View Poll Results: Do you like Harry Potter?

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  • Yes

    163 77.99%
  • No

    46 22.01%
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Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #541
    Registered User curlyqlink's Avatar
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    I think what Rowling's detractors are actually reacting to, is the modern distaste for corporate franchise, and that is a separate issue from artistic merit.
    It seems to me this is precisely the issue: artistic merit is being confused with commercial success. Harry Potter sold by the ton; therefore, it is part of our culture, and therefore it is significant. That kind of reasoning should set off alarm bells.

    Lots of kids liked reading Rowling's series of books. That's great, I'm all in favor of kids having a good time. I have nothing against a writer making lots of money writing potboilers, either. Problem is when all this gets inflated into claims of literary merit, or sociological claims that Potter is ushering in a generation of readers. I wonder: why this need for justification?

    The Potter books are (were) popular. Why? Who knows. Hannah Montana is wildly popular too... is it because whatshername is a great singer? Is the franchise expected to usher in a generation of musicians? No, the phenomenon is treated for what it is: a commercial entertainment venture that hit paydirt. Nothin' wrong with that. It's time we saw the Potter phenomenon in the same light. And removed it from the college curriculum.

    Call me a snob, but there is a difference between art and commerce.

  2. #542
    Bibliophile JBI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ovid Reader View Post
    I cannot put in words how much I despise Harry Potter as a work of literature and plain reading material but I also have an irrational hate of Shakespeare and Dickens so I am probably not the greatest judge of a good book or author.
    Try Leopardi, he seems up your alley.

    O natura, o natura,
    perché non rendi poi
    quel che prometti allor? perché di tanto
    inganni i figli tuoi?

  3. #543
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozanny View Post
    I am pleased you and I finally seem to agree about something. I actually admire Rowling a great deal, and keep asking myself "if she could do it, why can't I?"

    Although I haven't examined that answer too closely. She did get very lucky to have her work promoted just so to catch fire.
    I wish you luck with that. Personally I would never turn to writing fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or children's lit in order to make my millions. Most writers are mid-list: they make $30,000 - $50,000 per a book at best. I write it because I can't seem to write realist fiction; the fantastical elements allow me to say what I want to say the way realism wouldn't.

    Despite the fact that people seem to delude themselves that genre fiction is where all the money and sales happen to be. Maybe Romance, but other than that "mainstream" fiction sells a lot better. Of course there is always the Stephen Kings and J. K. Rowling success stories.

    You should do a Harry Potter satire! I bet you that would make a lot of money if pulled off right.
    "You understand well enough what slavery is, but freedom you have never experienced, so you do not know if it tastes sweet or bitter. If you ever did come to experience it, you would advise us to fight for it not with spears only, but with axes too." - Herodotus

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  4. #544
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    Quote Originally Posted by curlyqlink View Post
    This is a deliciously double-edged statement. I'll devilishly take it to mean that the Harry Potters are children's books, which should be read only by children!......

    Rowling's books seem to have started a trend .... big fat children's books that adults are not ashamed to read, though perhaps they ought to be.
    No, I did not intend an unspoken 'should only be read by children.' I did mean that whoever reads it should not treat it as anything other than a book for children. You live, I presume, in a free country and can read whatever you like - do so, and let other people do so. If you wish to indulge in elitism, do so; but please do not deride people who do not feel the need to prove their good taste and maturity by trashing books that were not meant to be raised up on the pinnacle of Literature. I used to feel the need to guide (young) readers towards what I considered to be 'good' books - the debate was about Enid Blyton in those days - but with hindsight I realise that readers, like water, find their own level. By all means, show people the great and the good but the choice ultimately is theirs and should be respected. I've been reading and enjoying children's books all my life ( the excuse used to be professional necessity!) but I know they are children's books and I think I can recognise a good product when I see one, good of its kind, not puffed up to be something it was never intended to be.

    Regarding going on to read other books, I can offer only anecdotal evidence: I did find that children who read a book that they perceive to be a challenge (long, difficult to understand, something that ultimately inspires them) then have the confidence to go on and read another book, then another, and think better of themselves for their achievement. There are many authors that young (and I stress young) readers enjoy that make me grit my teeth (back to Enid Blyton again!) but I hope if I were in a position to guide those readers today I'd be able to smile at their enthusiasm, commend them for their achievement and be ready with suggestions for their next foray into the library. No, they are not necessarily going to make a bee-line for Dickens or Shakespeare, but I hope they would be sufficiently encouraged to try another book and come to regard reading as one of the pleasures in their life.

