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Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread

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Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread Empty Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:26 am

Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread

This topic serves as an archive of a thread from the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum as hosted on World Crossing which ceased operation on April 15, 2011. Elanor

Kip Carter - Jan 7, 2004 12:56 am
co-Host with Steve on the Lexicon Forum, but he has the final say as the Owner!
Edited Jan 12, 2006 11:43 pm

I have not edited this thread yet; however I felt that it should be posted being that it is an integral part of our Forum. I will be editing it in the future. - Kip

Does the Harry Potter series have literary value?
BIGGLESBIE - Oct 22, 2002 12:35 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 19, 2003 11:06 am
Why are we such sad people? was the original title of this thread and there was no messages in the opening discussion, only the title. Later in the messages, the originator, Bigglesbie, finally responed with his thoughts on the literary value of Harry Potter.

The following messages showed not only how the members of the Forum felt about Bigglesbie's comments, but most of all showed the solidarity of our members. I believe that this thread created a bond between the members that later established the "family" of this Forum.
Elanor
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Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread Empty Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread - Part 1

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:27 am

Joa Pendragen - Oct 22, 2002 12:46 pm (#1 of 153)
Really? Wow!

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Joa Pendragen - Oct 22, 2002 12:48 pm (#2 of 153)
Why do you say we're sad?

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NoVeil4Me - Oct 22, 2002 12:49 pm (#3 of 153)
Sad in what way? I am not sad, it is a beautiful day here, my son is still 100% cancer free (woo hoo! Had an oncology appt today) and I have no reason to feel sad.

Do I feel I am a sad, pathetic individual because I enjoy reading Harry Potter and discussing it with similar, like minded folks? Nope, I don't find that sad. I find it sad that people sneer at the books and won't even give it a chance by reading it. I have many, many things that interest me in life, Harry Potter is just one of them.

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Snickerdoodle - Oct 22, 2002 12:59 pm (#4 of 153)
I am not sad at all. I'm happy. I'm happy. I know what I'll be for Halloween.

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Finkenstrumper - Oct 22, 2002 1:36 pm (#5 of 153)
I'm not sad. I eat meat! Every day!

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Prefect Marcus - Oct 22, 2002 2:47 pm (#6 of 153)
Sad in what way?

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Chocolatelatte - Oct 22, 2002 4:18 pm (#7 of 153)
I suppose we are all a little "sad" in that we are wistful. We are dreamers and we are thinkers. It is true that our dreams will likely never come to fruitation, nor our desires be fulfilled. But I ask, what is life without a dream? Would I rather live in ignorance, content with mindless work, without a thought of worlds grander and greater than our own? Sometimes I crave to live in the worlds of literature; sometimes my soul aches with the fatalism of our world and the impossibility of my dreams. But I do not consider my life the worse for being so; rather, I believe that only in our dreams is the true potential of mankind unveiled, and that it is only our imagination that makes us truly human. I would a thousand times rather live in the "sad," wistful world of dreams than in the drudgery of life without.

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Carina - Oct 22, 2002 4:48 pm (#8 of 153)
I notice, Bigglesbie, that you have neither clarified your question nor responded to anyone's answers, and I can't help wondering who IS the sad one. I don't feel a necessity to mock a group just because I don't think similarly. I happen to be very happy. I have my health, my family, a great job, friends, my own house and car and my church. I also have the benefit of sharing ideas with the wonderfully intelligent people I meet here about something I enjoy.

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Hamuera - Oct 22, 2002 6:58 pm (#9 of 153)
Its like this Bigglesbie, no one here is sad pathetic people, we all lead normal lives, we all have fun and for us reading Harry Potter is very fun. If you feel the need to say that we are sad then go ahead...make my day, its just not exactly the smartest idea when there is like 30 of us here and one of you and in general 1 in 12 american teenagers have read Harry Potter and I'm sure thats increasing. In New Zealand 1 in 4 people of any age have read it, it has been translated into numerous different languages and sold in many countries worldwide. So in reality you have no right to insult us for being a majority, and if you were intending for this to be directed at us because we visit a forum then I wonder why its "sad" to share thoughts and theories with other people around the world? Besides you probably have some uncool secrets deep down somewhere.

Bottom line is:

Everyone in here adores the Harry Potter series and some little mongrel coming up in here and insukting us isn't gunna change a damn thing.

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Dumbledore II - Oct 23, 2002 5:00 am (#10 of 153)
I fully agree with you Chocolatelatte. What would our world be without dreams and imagination? The every day life is hard enough, why not "flee" for a few hours into another world?

If it weren't for my dreams I wouldn't be where I am now. I would still be in Austria unhappy with my life. I fulfilled my dreams. Life isn't easy here either, but it's more of less like I imagined it to be.

Without imagination and dreams, how could you ever find your way in life?

No we are not "sad". I think we are a lot happier than many others out there.

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Kip Carter - Oct 23, 2002 5:21 am (#11 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 6:23 am
I have watched this thread develop and the reactions each of you have presented. You are very positive in your thoughts and your postings are proof that this Forum has the best of the best Harry Potter fans!

Consider this: BIGGLESBIE is much like spam (signed in as a Guest User), but stupid (listed email address as [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.])

His (her or its) thread is not worth my time; nor do I care to acknowledge its existance. I only posted because I was so proud of the way each of you treated this thread. And yes, I have so much about which I am thankful and happy, expecially you posters!

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 6:57 am (#12 of 153)
Dear Kip, I refer you to Harold Bloom's comments on NPR on the minute literary value of Harry Potter. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] Dear Hamuera Just because 30 people go to McDonald's, doesn't make it good food. Dear Chocolatelatte and Sigrid Ardelt, What you are talking about is escapism, not romantic idealism. Dear Denise P Congratulations of your children's health.

New Topic: Harry Potter is second rate writing, not on a par with Tolkien's books. Discuss amongst yourselves. :>)

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kimiraikkonen - Oct 23, 2002 7:05 am (#13 of 153)
Bigglesbie at least you have made an attempt to make sense. Tolkien's books are no better than Rowling's, for the fact that Rowling has sold much more than Tolkien (I think). In any case Rowling is writing only one series and has focused a lot of her attention on Harry Potter. Tolkien's works are unfocused, both as a whole and taken individually, and very slowly paced. I will not disagree, however, that Chocolatelatte and Sigrid Ardelt are indulging in escapism. Dreams at their very core are the refuge of escapists. Congratulations too on your kids' health Denise P.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 7:21 am (#14 of 153)
Ok, Kimiraikkonen

Right. so, sale of books = quality?

So, Ricky Martin's works are better than Mozart's? Harlequin novels are better than Tolstoy?

I don't think so. Next argument, please.

As for the other arguement: There are very good Cliff's Notes available if you can't make it through Tolkien's books.

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Prefect Marcus - Oct 23, 2002 7:29 am (#15 of 153)
Bigglesbie,

You have introduced two fairly legitmate topics of discussion, but you've neglected in each case to back up any of your assertions. To wit, could you kindly explain why you think we are sad? Please define "sad."

You second topic is intriguing, but again you really give us little to discuss. What about Rowling's writing do you find second rate? I am assuming that you are implying that Tolkien's writing is better than Rowling's. If that is the case, in what way are they better? Do you claim Tolkien as first-rate? Interesting because his work is almost universally panned by literary critics. Some do think it is good, but they are in the minority.

So, could you please elaborate?

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 7:36 am (#16 of 153)
Ok, Kimiraikkonen

Right. so, sale of books = quality?

So, Ricky Martin's works are better than Mozart's? Harlequin novels are better than Tolstoy?

I don't think so. Next argument, please.

As for the other arguement: There are very good Cliff's Notes available if you can't make it through Tolkien's books.

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Dumbledore II - Oct 23, 2002 7:50 am (#17 of 153)
What is so wrong with "escaping" for a few hours, as long as you don't forget reality?

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 8:23 am (#18 of 153)
Prefect Marcus I refer you to harold Blooms comments on Rowling on NPR [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 8:30 am (#19 of 153)
Ok heroin addict. nothing is wrong with that.

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Dumbledore II - Oct 23, 2002 8:35 am (#20 of 153)
Is insulting people the only way you can respond?

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me jim - Oct 23, 2002 8:35 am (#21 of 153)
Bigglesbie, if you don't like Harry Potter, why are you on a Harry Potter forum?

Jim. :^)

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 8:37 am (#22 of 153)
Wow... "They're not worth the time spent reading them." Yeah, that's an intelligent argument.

Reminds me of the dork child in school who slanders the popular jock because more people like the jock than the dork.

Though when I think of Bloom, I think of him more as an elderly shock-jock, because the only reason he's made a name for himself as a critic is because he likes to create controversy.

I especially liked his book "The American Religion" in which he tries to prove he is God.

But, if you like the stuffy Yale university professor types, be my guest and go talk about him on a "Harold Bloom Is God" forum.

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Won Weezy - Oct 23, 2002 8:46 am (#23 of 153)
To be honest, I can't see why you (forgive me I can't remember your name - the one who called us "sad") are on this site at all if you consider harry potter to be "second class writing". I cannot understand your interest in calling a lot of people "sad" for having an interest. I agree that just because a lot of people are great fans of Harry Potter books does not make them "good" books, but I cannot see your problem with people who are great fans discussing and analysing the books? Is this not what one does when one is at school/university/colledge and reading books and anaylsing them? Not only do we enjoy it, we learn from it. If you don't like it, then you don't have to read our comments, you don't have to be on this site, and you certainaly don't have to accuse us of being "sad".

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 8:53 am (#24 of 153)
Oh come on, Slytheren Prefect. Yours is not an argument, at all. Bloom points out in great detail why Potter is lousy fiction. You just don't like his conclusion.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 8:56 am (#25 of 153)
Did you listen to the same media file you sent out?

