DOCTOR WHO! HOW DARE YOU LEAVE OUT HITCHHIKER REFERENCES IN THE EPISODE “DON’T PANIC”! THE FANDOMS ARE DISGUSTED. I HAD TO EXPLAIN MY NERDY DISAPPOINTMENT TO MY PARENTS AND IT’S ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT! IF YOU REFUSE TO MENTION DOUGLAS ADAMS EVEN ONCE, WE’LL SET THE VOGONS ON YOU!
Oh and Martha dear, congratulations on becoming the Doctor’s companion. Despite the haters, the Fandom is so proud.
Class has been keeping me busy. So far we’ve only done The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, but it’s interesting to look at them from an analytic point of view for the first time.
I only think I read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader when I was younger. I know I watched the BBC version of it and that I read the first few in the series, but I honestly don’t know if I read this in my youth. Though, I do know, I enjoyed reading it now. Going back to the not entirely factual, my opinions on these books has been refined through class discussion, hence why I have no idea how much of these are my original thoughts or an amalgam of the classes intermingled with mine. Moving on! I feel like the episodic nature of it detracts from character development, but the basic nature of the book doesn’t seem to want to develop characters. At this point in the series Edmond and Lucy have already been pretty well described and both of them grew in the previous books (Edmond decided to not be a giant prat and left the White Witch etc), however, the new character Eustace (who is hilarious in the film) only has minor character development and then seems to fall out of the narrative completely. I found that to be an annoying quality of the work. I like to see a little character development in my reading, however, I acknowledge that this book is episodic in nature and doesn’t lend itself to too much development. But, it would have been nice if the characters actually seemed to have more of a purpose than just being bodies to discover new lands and find the lost kings.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed the book and found it rather engaging. It was a pleasure to read over my flights. I especially enjoyed the way in which Lewis talked directly to the audience, even if he sometimes explained perfectly obvious things and expounded upon irrelevant aspects of the story.
As for Harry Potter, I still love it. It has been so long since I actually read the novels, not just watched the films, that I had forgotten some of my favorite scenes (seriously, the singing cupids and the de-gnoming are hilarious) and that the dialogue is pretty amusing as well. I am stopping myself from getting the next books from the library.
I was surprised to hear myself reading it in my head in the cadence and voice of the book on tape I had when I was younger. I used to listen to it every evening as I was going to bed.
I also thought it was interesting how much Voldemort must hate himself. He is a muggle-born and he hates muggle-borns. How much would it torture you to be what you hate? Also, entirely hypocritical to be going about killing them with a giant snake. Not to mention the extreme irony in the descendent of Slytherin being an example of the wizards that Salazar wanted to turn away from the school in the first place.
I know we’ll be talking about whether of not the characters in Harry Potter are vivid, there is an argument that the characters in Dawn Treader are not vivid (I agree, but not to the detriment of the story) and we are juxtaposing the characters from both books. And that we will be exploring Harry as the archetypal hero, but I’m curious what else we will be discussing in class.
Oh, and there is a part in Dawn Treader where Lewis mentioned the loyalty of the Badgers in the war and I immediately thought of Hufflepuff.
Unrelated: I feel like I would be a Ravenclaw. I would like to be a part of Pottermore right now. Stupid not getting in early.
[Picture: Background: 8-piece pie-style color split with alternating green and blue covered with texts of various languages. Foreground: Linguistics Ape meme, an ape surrounded by a white glow assuming a pensive posture. Top text: “/ˌlɛˌvijˈoˌsɑ/ ” Bottom text: “not /ˌlɛˌvijˌoˈsɑ/”]
Aside from my current project of reading the Harvard Classics, I will be beginning courses for my MA program on Monday. One draw back is that I will have less free time to keep up with the Harvard Classics, but you can look forward to hearing all about the books I read in those courses. I’m especially looking froward to my Native American Lit and Children’s Lit courses. I think I am way too excited to be reading some Harry Potter for credit.
OK, now I’m just so excited I need to share the book list:
Where the Wild Things Are
Voyage of the Dawn Treader
HP and the Chamber of Secrets
League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V.1
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Tale of Desperaux
Bridge to Terabithia
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
Heartsong of Charging Elk
And then there are two others that are legitimate text books. I have read all but six of those books. I did see the film of Desperaux, but those are never as good. I am noticing that there are a few odd books from their series, and that makes me wonder what we will be talking about in reference to that. So excited.
The Harvard Classics, Volume II, Book V: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
To continue the philosophy groove of this volume we come to Marcus Aurelius. So far his Meditations have been interesting if a little different. He orders his work like a list with numbered chapters. The first chapter contained only people he knew and their profound effect upon him. Each person was then given a number. Pretty straight forward. It also reads a little easier than the previous two authors in that Marcus comes across a little like a child to me. At least in this first chapter, his style of writing is essentially a wonderfully long run-on sentence in the style of Dickens (i.e. it was punctuated well, but went of for days (and, yes, I know that makes it not technically a run-on sentence)).
The only other thing I’d like to mention for now on the subject is the curious appearance of Severus in Marcus’ list of influential people. (I’m about to segue into Harry Potter so if that’s not your cup of tea feel free to scroll to the next post.) Now one of the things I most enjoy about the Harry Potter series is J.K. Rowling’s intense research into names and words for her series. I love suddenly finding out that Kreacher is German for Creeper (though spelled Kriecher in the German) or that Durmstrang is an accepted amalgam of Sturm und Drang (also German) or that Lupin, which is a derivative of Lupine, or wolf, (bet you know where I’m going with that one) turns into a werewolf, coupled with the name Remus (one half of the orphaned boys, raised by wolves, who eventually founded Rome in mythology). I think I’ve proved my point about Rowling and her research (and these are just the ones off the top of my head). Having found Severus in an unrelated text I am now compelled to look further into his origins and see what, if anything, Rowling borrowed for her characters.
I apologize for my obscene usage of parenthesis in this post.
Pottermore Explainer of the Day: So J.K. Rowling’s mysterious “Pottermore” project was (mostly) unveiled today, and it seems early reports that it would be an online gaming experience were only partially correct.
While Pottermore is indeed an “online experience” revolving around the premiere of the Harry Potter books in eBook form, its “gaming” aspect appears to be limited to interactive “Moments” users can engage with while reading the books online.
I’m oddly excited for this. I haven’t read the books in ages, but I would love to be part of the experience of reading them. I like the idea behind this too much to explain.