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Home :: Archive :: 2002 :: April ::
Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 13.0955  Friday, 5 April 2002

[1]     From:   Alan J. Sanders <
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        Date:   Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 12:32:34 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

[2]     From:   Sophie Masson <
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        Date:   Friday, 5 Apr 2002 21:40:12 +1000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

[3]     From:   Kathleen Breen <
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        Date:   Thursday, 04 Apr 2002 20:57:07 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Alan J. Sanders <
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Date:           Thursday, 4 Apr 2002 12:32:34 -0500
Subject: 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

Sam Small writes:

"It was derivative, badly written with a pretentious model of another
world I found flat and lifeless.  Meaningless exposition like "What's
this thing?" "Ahh, that the twiggle-whizzy stick given to my grandfather
my a magic toad with pink eyes when he crossed the wobbly bridge . . .
." and so on and so boring on!"

My only comment on this is to remind the learned that Harry Potter isn't
something to spur the minds of the college-aged student or astute
citizens of higher learning -- I believe it was meant to appeal to
readers of youth fiction (a la, "Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing",
"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", "James and the Giant Peach",
"Charlotte's Web" and the like).  As an advisor to a youth group, most
of my kids (age 11 - 13) have read the books (as have I) and are
anxiously awaiting the 5th novel later this year.  That is a most
encouraging thought, I believe.  How many teachers on this message board
would beam at the idea of children in our modern day yearning for ANY
book?!?

So, if you liken the literature of youth fiction to important classical
works, I think you would naturally be disappointed.  What's troublesome
here are people who can't seem to make a distinction between the two.

Alan J. Sanders

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sophie Masson <
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Date:           Friday, 5 Apr 2002 21:40:12 +1000
Subject: 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

The books are much better than the film, Sam. We've read all four and
went to see the film with high hopes that were dashed. The books are
full of a mischievous sense of fun, lots of word play, allusions to all
kinds of folklore, myth, historical events. The film pedestrianised
everything, and simply stuck slavishly to the plot. I mean, it's as if
someone took one of WS' plots and told it deadpan, without character
interplay, language play, allusions or anything. Most children I know
who went to see the film, and were Hp fans already, were rather
disappointed. It did not recreate the world they loved at all.

I've found that the HP books have in fact helped to rekindle kids'
interests in a lot of older literature, and have had far-reaching events
in rekindling also young readers' interest in expanded vocabulary and
allusions. Rowling does not pander to supposed limited attention spans.

Sophie Masson.
Author site: http://www.northnet.com.au/~smasson

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kathleen Breen <
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Date:           Thursday, 04 Apr 2002 20:57:07 -0500
Subject: 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter
Comment:        Re: SHK 13.0939 Re: Shakespeare Burned with Harry Potter

Everyone is entitled to his or her preferences in the matter of art, but
Sam Small's venomous attack on J. K. Rowling seemed excessive. Someone
who makes a film based on Shakespeare's sonnets ought to be more careful
in condemning another person's work for being "derivative." And need we
be reminded that Harry Potter is written for children???  Why do
otherwise well-educated persons have to be small-minded snobs?   Pun
intended.

K Breen

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