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Prefect Marcus - Oct 23, 2002 8:59 am (#26 of 153)
Bigglesbie, who is Harold Blooms and why is his opinion germaine to this discussion? I can quote outside experts ad nauseum, myself. Experts that have just as impressive accademic pedigree as any you could come up with. Why do YOU think her writing is second rate and not up to Tolkien's standard.

Out of curiousity, what does Harold Blooms think of Tolkien? My computer will not read the link you left.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 9:01 am (#27 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 10:29 am
And for the record, I don't dislike Bloom because of his conclusion, I don't like him because he's very much like a professor at Cambridge by the name of Peter Singer - who my Advanced Ethics professor tried to cram down our throats.

But the bottom line is, I'm not here to debate whether or not Bloom's arguments hold any merit. I honestly don't care about an out-of-date literary critic who thinks Harry Potter is "beneath him." Nor am I going to debate you about it, because the odds of me getting you to change your mind about your god Harold Bloom is about equivalent to you getting anyone here that is serious about the forum to agree with your (Bloom's) thoughts.

There are plenty of forums for people just like you out there, I've been to a couple before I discovered just how great the Harry Potter series was. I can suggest a few to you if you're that helpless.

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NoVeil4Me - Oct 23, 2002 9:14 am (#28 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 10:16 am
Bigglesbie, you put forth the topic Harry Potter is second rate writing, not on a par with Tolkien's books. Why did you choose Tolkien's books as the standard to compare Rowlings work to? Tolkien's work (which I happen to like) is pretty tedious and hard to plow through. Yeah, there are Cliff Notes for them.... which should tell you something right there, that it has to be explained to people. JKR's works don't have Cliff Notes because they are clear enough that the reader is not lost.

I don't think you can accurately compare the two authors or their works. Each body of work has their place and those who enjoy them as well as those who think of them as worthless. I don't understand what you hope to gain by pointing out to those of us here that enjoy JKR's works that you don't. It all comes down to a matter of opinion. I like Harry Potter, you don't. Bloom's argument is irrelevant since Bloom is not here trying to sway those reading the forum. I noticed he never specifies WHY he considers JKR's writing second rate either other than one example of a pet peeve of his. He read a SINGLE book, the first one. Did he also slam Tolkien's first published book?

Have you actually *read* any of the Harry Potter books or are you basing your conclusion solely on a statement that was spoon fed to you by Bloom?

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Kip Carter - Oct 23, 2002 9:25 am (#29 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 10:26 am
Bigglesbie,

I applaud you for having the "guts" to respond! Based on what you have offered, you apparently feel we on this Forum are "sad" in our feelings for the Harry Potter series. If that is your true feelings, then I feel "sad" for you as a narrow-minded pseudo-intellectual who feels that it is necessary to go on a Harry Potter Forum and attempt to degrade what is there.

A few thoughts that you should consider:

1. The Harry Potter books have jump-started younger people to read and enjoy reading. Before Harry Potter, many had turned away from reading towards television and computers. Reading had become a lost art. People of all ages have returned to reading because of Harry Potter. These people are not just reading a book, but are re-reading and re-reading to try and better understand what happened. That in itself is something that I, as a 62 year old, find encouraging.

2. The Harry Potter series has been translated into a number of languages and has been read throught-out the world. In this day of a global society, it is nice to see people from various countries come together and discuss something in a positive way. In doing this, friendships are established and hopefully this could help in the future.

3. Controversy is one of the best ways to publicize a book. I feel Mr. Bloom has every right to his opinion and I support him for having the fortitude to state his feelings. However that is his opinion, not mine. At the same time, this Forum has a right to its opinion and I hopefully expect that both you and Mr. Bloom to respect our rights.

4. This Forum is not a Forum where we, the members, outwardly try to bash another author or book. For you to come on this Forum to do that completely belittles my opinion of your intelligence.

I hope that you do not take offense to what I have said; but consider it my opinion as to your techniques.

I am only one member of this Forum and I can not speak for the others, but I would welcome any dialogue that you have concerning Harry Potter if you will stay above board and not belittle what we think.

I hope that you will respond!

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 9:52 am (#30 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 10:53 am
1. Great. So we should all praise Rowling for making our teenagers read and think that Harry Potter is great and worthy fiction. Next, we should make them believe that TV sit coms are great theater, Ricky Martin is good music, and Brittney Spears is great ballet. They'll be perfect little consumers to whom we can market anything. Instead of reading and re-reading Shakespeare (which I plan to at age 62), they are pouring over Rowlings sorry prose. At age 62 I would find it quite discouraging. 2. Kindergarden Cop, DIe Hard 2, and Scary Movie were all dubbed into multiple languages. So, they are contributing to world peace, too? 3. Last I looked, literature is not a democracy, but a meritocracy. 4. Well, I'm a boorish guest.

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Ian Haynes - Oct 23, 2002 9:54 am (#31 of 153)
How pretentious. I just listened to the media file. If I needed a dictionary to read Harry Potter I would have put he book down in a minute or two and never looked at it again. The books have enjoyable stories and that is what I think is important. I don't read Harry Potter to be educated, I read it because I enjoy the story. Needless to say my I am not one who finds no pleasure greater than using a dictionary.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 9:59 am (#32 of 153)
Hey Kip Carter,

Ian Hanyes just disproved your argument #1. Reads HP in order to AVOID the dictionary.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 10:08 am (#33 of 153)
And apparently you go around pestering people in forums you really don't belong in in order to avoid reading the dictionary...

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NoVeil4Me - Oct 23, 2002 10:10 am (#34 of 153)
I am not 62 but I read Shakespeare as well as Rowling. I read a lot of things. I also watch TV, to include some sitcoms. Not everything has to be a great masterpiece, you simply have to enjoy something for what it is.

I am done playing in this particular sandbox since it is pointless. Trollish behavior can't be reasoned nor is there any attempt to prove the point beyond inflammatory rhetoric designed to provoke a reaction. I am taking my toys to another sandbox on the forum.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 10:14 am (#35 of 153)
Well, I have overstayed my welcome, and so I shall l leave you be. All I've gotten so far is that you all like HP, and that no one can disprove. Which is nice. Honestly. I had fun reading HP, too. However, for god's sake drop grand assertions that HP is quality literature and anything other than just fun. Especially those of you that ought to know better. If anyone has any serious thougths, you have my email. C.

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liliaceae - Oct 23, 2002 10:16 am (#36 of 153)
You can't hold Tolkien up to Harry Potter- that's like comparing a toy poodle to a sink...

Sounds stupid? It should. They're two entirely different entities.

Really, the only similarity between the two is that they both revolve around magic. JKR isn't trying to re-create Tolkien because that's not what she wishes to write. This is her world, remember- it just so happens that quite a few people enjoy reading about it.

I've met plenty of the classical types who dig Goethe, Socrates, and Faust, denouncing anyone who reads beyond the Enlightenment. I know others who think reading anything besides Kerouac, Ginsberg or Burroughs sells out to the Man. One of my friends can't physically stand to be away from her Tolkien for more than a day, and chastizes me for not being the same way. But you know what? I've read them all! And the most wonderful thing I've discovered about literature is the sheer VARIETY. I can read anything I want whenever I find myself in the mood for it. I recently discovered Harry Potter boks, and adore them...where's the harm in that?

People who don't like things because they happen to be popular really don't have much ground to stand on. I know I don't like a lot of popular things because I've given them a CHANCE before forming an opinion. Enjoying something popular doesn't mean you've bought yourself a one-way ticket to hell, you know- you can only like what you like.

Oh, and comparing Mozart to popular music is rather laughable because, as any musical snot will tell you, the guy was RAMPANTLY popular in his time, as were many of the other greats. And there were plenty of idiots around then, too. Lately, I'd rather listen to Prokovief than Mozart, but I know that preferring one doesn't necessarily imply hating the other.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 10:19 am (#37 of 153)
I dig Socrates, having been a philosophy major, but anyone who tells you they've "read Socrates" is feeding you a line.

Socrates, being the ultimate nihilist, never wrote anything down.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 10:26 am (#38 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 11:30 am
Both rowlings and tolkien create fictional universes populated by imaginary characters and life forms (yes, such as trolls) in a story that involves a full range of human emotions and magic and plays out a drawn out conflict between good and evil. Part of the beauty and appeal of both are the full accounting of the variety of fantastic life and the absorption of the reader in this imaginary world.

Ok. sorry. Those are COMPLETELY different things. My bad. really.

Those who dig Socrates and Goethe and Keruac and Ginsberg and Burroughs and Plato would all agree on one thing: that Rowling's fiction is average.

the mozart argument. best to read the threads first: Popularity does not imply quality, I believe was my assertion.

Oh, and Mozart died penniless and was buried in a mass grave in Vienna. Very popular fellow.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 10:28 am (#39 of 153)
<>

My very existence refutes THAT particular claim.

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Kip Carter - Oct 23, 2002 10:31 am (#40 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 11:39 am
Bigglesbie,

I believe that you have a problem that is beyond help. Maybe you need to see a psychiatrist.

I never once said the we think that Harry Potter is great and worthy fiction. I never once mentioned TV sit coms are great theater, Ricky Martin is good music, and Britney Spears is great ballet. Those are your words! I never mentioned consumers to whom we can market anything.

I love Shakespeare and many other excellent authors. I read all the time. However, the Harry Potter series is something that is unique at this time that has given a re-birth to reading. I did not ever say that J K Rowling ranks with the greatest of literature. She has been a commercial success because she has reach into the minds of many and made them think. Whether her prose is sorry or excellent is in the mind of the viewer, much as beauty is. For someone as pompous as you to come on this Forum attacking as those you were a god or a literature authority only belittles your words.

What I do at age 62 is my business and should not influence you one bit, just as I will not be influence by your pseudo-superiority complex. We have apparently chosen to disagree.

I do not see your reference to the movies you mentioned having a bearing on world peace. I only felt that dialogue established went people of all ages and cultures talk can only aid world peace. This Forum establishes a medium for dialogue. Movies do not!

