Friday, February 7, 2014

Literary Firestorm.

Sadly, the title is no joke.

I have never read the Harry Potter series, but everyone between the ages of nine and twenty-five has, so this is a serious cultural issue.

J.K.Rowling, kazillionaire thanks to the sales of her literary efforts, recently stated that she "made a mistake" in pairing Hermione with the wrong warlock or wizard, or whatever the little devils were.  What?  This woman attributes to herself god-like-powers of determination of the paths her characters take?  That's not right.  She created the characters, true, but surely they take on lives of their own.  By her own admission, predetermination of the outcome was not a factor, for she herself said that she had envisioned Harry with the heroine, but it was not to be.*

Fictional characters, just as non-fictional, or less-fictional ones, go willy-nilly through their lives, bumping into each other, ricocheting or bonding as the case may be.  What has some woman in Britain to do with the outcomes?

Oh, let me guess.  Vanilla's Friday morning forecast:  Ms. Rowling will be releasing a new book very soon.

*One will credit an author with power of naming her characters.  JKR might have chosen a name other than "Hermione," say Elizabeth or Penelope.  As it is, the secondary prediction from this seat is that this generation of young women just graduating college will be naming their daughters "Hermione."

And so what if I throw a little fuel on the fire?
What do you think?


Jacquelineand.... said...

It seems a rather silly statement from her but on the other hand, I do have to respect the fact that she chose to de-billionarise herself by contributing so much to charities.

What has that to do with character romances? I've no more idea than (I suspect) she does.

Vee said...

Sitting in my chair right now is the another person who has not read that series. I lived in a town where satanic "churches" held meetings and little stickers on front doors informed visitors that they were entering a house belonging to Satan. Witches and Warlocks creep me out. I campaigned against parents getting the Harry Potter books for their children. Kids are already desensitized enough to evil.

I feel the same way about "The Hunger Games." Just the premise makes me nauseous. We obviously need some great YA writers.

Now look what you went and did - pushed one of my buttons, and so early in the morning.

Shelly said...

I haven't read any of them, and truth be told, I'm not at all impressed by Ms. Rowling.

Secondary Roads said...

I've heard before of writers who let their stories develop "organically." As a technical writer, I would have developed an outline and had the end in mind before the beginning. Your mileage may vary.

Sharkbytes said...

Characters do take on a life of their own. I saw a couple of the movies, but haven't read the books. My problem with the whole series is there is no basis in any external source for a reason to choose good rather than to choose the evil side.

Grace said...

I loved the Harry Potter series. They are fabulous books for young people. Whether Ms. Rowling intended it or not she covers almost every issue facing young people. Good does triumph over evil, but not easily. Set in a fantastical world, it takes all these issues several steps from reality, so less threatening, but still relate-able. The one thing you take from these stories, if nothing else, is that loyalty is a cornerstone of life and relationships. The stories address bullying, tolerance for differences, love(parental and all else), teenage angst - you name, it is there.

Harry with Ginny and Ron with Hermione - you had to see that coming and it's more lessons learned.

A fantastical world that addresses the issues of the real world - and I think most readers come away with that. With lessons learned. I'm sorry to disagree but it does not desensitize a reader to evil - it does show how loyalty, love, team work and tolerance overcomes it.

Satan? If you want to equate Satan with evil than Satan is overcome. The bad guys die, and so do some of the good guys, fighting the bad guys. But goodness, love and loyalty prevail. Maybe that is more fantastical than the setting of the books.

vanilla said...

Jacquelineand, as I hinted, I think it is a publicity ploy-- keeps her in the public eye.

Vee, pushing buttons sometimes gets a motor running. Unfortunately, evil exists, and young people will encounter it in the real world if not in their fictional ones.

Shelly, so we know there are at least two of us who haven't read them. Other than what I see in the press, I don't know enough about this author to be impressed one way or the other.

Chuck, as a technical writer, you do what you have to do. As a writer of random notions, my mileage does vary. Considerably.

Sharkey, interesting observation. One would always hope that, because there is always loss on both sides in any conflict, there would be a compelling reason to choose the good.

Grace, I truly appreciate your review. It comes from someone who clearly is conversant with the topic and who has given the matter serious thought. You may have put your finger exactly on the most "fantastical" aspect: that goodness, love, and loyalty prevail. Would that that were always the case in our world.