dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #370
ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Wed Oct 10 22:23:53 EDT 2001
I read the scene in which Harry gets on a
> broom for the first time. And felt betrayed. He could fly! He was going
> to be a Jock! He was going to be the the type of person who fit in with
> others (if not his family). And that's what bothers me about Harry
> Potter. He's so normal. If it had been DWJ, it would have been--no, it
> was, Nan, bumping up and down on a broomstick after having been tormented
> by classmates. There's some element of angst that's missing in Harry
> Potter, and because of this there's not as much to overcome. Harry has
> problems, but they're mainly external--y'know, evil wizards, dead parents,
> school rivalries--they all are connected to other people. I can't think
> of a single moment of self doubt in the books--and therefore there's no
> revelation of Harry as being more than we expected. More than he
> expected. I think I've expounded on this before--what draws me to DWJ's
> work is the way the characters discover something in themselves. That's
> missing from Harry Potter. I like the books, and I'm looking forward to
> the movie, and I even cried once while reading them, but I think they
> would mean more to me if Harry'd fallen off that broomstick.
and Ferricide said>
> you have done an excellent job of summarizing what's ... wrong ... with
> harry potter. or pulling out a great example of what bugs me about it.
> i've read the first 3 books and they're entertaining.. well, the last
> third of the 2nd book and most of the 3rd book, anyway, imo.
> but the problem that has always bothered me is that harry has no internal
> life. there is nothing going on inside his head there. there certainly
> isn't much in the way of emotional development. that's why i think the HP
> books are basically fluff. i suppose he will never be challenged or change
> or have to change. he made his lifelong friends 10 minutes into the first
> book, so that's the end of that.
And between the two of you I had a revelation, well, came up with a
theory -- the Potter books don't so much resemble school stories
as books so much as school stories in comics. Specifically the
kind of boys and girls comics that I read as a kid, Lion, The Eagle,
June and Schoolfriend etc etc. It's in the instant group of friends
and the easily identifiable enemies (sorting hat, pah), the use of
mindless spite as a motivation for the opposition and in the rather
repetitive structure. Of course they are not wholly like those
comics, but does anyone else think I have something here?
You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
Samuel R Delany. "The Fall of the Towers"
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