1. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    13 Jul '07 23:001 edit
    As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    What do you think of this article?

    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in Harry Potter? God
    By Lev Grossman

    Joanne Rowling has three fancy houses and more money than the Queen, but she still doesn't have a middle name: the K. is just an empty invention, added for effect when she published her first book. Starting with that first letter, she has orchestrated a sustained dramatic crescendo unlike anything literature has ever seen. By selling 325 million books in 66 languages, she has almost single-handedly made the case that the novel can still be a global mass medium. With the fifth Harry Potter movie opening on July 11 and the seventh and last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, coming at midnight on July 21, the crescendo has reached a grand climax.

    Rowling's work is so familiar that we've forgotten how radical it really is. Look at her literary forebears. In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien fused his ardent Catholicism with a deep, nostalgic love for the unspoiled English landscape. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican whose Chronicles of Narnia forms an extended argument for Christian faith. Now look at Rowling's books. What's missing? If you want to know who dies in Harry Potter, the answer is easy: God.

    Harry Potter lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by ghosts but has no one to pray to, even if he were so inclined, which he isn't. Rowling has more in common with celebrity atheists like Christopher Hitchens than she has with Tolkien and Lewis.

    What does Harry have instead of God? Rowling's answer, at once glib and profound, is that Harry's power comes from love. This charming notion represents a cultural sea change. In the new millennium, magic comes not from God or nature or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. In choosing Rowling as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery, in which psychology and technology have superseded the sacred.

    When the end comes, where will it leave Harry? He'll face tougher choices than his fantasy ancestors did. Frodo was last seen skipping town with the elves. Lewis sent the Pevensie kids to the paradise of Aslan's Land. It's unlikely that such a comfortable retirement awaits Harry in the Deathly Hallows.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642885,00.html
  2. Standard memberRBHILL
    Acts 13:48
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    13 Jul '07 23:03
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    What do you think of this article?

    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in Harry Potter? God
    By Lev Grossman

    Joanne Rowling has three fancy houses and more money than the Queen, but she still doesn't have a middle name: the K. is just an empty invention, added for effect when she ...[text shortened]... Deathly Hallows.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642885,00.html
    Lord of the Rings is better.
  3. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    14 Jul '07 00:15
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    What do you think of this article?

    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in Harry Potter? God
    By Lev Grossman

    Joanne Rowling has three fancy houses and more money than the Queen, but she still doesn't have a middle name: the K. is just an empty invention, added for effect when she ...[text shortened]... Deathly Hallows.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642885,00.html
    What a crock. This went on and on and on when the first few books came out. How many mainstream novels for adults or kids show a character praying to God for guidance or assistance? I find ignorant crap like this article extremely annoying, but it's a great way to earn money -- dragging oneself on the coattails of a famous author to sell an article.
  4. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    14 Jul '07 00:26
    Originally posted by pawnhandler
    What a crock. This went on and on and on when the first few books came out. How many mainstream novels for adults or kids show a character praying to God for guidance or assistance? I find ignorant crap like this article extremely annoying, but it's a great way to earn money -- dragging oneself on the coattails of a famous author to sell an article.
    I think the article is a crock, too, but for different reasons. Yes, Tolkien's
    Catholicism and Lewis' Anglicanism influenced their writing. They do so
    by metaphor, symbolism or allusion. They are appealing to something
    greater than they themselves to get by, no doubt, but they do not name
    it as 'God.'

    But so, too, do the characters in the Potter story. They appeal to greater
    ideals such as nobility, justice, devotion to friends, compassion, sincerity,
    overcoming evil with good, and, especially commitment to the mission.

    How different is Harry from Frodo? Misunderstood, complicated, distant
    from even his close friends, frustrated, courageous? Like Frodo, Harry has
    divorced himself from the pleasures of the flesh (Frodo never married)
    so, like a good Messiah figure, he can ascetically approach the task that
    might very well require the sacrifice of his own life. I mean, come on!
    This archetype goes back 1000 years before Jesus.

    The author writes:
    What does Harry have instead of God? Rowling's answer, at once glib and profound, is that Harry's power comes from love.

    What does Christianity teach that God is? Love. It's not a 'mere human
    emotion,' as the author arrogantly and ignorantly puts it (not the eros
    of the Bible, so to speak). Harry is trying to live the life of the 'Good
    Samaritan,'
    even if he ends up more like the second son who says that he will not
    to the divine will even if he later goes out and does it.

    Because Rowling is an atheist, they jump on her book as if it doesn't
    have any spiritual undertones (but that Tolkien's, e.g., does). Such a
    claim is just foolishness; if ever a Messiah figure was, Harry is.

    Nemesio
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    14 Jul '07 12:57
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    [b]As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    I have to say, I feel much better about myself now. I hate Harry Potter.
  6. Joined
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    14 Jul '07 13:351 edit
    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in The very hungry caterpillar? God
    By Kieran Child

    Eric Carle is a capitalist pig who has more money than me and a wife who's probably beautiful but google images gave no results. He also has a kickass beard, but there's one thing he doesn't have - a middle name. Starting from his cunning ploy of having only two names, he wrote a book that stormed the world more than any other book has (forget the diary of anne frank or any major religious book) by selling many copies in over 30 languages, he has almost single-handedly made the case that the novel can still be a global mass medium. With everyone getting emotionally moved at the bit where the caterpillar has a stomache ache, this book is surely reaching the grand climax.

    Carle's work is so familiar that we've forgotten how radical it really is. Look at his literary forebears. In The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien fused his ardent Catholicism with a deep, nostalgic love for the unspoiled English landscape. C.S. Lewis was a devout Anglican whose Chronicles of Narnia forms an extended argument for Christian faith. Now look at Carle's books. What's missing? If you want to know who doesn't blossom into a butterfly in the very hungry caterpillar, the answer's simple: God.

