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Old 11-07-2012, 07:21 PM   #46
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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No need to be so rude.

I don't agree with trips, but she's entitled to her opinion, even if it sounds awfully elitist.
You are right, I was being mean

We must all be polite and civilized now.

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Old 11-08-2012, 12:09 AM   #47
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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That's a grave and serious insult to real literature, which obviously wouldn't sell like Harry Potter, Twilight or 50 Shades of Grey because most people either can't understand the writing or don't have the patience for it. Obviously, I've never read Harry Potter or most popular fiction because my time is precious and I devote it to only serious literature. I think the word you were looking for is 'fiction'. I'm not saying the series is bad (I wouldn't know, having never read it); it's just not serious literature, which isn't debatable. I mean, Rowling isn't a Barnes or a McEwan or a Rushdie. It's like comparing the ATP #100 to Federer. They work in the same field, but aren't in the same league quality-wise. You wouldn't study Harry Potter in a Literature class; you would read it for fun, some readers find deeper meaning in it which is great because that's what books are supposed to do, but it's not literature. I just cannot get over how you're claiming that the series is some amazing literary masterpieces. It's seriously offensive. I'm sorry, I love literature more than tennis and even Federer, so this is just...
God... Seriously, I am a university teacher, I guess that gives me the right to call myself an intellectual (sorry if it sounds pretentious).

But I'm absolutely appalled when I read posts like this... Literature lovers who think like that are just digging the grave of literature instead of promoting it.

If you follow this kind of reasoning, basically, everything that is popular is shit. I feel sorry that anyone should think like this, because if there's one thing I know, it's that studying popular culture can be absolutely fascinating, at least as much, and probably actually more than elite culture.

Separating "fun literature" from "serious literature", and even worse, assuming that nothing "fun" can be of quality, is really, really sad I believe
It also lacks perspective, because a lot of the writers who are now considered "great" writers were also very popular in the past, and the were popular because there was an audience for their works.

And yes of course, Harry Potter is literature, and it could absolutely be studied in literature class. It is very good literature for children, that can also be enjoyed by adults. The story is very well-crafted, and it is very creative both in terms of plot and in terms of how the language is used.

I usually enjoy reading both classics and "popular" literature (I make the distinction although I believe it is phoney to say the least). Sometimes I am bored to death by a book that is supposed to be "great" literature, too, and I'm not ashamed of saying it. I don't think a book should be respected just for being "serious", and even less dismissed for being "fun".
Anyway, in general, I really do believe that you can never gain anything from deliberately ignoring and despising certain genres of literature (and this applies to movies, music, etc).
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Old 11-08-2012, 04:25 PM   #48
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

^^ I know what I like and I stick to it. I don't listen to music that I deem inane, I don't watch sports that I'm not interested in, I don't practise in an area of law that bores me. I am very specific about my taste and I only read serious literature. Harry potter is not literature unless you adopt a wide (really wide) definition of the word, which I don't. When I read a book the first thing that I look for is the writer's writing style. Reading for me isn't just a fun experience; it's a deeply emotional one, an introspective one, one that tells me about life and humanity. It's also an experience that leaves me in awe of the human spirit and creativity and genius when I read writers that crafts beautiful sentences that blow my mind. This k why I don't read translations and why I don't read most popular fiction. This is why I will never read Harry potter.

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:07 PM   #49
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

“It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

“It is a curious thing, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

“After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Quotes by Albus Dumbledore, master of wisdom.

I don't know how you cannot consider this deep and emotional.

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Old 11-08-2012, 07:20 PM   #50
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

Cracking series, re-read it all so many times. My favourite book is the Prisoner Of Azkaban; first time we meet Sirius & Lupin the former is possibly my favourite character in the series. Also learn more about Harry's parents and the twist with Sirius being the 'grim' that Harry keeps seeing. Also Gryffindor win the Quidditch cup & we see the Marauders Map for the first time!
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:36 PM   #51
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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Originally Posted by Orange Wombat View Post
“It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

“It is a curious thing, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

“After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Quotes by Albus Dumbledore, master of wisdom.

