sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Author, J. K. Rowling teamed up with two other writers to create Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, the eighth book in the Harry Potter series.  It will be available on July 31, so you have time to save your pennies. 
Overview: It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children. 
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.
J. K. Rowling has done more in my opinion to encourage young adults toward the joy of reading than an any modern author. The Harry Potter series has made her fabulously rich (richer than one of those goblins at the bank). I like to see authors strike it rich. In this day and age, it's nearly impossible to sell enough books to support yourself unless you're Rowling or perhaps Stephen King, or that new up-and-commer, Jim Curtis.
From John C. Wright: "...This is true even of tales that treat the matter of ancient epics and ballads lightly, as when a young orphan discovers he is not of our world but a wizard from the land of magic hidden from human eyes. Harry Potter somewhat cheekily, and with tongue in cheek, puts all the tropes of once-upon-a-time into modern garb, so that broom-riding witches play rugby in midair, and the sorcerer’s apprentice goes to boarding school straight out of Tom Brown’s School Days to face bullies as bad as Flashman. 
"But even a lighthearted treatment of the eternal things will brush up against eternal themes: Harry must face a Dark Lord who is a dark reflection of his own soul, and he bears the wound of his mother’s love, which saved him as a babe, upon his brow. Harry Potter is the most successful book of all time next to Pilgrim’s Progress and the Sears Catalogue
"And so, naturally, there is a certain cult, known in his world as Deatheaters, and in our world as Political Correctness, that seeks repulsively to claim that success as their own...These books teach the most solid and conservative of messages imaginable. And, no, I do not mean that they teach that intolerance is good and torture is even better. I mean these books show clear and edifying examples of core conservative values in action. Let us list a few:
  • The families in Potter consist of mothers and fathers, not various partners of various genders engaged in various acts of free love. Ron’s family is a shining example of a loving family, with a father who works and a mother who is willing to face mad witches if need be for her large and well-loved brood. Harry Potter himself is saved by his mother’s love and protected from the evil spells of her murderer.
  • The government in Harry Potter’s world, as in ours, in inept, corrupt, and regarded as an obstacle rather than the source of salvation. Each boy relies on his own wit and courage and friendships to save himself and to save the world.
  • The press in Harry Potter’s world, as in ours, is inept, corrupt, and a source of outrageous falsehoods. The main reporter-witch can assume the form of a mosquito.
  • The moral universe in Harry’s world rejects any form of relativism. There are no shades of gray here, or examples of a thing being right for one group and wrong for another. The ends do not justify the means here either: knowing that Voldemort is also an orphan raised in poverty does not automatically make him one of the oppressed and therefore excused in anything he does, as it would in the left-wing world.
  • Dumbledore is gay! And the one example in the book of Dumbledore’s love is an evil man who manipulated him. Aside from that, as best the text can show, Dumbledore lives chastely.
  • Do I even need to say anything about the alleged occultism in Potter? We Christians invented the medieval romance from which the modern novel takes its form, and modern fantasies slavishly copy, including this one. Romance is as Roman as Rome. If you think Sir Orfeo or Orlando Furioso or Le Morte D’Arthur is occult, go find the nearest exorcist: you’re possessed by the imp of stupid.
  • They keep score in Quidditch. I just thought I would throw that in.
  • There is no cult of victimology here. Anyone who gets ahead, even the Chosen One, is because he works hard. The Twins open a joke shop when they graduate; they do not go on the dole.
  • “The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” Harry conquers death by submitting to it at Voldemort’s hand, and destroys the Dark Lord by being reborn. He sees the Dark Lord’s soul as the shriveled and pathetic thing it is, not glorious.
  • Salvation requires sacrifice.
  • Rules are made to be broken. 
"A word on this last point. One might think that we conservatives, who are law-and-order types, would object to a book in which the hero defies a government order and trains in secret with his fellow students against a day of war. However, conservatism, if it is anything, is the belief in limited government. We like rebels when the authority oversteps it role and turns corrupt, as it does in Harry Potter, with the various fussy bureaucrats, traitors, and cowards occupying the Ministry of Magic. 
'Leftism by its nature is totalitarian, since it extends its reach to every element and aspect of life. For leftists, life is politics and politics is life. For them, everything is a political issue, from the weather in the Arctic to the size of your bank account to the volume of your toilet tank to the chemicals in a hairspray bottle to the pronouns you use when the antecedent is unknown to whether a Catholic can refuse to bake a wedding cake for a ceremony that desecrates a sacrament. 
'In other words, leftists applaud revolution only when it is directed to the overthrow of whatever stands in the way of their socialist utopia. No leftist of which I am aware has ever expressed sympathy and solidarity for Lech Walesa, for the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, for the protesters of Tiananmen Square, for the protest novels of Solzhenitsyn. They applaud Malcolm X and Saul Alinsky. Leftism is statism; whenever the state is growing, leftists frown on rebels. It is only small and healthy states they want rebels to overthrow. 
'The first thing I ever heard about Harry Potter, back before I had read it, and the thing that most strongly recommended it to me, was that liberals thought it was a bad example to give kids because the young hero defied authority.
'Had I known that the book also offered up rather clear examples of Christ-like self sacrifice, self-reliance, and moral clarity, not to mention a pro-family hence antipress and antiauthoritarian message, I would have rushed out even quicker to buy it."

7 comments:

  1. I've yet to read any Harry Potter books, but, like you, anything that will get kids to read is A-okay with me.

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    1. I read the series when my daughters did. They read them first and got me to read them. I read a great deal but didn't think that I would like them. However, I did.

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  2. And I second Adrienne with the caveat -- the Gandalf figure Headmaster "came out" as gay. Thanks a lot, Rowling. My sons weren't too keen after that.

    Still, anything to get them off the screens and into a book.

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    1. He "came out" in the film, not in the book, as I recall.

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  3. Thanks for a great post!!! Saving my pennies so I can get a copy for all the grands, and one for granny!

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  4. Hear, Hear, LL. "The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by an invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing." And that's for Snape - Alan Rickman.

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