Page 5 of 22 FirstFirst 1234567891015 ... LastLast
Results 61 to 75 of 321

Thread: Harry Potter

  1. #61
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    My heart lives in New York.
    Posts
    1,716
    Quote Originally Posted by mortalterror View Post
    Arms, and the man I sing, who, forc'd by fate,
    And haughty Juno's unrelenting hate,
    Expell'd and exil'd, left the Trojan shore.
    Long labors, both by sea and land, he bore,
    And in the doubtful war, before he won
    The Latian realm, and built the destin'd town;

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums chang'd to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

    Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.


    Well I did. Huckleberry Finn and Alice in Wonderland are still two of my favorite books.


    I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn four times when I was a child. I enjoyed it thoroughly each time. However, it wasn't until I read it again as an adult that I realized it was supposed to be funny. I got a couple of pages in and I was laughing so hard I fell down pounding the ground with my fists, holding my sides, and crying. Those parts where Huck Finn says he'd rather go to hell than heaven, or where Jim embellishes on his lie, or the parodies of women's romance are beautiful examples of comedy.


    I know you think the books are worthwhile entertainment, and as entertainment I have nothing against them. What bothers me is when teachers use them in the classroom. Quintilian was of the opinion that children should read morally instructive books when learning their grammar and practicing their reading skills. In that way they learn two valuable things at once. If our youths are not to read The Wind in the Willows, Little Women, Aesop's Fables, Tarzan of the Apes, The Jungle Book, Grimm's Fairy Tales, Treasure Island, etc, I'd rather they read History books, The Bible, or something useful to their minds in the formative years of their lives.

    I think that every book is a children's book if the child knows how to read. Children crave structure, mythologies, and a coherent world philosophy in order to form a cultural identity. If we do not give it to them, they will construct one for themselves out of whatever pop culture symbols are around them. They crave art and we pawn them off with comic books and cartoons. They want music and we give them Britney Spears. We get the society we deserve.


    I read both sci fi/fantasy and classics, but The Song of Ice and Fire, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, and World War Z have really cut into my Cicero, Horace, Virgil, Ovid, and Tacitus this year. There's only so many hours in the day.


    My mother reads between 1 and 3 books a day. She's read every crummy harlequin romance and vampire mystery novel in the world. I'm always telling her, "If I could read as fast as you, I'd put it to some use." But I read so slow that every single one has to count, or I'll die without knowing anything.


    I held it truth, with him who sings
    To one clear harp in divers tones,
    That men may rise on stepping-stones
    Of their dead selves to higher things.

    Books: the other gateway drug. Like yourself, I began reading with genre fiction. I seem to recall JBI having a similar story with a revelation about Eugene Onegin when he was 16 or so.
    Points well taken. I am not saying Harry Potter is up there with those fine works of literature; I am saying it is pretty good in its own right, though. I have no problem with teacher's using Harry Potter because it can be a jumping off point to talking about those deeper issues in more capable hands. One tactic that has spread through school libraries is to pair up YA novels and "great" literature novels with similar themes and topics as a way of getting children into those works and being able to make comparisons between literature.

    I mean don't get me wrong. I would love for more children and young adults to be interested in classical literature. Since StLukes brought him up I am a big fan of E.D. Hirsch who I discovered through Camille Paglia. Unfortunately teachers are usually incompetent, students resistant, and abilities and interests all over the place between individuals.

    I know what you mean about only so much time. We are all going to die without knowing much about anything. One thing working in an academic library taught me was how little everyone really knows when one considers the vast breadth of human knowledge in all fields, you see walls upon walls of books, whole areas of knowledge I would never understand beyond the basics (engineering and a lot of the sciences). It's daunting.
    Last edited by Drkshadow03; 07-19-2009 at 06:14 PM.
    "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

    https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/ - my book blog!
    Feed the Hungry!

