August 11, 2007


The Boy Who Lived a review of Harry potters and the Deathly Hallows (CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS, NY Times Book Review)

For Orwell, the English school story from Tom Brown to Kipling’s Stalky and Co. was intimately bound up with dreams of wealth and class and snobbery, yet Rowling has succeeded in unmooring it from these considerations and giving us a world of youthful democracy and diversity, in which the humble leading figure has a name that — though it was given to a Shakespearean martial hero and king — could as well belong to an English labor union official. Perhaps Anglophilia continues to play its part, but if I were one of the few surviving teachers of Anglo-Saxon I would rejoice at the way in which such terms as muggle and Wizengamot, and such names as Godric, Wulfric and Dumbledore, had become common currency. At this rate, the teaching of “Beowulf” could be revived. The many Latin incantations and imprecations could also help rekindle interest in the study of a “dead” language.

Kind of odd to claim that a wizard world that practices virtual apartheid from that of mere Muggles, nevermind holding elves in thrall, isn't elitist and exclusionary.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 11, 2007 9:20 PM

Ah, but don't you know that Hitchens is a wizard? It's the benighted religious who are muggles.

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 12, 2007 12:44 AM

oj: I think Rowling tries to point this out throughout her books (particularly from GOF onward).

It's Harry's generation that is to change least that's the hope.

Posted by: Bartman at August 12, 2007 7:08 AM

Re: "Beowulf" revival. Saw coming attractions yesterday of a film of said name starring, Angelina, the lips, Jolie.

Posted by: erp at August 12, 2007 9:23 AM

They kept Kreature, no?

Posted by: oj at August 12, 2007 12:54 PM

oj: but, but...sputter, sputter. I said that's the hope. The hope! ; )

Posted by: Bartman at August 13, 2007 2:16 PM

Hope don't float.

Posted by: oj at August 13, 2007 5:36 PM
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