The Potterverse (was; DWJ in Israeli newspaper)

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Sun Feb 22 13:25:33 EST 2004


> >1) Witches are servants of the devil - the official Christian line for most
> >of Christianity's history (not so sure about now!)
>
>Less than half of Christianity's history, I suspect.  Is there any mention
>before 1000AD of *witchcraft* as opposed to heresy of one sort or another?
>Robyn?

I don't think the word existed with the particular meaning that it gained 
later. On the other hand, there are references to unnatural magical doings 
in some pre-1000 literature. Is Grendel's mother a witch? The poem doesn't 
call her one, but maybe you could argue that she fits the profile.

>Less theologically and more pragmatically, I would expect some (not many,
>but a few at least) of the children in even a magical school to have
>parents who were devout members of one religion or another, and to have to
>have special "prayers" at different times or on different days because
>otherwise their parents kicked up a fuss, as in English schools yea even as
>far back as the 1950s.  This would make a difficulty for the writer.

Ignoring this fits with the ignoring of all non-magical subjects at 
Hogwarts. No one there learns grammar or biology or mathematics in mundane 
classes. It particularly amuses me that they write all those feet of essays 
on parchment, and no one apparently has ever taught them how to write an 
essay, or a paragraph.

>After reading Ika's comments, and having noticed these basic things even
>without reading the books, I feel more and more that I don't have any
>particular need-to-read.  Life is too short, and the *complete* works of
>Chaucer in the Riverside edition paperback is the same size as Potter book
>5 hardback (and weighs twelve ounces more, the Potter is evidently
>lightweight in more ways than one).

Yes, but so much of the Riverside is notes and glossary. It's not like you 
have to read the whole thing.

Robyn 
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