klj at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Fri Oct 10 20:31:04 EDT 2003
I think I pretty much agree with you. The only difference is that when I
was young and impressionable, I didn't really see the series in the same
way I do now, and that's the one thing about it that I think is
interesting. I find it thought-provoking now, but I didn't find it that
thought-provoking when I was nine. Maybe it's wrong to characterize that
as a problem with the series, but it does make my _reaction_ to the series
interesting for me, because it's kind of weird to see it from a
perspective now that's entirely different from my perspective in my
earliest memories of thinking about it. Perhaps you could even look at
this as an asset, though - it crept into my head with its clever chameleon
disguise by fooling me into thinking it was a trashy fantasy novel at an
age when I was a big fan of those and then turned out to be more
complicated than that and even helped lead, perhaps, to my
reconsideration of these moral issues, in the end? Compare and contrast
to the reaction of my libertarian friends upon reading HP5 (ie, they were
very happy that this popular kids' fantasy turned out to be supporting
values that they were strongly in favor of)?
"We should have each other to tea, huh? We should have each other with
cream, then curl up by the fire and sleep for awhile. It's the grooviest
thing! It's the perfect dream."
---Robert Smith (the Cure), "Lovecats"
On Fri, 10 Oct 2003, Melissa Proffitt wrote:
> Which is what brings me back to Susan Cooper, because I'm a little appalled
> at the tone of the discussion on this topic, which I have unfortunately had
> to read all at once due to having been busy all week. (Not that it was an
> unfortunate thread, really, but that it was overwhelming.) Disliking her
> books, being annoyed by them, I can see. But the idea that they are somehow
> *wrong* therefore, I don't understand.
> I read the series when I was young and impressionable. But the impression I
> got is best summed up by that description I cited earlier: far from being
> about good/nice and evil/nasty, these books are about the dangers of being
> too polarized by one set of values or another. Having read about that cold
> white flame, I began to see it showing up all over the place--mainly in
> religion, because there are members of my faith who are too hidebound to be
> truly good, but also in any place where someone is willing to put rules and
> regulations over the good of her fellow humans. Cooper's series may not be
> nice, it may not be moral, it may not even be enjoyable, but it is true--the
> metaphor of Dark and Light is just another way of looking at the dark places
> inside all of us.
> Melissa Proffitt
> (sorry for preaching; I shouldn't post at the end of the day)
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