I don't know how you cannot consider this deep and emotional.
I love this last one especially. That sentence was stuck in my head for years.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #52
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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Cracking series, re-read it all so many times. My favourite book is the Prisoner Of Azkaban; first time we meet Sirius & Lupin the former is possibly my favourite character in the series. Also learn more about Harry's parents and the twist with Sirius being the 'grim' that Harry keeps seeing. Also Gryffindor win the Quidditch cup & we see the Marauders Map for the first time!
My fav one is 6th one follow by 4th one. I like Prince cause you have more chance to meet Voldemort and his past and i like deeper relation beetwean Harry and Dumbledore, especially Dumbledore who i always found really interesting and deep minded, i just love him. I love fourth one cause it has great plot and great story, Voldemort rising again, the scene and graveyard and ofcours 3 wiz tournament. I dont know i just simply love all books cause they are part of my childhood and i love rereading them from time to time.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:23 PM   #53
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^^ I know what I like and I stick to it. I don't listen to music that I deem inane, I don't watch sports that I'm not interested in, I don't practise in an area of law that bores me. I am very specific about my taste and I only read serious literature. Harry potter is not literature unless you adopt a wide (really wide) definition of the word, which I don't. When I read a book the first thing that I look for is the writer's writing style. Reading for me isn't just a fun experience; it's a deeply emotional one, an introspective one, one that tells me about life and humanity. It's also an experience that leaves me in awe of the human spirit and creativity and genius when I read writers that crafts beautiful sentences that blow my mind. This k why I don't read translations and why I don't read most popular fiction. This is why I will never read Harry potter.

I
For me, HP is all that.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:27 PM   #54
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Try and read Harry Potter and not cry at the end of the sixth novel.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:34 PM   #55
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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How is fiction not literature?
This isn't even worthy of a response.

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Bottomline: You can't judge a book unless you actually read it. You even said it yourself. HP is much better than Twilight and whatever other fads. It's too bad for you if you consider yourself too "sophisticated" to read good books.
My favourite writer is Julian Barnes. Among my favourite books are The Satanic Verses, The Blind Assassin, Great Expectations, Of Human Bondage, Never Let Me Go, Lolita, Alias Grace, Dracula, The Remains of the Day... I'm not listing any Barnes novels because I love them all and I'd read anything he writes, but the ones that stand out for me are The Sense of an Ending, England, England, Arthur & George, A History of the World in 10.5 Chapters and Flaubert's Parrot. "Good" does not begin to describe the books that I read. Of course, I have read some shit ones (Wuthering Heights stands out as a "classic" that I read recently which I vehemently hated), but to use the word "good" to describe my favourite books is probably understating it a little bit.

I read a page of Harry Potter to judge the writing and I decided that I didn't like it. I did the same for 50 Shades and Twilight. Plenty of people consider 50 Shades and Twilight "good" books as well; do you consider yourself too sophisticated to read them?

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You seem to be implying that a novel has to be written for a blasé audience for it to be considered literature. Correct?
No, I don't know where you got that idea.

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No need to be so rude.

I don't agree with trips, but she's entitled to her opinion, even if it sounds awfully elitist.
I am elitist. I am also arrogant and a snob. That's why Federer is my favourite player.

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“It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”

“Dark times lie ahead of us and there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

“It is a curious thing, but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.”

“After all to the well organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”
Quotes by Albus Dumbledore, master of wisdom.

I don't know how you cannot consider this deep and emotional.


I think I'll just stop talking now and let a passage from my latest edition to my favourite books list speak for itself:

Quote:
The effort was so incommensurate with the result. The bright hopes of youth had to be paid for at such a bitter price of disillusionment. Pain and disease and unhappiness weighed down the scale so heavily. What did it all mean? He thought of his own life, the high hopes with which he had entered upon it, the limitations which his body forced upon him, his friendlessness, and the lack of the affection which had surrounded his youth. He did not know that he had ever done anything, but what seemed best to do, and what a cropper he had become! Other men, with no more advantages than he, succeeded, and others again, with many more, failed. It seemed pure chance. The rain fell alike upon the just and the unjust, and for nothing was there a way and a wherefore.
The entire page 604 of the Vintage edition of the novel (Of Human Bondage) is just breathtaking, but I can't be bothered to type the whole thing out.

Look, like I said before, you cannot seriously argue that Rowling's writing is on the same level as writers who have cemented their status as literary writers (Barnes, Rushdie, McEwan, Hollinghurst, Banville [his style is rather obscure but it's undeniable that his sentences ooze poetry]; I could go on but I'm sure you get the idea). That's why I don't read the series. But more power to whoever reads it and finds meaning in them because that's what books are meant to do. I don't think it's in the same category of Pure Shit as Twilight and 50 Shades, but obviously I don't think they are works of literature either.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:38 PM   #56
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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For me, HP is all that.
Good for you.