As to literature being a meritocracy, I do not recall ever seeing your appointment as judge and jury as to what literature is or is not. God gave me a mind to choose what I live or dislike, just as I hope he gave you. I have not chosen to degrade your choices and I respect you to not degrade mine. Unless you can go in to my mind and completely know what I like or dislike, I do not feel that you have the right to tell me what to think.

As for being a boorish guest, you said it and maybe for once you are right!

Finally, I have wasted enough time with you! I hope that you have the same feelings towards this board.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 10:31 am (#41 of 153)
Ah yes, you're the fellow who thinks Socrates is a nihilist. I think that may refute a few other claims, too.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 10:34 am (#42 of 153)
Dude, have you ever READ any ancient philosophy? Socrates does nothing all day but stand around bugging the hell out of people, telling them why what believe is wrong. He didn't even bother to bathe in pursuit of this very thing.

You know what? That actually sounds quite familiar...

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Kesesi - Oct 23, 2002 10:36 am (#43 of 153)
It appears that bigglesbie is playing with us. He offers no ideas of his own. He does nothing more than to make assertions that are somehow supposed to relate to Miss Rowling and her works. Such simple assertions are not worthy of reply. He only refers to an old article by Harold Bloom.

I suggest that we shut down this thread by not playing his game.

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==Nolwenn== - Oct 23, 2002 10:38 am (#44 of 153)
I'm not even going to try and discuss with you since it's like talking to a brick wall. But just answer me this : if you dislike Harry Potter so much, why are you even on this forum ? If it is to see why we like Harry Potter, I think you got your answer. If it is to make fun of us, you're just wasting your time. If it is to know if any Harry Potter fans have an IQ higher than a dead fly, I'm pretty sure we have proven otherwise. So unless you've got a good answer to my question and can prove yourself to be a tolerant human being, I suggest you leave. After all this forum was meant for people to share their thoughts on Harry Potter in civic and tolerant way. Thank you.

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 10:39 am (#45 of 153)
Socrates... ahh. .yes. the gadfly. the nurse maid. helped people see the good the true and the beautiful. Hmm. thank you for the compliment. :>)

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Bigglesbie - Oct 23, 2002 10:41 am (#46 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 11:44 am
Kip Carter

Thanks for the advice. Means a lot coming from the guy with the Harry Potter underoos.

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Headache - Oct 23, 2002 10:45 am (#47 of 153)
Bigglesbie, may I ask exactly why you would come in here and tell us how bad HP is? Sure it possibly isn't worthy fiction and you earlier said that if 30 people ate McDonalds, it doesn't make it good food. The fact is if you have food, you have good food, you should one day take a quick look at lets say Bosnia. Bosnians would kill their whole family for a sole Happy Meal from McDonalds, which leads to my point - To great literaturists and writers throughout history this book may seem silly but to most people we are happy to read such a "fun" book and don't mind discussing it with others. So next time you feel the need to go and attack a forum because it's not the greatest piece of literature seen to the world then please take it elsewhere.

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Headache - Oct 23, 2002 10:48 am (#48 of 153)
Don't hate on Kip, I suggest you leave before Steve gives us your IP address to wreak havoc on.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 10:57 am (#49 of 153)
Let me put in my final thought on this subject in the form of a rant:

This forum began "Why are we such sad people?"

Well, having had the experiences in my life that I did, I maintain that there is a tiny percentage of us who come from the nothingness into a sheltered life, where they will never have to worry about things like where their next meal is going to come from, and if their father is going to beat them with a 2x4.

For the rest of us, life is a constant, ongoing Hell. The truth is, we are all sad people, and that which we call "recreation" is our attempts to escape from it.

We escape into the magical world of Harry Potter. Others into a dictionary, or Shakespeare (my personal favorite being Taming of the Shrew, which I do NOT consider quality literature ^_^), or whatever. Many of us drink ourselves into an early grave in an event that is popularly called "Happy Hour."

From where I stand, if what we are doing hurts no one, then people honestly don't have a right to criticize what we do, for they are either in the exact same life scenario as we, or will never understand the need to escape life once in a while.

I don't cater to people who have to try to prove themselves smarter than others by quoting ancient philosophers and popular liberal critics. The Slytherin drapes in my room stand as a testament that I do not read Plato for the purpose of showing off my brain, but because that is what I enjoy, and that is what helps me get through this hell called life.

Perhaps this may seem like the pot calling the cauldron black coming from a Slytherin - a group of people who seem to live at the expense of others in the novels. That's not my call to make.

I do not have the right to belittle people for listening to country music to escape any more than someone has the right to belittle me for liking the Harry Potter world so much.

Is Harry Potter quality literature? That may be a very important question to many, but not me. I love taking in Rowling's masterful use of allegory as a literary device, but that's not why I read Harry Potter. All I know is I really like it, and the hell with anyone who tells me I'm wrong.

Forums such as this one exist so that we Fanimagi (since I made it up, I guess I HAVE to support it) can talk about the book we like so much. Does it have flaws? You don't have to look far in the forum to find out it does. But we have the right to discuss the book without being belittled by people who simply want to enjoy themselves at the expense of others.

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus.

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liliaceae - Oct 23, 2002 11:16 am (#50 of 153)
Ah, how quaint, dearie.

Actually, I believe your argument was something along the lines of popularity not usually making for good quality, something tend to agree with. However, you compared Ricky Martin to Mozart, Harlequin books to Tolstoy...Well, I assume Ricky Martin represents the popularity half of the argument, yes? Then, logically, Mozart must fall under the qualtiy portion. All I pointed out was that the man was indeed popular in his time, and remains held in rather high esteem today, so he could conceptually be another argument for the co-existance of both popularity and quality, something I also agree with.

Oh, and I'm well aware of how Mozart died. Hehe, my parents made me watch Amadeus when i really young- I had nightmares about that laugh! And that HORRIBLE coffin they locked the poor deranged people in...that image has been seared into my brain! But as for his burial, yes- that was how asylum patients tended to be disposed of during that time, if no one came to collect the body. I never said he REMAINED popular. Then again, check with Ricky Martin in 20 years or so- perhaps he'll have gone the way of Mozart! Fame's a fickle thing, after all...

By the way, have you ASKED every fan of the authors I mentioned for their opinions on Harry Potter? You really should before speaking in their stead, as some of them might suprise you. I never implied that all of them would like it- I was actually making a point about those who think so highly of certain sects of literature that they refuse to give any others a chance, which limits their knowlege, in my opinion. Then again, I'm more curious than most.

And, for SP: Socrates didn't NEED to write anything down- he had a million groupies hanging around to do all the scribing for him! Wink

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 11:18 am (#51 of 153)
Dude, Plato was the only one who would come NEAR Socrates. I wasn't kidding when I said the dude never bathed.

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liliaceae - Oct 23, 2002 11:31 am (#52 of 153)
Ick...I read that somewhere. Reminds me of this girl I knew once who believed water from the tap was "artificial" and REFUSED to bathe in it. I'm not kidding- she would go out to the river...note that she was an ACQUAINTANCE. Had no problems with drinking the water though.

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Joa Pendragen - Oct 23, 2002 11:50 am (#53 of 153)
Bigglesbie, if you can't say anything nice to the people on this forum, why say anything at all?

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NoVeil4Me - Oct 23, 2002 1:10 pm (#54 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 2:11 pm
Here Joa, this is an appropriate graphic when you say that Smile

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Joa Pendragen - Oct 23, 2002 1:19 pm (#55 of 153)
Thanks!

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 23, 2002 2:40 pm (#56 of 153)
Ya know, if you could just DEFINE what "Literature" is, exactly (in your opinion) i would sure appreciate it. Then maybe i could figure out why Harry doesn't qualify.

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W J - Oct 23, 2002 4:23 pm (#57 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 5:26 pm
Don't you hate it when an elitist, self-important critic like Bloom, who has been writing his whole life without having a best selling book (not counting the "Bloom's Notes" and other "Bloom's..." critiques, etc. concerning other writer's works that are found in most libraries, but HIS actual works) becomes jealous of a new writer who is wildly popular AND critically acclaimed? JK Rowling has won more literary awards in the last five years than other authors dream of winning in a lifetime. Her books are globally popular with people of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds, and MOST critics adore her books too.

And then some BIGG JERK with no original ideas of his own and nothing better to do with his time but yank someone's chain for the fun of it stumbles into a forum for people who agree with MOST of the critics that, yes, JK Rowling is a gifted writer. So, BIGG JERK, please do not include us in your question, "Why are WE such sad people?" because I think you are the only sad person here. The rest of us are sharing our delight about the Harry Potter series and having fun at it.

And for the record:

"Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone" won the following awards:

Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 1997 Gold Medal 9-11 years, FCBG Children’s Book Award 1997 Overall winner and Longer Novel Category winner, Birmingham Cable Children’s Book Award 1997, Young Telegraph Paperback of the Year 1998, British Book Awards 1997 Children’s Book of the Year, Sheffield Children’s Book Award 1998, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001,

"Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" won:

Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 1998 Gold Medal 9-11 years, Scottish Arts Council Children’s Book Award 1999, FCBG Children’s Book Award 1998 Overall winner and Longer Novel Category winner, British Book Awards 1998 Children’s Book of the Year, North East Book Award 1999, North East Scotland Book Award 1998, The Booksellers Association / The Bookseller Author of the Year 1998, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001,

"Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" won:

Nestlé Smarties Book Prize 1999 Gold Medal 9-11 years, Whitbread Children’s Book of the Year 1999, British Book Awards 1999 Author of the Year, The Booksellers Association / The Bookseller Author of the Year 1998, FCBG Children's Book Award 1999 / Longer Novel Category, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001,

"Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" won:

Scottish Arts Council Book Award 2001, Children's Book Award in 9-11 category 2001, Winner of the Hugo Award, Whitaker's Platinum Book Award 2001,

AND JK Rowling dominated the New York Times Bestseller's list for so long that other authors complained and they had to create a second list for bestselling children's books. The children's book authors complained that JK Rowling had the top spots filled and it wasn't fair to them. So now a 3rd bestselling list has been made to accommodate the phonomenon that is JK Rowling and her Harry Potter series.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 23, 2002 4:47 pm (#58 of 153)
Wow, I bow to your geek-level knowledge there W J. Kewl picture of Snape, too.