    With reference to studying HP at University level - I have to admit that makes me smile: the word 'bandwagon' comes to mind! But - presumably some of the students who take those courses are going to go on and become teachers of the children of an age to enjoy HP. I studied children's books as part of my training for teaching - yes, Alice was there, as was Beatrix Potter, Grahame, Tolkein, Lewis and the other classics - but there were also new writers on the list because children's literature was, and still is, a body of work growing at a phenomenal rate.We were taught to apply the methods of criticism we were applying in English Main studies - for some this was a new and surprising study because not all the people on the course were English Main students - English is a subject taught by all teachers in UK primary schools, not necessarily English specialists - but with the rider that these were books for children and that should be our prime consideration, not the stringent and inappropriate application of Literary Criteria.

  5. #545
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    Harry Potter were the first books I read, what drove me into the world of reading. By the time I was 6 my mother used to read me one or two chapters of Harry Potter before I went to bed. She read me all the Filosopher Stone and I wanted all the other stories so bad that I learnt how to read as fast as possible so I would be able to read the other books by myself. I still remember shouting out loud because I managed to read a whole page by myself and then, with some effort I would be able to go on without having to rely on my mother.

  6. #546
    Postmodern Geek. TheChilly's Avatar
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    Harry Potter goes from solid to "EPIC WIN" by the time you get to "Order of the Phoenix".

    I'm torn by whether "Order" or "Deathly Hallows" was more epic for me... My vote's on "Deathly Hallows", just because of the intense cinematic flair Rowling put into that stunning conclusion...

    "Order of the Phoenix" still had Professor Umbridge taking the cake as the Best Villain in the franchise.
    "We look at the world, at governments, across the spectrum, some with more freedom, some with less. And we observe that the more repressive the State is, the closer life under it resembles Death. If dying is deliverance into a condition of total non-freedom, then the State tends, in the limit, to Death. The only way to address the problem of the State is with counter-Death, also known as Chemistry." -- Thomas Pynchon, Against the Day

  7. #547
    Registered User Valaquen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by curlyqlink View Post
    Call me a snob, but there is a difference between art and commerce.
    The mistake is in thinking that both are mutually exclusive, (and there is such a thing as bad art.)

  8. #548
    Tralfamadorian Big Dante's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jessw View Post
    i know i have never liked harry potter till i started reading the philosiphers stone and now im hooked yeah ive always liked whitch craft but HP never actually tickled my fancy lol ok im bored
    So you hated the series until you read the first book?

  9. #549
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Manuel Cruz View Post
    Harry Potter were the first books I read, what drove me into the world of reading. By the time I was 6 my mother used to read me one or two chapters of Harry Potter before I went to bed. She read me all the Filosopher Stone and I wanted all the other stories so bad that I learnt how to read as fast as possible so I would be able to read the other books by myself. I still remember shouting out loud because I managed to read a whole page by myself and then, with some effort I would be able to go on without having to rely on my mother.

    That's fantastic. It's a story you hear again and again - kids wanting to read Harry Potter. It's easy to forget how good that first book was. It was not a case of a cynical publisher's heavy promotion manipulating children's taste, it was a slow burner that grew from the bottom up.

    I remember when it beat the heavily promoted Tracy Beaker in the Blue Peter best book competition. Not an award of great international standing, but voted on by kids, it was a suprise winner - I think most grown ups had never heard of it.
    ay up

  10. #550
    They give light to another world, If that offends you then oh well. A lot of people get offended by the thought of God You are not going to get anywhere by posting hateful things on the internet about something you don't understand. They show a fantisy world about good triumphing over evil. They let kids dream and be free for a moment. Growing up I didn't have the best child hood, but my dreams always made me feel better.

  11. #551
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spite View Post
    Are you kidding me with this, I read those books and found them dreafuly boring and hoplessly... "Fluffy."
    I dont think so maybe it is about your mentality. Everyone can't imagine this beautiful world.

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