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Archive for the ‘Rowling’ Category

It does not end here at all

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The films about Harry Potter may sink into oblivion, cleverly made adventure films as they are, but the series of books will be a classic. As such it will attract new readers and arouse new comments and new variations on their themes.

Written by svensays

July 17, 2011 at 09:51

The Pickwhisky Papers

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Have you thought about this, how many great novels in English are about travelling? A recent example:  preparing for the final battle against the Dark Lord, Harry Potter and his two best friends have to visit various places in Britain to find some mysterious necessary objects. For Charles Dickens, when he took over the concept of the Pickwick Club which was already conceived by others, the right thing to do seemed to get the whole show moving. And when you are on the move, you need refreshments.

In The Pickwick Papers, published around 1835,  there are some fifty mentionings of brandy. Brandy is the category name of various liquors that are distilled from wine. Mr Pickwick and his friends and foes consume lots of this stuff at many places. There are also three mentionings of whisky, but mark well: no one of the active characters gets a single drop of it. It is only mentioned in some tales that are told by minor characters who occasionally show up.

It can be concluded that in England whisky was very little known, although precisely in those times the government was working hard to get a legislation of the whisky production which had been going on in Scotland for centuries.

Then what happened? In the second half of the 19th century the Phylloxera destroyed much of the vineyards in Europe, causing a shortage of wine. So whisky conquered England, and the world!

Written by svensays

January 15, 2010 at 23:28

Having finished my re-reading the Harry Potter series the day before I went to see the “Half-blood Prince” film

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I still think the “Epilogue” is ridiculous. But everything that comes before it, from volume one to volume seven, is just great!

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July 21, 2009 at 18:34

Where is this?

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An old castle with hidden vaults and secret passages. Portraits of heroes and heroines who occasionally step out of their frames, and walk around causing terror. Hogwarts, you say. Yes, but it might also be the Castle of Otranto.

Written by svensays

March 3, 2009 at 21:44

Posted in Rowling, Walpole

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The runner-up

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Now that I have told of my favourite novels, I come to think that some of them I have read only once, and a new reading of one might cause it to fall down. What title could then be a newcomer in the list?
Harry Potter, I believe. The whole series, not any single volume. The first one has few pages and simple language, a children’s book about children, then with Harry’s growing up the books grow too.

Written by svensays

January 9, 2009 at 17:45

Posted in Rowling, Scotland

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Not for kids only

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I like the Harry Potter books very much. It feels great having been able, during some years, to follow the development of a classic-to-be. To me, who have read lots of classics already, these seven books form what scholars call a “Bildungsroman”, a story of the forming of a soul. The first one starts when Harry is ten and is rather simple like a children’s book, then in following volumes the story-telling matures with its protagonist. As a whole, it has much in common with great novels like Dickens and Jane Austen.

Let me quote a significant saying from the very first pages of the first book. Professor McGonagall tells a colleague, in the moment they secretly leave baby Harry at the doorstep of the intended foster family:

” … there will be books written about Harry – every child in our world will know his name!”

This is a beautiful example of what scholars call “romantic irony” or “metafiction”. You describe something as if it really happened, but in the same moment you point out that it is fiction.

Written by svensays

March 22, 2008 at 11:59

Posted in Austen, Rowling

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