I had hoped though, that this conversation would have died when he left, and it would have dwindled down into the depths of the forum where the "Draco is HOTTTT" stuff had fallen into a forgotten nothingness...

That's what I get for trying to end a discussion with a rant. ^_^

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W J - Oct 23, 2002 4:56 pm (#59 of 153)
Edited by Oct 23, 2002 5:57 pm
I know I should have ignored it, but I just couldn't let it pass which is exactly what he wants --- a reaction. Well, he got some reactions and I think we acquitted ourselves very well. Did you notice all the PASSION in the responses? 'Kinda cool!

Oh and thanks for noticing my Snape picture. I like it too Smile

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Joa Pendragen - Oct 24, 2002 6:54 am (#60 of 153)
Where'd you get the picture, W J? It's cool.

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kimiraikkonen - Oct 24, 2002 7:13 am (#61 of 153)
In all fairness I think Bigglesbie has made an attempt at legitimate argument. He has drawn analogies (however untrue they may be), and used various methods to try and argue his (invalid) points. I am not defecting to the camp of an obnoxious flamer here, but I think he has made a better attempt at justifying his argument than people such as Kesesi and Joa, who just come in and whine about his feeble words. Slytherin Prefect and W J beat him hands down though. By the way, W J, I feel that the awards you so painstakingly listed above were not of literary merit, however fervently they claim to be, but of popularity. I think the Nobel Prize, Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize, or at least something of a slightly lower standard, would be much more impressive.

Anyway the main point of this is that perhaps we should give people such as Bigglesbie a chance even after they make ignorant comments and insult people. We all make mistakes and I think Bigglesbie has tried to correct his faults to a minor extent, and anyway I think it is very weak to poison the well and put down a person's argument just because of his past errors.

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Prefect Marcus - Oct 24, 2002 8:02 am (#62 of 153)
Edited by Oct 24, 2002 9:03 am
Kimiraikkonen,

Bigglesbie made essentially two assertions:

Rowling's writing is second-rate. Her fans are "sad" and any number of other less complementary terms.

The only evidence he offered for the first was a reference to Harold Bloom. The only proof he offered for the second point is that everybody on this HP board disagreed with him and Mr. Bloom. That is a circular argument.

You are completely correct in stating that he had raised valid questions, but I have my doubts as to his sincerity. He offered, if you recall, to continue the discussion with anybody who wanted to since we have his email. Well, I sent him an email wanting to continue the discussion. (I enjoy talking to people who disagree with me. The stronger the disagreement, the better. You learn things.) Guess what? It bounced! Perhaps you could try. His email filter might be set up to reject yahoo.com accounts.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 8:17 am (#63 of 153)
I don't know if any of you have ever visited the "Harry Potter Sucks" forums and fangroups or not. I used to before I read the books and realized that I too was a wanker. ^_^

But seriously, on those forums you'd be surprised how often Harold Bloom comes up. People who actually spend time talking about why they don't like Harry Potter tend to fall into two groups: people who feel that Harry Potter is beneath them (those who are into Shakespeare, etc. etc.), and those who, simply put, are wankers who hate everything mainstream (pop music, rap, Buffy, etc.).

I'd be willing to bet half those people never opened a Harold Bloom book. They quote him because he is an "expert" in literary criticism much like modern liberal philosophy buffs quote Peter Singer, never having read any of his work (and in the case of Singer, knowing his own philosophy contradicts itself.)

Nonetheless, Bloom speaks to these people's need to be smarter than everyone else, and so they quote him. I know of Bloom mostly from my Advanced Rhetoric classes in college, and I stand by what I said about him being the shock jock of the lit-crit world.

If you ever want a funny read though, pick up Bloom's "The American Religion." Its biting satire calls out to me on a level that really meshes well with my ultimate cynicism, but then he goes on to insult even the people reading his book's intelligence by using assumptions of American pop culture in Aristotelian logic to prove that he is God.

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 8:19 am (#64 of 153)
I dunno. My perception of Bigglesbie is far less flattering than the way you guys seem to have him pegged. I saw him as a wanker who gets his jollies from running around on the Harry Potter forums picking on 10-13-year olds showing off how smart he is.

I think here, however, that he wasn't expecting to find so many adults and the smartest 10-13-year-olds I myself have ever seen. The entire time all he did was backpedal and backpedal until finally leaving "gracefully."

Well, I fear he won't be the last. I'm just glad I've finally found a forum that's not willing to degenerate to their level.

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kheshire - Oct 24, 2002 8:40 am (#65 of 153)
Edited by Feb 20, 2003 7:05 pm
Speaking along the same vein, I would appreciate your not using a certain descripted word. I have changed it. -Kip

GRRRR!!!

Well it's been a while since I've been here and I missed this entirely, but YAY for all of y'all keeping your heads towards an bona-fide *insert expletive of your choice*.

I thought we were going to avoid nasty little things like that on this forum, but I guess the luck had to run out sometime.

What a petty person, to come here and try and upset us all off.

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 24, 2002 8:57 am (#66 of 153)
Edited by Oct 24, 2002 9:59 am
Yup, i kinda missed it too, which is why i made the "age limit" remark. I thought at first that you guys were referring to the Scabbers/Trevor crap. Sorry, i'll read ahead next time.

It's actually for the best, though. I have very little patience with pseudo-intellectuals and tend to acquire a pottymouth (no pun intended) fairly quickly. Which, yes, eggs them on. I'm due for anger management classes any day now.... =)

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 9:02 am (#67 of 153)
::raises eyebrow and puts down his Aristotle book::

What do you mean by "pseudo-intellectuals?"

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Kip Carter - Oct 24, 2002 9:38 am (#68 of 153)
Edited by Oct 24, 2002 10:39 am
Prefect Marcus,

I have sent a reply back to Bigglesbie from an email that he had sent me telling him that some on this Forum would like to continue the discussion and ask for his feelings towards doing this. If that email is returned, I will let you know. I used my regular email address versus something like yahoo.com.

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 24, 2002 11:00 am (#69 of 153)
Well,most of the pseudo-intellectuals I know are the ones who sneer at all but the most obscure. Be it art, music, theater, or in this case, literature. ANYTHING mainstream is for the unwashed masses, not worthy of their attention. Then there are those (in the case of literature) who read something (like Aristotle) for the sheer purpose of saying that they've read it. Although when called upon to discuss it, don't seem to grasp the point, and can't tell you what they liked or disagreed with. In my humble opinion, there is great merit in reading just to read, because you never know what you may stumble across and fall in love with. But reading something for the sheer purpose of being a SNOT about how substandard you feel it is (because, of course, you've reached that conclusion before you even picked it up)is just ridiculous.



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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 11:12 am (#70 of 153)
"The unwashed masses?" I think someone ELSE here has been reading the "intellectual literature" too! ^_^

Am I going to stand here and say that Rowling has more literary merit than Aristotle? No, I'm not. Aristotle created formal logic and informal reasoning, and it is because of him that philosophy can be studied today.

But does that make Harry Potter worthless? If you think so, I still have that copy of War and Peace I read (Tolstoy is borderline worthless, in my opinion), which I can shine up real nice, turn the sucker sideways, and...

Well, you know how that gets finished. ^_^

But to Kip: You guys may want him back, but I certainly don't miss him.

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 24, 2002 11:22 am (#71 of 153)
I read anything i can get my hands on, i'll admit. Because that's MY passion, everyone has one. But i do it out of sheer love for the printed word and the human thought process, not to be able to back up arguments.

And yes, i think there are books out there that have had a greater impact on society. I think there are books out there that are more thought-provoking. There are books out there that are more meaningful to me. There may even be some that i find just as entertaining. BUT that doesn't make Harry Potter somehow less literary. That's what bugs the heck out of me. Just because he has a universal appeal, it somehow "dumbs it down." WHY?!

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Slytheringoddess - Oct 24, 2002 11:31 am (#72 of 153)
bigglesbie if you are referring to HP as crap then you are the sad one, not us.

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Slytheringoddess - Oct 24, 2002 11:33 am (#73 of 153)
Kathy Lynch i sooooo agree with you but are so sounding like a certain some1 from the books {Hermione}

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 11:40 am (#74 of 153)
I totally agree too, Kathy. Different people have different tastes, and I respect that.

I just wish other people would too...

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 24, 2002 12:54 pm (#75 of 153)
Well, i guess i don't mind sounding like Hermione TOO much.... she IS my favorite character! =)

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Slytherin Prefect - Oct 24, 2002 1:26 pm (#76 of 153)
Hermoine seems to be a LOT of people's favorite character. ^_^

Mine will always be Neville, though I'm not too much like him (now, but man... back when I was 14? You want to talk about social awkwardness...)

I still maintain that I am either most like Oliver Wood, Severus Snape, or Gilderoy Lockhart depending on my mood/situation.

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Slytheringoddess - Oct 24, 2002 1:35 pm (#77 of 153)
Edited by Oct 24, 2002 2:37 pm
didn't mean you sound like hermione, trying to be nasty, i'd take it as a compliment, her being so very intelligent.

my favourite characters have got to be fred and george weasly, they remind me of me.

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Kathy Lynch - Oct 24, 2002 2:59 pm (#78 of 153)
Edited by Oct 24, 2002 4:00 pm
Oh, i know you weren't being nasty, i just thought it was funny! =)

I also like the Weasley twins very much. They're the kind of guys i always end up dating!

