cura librorum

Harry Potter & The Three-Month Summer
August 8, 2009, 16:08
Filed under: Children's & YA, Thoughts
HP 5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(London, Bloomsbury, 2003, 766 pp., £7.99)

I love the Harry Potter series. I used to just treat the books as literature from my childhood but now that I read it again, it’s very puzzling and defies what I had pegged HP for. Meaning, this is quite a piece of work. If I read them all at once, it’s almost like reading a novel, as you can trace seemingly miniscule details throughout the course of the books so that they resonate with each other.  There’s a certain predictability to them in terms of rising and falling action in each one, but not too formulaic. After rereading the HP series, I’m amazed at J.K. Rowling’s foresight in placing all the details of her story neatly. Barely any words are wasted and every detail is significant! Little details like Harry’s wand, the Black’s locket, Kreacher, Riddle’s diary, Sirius’ motorcycle, all show up with significance later on.

And she’s not so bad at characterization through hints and dialogues either. Take this quote from Snape to Harry during Occlumens lessons:

‘I told you to empty yourself of emotion!’
‘Yeah? Well, I’m finding it hard at the moment,’ Harry snarled.
‘Then you will find yourself easy prey for the Dark Lord! ‘ said Snape savagely. ‘Fools who wear their hearts proudly on their sleeves, who cannot control their emotions, who wallow in sad memories and allow themselves to be provoked so easily — weak people, in other words — they stand no chance against his powers! He will penetrate your mind with absurd ease, Potter!’

Ah, but of course this would be Snape’s definition of heroism and strength! It’s practically the driving force of his life. What a mental fortress he must have up there considering his roles in the books. My favorite book before the 7th was this one, precisely because of ‘Snape’s Worst Memory’ and Harry’s subsequent doubt about his father. Somehow, after reading that chapter, you KNOW that Snape and Lily have got to be important somehow to the resolution.

This was a good summer to reread the series. I guess the only drawback is that it’s hard to me to imagine the characters having grown up at all, I still just imagine the characters as 10 and 11 year olds only slightly taller. Maybe that’s the psychological imprint of Mary GrandPré’s illustrations?

Still don’t care much for the movies.

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