Thursday, November 18, 2010

A Muggle's Take on Harry Potter

We approach the last two Harry Potter movies, closing what, for now, is the story of Harry, Voldemort and maybe a kajillion other characters. The Harry Potter books, seems to me, are far better and more deeply written than is oft noted amidst the commercial hype. Having had three daughters through their emergence, I, too, add that they're almost indecently fun to read out loud; the evangelicals would probably make them illegal on that basis alone. My eldest happened to read, concurrently, the final Harry Potter book and 'The Brothers Karamazov', finding them, to her great surprise, relevant to each other. And how great is it that so many (including yr obdt. svt.) lined up at midnight to buy a book? A BOOK, fakrissake?

Rowling is anti-authoritarian, mindful of the temptations of power and the necessity of making choices, thoughtful about evil and good and their coexistence as well as the need to distinguish them, even of sacrifice to the point of death being required in leading a just life. She loves even her minor characters, and names them better than anybody since Dickens. Her understanding of adolescence entirely reflects mine, and my memories. She opposes institutional racism, elitism and discrimination. And all with a narrative of coherence and wit extending through the series.

The kids are all right. I'll see the movie, joyously delighting in the company of my eldest, now a college sophomore. And Harry will live on; I've no doubt of it...


Anonymous said...

I'll wait a couple of weeks.

ProfWombat said...

A good movie--a great one if you're a Potterer. The kids have turned into real actors.