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W J - Oct 24, 2002 8:58 pm (#79 of 153)
Hey, Joa, here is the link to Snape photos that you asked for earlier in this thread.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Joa Pendragen - Oct 25, 2002 6:43 am (#80 of 153)
I liked the first picture you had better. Thanks!

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timrew - Oct 25, 2002 4:07 pm (#81 of 153)
To get back to a previous point. Yes, you're right. Jo Rowling's writing is not great literature. This is not to say that she won't be remembered and her books read for years, even decades to come. Take the works of Enid Blyton. Has anyone read them? Now she was a truly terrible writer, really stinko! But kids the world over still read her books (as a child, I devoured all of the Famous Five books). Jo Rowling is far and away above Enid Blyton in terms of writing. I believe her books will still be read by adults and children alike in a hundred years time - even though she may never win the Nobel Prize for Literature!

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Biglesbe - Nov 5, 2002 11:10 am (#82 of 153)
Enid Blyton. Wow, I havent' thought of those books in years. I loved them as a kid.

Kip, I haven't gotten your email, but would be receptive to discussing things further.

As for the most of the room, I must say that the bulk of the insults tossed about are coming from you, not me. A few people were willing to engage in discussion, but the rest were mostly content with hurling dismissive insults. S. P. in particular.

B.

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liliaceae - Nov 5, 2002 1:28 pm (#83 of 153)
Oh gads! I read those Fabulous Five books! Wow...one of the first times I've admitted that out loud. Hehe- I gave one of my exes that information just because I had more dirt on him than he had on me. Yeah, I DO play fair sometimes...

As for Biglesbe, I haven't seen you around recently. Maybe that's for the best. I hesitate to speak for the rest of the forum, but I can't help but wonder what you're doing back? Are you prepared to engage in a reasonable debate about the merits/non-merits of Harry Potter? If that's the case, than welcome. I personally feel you can't have too many points of view because you never can tell who just might shed light on a situation. However, from what I remember of many of your posts, you did resort to flinging personal insults at highly respected members, like Kip. In fact, the title of the thread you started was, "Why are we such sad people?" Not exactly neutural there, sweetie.

Did you honestly NOT expect to meet resistance here? This IS a Harry Potter forum after all, and not one of those "Isn't this person HOTTT!!" ones. The forum was created for followers of the Lexicon, a website dedicated to providing a thorough understanding of Harry Potter books. I'm not afraid to speak for everyone here now in saying this forum is probably one of the best Harry Potter forums around. Its a place we come to share our opinions and theories, and one of the few Harry Potter sites on the web capable of handling intelligent discussion. I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that's why you chose us.

Perhaps if you had presented your arguement in a more positive light, the resulting debate might have yeilded more than an excersize in mudslinging, intellectual stroking and, ultimately, futility. Maybe, "I read the books and just don't understand the obsession everyone has. Can anyone give me their opinion?" would have been a better way to start out. I won't speak for everyone here, but I wouldn't have been insulted. In fact, I would have been tickled pink to toss in my two knuts! But the nature of your argument struck me badly. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I garnered a lot of bad vibes from the discussion. It appeared to me that you were insulting us for following Harry Potter so closely as well as the value of the books as literature.

As a writer, I admit I hold a unique view on quality. I dig things that sway me, thrill me, amuse me, floor me, the list goes on. Bsically, if it captures my imagination for some reason, its good literature because my imagination, of course, surpasses ALL others! Wink Then again, I've also been known to watch a movie and say, "What a great movie! The soundtrack was awesome!" So, obviously, parts of a greater whole influence me more than the actual whole. I also value stylistic originality more than anything else. I refuse to classify JKR with any other writer because I have yet to come across anyone with her style before. Is this the kind of response you had in mind? You might have gotten more like this if you hadn't begun so abrasively. People here are defensive of Harry Potter because the books figure signifigantly into our lives, so sparking any debate like yours here must be handled with care. Please take consideration of the feelings of the members here if you are truly interested in learning anything from us. In turn, we will be considerate of you.

adieu! taryn

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Kathy Lynch - Nov 5, 2002 4:52 pm (#84 of 153)
Well put, Taryn! Bravo to you!

P.S. Will SOMEBODY tell me what the "Official" definition of the word Literature really is? I don't have a dictionary and i don't want to leave the Lexicon right this second to go get one online. I want to know if Harry fits the dictionary definition or if we have some other societal one....
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Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread Empty Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? (adapted) Condensed Thread - Part 2

Post  Elanor Sat Jun 18, 2011 9:28 am

NoVeil4Me - Nov 5, 2002 4:56 pm (#85 of 153)
According to Mirriam-Webster:

Main Entry: lit•er•a•ture Pronunciation: 'li-t&-r&-"chur, 'li-tr&-"chur, 'li-t&(r)-"chur, -ch&r, -"tyur, -"tur Function: noun Etymology: Middle English, from Latin litteratura writing, grammar, learning, from litteratus Date: 14th century 1 : archaic : literary culture 2 : the production of literary work especially as an occupation 3 a (1) : writings in prose or verse; especially : writings having excellence of form or expression and expressing ideas of permanent or universal interest (2) : an example of such writings b : the body of written works produced in a particular language, country, or age c : the body of writings on a particular subject d : printed matter (as leaflets or circulars) 4 : the aggregate of a usually specified type of musical compositions

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liliaceae - Nov 5, 2002 5:26 pm (#86 of 153)


bows* Yes, I am pleased to accept your glory! bows again, trips, falls, breaks spleen* Ah well, that didn't last long, did it? Wink

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Dumbledore II - Nov 6, 2002 5:12 am (#87 of 153)
bows to liliaceae83

sorry, I don't want to fall a second time this week and hurt my leg again, so I stop bowing now.

Anyway, thank's liliaceae83

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Slytherin Prefect - Nov 6, 2002 5:17 am (#88 of 153)
Bigglesbie, I stand by every word I spoke, and honestly hope you don't do this in real life.

(Bigglesbie walks into a party with people minding their own business, playing a rousing game of "How to Host a Murder Mystery")

Bigglesbie: "Oh my god you people are so stupid! Look in the mirror for crying out loud! Are you supposed to be a hunter? You know, in a REAL, CLASSIC murder mystery..."

Sound stupid? It should. ^_^

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Bigelsbie - Nov 6, 2002 7:07 am (#89 of 153)
My response to liliaceae83 was denied by the powers that be, I'm sorry to say, though, it was exceedingly polite.

I read the books and saw the film and just don't understand the obsession everyone has. I don't get what about those books is worth spending all this time and energy discussing, and I suspect that it is the desire to permanently escape reality. If so, then I propose that there are better and more satisfying universes to escape into. Can anyone give me any insight? I don't get it.

B.

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liliaceae - Nov 6, 2002 1:22 pm (#90 of 153)
Edited by Nov 6, 2002 1:26 pm
Bigelsbie- i don't think there's a single person who won't respond well to southern hospitality. As I've always heard, "when all else fails, try good manners." Yay! My mother would be so proud...

As per your inquiry, the best thing I can say is: to each his own, sweetie! I don't think anyone was really meant to understand obsession. Perhaps that's what makes it special. I can only share my experiences with it. I must confess that the reason I joined the forum was because my facination with HP had gone on so long. Usually, I'm a person of extreme disorder and distraction. My temper blasts and fades in three minutes. I prefer crushes and courting to an actual relationship. I like short stories as opposed to novels. I cannot make myself become physically or mentally addicted to anything. Even my greatest flame (for Jack Kerouac) extinguished itself in a matter of weeks. But something was different about Harry. Months wore on and I found my fixation growing. But instead of shame I felt the need to indulge it. Basically, I come here to keep from driving my friends nuts (which I NEVER do...EVER...) to talk with a bunch of people who probably come here to keep from driving their friends nuts as well. Would I spend less time here if I could see more of my friends on the weekdays? Maybe, maybe not. I really enjoy my time here- most everyone here has both a wonderful mind and personality! I would miss whole the environment if i stopped coming here. Its...well, fun!

I fully admit I'm hiding from reality here. Temporarily postponing reality is necessairy to maintain sanity. I couldn't take the world coming hardcore at me every waking moment, and neither could you. But absolute escapism? That's a bit rash. I haven't met anyone I'd consider delusional here...yet Wink. I'm completely aware of reality. I know today is November 6, 2002. I worked and went to school. I took a midterm yesterday, have a writer's meeting tomorrow and am looking forward to kicking back and chilling with my buddies this weekend. I love my life...well, not the midterm, but you get the idea! I dig what makes me happy and if part of that is Harry Potter, than so be it. Some like gardening, some like to kill other people. I think what we have here is rather harmless as far as obsession goes.

While you constantly question happiness, you're less inclined to notice it passing you by. I've always thought it best to grab it whenever, wherever and however you can. You feel there are better places to be than here? Great! Go with whatever sends you! But me? I like it here. It AMUSES me. Whenever someone asks me, "why?" I answer, "why not?" Perhaps this isn't what you had in mind as an enlightening response, but its what I've got. -taryn

Been stealing my phrases, eh SP? ::tries to look menacing:: ::fails miserably:: Pathetic, hmm? Ah well, I stole your "two knuts" so I'm no better. Think of it as a compliment!

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Choco* - Nov 6, 2002 4:53 pm (#91 of 153)
I am probably less of an HP addict than most people here. In my free time, I create my own worlds and dream my own dreams. To be honest, I came here first on a whim - I was internet surfing, and for no reason in particular decided to type in "Harry Potter." I'd read the books a few times, but that was the extent of my interest. I arrived on the Lexicon at the forum's inception, and proceeded to read the posts. That I return here again and again is a testament to the quality of people on this forum. For me, HP is not so much a world to envision myself in as an outlet for critical thinking. Talking with people on this forum, I've had fun making connections and debating theories. I've participate in discussions far more mind-taxing than any I've had with my friends or in class. I love to think and I love to analyze; that is what draws me here. JKR's world is satisfying because of its complexity and its unanswered questions. What would I be doing if I wasn't here? Maybe my homework, for one. Smile But most likely, I'd be watching TV or playing computer card games. I have no regrets about the time I've spent here; I believe that every minute spent in thought, whether it be about HP or anything else, is not a minute wasted.

