Archives for August 2013

‘Divergent’ Movie Trailers: Official ‘Teaser’ and Longer Clip

From Fandango, a longer clip played at the MTV Music Awards show:

Please share your thoughts — and stand by for a Guest Post tomorrow about the Literary Alchemy embedded in the trilogy’s first novel, the nigredo of the series!

‘Honest Trailers’ Visits the Harry Potter Franchise

Hat tip to Joshua!

Mythgard Institute: Join Dr. Amy Sturgis for a Not-So Elementary Class — ‘Sherlock, Science, and Ratiocination’

Attention Sherlockians of every stripe, and everyone else who like to unravel, deduce, detect, and ponder! The good folks over at the Mythgard Institute are currently recruiting students from around the world to join the amazing Dr. Amy Sturgis for Sherlock, Science and Ratiocination, a course that is bound to spark insights, conversation, and briliant deductions! Here is the official description of the course:

The intellectual sibling of science fiction, born of the same parents (the Scientific Revolution and the Industrial Revolution), is what its father, Edgar Allan Poe, called “tales of ratiocination.” Poe created the first scientific detective, C. Auguste Dupin, who in turn paved the way for one of the most enduring and beloved literary characters of all time, Sherlock Holmes. This course focuses on Poe and Conan Doyle and how their works blended scientific method, mystery, and imagination to create the modern literature of detection. Students will consider why Sherlock Holmes remains an often revisited and reinterpreted character with remarkable resonance in our own time, and how the genre he helped to create and the literary descendants he inspired continue to question the idea of order in our universe and how we know what we (think we) know.

Find out more:

[Read more…]

Re-Packaging Harry Potter: Why Combine Prince and Hallows

Friend of this blog Bruce Charlton has written a challenging post at his Miscellany weBlog, ‘Harry Potter and the need for a single volume Half Blood Prince/ Deathly Hallows.’ In it he argues that Ms Rowling is very much correct when she noted in an interview that the last two books “slide into one another” and work as a whole. Mr Charlton writes:

I am again re-reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – and as I began to break down in tears in a cafe (halfway through ‘The Missing Mirror’ chapter), and was forced to lay the book aside and stop reading or risk dissolving into a blubbering mass; I realized for the nth time that many adults are missing reading this wonderful book for the simple reason that they are either unable or unwilling to read children’s books.

The problem is that, according to conventional wisdom, the Deathly Hallows can only be approached via the preceding six Harry Potter stories; two of which are designed for intelligent (approx) eight year olds, the next for ten year olds, two more for 12-14 year olds, and only the last two volumes of being fully adult novels.

His solution?

In fact, in terms of both structure and style, the Half Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows make up a unit: therefore, the solution is that they should be published together in a single mega-volume marketed to adults – and with all the necessary back story provided in the form or a Foreword or Preface, plus a few explanatory notes (probably as footnotes).

Three quick notes about this idea: [Read more…]

Swythyv: Luna Lovegood Looks at Ariana’s Death

I had a wonderful time catching up with old friends at MISTI Con in Laconia, New Hampshire this Spring. Keith Hawk from MuggleNet Academia was there, Janet Batchler flew in from LA to pull back the curtain on the making of the Potter movies in her keynote talk, and the whole Group that Shall Not Be Named was on hand, which made the conversational atmosphere fast, fun, and fabulously fascinating. Did I mention the CosPlay heroics and statuary among the art exhibits? For a ‘low key’ fan gathering with participants numbering in the hundreds rather than the thousands, MISTI Con was a meeting exceeding all of my expectations.

My favorite moment, though, has to have been sitting at a table in the Big Tent all by my lonesome an hour or so before the book signing event. I’d arrived early to set everything up and to read for a while in anticipation of whatever came next (and there was always a big ‘something next’). And in wheeled the woman known to her admirers as ‘the Luna Lovegood of Potter Pundits,’ Swythyv.

If you’ve read her LiveJournal posts or the chapter she contributed to Who Killed Albus Dumbledore?, you know Swythyv reads a text at a different angle than the normal reader and at a greater depth than even serious readers. I want to share what we talked about — really, what I sat spell bound listening to for what must have been ninety minutes bit seemed like an extended moment of diving into clear, blue water and discovering another world of sensation and sights — but I cannot, except to say she shared the magical back story of the Hogwarts Saga that ties together a host of loose ends from Albania to Albion and Albus Dumbledore.

God willing, she’ll soon be sharing at her LiveJournal that epic historical bracketing of the Harry Potter epic that is implicit to the tale but never discussed explicitly. I’ll provide the link when she does. Until then, though, I have Swythyv’s permission to share a link something she wrote last year about the death of Ariana, a post that, at first, as with much of what she writes, flabbergasts me, then makes me see things as possible that I never would have considered, and finally leaves me wondering if she hasn’t seen things much more clearly than everyone else.

Ariana’s Death. Read it and let me know what you think. Fan fiction? I have to think the lazy reader will dismiss it as such. I see it as entering into a text at such a level that, as in a Pensieve, the neglected aspects of a memory or scene include dimensions and perceptions not available to the original narrative. Swythyv is a Potter Pundit of the first order and meeting her at last was a life event for me. I hope soon to share her Dodona musings which are an order of magnitude more challenging than this short piece. Enjoy!