  2. #62
    Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    733
    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    I agree with this completely as well.. I remember my mother reading me David Copperfield and Oliver Twist when I was 6 or 7... I was reading Twain and Carrol and Dickens when I was 8 or 9, and I read Crime and Punishment for the first time when i was 12, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I will admit of course there were many things I did not understand, but that just challenged to read more, to learn more, to try to understand... in contemporary literature I read Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children around the same time, and again though there were many things I missed and did not understand, it challenged me, made me think, made me want to read it again to understand it.. why shouldn't children be challenged with books that they cannot completely understand? doesn't this help them grow, learn, expand their horizons.. if we only give them what is "safe" how do they grow? what Mortal said is entirely correct...
    You are all talking from the perspective of being willing and able readers. I know from experience as a librarian that not all children want to read. If you can engage their interest in a book, you;re halfway there. I have nothing against what you're saying with regards to good and challenging literature, but there are loads of kids out there who can barely read. If HP grabs their interest, and draws them in, then all the better. I see kids every day who struggle to read and write, and your condecension towards what should be a pleasure, the reading of a book, is staggering. Try giving Twain, Carroll or Dickens to someone who can barely read, and watch them be turned off literature forever.

  3. #63
    Registered User Zee.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,548
    Blog Entries
    1
    Hmm, there has been a bit of talk about His Dark Materials in this thread..

    Anyone who knows anything about His Dark Materials, that is.. anyone who has read all 3, will know that on the surface, they appear to be books for "children", when in actual fact, their content, the issue of "dust" is aimed at adults.

  4. #64
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,408
    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    You are all talking from the perspective of being willing and able readers. I know from experience as a librarian that not all children want to read. If you can engage their interest in a book, you;re halfway there. I have nothing against what you're saying with regards to good and challenging literature, but there are loads of kids out there who can barely read. If HP grabs their interest, and draws them in, then all the better. I see kids every day who struggle to read and write, and your condecension towards what should be a pleasure, the reading of a book, is staggering. Try giving Twain, Carroll or Dickens to someone who can barely read, and watch them be turned off literature forever.
    I have no problem with Harry Potter being the starting point for a love of literature, I'm sure it has been for some... but the point is that Rowling is singled out for acclaim for getting a generation reading (Meyer too) when to be honest I don't think she has.. Kids read when I was a kid in the early 90s too, there just wasn't one overwhelmingly popular book, there were a bunch of cheap, poorly written books, and some of those kids went from there into more substantial works.. it is no different now, the advent of Harry Potter hasn't increased the number of kids reading, nor has it increased the number who go on to read good literature it has jsut consolidated readership into one novel.. and is that a good thing? the lack of diversity in what young people read (whether it is mediocre or not)? I would say no...

    also the last few Harry Potter books are aimed at the 14-18 audience, and that audience, at least in the developed world will not be struggling to read, not if they have gone to school for the last 10 years... they'll have read more difficult and better than Harry Potter by that point.. so again it comes down to, that Harry Potter is just mindless entertainment, and I have no problem with people reading it, in fact I'm happy for them, whatever anyone wants to do for entertainment is perfectly fine in my books.. just don't try to say there is something inherently beneficial in the act of reading regardless of what one is reading... maybe when we are 6-8 and learning to read simple, mediocre writing has a benefit of teaching us vocabulary, etc. but at 14-18 reading Harry Potter provides no benefit besides escape and entertainment..

  5. #65
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    1,905
    Blog Entries
    39
    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    I think that every book is a children's book if the child knows how to read. Children crave structure, mythologies, and a coherent world philosophy in order to form a cultural identity. If we do not give it to them, they will construct one for themselves out of whatever pop culture symbols are around them. They crave art and we pawn them off with comic books and cartoons. We get the society we deserve.

    Mortal! I don't think you've posted anything here that I've agreed with more. Have you been reading Roger Shattuck and E.D. Hisch? Sorry... just a little "educationese".
    No, I've just read StLukesGuild's old posts in the education forum and was paraphrasing from memory.
    "So-Crates: The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing." "That's us, dude!"- Bill and Ted
    "This ain't over."- Charles Bronson
    Feed the Hungry!