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timrew - Nov 19, 2002 6:28 pm (#92 of 153)
Bigelsbie. Sorry. What are you doing here?

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dobby - Nov 19, 2002 8:24 pm (#93 of 153)
if you feel it is such a waste of energy, why have you been here enough that i see you name at the beginning of this topic and at the end?? isnt that a "waste of energy" in your words??

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rettoP yrraH - Nov 19, 2002 8:55 pm (#94 of 153)
Hey bigelsbie if you want attention call your mother. If you want response call the Police. If you want conseling call 1-800-9999999 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-800-9999999 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. If you want insite call your Optomologist.

Thank you for nothing!

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Ravenclaw Chaser - Dec 3, 2002 2:31 pm (#95 of 153)
I just picked up this thread because I was looking for something to post. I would like to commend all who have taken up the charge to defend our boy Harry and JK Rowling, one of the coolest authors around. My only regret is that I picked up on it too late and it seems to have died and gone to heaven (all the "Draco is a HOT-TAY!" ones went to the other place). Kudos to all!

PS: Not-so-flattering-okay-outright-rude acknowledgement to Biggelsbie. (if you are still around)

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Slytherin Prefect - Dec 3, 2002 5:07 pm (#96 of 153)
There goes my hopes of this thread finally dying off...

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Kip Carter - Dec 17, 2002 11:17 pm (#97 of 153)
Come on, Slytherin Prefect, you never wanted this thread to die off!

Kip

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Carina - Dec 18, 2002 7:34 pm (#98 of 153)
Well, I did! *grumbles at Kip*

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riquelme - Dec 19, 2002 5:13 pm (#99 of 153)
Edited by Dec 26, 2002 1:50 am
I only toned down the original sentence of this post. It was originally all caps. -Kip

Man, I did't know ONLY SIX WORDS that form one question could provoke such a long thread.

And the question doesn't make any sense at all. There's no proof that he or she refers to all Harry Potter fans as being losers or fat and hopeless geeks.

I think he/she posted that question to see how people reacted to the question.

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frances rocamora - Dec 26, 2002 1:44 am (#100 of 153)
I know i'm just a guest here, but I'd just like to say something. All throughout the discussion, we've been comparing elements and levels of literary complexity, and judging the books by rigid standards. We've compared Rowling to Tolkien, and then Shakespeare and Russian political writers, and even kids' books writers, but the thing is, I don't see literature, as something that was created to be judged, or evaluated by standards. (sorry if I go all dead-poets-society on you guys) What was it truly made for--to be appreciated by readers, regardless of intellectual capacity, or taste. So, i just don't find it right to scorn at other people's notions about certain pieces like HP (trust me, i went through that im-not-reading-HP-cuase-evryone-likes-it stage), but rather, weshould just respect their opinion. By the way, i did read HP in the end, and loved it, I also love Tolkien, and have read Philosophical pieces, (for a class) but I really have no patience for socio-political pieces, especially Russian writers, SORRY! It's only my opinion anyway, and maybe I'm just not mature enough for those sort of works, or they're really not my preference. I'm sorry if I posted this message, since I know a lot of people want this thread to be over soon, but I just wanted to say something. Plus, I'm sorry if I offend anyone, and I ask of you not be so harsh on the message, hehe...I'm just a kid. Well, maybe a teenager, but I am just a kid. On another note, I think, one of the reasons people like Harry Potter so much is because it ''liberates'' us, and releases us from the painful clutches of reality, and lets us explore a new realm--a comfort, and privilege that is most welcome and interesting, especially for those of us who have to face grudgingly each day of our lives, with one thought in mind--reality bites. For, it basically offers the same comfort, as all of the books I read, when I find life a little bit difficult to bear. It truly restores an enthusiasm and interest (not only HP, but all books) in life, and gives me a better perspective on living. Again, I'm sorry if i offend anyone, or if I gave cause for the prolifration of this thread, but I repeat--I am only a kid, and I'm just trying to be honest. Happy Holidays! And I'd just like to thank Kip, since this is truly one of the most accomodating sites and discussion boards I've ever joined. Smile

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Asktqa - Dec 26, 2002 3:55 am (#101 of 153)
'I don't see literature, as something that was created to be judged, or evaluated by standards. (sorry if I go all dead-poets-society on you guys) What was it truly made for--to be appreciated by readers, regardless of intellectual capacity, or taste.'

I completely agree.

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azi - Dec 26, 2002 7:41 am (#102 of 153)
I hate the films, I would burn them. I love the books but would kill Harry off if I got the chance. Yet the reason i like it is so simple. Its a different world, similar to ours but with different predudices, wrongs, rights and adventures. Escapism, getting away from reality etc.

I love analysing the characters and putting all the evidence together to get an idea about everything. Its like a giant puzzle. Its all about a different world, just like LOTR, but I actually love those films. hehe Aragorn.

Sorry, harry potter obssessive or something.

azi

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Alianora - Dec 26, 2002 7:50 am (#103 of 153)
Um...well...I don't think that Bigglesbie is exactly here anymore, considering the fact that he or she hasn't posted since early November. I think all that can be said has been said.

By the way, if you are here, did you say (a long time ago) that you read "the Gadfly"? Wow, I thought I was the only one!

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Kesesi - Dec 26, 2002 11:10 am (#104 of 153)
How is appreciation possible without standards?

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Kim Wong - Jan 2, 2003 9:06 am (#105 of 153)
Good Point. But I think you guys see standards as two different things. It IS possible to appreciate with out standards, but their IS more appreciation when people create standards. (if any of that made sense at all)

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Erica V - Jan 11, 2003 3:18 pm (#106 of 153)
Why would you burn the films? I would crush them, mutilate them, and make them rue the day they were born. If you go on the Official HP site, it's like everyone completely forgot that HP is a book. I love it at the Lexicon because people revere the book, not the sad, not-very-well acted and very inaccurate movies.

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Alianora - Jan 11, 2003 5:24 pm (#107 of 153)
I completely agree, Erica V, I think they completly forgot about the fact that its a book. I have seen the movvies, because they are a (poor) alternative for lack of a fifth book-but it just annoys me. I mean, they tried, and they obviously tried hard, but you get none of the overall feeling from the movie.

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Kip Carter - Jan 31, 2003 8:12 pm (#108 of 153)
I changed the title of this thread Why are we such sad people? to Does the Harry Potter series have literary value?.

That is the only thing new!

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Matt Allair - Jan 31, 2003 9:42 pm (#109 of 153)
Edited by Feb 1, 2003 5:57 pm
I had to exchange two letters in one word. That's all! -Kip

I just discovered this thread and all I can say is I have never been more entertained. Sorry Kip for contributing to this wretched mess, but I have to add my two Knuts.

To sum up...

I could not help but find irony in Bigglesbie's conduct. If he was out to prove just how intellectually superior he was, he only proved he was a pseudo intellectual with a superiority complex. He assumed he could attack a bunch of 10-13 year-olds and underestimated the intelligence of the people posting. While it's true that J.K. Rowling is not a literary giant on par with Keats. You can's compare apples and oranges, it just not a fair comparison. As far as Tolkien, he was a writer of his time, his work requires a different kind of attention. I grew up on Tolkien, I'm a big admireer, but there is room for all kinds of literature. I also I have a college degree I might add, read many of the same works Bigglesbie refered to, yet I don't feel I have to prove my intellect, some of us can conduct ourselves a little more refined, obviously Bigglesbie feels differently.

So the irony is, the conumdrum. Had Bigglesbie come in, made his points and walked away with any degree of ellioquence, he would have shown far more intelligence. Yet he could not do that, he had to respond and respond and so on. Instead, Bigglesbie plays with people, becuase he can. Can anyone see the lesson here to be learned? There are no absolutes in the forum of the arts, just opinion.

Of course if Bigglesbie now responds to this, it will prove my point, ironic, isn't it?

Matt

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Wesley Montoya - Feb 2, 2003 1:15 pm (#110 of 153)
My two knuts... First of all, I don't think it's fair to compare books. Each book should be judged on its individual merit, which, by the way, happens to be a completely opinion-based matter. However, I'll tell you right now why I like, and may am obsessed with, the HP series. It's the mystery of the whole thing. Can anyone in this forum (even you, Bigglesbie)stand up and honestly tell me that they have the entire plotline figured out? I'm guessing no. If I'm wrong, please don't explain the whole thing to me, just say "You're wrong." I want to discover the ending on my own. In contradiction to what I said earlier about no two books being compared, I'll go ahead and do it because some people like it that way. True, Rowling's works are not on par with Tolkien by an absolute standard. Good literature must contain good descriptions. Rowling's are good, Tolkien's are better. But there's the punch: Rowling's are /good/. So regardless of "better/best", Rowling's are "good/great". One last note: I was rather ashamed to see any mudslinging at all on either side, and if I ever fall into it, someone please hit me or something.

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Denise S. - Feb 7, 2003 8:45 pm (#111 of 153)
How did the quote by Mark Twain go? "Literature are books that everyone thinks you should read, but no one actually does/wants to." If we go by this fairly accurate description, no, and I think we'd all be the better for it! Smile

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Asktqa - Feb 8, 2003 5:29 am (#112 of 153)
'A classic is a book that everybody wants to have read, but nobody wants to read.' Smile

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Penny L. - Feb 8, 2003 7:23 pm (#113 of 153)
'"A classic is a book that everybody wants to have read, but nobody wants to read.' Smile "

Okay, no offense, but i completly disagree. Some say that Harry Potter will be a classic, and we all want to read more. Also, The Catcher in the Rye was probably one of the best books i ever read, and its considered a classic. So is Fahrenheit 451, and Brave New World... Now there are some books, that probably agree with what you said... cough, A tale of two cities, cough....

