far Re:too many thoughts on why DWJ is better than JKR, was Re: DWJ in Israeli newspaper

Ven vendersleighc at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 21 21:54:33 EST 2004

Gili mentioned

"not having read
any of the esteemed earlier responses":

I've read 'em but not had time to digest 'em yet.
However I really appreciated your rant Ika and
I've been having a right old giggle at Minnow's
attempts to make sense of it all -- or rather to
discover how little it does make sense. And
Diana's husband hid book 3 oh my............

Otter wanted to know

<Considering all the things that wizards do by 
magic in the HP books, I 
understand [1] why  they get wet when it rains --

this _can't_ be a very
difficult spell -- [and cold when the weather's 
bad, etc.] and [2] why it takes a long time to
grade exams>

Yeah and how hard would it be for people who can
handle moving staircases to have a retractable
roof over the Quidditch pitch. The thing I really
want to know is where does Harry go to the
opticians? I can't see the Dursleys bothering to
take him, even on those occasions he's allowed
out of his room but there's little sign he gets
his glasses in the magical world.


<I think the idea is that the 
(night)bus is like a knight in
shining armor, come to take you away from your 

Cultural point here, night buses are generally to
be found in large British cities. For "day
people" in particular their times and routes are
a mysterious business. Consequently should one
find oneself alone on the streets in the dark, in
a fix and with far to go the appearence of a
night bus can be a veritable life saver. I was
very disappointed when this was diluted by a
knight bus turning up in the day. 


<..... and that's the thing that really sets JK
Rowling apart: she's not writing much about
underdogs and misfits.>

Yet in a way she is -- in relation to the muggle
world Harry is most definitely an underdog. What
then happens, however is that he goes to Hogwarts
and becomes a kind of hero, who as has been
pointed out last time we had the HP discussion
becomes a bit of a bully, only to have this
turned on its head once more in HPV. I can feel
my mind groaning with the twistiness of it all
and again I wonder whether JKR has control of the
process at all.   

Gill pointed out about Dwj in relation to Jkr

< And her schoolkids can be a 
lot meaner - look at the way
the cricket team treats the interlopers in 
"Homeward Bounders", for example.
Or the punishments Chrestomanci's kids wreak on 
Cat in "Charmed Life".>

In HB though the interlopers are thieves  to boot
and in the end everyone gets rather more than
they bargained for, as ever in Dwj there are
Consequences. And in CL Gwendolen and Julia give
as good as they get, it only becomes really mean
when pooor magicless Janet becomes the target.  

Charmed Life is a good place to start for my next
point. Dwj is a lot funnier than Rowling, in fact
Enid Blyton is funnier than Rowling. I've smiled
at things Rowling has done I may even have
snorted but I've never giggled let alone howled
with immoderate laughter. Compare, for example
the business with the church windows in CL with
the shifting portrait figures in HP, the bread
that turns into rotten eggs, old boots and cheese
with the magical sweeties (or compare those to
Monty Python's crunchy frog and spring
surprise).... Then there are the sidesplittiong
tricks Fred and George play... well they might be
if you were there, as it is Rowling describes
what they do in the way writers describe works of
art, pieces of music or a night out at the
pantomime. If ever there was a place to tell not
show this is not it. "So --you think it amusing
to turn a school corridor into a swamp, do you?"
Yes but JKR might have at least arranged for
someone to fall in and for some swamp life to
buzz and kerflop around the school........ Which
reminds me of the manure encrusted radio in  EDOL
and the way the flies stay for lunch convinced
it's still there........ The funniest scene for
me in HPV was the attempted sacking of Professor
Trelawny, this probably says something about me
also, but I do feel that JKR is most comfortable
with comedy of the cruelest, blackest kind. That
I think is rather interesting in view of Potter
senior  sharing this less than desirable trait.
It's what will make me read the next book at any

Now for the thing that most disturbed me in HPV
--the fate of Neville's parents. It's already
obvious that care for the sick and the disturbed
is rather basic in the magical world but surely
keeping this unfortunate pair on bed rest in a
multi-occupied ward for years and years amounts
to cruel and unusual punishment. Wouldn't they be
better off in a little cottage in Hogsmeade,
looked after by a live in nurse or two and a
house elf? Would a nice country hospital be out
of the question? Or at the very least a side room
to themselves. Don't any of the people in charge
have any compassion at all let alone common
Once again unthoughtoutedness to the nth degree!

<Lizzie, who is still amazed that JKR has more 
money than the Queen of England.  
ah, marketing.>

Aah statistics too. It really depends on how you
measure wealth. The above may be true if you
count only the things that definitely belong to
the Queen in her own person but just try taking
any of the rest of it away from her (short of a
short sharp revolution that is). 


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