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The Deathly Hallows, or it is Hollow?

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Monk2400
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Posted 08/28/07 - 2:19 PM:
Subject: The Deathly Hallows, or it is Hollow?
Has anyone here read the Harry Potter books? I just finishd reading the final book, The Deathly Hallows. It was the first book of the series I read, and only did so b/c it happnd to be lying about (its not my copy). Im currently dancing through the fifth book (which oddly, is also kicking around elsewhere), The Order of the Phoenix, whose corresponding movie was releasd earlier this summr.

Othr membrs of my family are fans of the books and gobbld them all up. I had nevr any inclination to do so. Howevr, I am a fan of the movie series. It was basd on that cinematic appreciation that I decided to poke through the final book and see how it all turns out.

Well, I wondrd, whats all the hubbub about?? Rowling's writing didnt strike me as particularly profound, deep, or clevr. Maybe Im missing something? But then again, it was originally supposd to be a children's series, so maybe my expectation of high literature were misplacd.

The charactrs seemd 2-dimensional, wooden, the plot contrivd, and the dark overlord that evryone feard, dull and ignorant. I was buoyd along only by my visualizing of the movie actors playing the roles in the story as they will in the inevitable film climax. As one reviewr put it, the book will lend itself easily to the big screen. Big surprise.

One thing I didnt like was how massive spans of time were eclipsd by a sentence here and there. The Potter quest went on for months, but we dont feel the kind of struggle we might have; instead, its tedium, with a couple of predictable dramatic momnts thrown in to move the story along. Also, the escapes were improbable. But I guess all bad guys here are truly incompetent, including Voldemort himself, who has little or no foresight, kills on a whim, and, in fact, is barely in the story at all.

Oh well, I havent read the whole series, so I cant really make a broad judgmnt on the value of it all. Right now I say, 6-7/10 because it was easy pleasure reading, but didnt blow my mind at all.

Howevr, I will eagrly anticipate the release of the movie when it comes out, probably in 2-3 years.

Any thoughts on this book or the Harry Potter phenomenon that made Rowling a gajillionaire?

8)
Nihil Loc
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Posted 08/28/07 - 4:17 PM:

It was a bit fast paced for all that happened in it (as if there added pressure for the series to come to a close that would satisfy the huge readership). I heard that more people bought the last HP book than the sum of Germany and Italy's population, so any flaws are understandable. I for one loved reading the series and the last book was full of excitement.

Voldemort did disappoint with his disproportionate ignorance compared to Harry -- why was he so easily defeated? Chance or a sense of fulfilling prophecy (along with the idea that Dumbledore had the wisdom and strategy to implement a doubtful and highly magical plan) was the gist of it. Voldemort was just collapsed from not being able to trust his disciples or understand what kind of leadership would make his plan work (he really is this Other thing).

What did you think about the baby (represents?) behind Harry and Dumbledore in King's Cross station after Harry collapses under the killing curse near the end of the book?
Monk2400
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Posted 08/28/07 - 4:45 PM:

ahh..yeah, thats a good question. My impression was that the 'baby' charactr representd Voldemort, or the piece of him that was part of Harry. Perhaps it was meant to suggest that the end of evil is such a state--helplessness, ignorance, an infantile and raw presence of stark pain that one has no powr to command. A suitable purgatory for an evil doer? Or just a clue that the path of evil ultimately robs one of all powr, rathr than granting it? Maybe its the fate of a reincarnatd Voldemort. But the purgatory thing has appeal, since the scene was the train station, a place where one waits before going on.