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That "serious" thing it's very debatable. It depends on what you consider serious or not. In music for example there are musicians that write music much more complex or elaborate and people think the music it's not serious because the lyrics talk about fantasy or fairy-tales or whatever and if another musicians write a 3 chord song but the lyrics are a philosophical essay they go "Oh, wow, what a masterpiece".

My point is that it doesn't matter what you write about, but how you write it. I don't think that writing science fiction will instantly make it less worthy. Some of the greatest authors write science fiction (Wilbur Smith, Stephen King, etc) If you didn't read them as you said, I don't know how you can be so offended. Give them a try at least. You'll see they are great and their success is justified.
It's precisely because it's about the writing style that I don't read Harry Potter. This may come as a shocker but I don't read Stephen King. This may also come as a shock but I don't read any sci-fi at all (though the line between dystopian literature and sci-fi is blurred; then again, I'm over the dystopian lit thing already). I'm honestly only interested in the best sellers list when Julian Barnes releases a novel. Some literary writers are also best sellers, but not all best sellers are literary writers. I only read literary writers and literary works because it's the number 1 love in my life. I don't know why Harry Potter fans find that so offensive; it's not as if my non-readership has had any impact on its sales or popularity, or Rowling's bank account balance.

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And you can't seriously compare it to twilight. Twilight books weren't that successful or praised as HP, never. The movies were very successful because they're full of cliches and they cast two good looking guys for girls to watch the movie.
Yeah I was being facetious when I brought up Twilight. I thought the Twilight series sold like crazy too? Anyway, the fact that Twilight and 50 Shades can even be published is a sad fact for all of humanity.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:42 PM   #57
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

Great Expectations is one of my favourites (along with Harry Potter)!

The thing is, I don't want to read really 'heavy' novels all the time. That's why something like Harry Potter is great as gentle and pleasant reading. It's a fabulous story. I don't want to sound like my purpose is to make you read it, because it's not!

I believe it is literature, though. I don't think the writing has to be sophisticated for something to be literature.

For instance, do you think Beatrix Potter's works are works of literature?
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #58
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

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Great Expectations is one of my favourites (along with Harry Potter)!

The thing is, I don't want to read really 'heavy' novels all the time. That's why something like Harry Potter is great as gentle and pleasant reading. It's a fabulous story. I don't want to sound like my purpose is to make you read it, because it's not!

I believe it is literature, though. I don't think the writing has to be sophisticated for something to be literature.

For instance, do you think Beatrix Potter's works are works of literature?
I don't like reading gentle and pleasant books. If I wanted to be purely entertained and accidentally stumble upon a deep emotional journey, I'd watch a movie or a TV show. I'm reading something "light" now (or "lightish") and it's Alain de Botton's Essays in Love and I don't know, he's supposed to be a philosophical writer and the reviews of the book claim that his sentences are poetic, but I'm not impressed so far.

I think sophisticated writing is one of the most important criteria for a book to be a work of literature, especially modern literature. Did you mean the Peter Rabbit books? I don't really know much about them apart from the ubiquitous merchandise that they spawned but I'd say no.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:33 PM   #59
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I don't like reading gentle and pleasant books. If I wanted to be purely entertained and accidentally stumble upon a deep emotional journey, I'd watch a movie or a TV show. I'm reading something "light" now (or "lightish") and it's Alain de Botton's Essays in Love and I don't know, he's supposed to be a philosophical writer and the reviews of the book claim that his sentences are poetic, but I'm not impressed so far.

I think sophisticated writing is one of the most important criteria for a book to be a work of literature, especially modern literature. Did you mean the Peter Rabbit books? I don't really know much about them apart from the ubiquitous merchandise that they spawned but I'd say no.
De Botton is more of a non-fiction writer, and I've heard that 'Essays in Love' is not a natural piece of writing. Never had the urge to check it out, but if you say you're unimpressed, I probably won't bother.
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Old 11-08-2012, 11:34 PM   #60
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Default Re: Harry Potter Thread

And yeah, you're correct, the Peter Rabbit (et al) are the works of Potter.

Fair enough if you don't call them literature, but then, is there any such thing children's literature if this is the case?
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