    The caterpillar (named Clive, a non-christian name, in translations) lives in a world free of any religion or spirituality of any kind. He lives surrounded by miracles of edible food that seem to appear out of nowhere but has no one to pray to to thank for them, even if he were so inclined, which he isn't. Carle has more in common with celebrity atheists like STALIN than he has with the virgin mary.

    What does Clive have instead of God? Carle's answer, at once glib and profound, is that Clive's anthropomorphic choice to eat a piece of cherry pie is because it is a work of fiction, and children are amused by it. This charming notion represents a cultural sea change. In the new millennium, delight comes not from God or nature or anything grander or more mystical than a mere human emotion. In choosing Carle as the reigning dreamer of our era, we have chosen a writer who dreams of a secular, bureaucratized, all-too-human sorcery, in which psychology and technology have superseded the sacred.

    When the end comes, where will it leave Clive? He'll face tougher choices than his fantasy ancestors did. Frodo was last seen skipping town with the elves. Lewis sent the Pevensie kids to the paradise of Aslan's Land. It's unlikely that such a comfortable retirement awaits Clive when he BURNS IN HELL FOR BEING SUCH ATHEIST FICTIONAL VERMIN!




    I think I made just as good a case as the last guy did.
  7. tinyurl.com/ywohm
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    14 Jul '07 14:51
    Originally posted by doodinthemood
    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in The very hungry caterpillar? God
    By Kieran Child

    Eric Carle is a capitalist pig who has more money than me and a wife who's probably beautiful but google images gave no results. He also has a kickass beard, but there's one thing he doesn't have - a middle name. Starting from his cunning ploy of having only two n ...[text shortened]... ICTIONAL VERMIN!




    I think I made just as good a case as the last guy did.
    I always suspected that book was the gateway to hell with all its gluttony.
  8. Standard memberNemesio
    Ursulakantor
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    14 Jul '07 15:20
    Originally posted by whodey
    I hate Harry Potter.
    Care to proffer why?
  9. Joined
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    15 Jul '07 09:21
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    What do you think of this article?

    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in Harry Potter? God
    By Lev Grossman

    Joanne Rowling has three fancy houses and more money than the Queen, but she still doesn't have a middle name: the K. is just an empty invention, added for effect when she ...[text shortened]... Deathly Hallows.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642885,00.html
    This reminds me... I have to reread all the previous books before the 7th comes out!

    As for the article, I think this kind of thing is enevitable. The world has gone insane.
  10. Standard memberKellyJay
    Walk your Faith
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    15 Jul '07 15:522 edits
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    As chess nerds, I have to imagine that many of you are Harry Potter fans.
    What do you think of this article?

    Thursday, Jul. 12, 2007
    Who Dies in Harry Potter? God
    By Lev Grossman

    Joanne Rowling has three fancy houses and more money than the Queen, but she still doesn't have a middle name: the K. is just an empty invention, added for effect when she Deathly Hallows.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1642885,00.html
    They are popular no doubt about that. I like the fact that she tries
    leaves the spiritual out as I didn't like the spiritual side of
    books/movies like Star Wars where you could see a lot of different
    beliefs woven in the story, with hers it was basically just one and even
    there it is acknowledged fiction around it.
    Kelly
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    15 Jul '07 16:44
    Just wait for the Christian backlash when The Golden Compass is out in December...
  12. Cape Town
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    16 Jul '07 10:38
    I don't remember anyone in "The Lord of the Rings" praying.
  13. Cape Town
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    16 Jul '07 11:15
    I find the Narnia Novels highlight many of the problems with religion rather than explaining them.
  14. Cape Town
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    16 Jul '07 11:21
    Originally posted by Nemesio
    Frodo was last seen skipping town with the elves. Lewis sent the Pevensie kids to the paradise of Aslan's Land. It's unlikely that such a comfortable retirement awaits Harry in the Deathly Hallows.
    Sounds like Harry Potter is closer to real life than your typical fairy tale.
    If Lev Grossman wants happily ever after endings he should stick with Shrek.

    I wonder, if the Author was Hindu or Muslim and her beliefs showed in the Book, would Lev Grossman have been less or more unhappy about it?
    Is he implication (by saying that God dies in the Book) that God is little more than a fantasy that will be destroyed once the truth is out? Isn't he essentially arguing towards censorship of all literature that does not conform to his faith?
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    16 Jul '07 12:04
    I find both the type of pointless topic this article is about, and the likening of Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings or the Narnia series laughable.

    Harry Potter is an averagely well written book which happens to have hit the right market at the right time. It has not the intricacies and spellbinding wordsmithery of Tolkein's work, nor the fantastical world and imagery of Lewis's. I don't even think it's as good as Phillip Pullman's Dark Materials series. It annoys the bejesus out of me when I hear people talk about its literary merits. If Rowling had been writing at the same time as any of the above, she would have been ignored utterly. Not least in my library of misgivings towards her writing is how insipid and needy Harry is becoming, how bloody bland Hermione is and how ginger the Weasley boy is. By 20 I predict Harry will suffer a mental breakdown and begin drinking heavily (or get addicted to giving himself magical orgasms), Hermione will be some Hoxton it-girl vacuuous and disenchanted, whilst the ginger will be killed in some freak boating accident.

    All that aside, what really gets my goat is literary journalists or critics who see the need to incessantly over-analyse stories and extrapolate sub-texts into a need for external reference or justification in the general history of writing. Who cares that Cervantes' legacy is dead, who even reads Shakespeare? Milton? Dickens, who the Dickens is he? Lets just harp on about how much money they make and try to make ourselves sound knowledgable by referencing other writers in a pretentious and obtuse way.

    Sigh...
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