  6. #66
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,408
    Bloom on Harry Potter:

    So I went round to the Yale bookstore and purchased an inexpensive paperback copy of the first volume. I could not believe what was in front of me. What I particularly could not bear was that it was just one cliché after another. In fact, I kept a little checklist on an envelope next to me, and every time any individuals were going, as you or I might say, to take a walk, they were going to "stretch their legs." At the fiftieth or sixtieth stretching of the legs, that was too much for me.

    I wrote the piece, and it was published. It is not an exaggeration to say that all hell indeed broke loose. The editor called me ten days later and said, "Harold, we've never seen anything like this before. We have received over four hundred letters denouncing your piece on Harry Potter. We've received one favorable letter, but we think you must have written it." I said, "No, I assure you."

    It never stopped. The damn piece was reprinted all over the world, in all languages. I will never hear the end of it. But of course, the Harry Potter series is rubbish. Like all rubbish, it will eventually be rubbed down. Time will obliterate it. What can one say?

    and a link to the Wall Street Journal Article

    http://wrt-brooke.syr.edu/courses/205.03/bloom.html

  7. #67
    Registered User Zee.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,548
    Blog Entries
    1
    Say what you want about Harry Potter, kids do enjoy it and kids are reaching out for other books because of it. The proof is in the pudding, I was one of them.

    From the age of 12/13 I went from Rowling to Faulkner. I'm pretty sure that i'm not the only one.

    You can't' adequately critique the series without putting your own personal prejudice about it, aside.

  8. #68
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,408
    According to a study by Alan Sorensen at Stanford University, "In 1994, over 70 percent of total fiction sales were accounted for by a mere five authors." There's not much reason to think that things have changed. As Albert Greco of the Institute for Publishing Research puts it: "People who read fiction want to read hits written by known authors who are there year after year."
    this is for those who say starting on Potter often leads to better literature... if 5 or so authors account for 70% of total fiction sales each year, and these are authors like Stephen King, Danielle Steele, JK Rowling... well where are these people that are supposedly being inspired by Harry potter to read better things?

    I'd like to think that this is a romantic return to youth, but it looks like a bad case of cultural infantilism. And when we're not horning in on our kids' favorite books, most of us aren't reading anything at all. More than half the adults in this country won't pick up a novel this year, according to the National Endowment for the Arts. Not one. And the rate of decline has almost tripled in the past decade.
    all from this article

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301730_pf.html

    all I'm saying is Ms Rowling and her Harry Potter have not changed anything at all...
    Last edited by islandclimber; 07-19-2009 at 09:20 PM.

  9. #69
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    My heart lives in New York.
    Posts
    1,716
    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    this is for those who say starting on Potter often leads to better literature... if 5 or so authors account for total fiction sales each year, and these are authors like Stephen King, Danielle Steele, JK Rowling... well where are these people that are supposedly being inspired by Harry potter to read better things?

    all from this article

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...301730_pf.html

    all I'm saying is Ms Rowling and her Harry Potter have not changed anything at all...
    The article didn't say that. It said 5 writers made up 70% of total fiction sales. Naturally, the Harry Potter readers went on to read the other 30% of the profits that was spread among the hundreds of other writers released in 1994.
    "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

    https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/ - my book blog!
    Feed the Hungry!

  10. #70
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,408
    haha oops ,my mistake.. I forgot to put in the 70%... and yes I know the date, but I doubt things have changed. in fact with less people reading now, and the massive readership of Harry Potter, it may be even worse...