I guess my point is, that lots of people find different types of books interesting. SOme of my friends love Westerns, and i can't stand them. At the same time, i like sci-fi, and a lot of people dont... so i guess literary value, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. or reader, as the case my be.

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Denise S. - Feb 8, 2003 7:33 pm (#114 of 153)
...And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the answer to our question!

(Thanks for helping me out w/ the quote!)

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phoenixeleven - Feb 8, 2003 7:40 pm (#115 of 153)
Being an English major, I have to throw in my opinion as well (of course):

One does not need an archaic vocabulary, or a story that moves so slowly it doesn't pick up until chapter ten, or an obscure philosophy buried in allegory that only the "intelligent folk" could possibly understand, in order to write a wonderful story, worthy of "literary merit."

Rowling, for all intensive purposes, tells it like it is. Sure, there are plenty of symbols, there are plenty of morals, and there is plenty of thematic intent, but she actually lays it out there for us to see, take in, and understand, which is actually a *good* thing. There is no point in sending a message if less than a third of your audience is even close to understanding it.

The Arts, unfortunately, has an "Emporer's New Clothes" effect when it comes to criticism. If an author, or a musician, or an artist creates a piece and then says, "If you can't see the significance behind this then you're probably quite stupid," they can easily buy themselves critical acclaim. No one wants to be the bumbling oaf that doesn't see the message behind the rambling poetry, the horrible singing, or the nondescript blob of metal on a pedestal, and this fear of being seen as unintelligent has created a snobbery like Bigglesbie's that doesn't know quite what to do with good, simple, quality staring it right in the face.

Alright, that's the spiel from someone who's actually supposed to be getting her degree in this department. Smile

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Rosariana - Feb 8, 2003 7:55 pm (#116 of 153)
I completely agree with you PhoenixEleven.

I have read Tolkien and found his descriptions unnecessarily lengthy to the point of boredom. Rowling only describes what is necessary and allows the readers to use their imaginations. I think her method is better because it allows the story to pick up and get moving before the readers forget whats happening. Tolkien's use of language is more difficult but that doesn't make it better.

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Bridget Douglas - Feb 23, 2003 7:38 am (#117 of 153)
No offence but, I think we should have faith in Harry Potter and believe that it is the best book series ever! HARRY POTTER RULES!

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Asktqa - Feb 23, 2003 2:57 pm (#118 of 153)
Okay, everyone has their own opinions about writing/descriptions etc, I don't know how you could judge from that. But then how can you know if something has 'literary value' or not? There are some books you can easily say have NO literary value, but how about all the rest? Everyone will have different opinions about what type of writing, descriptions, plots, characters they prefer. Can a book only be said to have literary value if it deals with 'deep' questions and issues? (Which HP defnitely does, just as a thought.) I think it is very hard to judge 'literary value' or hold one book up against another. As everyone's using this example, trying to compare HP and LOTR would be stupid - the authors are trying to do different things with those books, and though they may be the same genre, they aren't the same type of book at all. (By the way, I completely agree with what you said about Tolkein's descriptions, Rosariana!)

I believe this is my problem with book awards such as the Carnegie Medal - you can't compare books that are so different.

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Jasmine Evans - Mar 26, 2003 9:51 am (#119 of 153)
The fine about the Potter books is that they can be read as they are, without thinking too much over the action. However, I think there is a debth in Harry Potter. Among other things the concept of Normality. Dursleys think that they are oh so normal and the wizards are abnormal, Malfoys think that they are normal and the Muggles are abnormal. Normality depends on who you are. Another point to discuss is What Is Real Love? Is it to give your child all the materiel things he wants and let him eat anything he wants, or is it when you give your life for your child? Or maybe something in between. We can also take the more philosofic discussion about life and death. Is the eternal life absolutely good? (Voldemort). There are many things to be discussed, so my point of viewe is that Harry Potter has a high degree of literary value.

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Brandon - Mar 30, 2003 2:24 pm (#120 of 153)
Here's something interesting, many "radical" Christians are trying to get the Harry Potter books banned from schools across the U.S. They beleive not only that the books promote Heracy, but that they have no literary value. I personally beleive that the books have literary value, especially for the younger crowd of readers. I mean when I was ten I would have been intimidated by a 734 page book. Is Rowling getting to the point that these are no longer childrens books? Being a semi speedy reader I can read GoF in a couple nights if I sit down and read, but it would take a ten year old probally almost a month, o.k. maybe a couple of weeks but still. Most of these kids have their parents read the books to them but you lose the effects of Rowling's excellent writing when they are out loud. I am in no way saying that Rowling needs to write some "See the Cat Run" version of Harry Potter, I am simply pointing out that Rowling is losing a younger following. I mean it will be another five to six years before the last book comes out if she continues at this rate. That's a heck of a lot of fans. Don't read too much into this, just putting in my two knuts. Wink

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Sly Girl - Mar 30, 2003 8:17 pm (#121 of 153)
Aye. But if you're like me, you think, true she's losing younger readers.. but hey, they gotta group up eventually, right? Smile

I read a lot when I was a kid. It's true the size of these things would be daunting to a parent or young reader. But my mom paid attention to what I read and told me some things were for when I was older. I have a cousin who can't wait to read the series but her parents are making her wait (she's Cool based on my recommendation she be older. Wink

I love having that power. heh

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Carina - Mar 30, 2003 8:32 pm (#122 of 153)
I did the same thing with my nephew. He had actually read the first three books before I did but his mom wanted to wait for GoF to come out on paperback (for easier bedtime reading). After I had read the books, I suggested that she might want to wait even longer on it.

While there are some very young fans out there (and any good parent would and should be aware of what their young child is reading), I think the majority of the fan base is pretty much growing up as Harry does(if we weren't already grown when we started!) The kids who were 7-9 when Harry first came out are now 12-15 years old and able to handle the darker stuff a bit better.

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W J - Mar 30, 2003 8:42 pm (#123 of 153)
Bloomsbury and Scholastic really should gear their marketing campaign for books 4-7 toward the 12 to 15 year old age group. 'Just my opinion. Smile

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Sly Girl - Mar 30, 2003 9:52 pm (#124 of 153)
You know what my biggest beef is? Lord of the Rings fans who think their books are better than Harry Potter because Harry Potter is for 'kiddies' and gasp! easy to read.

Now, I've read the Lord of the Rings books, and I am of the assertion that parts of them are very.. shall we say.. drier than Moody's gimp leg? Needless to say, I do find parts of that particular series very good. But I still believe the Potter books to be better. Which is why I'm on a Harry Potter site and not a LOTR site. But you can't argue with a LOTR fan about this. So the 'for kids' campaign really bugs me in that sense, because it's probably actually turned off some people from the series.

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W J - Mar 31, 2003 12:53 am (#125 of 153)
"Kids" did not pay for 40 million copies of the HP books....adults did.

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Asktqa - Mar 31, 2003 3:01 am (#126 of 153)
Edited by Mar 31, 2003 3:01 am
I think the point is that those who were 8-12 when the first book came out (the age range the books are supposedly aimed at, or at least that's where they put them in my local Waterstones) are now 13-17 - and still reading them. That's how it was in my case, at least. I think its a good thing that the books are getting darker, as well. It's as if the readers are growing up with the books.

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Kathy Lynch - Mar 31, 2003 11:52 am (#127 of 153)
Well, i was ALWAYS a reader as a kid. But i started reading at age 3, so by the time I was 9 and 10, i was reading Stephen King and V.C. Andrews.(i LOVED Stephen King. Still do.)My Mom had a "I don't care what you read, as long as you're reading," attitude, which promptly backfired on her when i decided i wanted to read The Exorcist at eleven years old, and kept her up at night for two weeks because i was too scared to go to sleep. Anyway, the POINT of this: Even though the series is getting darker and there are deaths coming up, i think children are okay with that. I mean, even if you take it down to the most basic comparison, cartoons, the bad guys kill the good guys sometimes. Look at G.I. Joe. Or Superman. And i think that ANY child with a strong family system will be emotionally capable of handling it. And the ones who DON'T have a strong family background have MUCH more to worry about than whether or not Hagrid gets killed.

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Denise S. - Mar 31, 2003 9:28 pm (#128 of 153)
When I was young, I too would read just about anything that looked good (not much for Stephen King, but did a few Michael Crichton books), and even if what happened in the story was frightening or sad, I was able to tell that it was a book. It's not like TV where it looks like it's real; it's a story, and fiction at that (which most 8 year olds can comprehend), and it's only real in your mind. While there might be some points that go over their heads, they will be able to enjoy it and, I think, can handle what goes on in the books.

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Brandon - Mar 31, 2003 10:20 pm (#129 of 153)
Hey Kathy if you love Stephen King there is a similar style author out there by the name of Robert R. McCammon some of the best books I've ever read. Read Boys Life this is quite possibly the best book I've ever read, (sorry but I nead to get other supplements until the next book comes out.) Anyways anyone here in Lexicon who likes Stephen King should try McCammon.

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timrew - Apr 18, 2003 6:36 pm (#130 of 153)
You can't compare Harry Potter to LOTR, Stephen King, James Joyce's Ulysses or whatever. You can enjoy all these books separately, in their own "write", but please don't try to compare them. They are all different styles of writing.

I love them all....well, some Stephen King (I can't say I've read all his stuff); but the main criteria is...will Harry Potter still be read in 100 years? Does it have the merit?

I think so.

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Pinky - Apr 18, 2003 7:02 pm (#131 of 153)
That, my friend, will only be truly answered by our children's children.

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Alianora - Apr 18, 2003 7:23 pm (#132 of 153)
I think that the books aren't so dark that anyone over age 8 should be turned away from them. Certainly, it depends on the person, but I started reading them at age 11, and they were a much younger set of books than I normally read. I think many kids are underestimated when it comes to reading, and I know that the 5 year old I babysit for read the first four (aloud) without being troubled. The kids should at least be given the opportunity to read a book. The worst thing is the violence, and compared to the violence actually seen every day versus read in the book, I don't think its that bad.

