company Her Universe teamed up with Hot Topic and Nerdist to present a fandom couture competition and fashion show. Here are some highlights. [more inside]
A Textual Analysis of The Hunger Games (and Twilight, and Harry Potter)
The Independent (UK) proposes a list of fifty books that every eleven-year-old should read. [more inside]
"There was a hobbit, who didn't even know how to return home. He lived in a hole in the ground, and didn't know where he came from or where he was going to. He even didn't know why he had become a hobbit. This was Hogwartz School of Witchcraft and Wizardry 5th year apprentice Harry Potter. " 11 fake Harry Potter books from China.
Crushed fans of Harry Potter expressed outrage upon learning they must wait another 8 months for the newest film installment. The timing of the announcement rather handily coincides with the release of Scholastic's "39 Clues" -- a book whose blend of interactive intrigue is supposed to take over young readers' imaginations where Harry leaves off. [more inside]
Harry Potter dies. Harry Potter lives. One thing is becoming clear: Harry Potter is killing the traditional bookseller industry in the UK.
"There's a game of water Quidditch going on in the swimming pool." Harry Potter, fandom, and academia.
"... Everyone needs an escape. It just amazes me that for 1,200 people this involves sitting in darkened rooms listening to presentations on Harry Potter and the Sanctity of Everyday Life: JK Rowling's Complex Treatment of the Trope of Normalcy." Carole Cadwalladr covers Lumos 2006 for the Guardian. [via]
Faery Lands Forlorn A.S. Byatt, author of Possession and other novels, looks at the phenomenon of adults reading the Harry Potter children's books: Ms. Rowling's magic world has no place for the numinous. It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip. Its values, and everything in it, are, as Gatsby said of his own world when the light had gone out of his dream, "only personal." Nobody is trying to save or destroy anything beyond Harry Potter and his friends and family.... Ms. Rowling, I think, speaks to an adult generation that hasn't known, and doesn't care about, mystery. They are inhabitants of urban jungles, not of the real wild. They don't have the skills to tell ersatz magic from the real thing, for as children they daily invested the ersatz with what imagination they had.
Potter anyone? Harry Potter fever has started.... Some individual or group of individuals managed to walk off with 7680 copies of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" Reuters has an article here mentioned that the books are worth about 130500 pounds. MSNBC is behind the times with their stolen article and are reporting ~$1.68 Million.
The Gospel According to Harry Potter. Connie Neal thinks that she sees "glimmers of the Gospel" in the Harry Potter books. Not the most interesting attempt to counter the occult hysteria surrounding this book, but sure to stir up some hilarious controversy just the same.
OK, this whole Harry Potter thing - while completely out of proportion to any real value in the books - has up till now been pointless but essentially harmless. But wasting a Hugo Award on this crap?! To quote (oh, I don't know, some Clinton-hating Republican): "Where's the outrage?!"
Harry Potter is a head. Who knew? The things some people will find to be paranoid about...
While I'm not a fan of Harry Potter books (yet - I'll get around to checking them out someday soon), I find it interesting to see some folks still strongly oppose the stories of sorcery, while it seems the average CNN.com reader doesn't see a problem with them (the poll is 97-3 as I write this). It seems that every few years, some fiction strikes the fancy of kids, and parents rally against it, even though it piques kids' imaginations and gets them reading. What's so wrong with Potter books?
Page One of Harry Potter IV posted at the The Standard. Man, I hope this is a spoof.
Harry Potter and the Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius Via obscurestore. I think it bears repeating. Also, I'm hoping to spark Eggers-related conversation and link-posting. My obsession knows no bounds. Oh, and -- what was this all about, again? -- the book's good, too.
Jeez, these people need to get a clue. Children should be encouraged to read anything they want, and as much as they please. So what if Harry Potter books have wizards and witches in them? Even kids can tell fact from fiction...when are the adults going to figure that out?