Thursday, November 19, 2009

Potter and friends

I started reading the Harry Potter books some months ago in an attempt to get on the same page with my daughter, who can be a stubborn protopubescent pill at times. I have since learned the rhetoric of "muggles", "snogging," "butterbeer" and "you-know-who" plenty well. I have also started enjoying the books.

And, I must say, it's not the magic or the fantasy or the enigmas or the denouments at all. That stuff, altogether, is rather plodding. But just as in Huck Finn or Dead Souls, the journey was said to be a device for the displaying of society, so in Harry Potter the magic and thrills and chills, hokey as they may be, are but a backdrop for the main plot of growing up and developing and maintaining friendships and loyalties. The emerging and deepening bonds of Harry - Ron - Hermione - Hagrid -- Dumbledore and later Neville -- Luna -- Ginny et alia. is really what it's all about. Harry and crew are rewarded time and again for having good hearts and good execution to back it up. And you don't get that everywhere. And I'm happy that my daughter likes it.

My sister once said that she no longer wanted to watch movies that didn't have happy endings. And, while I haven't gone that far, I know what she meant. There is a point in time in life when you really appreciate the positive in art, whatever that is, and Harry and friends have it going on.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

Oh, I have been thinking about this for the last year. I don't want challenge from art. Challenging art has its place and is good. But I don't need it anymore. I carry the challenge internally, deal with it all day. From art, I want to feel better. I want to nurture something loving. Or kind. Or pretty. Or relaxing. Or pleasantly interesting. Or positively cathartic.

Come back when you've finished the series. I was struck that the whole thing is, in the end, about what you said and Mother Love. An orphan boy and the power of mother love. I'm all about Ms. Weasely!

Play date?