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shepherdess - May 13, 2003 2:16 am (#133 of 153)
I've been thinking about topics we've discussed on this forum. This is what I've come up with.

Math-estimating, finance Science-biology, chemistry, physics History-WWII, slavery, Red Scare Government-muggle and wizard Language Arts-English, many other languages, translating Literature-book by JK Rowling, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis and many others-including books about the books, poetry, literary tools Geography-in the books-Great Britain, France, Bulgaria and Egypt, and many other countries where forum members live, time zones in different locations Art-Harry Potter related fan art, art in the Wizarding World Botany-(herbology) Archetecture Medicine Mythology, legends, folklore Astronomy-Sirius (the dog star), centaurs Movies-actors, screenwriters, directors, studios, plays, games-PC, RPG, card, marketing, merchandise Sports-Quidditch, golf, football (American), soccer (British football), baseball, basketball, cheerleading Food-what to eat (or not), when to eat it, and how to cook it Creatures-magical, mythological, fictional, real Supernatural-ghosts, poltergeists, ghouls, spirits Culture-holiday traditions around the world educational systems-boarding schools, tuition, teaching methods, school ages, institutes of higher learning "Magic" and it's components-transfiguration, potions, charms, spells, jinxes, curses, astrology, reading palms, tea leaves, and chrystal balls, seeing the future, flying, (dis)aparating Character traits-good, bad, agressive, passive, indifferent Emotions-fear, trust, happiness Behavior- courtesy, gratitude, respect, tolerence, internet ettiquette Controversial issues-religeon, politics, sex, morality, brainwashing, life after death Social issues-violence, prejudice, stereotypes, power, fear, child abuse,slavery, employment, isolation, moral debts, secrecy, deceit We've debated such issues as: crime and punishment, good vs. evil, rich vs. poor, truth vs. lies, right vs. wrong, fair and unfair, love vs. hate, compassion vs. bigotry, morality vs. immorality, life and death, power vs. weakness, happiness vs. unhappiness

And those are just the ones I could think of. I'm sure there others. And (nearly) all are directly related to the Harry Potter books.

Does the Harry Potter series have literary value? How could something that evokes discussion on so many different topics, some of which touch on the very fabric of our society, not have literary value?

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Saralinda - May 13, 2003 5:37 am (#134 of 153)
Amen, sing it sister. Wink

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Denise S. - May 13, 2003 8:53 am (#135 of 153)
That was excellent, shepherdess! ^_^

This I think I should print off and give it to people who think that the HP series is just a bunch of fluff.

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timrew - May 13, 2003 9:24 am (#136 of 153)
Have I really read about all those things. shepherdess? I better stop now - my brain must be full! Smile

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Saralinda - May 13, 2003 9:26 am (#137 of 153)
Don't stop, Scrambledeggs -- just haul out the Pensieve.

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shepherdess - May 13, 2003 4:26 pm (#138 of 153)
If you've read all the threads on the forum, Scrambledeggs, you have indeed read about all those things-and more. Some I don't even remember. And I didn't cover the Fanfiction Forum.

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timrew - May 14, 2003 9:09 am (#139 of 153)
I think I overused the Pensieve.........who am I?

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Saralinda - May 14, 2003 9:27 am (#140 of 153)
You're Gilderoy Lockhart, luv. Smile

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timrew - May 14, 2003 2:13 pm (#141 of 153)
Gilderoy Lockhart? Then what am I doing on a thread about literary value? Back to The Chamber Of Secrets!

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Dr Filibuster - May 18, 2003 6:13 am (#142 of 153)
Edited by May 18, 2003 7:21 am
The BBC are conducting a poll of the nation's best loved novels. More than 140,000 members of the public took part in the survey and the results were on tv last night.

Viewers will have to wait until autumn to discover the order of the top 100. In "a major documentary series", the public will vote for the 20 most popular novels to find out the favourite of favourites.

They did the same thing last year to find the nation's favourite Brit. Winston Churchill won.

All four Potter books made it in the top 100!

Unfortunately, I missed the first part of the programme, and that was the bit about JKR. Did anyone see it? What did they say?

The show promoted book clubs, and provides help to join/set up clubs. Only then did it occur to me that I am in a book club HERE! (thick or what!)

I suppose the full list will be on BBC.co.uk. Experts on the news were predicting Lord of the Rings or 1984 to win.

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koolnkinky - May 18, 2003 10:06 am (#143 of 153)
Wow, so we are... cool! I missed that! I got a leaflet from WHSmith but I didnt know that it was happening so soon. Does anyone know if there's going to be a repeat?

Leanne

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Lamb - May 20, 2003 1:21 pm (#144 of 153)
I'd like to treat this topic seriously. It is hard to determine whether a work of literature (or art or music) has enduring merit until it has been around for a reasonable length of time. I think it's fair to dismiss Mr. Bloom's criticisms as those of a sour and condescending old man, but it is true that some works which were extremely popular have subsequently been proved to be merely passing fads, while others not immediately well-received are now recognized as works of genius.

It's also true that critics have frequently got it wrong- even critics far more qualified than Mr. Bloom. Here are a few examples (there are hundreds) which show that time alone will show whether a work has enduring merit: Aristophanes called Euripedes works 'a cliche anthology'; Walt Whitman's poetry was dismissed by a young critic called Henry James; James Joyce's Ulysses was called 'a disaster' by Virginia Woolf; The French impressionists' first exhibition was mercilessly panned by the critics; Vincent Van Gogh hardly sold a picture in his lifetime; Recently, 'Imagine' by John Lennon was voted the best single of all time in Britain. However, at the time it was released in 1975, it only got to no.6 on the British singles chart. Who had the best-selling single in Britain in 1975? The Bay City Rollers!

Like everyone here, I enjoy reading and rereading the HP books, and I think they are such great stories that they will last. I do think, though, that judgment on whether they have real lasting merit has to be postponed for at least a generation. The Beatles were a huge success at the time they broke on the scene, and I'm pretty sure everyone who reads this will know them even today. New Kids on the Block inspired frenzy for a while- who knows, or cares, about them now? Let's just enjoy the books and leave our kids and grandkids to decide where they stand in the hierarchy of literature.

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Thom Matheson - May 20, 2003 8:00 pm (#145 of 153)
What is most interesting to me after wading through this entire thread is the fact that JKR wrote these as a childrens series. I cannot remember Dr. Suess taking such heat. How many awards has he won and how many kagillion books has he sold? Kiddie lit that trancends to all ages to me is simply astounding. I have used these books to teach management seminars to corporate management staff as training tools for leadership qualities and communication skills. They have become an excellent training tool for me. Jean Aul wrote a great series set with her Clan of the Cave Bear series. To me the literary value of any work of fiction is rather simply: Ws the author able to creat a picture in the readers mind that took them to that place and put them in the story. If the author succeeded they did their job. I don't think you can truly quantify fiction into terms of literary value. When someone asks, "Have you read a good book lately", we here can surely say Yes.

Thanks for letting me make a short thread longer

Thom

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Dumbledore II - May 21, 2003 2:43 am (#146 of 153)
Thom, JKR did not write for children, she said that on many occasions. She wrote and is still writing them primarelly for herself.

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NoVeil4Me - May 21, 2003 5:03 am (#147 of 153)
People think of these books as children's books, they are marketed as such but DII is correct, JKR did not write them for children. If I recall correctly, a publisher who she submitted her manuscript to suggested it would do better if she was submitting it as a children's book.

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Thom Matheson - May 21, 2003 11:27 am (#148 of 153)
Thanks guys. I appreciate you notes. I know that I get more out of this series then my kids (my youngest is now 27 and my oldest at 32 is taking GofF on vacation next week).

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timrew - May 21, 2003 2:03 pm (#149 of 153)
Thom, I'm 53, and I was the first in my family to buy the Harry Potter books. My son then read them and became a fan; and then my mother and father in law (aged 75 and 79 respectively) borrowed them and enjoyed them, too.

JKR has indeed written a series of books for all ages. Smile

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timrew - May 22, 2003 3:33 pm (#150 of 153)
And don't you think the 'Adult Cover' is the silliest idea yet? If you're a Potter fan, proclaim it to the world! Read it on the train with the 'kids' cover prominent - who cares!

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Wednesday Weasley - May 22, 2003 6:40 pm (#151 of 153)
When I first started reading HP, I noticed in Waterstone's that the adult-cover version of Philosopher's Stone was £1 more expensive than the kids' cover, so I decided only to buy the kids' versions. But, I have to say I think the adult covers are way prettier.

I'd actually be more embarrassed to sit on the train reading the adult-cover versions! I mean, everyone not only sees that you're reading what loads of people think are kids' books, but you're also sending out the message that you're really embarrassed about reading them and you're trying to get away with it secretly.

This is sort of unrelated, but I noticed that the U.S. kid's versions are really big (as in the size of each page, not the thickness), so if I wanted to carry a copy around, I'd get the mass-market paperback sized adult version. Fits in the purse better!

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NoVeil4Me - May 22, 2003 7:30 pm (#152 of 153)
There are some regular sized editions of SS and CoS I think, in the US. The others are all oversided paperback.

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Sly Girl - May 22, 2003 9:29 pm (#153 of 153)
Yeah.. there's the Grand Pre colored illustrated ones (the covers) and then there are these skinnier versions with usually just a small cover photo and the Harry Potter and the___ in gold lettering. When I first bought HP I opted for that version and then bought the 'childrens' types for the others. I then had to go back rebuy S.S because I am a completist. lol

Denise- am sending a little box of goodies out for you and Devin this weekend!
Elanor
Elanor
Hufflepuff Prefect
Hufflepuff Prefect

Posts : 1440
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