8)
David Dangcil
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Posted 08/28/07 - 5:25 PM:

Greetings, I am new here but would like to respond about the Harry Potter books. I have never read them nor do I need to. What most people do not understand is that they are indoctrinal in nature. To the unasuming and ignorant (ignorant meaning failure to look at the facts) the books seem harmless and fun entertainment. The "hub-bub" as you mention is the caring part of society wanting our youth to assimilate good and righteous stories for our children. To the unaware, the storyline seems innocent enough. We as intellegent adults need to filter what is being given to our society as normalcy.
When I mention that the books are indoctrinal in nature I mean that they are conjouring an appetitte for witchcaft. If one does not believe in witchcraft that does not mean it doesn't exist. Whether you hold it true or a bunch of rubbish, the fact remains that it is practiced. The movies of the series have actual witches to advise on the accruacy of spells and so forth. So the bottom line is that the movies promote witchcraft as harmless and a normal part of society. So some of us find it appalling and a danger to our youth today. "Choose this day whom you will serve" . Does this make it any clearer what the "hub-bub" is all about? Thanks, David
Monk2400
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Posted 08/28/07 - 7:02 PM:

One of the things I found tiresome and, in the end, ‘ridiculus’, in the final book—which I assume was probably done more than in previous books, given the ‘final battle’ theme—was the use of wands as laser guns.

Curses bouncd off walls and such. I get it, it’s the world the author creatd, and its no diffrnt than typical fiction and anime/cartoons etc these days, some of which I love. But I wondrd why these wizards all needed these special sticks to cast spells. I mean, neithr Harry nor Voldemort et al seemd to be anything without their special magical weapons, and thats all that seems to set them apart from normal humans. A lesson perhaps, how technology=powr?

But David, seriously, witches on the set of the movies? Come now, I don’t think any of the ‘spells’ in the Pottr series have any origin othr than Rowling’s imagination and perhaps a cursory skimming of some old magic books.

Are we meant to believe that any of this stuff is realistic in the slightest?

It is intrsting, as a side note about witchcraft, is that Ive seen it disparagd in some traditional religions. Why? Who knows, usually its just labelld ‘evil’ and thats enough.

A second side note, the biggest wave of witchcraft to hit our culture recently is not, imho, Harry Potter, but ‘The Secret’. And more intruiging, for them that disparage witchcraft, is the quite clearly evident similarity of so-calld magic and so-calld traditional prayr. Check it out, its all right there.

8)
Nihil Loc
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Posted 08/28/07 - 9:10 PM:

Is a self-styled "nihilist" worse than a witch in this day and age?

The Secret isn't so secret. It is a dolled-up version of the advice of your high school guidance counselor who believes you should "get motivated and pursue your goals."

Having commitment to true desire is about as easy eliminating all desires (Nirvana). This is my pessimistic fashion sense.

*peace*
libertygrl
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Posted 08/29/07 - 12:11 PM:

i tried to read the first harry potter book when it came out way back when, and couldn't really get into it. i watched the first four movies, of which i thought the third one was the best (prisoner of azkaban), mainly because i enjoy the directing style of alfonso cuaron (who also did "y tu mama tambien"). even still, none of the films have really resonated with me too much. i guess it's just a matter of taste, because there are other works of children's literature that i love (chronicles of narnia, for example), and not because the writing is so spectacular, per se, but i guess more because i can relate better to the archetypes. i respect harry potter for the impact it's had on our culture, but outside of that it hasn't moved me too much.
libertygrl
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Posted 08/29/07 - 12:12 PM:

hi david, welcome to the couch. i have to admit, i'm not sure how witchcraft is any more dangerous to our youth than, say, christianity. there are benevolent practicers of witchcraft just as there are malicious (even murderous) practicers of christianity. is one practice inherently better or worse than another? i suppose it depends on who you talk to. please feel free to share your thoughts. also, i've never heard of anyone having been inspired to take up witchcraft after having read harry potter or watched the movies. have you?
praxis
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praxis
Posted 08/29/07 - 1:08 PM:

Midnight_Monk wrote:
ahh..yeah, thats a good question. My impression was that the 'baby' charactr representd Voldemort, or the piece of him that was part of Harry. Perhaps it was meant to suggest that the end of evil is such a state--helplessness, ignorance, an infantile and raw presence of stark pain that one has no powr to command. A suitable purgatory for an evil doer? Or just a clue that the path of evil ultimately robs one of all powr, rathr than granting it? Maybe its the fate of a reincarnatd Voldemort. But the purgatory thing has appeal, since the scene was the train station, a place where one waits before going on.

8)

Nice.

--------------

I enjoyed the series myself, and don't really mind being seduced by witchcraft. Turns out in the end that good defeats evil. Is that how it turns out in the Bible? I've never read it.
Monk2400
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Posted 08/29/07 - 1:22 PM:

libertygrl wrote:
...i watched the first four movies, of which i thought the third one was the best (prisoner of azkaban), mainly because i enjoy the directing style of alfonso cuaron (who also did "y tu mama tambien").


yay! thats my favourite too!!!
Monk2400
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Posted 08/29/07 - 1:23 PM:

Its funny really, cause I dont see HP as representing anything but our current cultural archetypes of the witch, not rootd in the lore of yesteryear, but rootd in the comical and cartoonish portrayals of witches and wizards that have permeated our media culture. A witch, for us, begins with Snow White and moves all the way up to Gandalf, with all the No-Hearts throwing lightning bolts in between. HP isnt evn as deep as the Star Wars concept of the force, which is at least eludicatd, whereas in HP the magic seems to be taken for grantd.

On a lightr note tho, those lovely moving photos are soon to be if not presently a reality for us muggles. Mind you, that thanks to technology. Anyone have one of those cool dynamic picture frames where you plug in a SDD or some othr card to cycle through your digital photos? Those things are soo cool, and its wild, cause when I was a kid, not so long ago, they were the stuff of wild imagination!



Edited by Midnight_Monk on 08/29/07 - 1:29 PM
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 08/29/07 - 8:38 PM:

I'm on the same page as Nihil Loc here. Clearly no book can live up to such --monstrous-- expectations. But it was a great read nevertheless. imho

smiling face
smokinpristiformis
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Posted 08/29/07 - 8:51 PM:

Maybe rowling didn't really put in all the depth for the characters, assuming that the background had been thorougly worked through in ... you know... rougly some 3000 pages before sticking out tongue
Why it became such a succes.... Well, I don't want to claim to have the ultimate answer here, but usually such books draw a lot of their succes from their errr.... 'recognisability'. (is that even an english word?)

small book tip for those who want to read more fantasy... the kind where the (main) characters have not just 3 .- but rather 4, 5 and up to 6 dimensions -> Robin Hobb ...
David Dangcil
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Posted 08/31/07 - 7:26 PM:

Greetings libertygrl, I will agree with you that it does depend on who you talk to. But then it comes down to believing in absolute truths doesn't it? I mean if a person doesn't believe in absolutes, then what can we compare righteousness to? Yes I will admit that blood and death in the name Christianity does take place. But are these the people that we judge a belief on? Islam claims to be a system of peace but what are the first thoughts of people when Islam is mentioned? I noticed your profile says that dabble in Tarot. So my first inclination is an understanding why you would be defensive when it comes to the H.P. movies and the occult. What I was trying to say is that society needs standards to conduct life. If we allow things to be taught our children we have to agree on what is wrong for them to learn. How can two different beliefs coexist when they are diametrically opposed to each other? It comes down to who you follow and what are you following.
Many children or adults I have talked to about the movies (H.P) considers witchcraft as a normal part of life. They know about placing spells and using elements to manipulate life. This is how they are being indoctrinated into the occult. If you want that, then that's fine. But I do not believe that we all have to accept the occult as a good thing.





libertygrl wrote:
hi david, welcome to the couch. i have to admit, i'm not sure how witchcraft is any more dangerous to our youth than, say, christianity. there are benevolent practicers of witchcraft just as there are malicious (even murderous) practicers of christianity. is one practice inherently better or worse than another? i suppose it depends on who you talk to. please feel free to share your thoughts. also, i've never heard of anyone having been inspired to take up witchcraft after having read harry potter or watched the movies. have you?

Monk2400
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Posted 09/02/07 - 12:01 AM:

David Dangcil wrote:

I mean if a person doesn't believe in absolutes, then what can we compare righteousness to?


People tend to define what is 'righteous' to serve their own needs. If there is no such thing as an absolute 'right' there is no such thing as being absolutely 'righteous'.


David Dangcil wrote:

Yes I will admit that blood and death in the name Christianity does take place.


In fact, Christianity is all about blood and death. Thats its central theme. Be it God or man doing the blood letting.


David Dangcil wrote:

But are these the people that we judge a belief on?


Yes, yes they are. Beliefs are given value by their application by the agents that adhere to them. Sure a belief, like anything, is not shown 'true' or 'false' by the numbr and mannr of adherents, but its certainly a good clue when a belief allows wanton slaughtr of othr sentient beings that there is something 'wrong' with the belief and not just that all persons adopting it are somehow corrupt.



David Dangcil wrote:

Islam claims to be a system of peace but what are the first thoughts of people when Islam is mentioned?


No doubt many people's first thoughts are of an overblown strawman creatd by the media that doesnt resemble actual Muslim spiritual practice one iota.


David Dangcil wrote:

If we allow things to be taught our children we have to agree on what is wrong for them to learn. How can two different beliefs coexist when they are diametrically opposed to each other? It comes down to who you follow and what are you following.


It is not possible for a unit of knowledge to be 'wrong' to learn. Unless, perhaps, it is learning an error or mistake relative to a system of belief, such as that 2+2=7. But that, in fact, is not evn 'learning', as to learning what '2' '+' and '=' means will show that '2+2=7' is false. If you dont know that you havnt learnd what addition it.

Knowledge itself has no inherent value. We only attach value to it accordingly as it suits our fancies or propaganda.


David Dangcil wrote:

Many children or adults I have talked to about the movies (H.P) considers witchcraft as a normal part of life. They know about placing spells and using elements to manipulate life. This is how they are being indoctrinated into the occult. If you want that, then that's fine. But I do not believe that we all have to accept the occult as a good thing.


Maybe. But, what reason is given to assume that the so-calld 'occult' is a bad thing? Be careful how to respond to this. Watch for hiddn biases.

In fact, a system of belief like Christianity, for instance, actually creates the possibility for an opposing system (insofar as it is actually opposing) like 'witchcraft' to exist, as it defines witches relative to itself. A purely naturalistic, secular belief system, otoh, is more likely to dismiss or eliminate 'witchcraft' as bunk, myth, false, unscientific, and impotent.

So which is it? Does your belief system allow for the possibility of witchcraft, does it in fact create a space for it, or relegate it to the pages of fiction where most of it no doubt belongs?

Anyway, Id like to point out that so-calld witchcraft is little diffrnt than conventional prayr. OOOo but maybe thats the insidious deviousness of it all!!

8)
hyena in petticoat
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Posted 09/24/07 - 3:55 AM:

Lib wrote:
alfonso cuaron (who also did "y tu mama tambien").


I won't forget that movie. What's significant in the movie was communicated in such a subtle manner.

Of course, that's a little off.

About Harry Potter. I think I have been able to read the first to the third book. I like it because it's not heavy. Makes a good light reading material. It wasn't a drag. I'm not sure about the fourth to the last book though. I'm not as lucky as MM to have Harry Potter books lying about and I am not exactly one to go a-buying. grin

Like many other "based/adapted from the book" movies I watched, I have always felt there is something amiss. Like, they weren't able to capture how "colorful" the book is. Something like that.

Anyway, I wonder when I will be able to buy Harry Potters books (4th - onwards) on book sale. grin
libertygrl
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Posted 09/25/07 - 1:14 PM:

hyena in petticoat wrote:
I won't forget that movie. What's significant in the movie was communicated in such a subtle manner.

on another side note, i recently saw "children of men", also directed by cuaron. it definitely cemented me as a fan of his directing style. if you liked "y tu mama tambien" then i recommend checking it out. thumb up
Monk2400
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Posted 09/26/07 - 4:03 PM:

Moving on...

Now I've read the Order of the Phoenix and the Half-Blood Prince. Not bad tales, I suppose. I enjoyd them for sure and passd a few amiable hours in their text. Im still entrenchd in the movie imagery though. The final two movies should be cool, if they do em right. Once complete, this will be a fine film legacy for this generation. Now I have to re-read the Deathly Hallows tho, cause the ending of Half-Blood Prince didnt make sense to me.

cheers,

8)
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