Category Archives: Literature

Too much Harry Potter

One of my great “simple pleasures” in life is reading for fifteen or thirty minutes in bed before turning off the light.  I went through a phase during internship during which I would intentionally read until I was falling asleep over my book, but I’ve moved on.  Nowadays, when I realize I will drift off to sleep in less than a minute, I close the book, turn off the lamp, lie on my side with my lower hand under the pillow, and let my eyelids close. (For some reason I always sleep with my back toward the wall.)

The other night, I read a few pages in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  I awoke to my alarm at 0515 the next morning, though it wasn’t until later in the day that I remembered the dream I was having.  Some friends and I were in an unfamiliar city.  We decided to have a picnic in a park.  A couple of us went to the grocery store to pick up food, but I didn’t buy anything, as I planned to just conjure up some food.

It wasn’t until I was on my way back to the park that I realized I didn’t know any spells to conjure up food, and that was a little distressing.

I’ve also been told that it’s vain to talk to others about one’s dreams.  A blog, to me, can be a very vain thing.  Thus, this is a good place to write about it.

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Filed under Literature, Musings

Potter-mania

It’s striking how many people (nearly all adults) I see on the subway reading the final installment of the Harry Potter series. This is no ordinary book. At 750-odd pages and a distinctive yellow hard-back cover, it definitely earns the title of “Tome”.

Perhaps even more interesting are some quotations I read this morning on CNN.com:

When I closed the book I was overjoyed and devastated — overjoyed at the story, and the way it had played out, but devastated that the tale was complete,” she said. “It did feel like a bereavement, like it was saying farewell to a long-trusted friend.”

“J.K. Rowling does not disappoint; I thought she did brilliantly. It was terrifying; sometimes I was scared to keep reading on. I cried buckets,” said Todd, 20, who lamented that “never again will I stay up all night reading a new Harry Potter book, or go to its midnight release party, or invent wild theories about Harry being the Heir of Gryffindor.”

“That’s it,” she said. “It’s all over. I feel like I just said goodbye forever to my oldest, dearest friend. All I can do is re-read, and in the future when I have children, I’ll get to share these books with them. I look forward to that day.”
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The part that intrigues me is the literary-character-as-friend phenomenon. Perhaps it’s not a defining mark of great literature (not all character-friends find themselves in great works, and not all great works have a character-friend), but I think it says something about the way people approach literature. For instance, my quick-reading/guilty-pleasure Mary Higgins Clark suspense novels end with my feeling little invested into the characters, but satisfied with numerous loose ends tied up in a clever way. As I mentioned in last year’s post on Pride & Prejudice, however, Elizabeth became one of my early friends in New York City.
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To my readers: any character-friends come to mind, other than the ones already mentioned in this post?

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Filed under Literature, Musings