  11. #71
    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    My heart lives in New York.
    Posts
    1,716
    Quote Originally Posted by islandclimber View Post
    haha oops ,my mistake.. I forgot to put in the 70%... and yes I know the date, but I doubt things have changed. in fact with less people reading now, and the massive readership of Harry Potter, it may be even worse...
    My point is actually that the publishing industry has been like this for awhile now. A few authors make all the money for the publishers, so they can publish the rest of their catalogue of Mid-list writers. Ironically, it is the heavy sales of those other writers that let publishers experiment by publishing newer writers.
    "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

    https://consolationofreading.wordpress.com/ - my book blog!
    Feed the Hungry!

  12. #72
    The Ghost of Laszlo Jamf islandclimber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vancouver Island
    Posts
    1,408
    Quote Originally Posted by Drkshadow03 View Post
    My point is actually that the publishing industry has been like this for awhile now. A few authors make all the money for the publishers, so they can publish the rest of their catalogue of Mid-list writers. Ironically, it is the heavy sales of those other writers that let publishers experiment by publishing newer writers.
    yes, it is a sad state of affairs is it not? that no one reads good contemporary literature... I mean reading of the classics is slowly decreasing and that is bad enough, but reading of quality contemporary literature is virtually non-existent...

  13. #73
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Belo Horizonte- Brasil
    Posts
    3,279
    Quote Originally Posted by Drkshadow03 View Post
    Points well taken. I am not saying Harry Potter is up there with those fine works of literature; I am saying it is pretty good in its own right, though. I have no problem with teacher's using Harry Potter because it can be a jumping off point to talking about those deeper issues in more capable hands. One tactic that has spread through school libraries is to pair up YA novels and "great" literature novels with similar themes and topics as a way of getting children into those works and being able to make comparisons between literature.
    oh, I am really sorry. For a second I thought you are talking about a work which opening sentece could even show distintic and original voice (altough the obvious Tim Hunter copy that Harry Potter is, but anyways) and you even showed a few lines that proved beyond doubt all this. But now that you made clear that Jeannie the Geenie and Harry Potter fill the same spot, I can sleep in a more confortable bed.

  14. #74
    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Coventry, West Midlands
    Posts
    6,363
    Blog Entries
    36
    also the last few Harry Potter books are aimed at the 14-18 audience, and that audience, at least in the developed world will not be struggling to read, not if they have gone to school for the last 10 years..

    This is a massive assumption about the developed world. Governments struggle to improve literacy rates all the time.

    the advent of Harry Potter hasn't increased the number of kids reading, nor has it increased the number who go on to read good literature it has jsut consolidated readership into one nove

    I'm not sure how you could know this. It's a pity that the HP series hasn't come out now because a lot of the kids just read the internet.

    As for cliche ridden - it's only a cliche if you have read the other stuff.

  15. #75
    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The North
    Posts
    4,433
    Blog Entries
    28
    Quote Originally Posted by limajean View Post
    Say what you want about Harry Potter, kids do enjoy it and kids are reaching out for other books because of it. The proof is in the pudding, I was one of them.

    From the age of 12/13 I went from Rowling to Faulkner. I'm pretty sure that i'm not the only one.

    You can't' adequately critique the series without putting your own personal prejudice about it, aside.
    Your not the only one, I was the same. I agree with you 100%. Read my post at the top of the second page of the Dumbing Down thread.
    __________________
    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


Page 5 of 22 FirstFirst 1234567891015 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Pants game
    By nome1486 in forum Forum Games
    Replies: 678
    Last Post: 09-28-2016, 03:16 PM
  2. News
    By Scheherazade in forum Serious Discussions
    Replies: 1250
    Last Post: 03-11-2014, 09:02 AM
  3. Why does Haller kill Hermine?
    By karo in forum Hesse, Hermann
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 07-20-2011, 12:37 AM
  4. Harry Potter film pulls vanishing act on EW cover?
    By Wizard272002 in forum General Chat
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-17-2008, 11:13 PM
  5. Rowling sues publisher of Harry Potter Lexicon
    By bluevictim in forum General Literature
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-22-2008, 05:25 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •