Thursday, July 19, 2007

A New Advent

So - It's July 20th. Well, nearly anyway, and one would think that it would take a ridiculously large life event like getting into the PhD program I really don't have a shot at or a proposal or finally meeting Emma Thompson that would finally drive me from the halls of the blogless - but here I am and you know whats on my mind? ... Harry Potter.

Yes - this emotionally constipated, angst filled, abused and tussled boy that has been a buddy of mine for the last 6 years and his posse are occupying a good part of my heart and brain tonight.

Yes it's just a book.

Yes it's a young adult book at that.

Yes it's formulaic

And has been talked about ad nauseum

and there are freaky and unbalanced people out there trying to write dissertations about the social strata in the Wizarding World

As a total aside: I will be honest, that royally creeps me out. People with so little identity that need to glom onto a story like this in such a fashion need a few adventures of their own to work with before they delve into such a story.

But you know what?

I love it.

I love it like I still unabashedly love Saturday morning cartoons and swinging my arms high and walking with out bending my knees like a 5 years old does in the hallways of my cubicle farm when no one is looking. I love it like I still love shooting pixie sticks with my brother. I love Harry and everyone he loves. I've watched him grow up. I've even cried for the bugger.

As a serious literary academic (or someone with a degree) I suppose I should point out the nearly bottomless value of character composition and placement and the flawless Classical, Neo-Classical and Medieval allusions and metaphor. Or the perfect execution of telling a new story about a universal theme. I could outline the brilliant social satire it is and how it poignantly addresses multiple, pretty much every, significant question and theme in individual and group think. But, honestly, that's not why I love it and that's not why the books are great. All the academic vernacular just outlines the reasons why the books are so good, but I love it because these characters, these places, these events and heart aches and cracked bones and lost battles and won battles and inside jokes and crazy families and a slew of desperatly important people that all seem to be on society's fringe and just general brilliant catastrophe that has happened to this cast resonates so profoundly with my own journey.

For example: I have had a professor that was very much, down the half-moon spectacles, Dumbledore. Childlike, powerful, humble, adventuresome, fierce and fatherly and always with life changing questions with an eye twinkle and a wink. No wrong could happen on his watch or in his classroom - we were safe, and not only safe but respected and given an education(like taught - the kind of teaching that goes straight to the heart. Like the kind that skips he brain/logic sentinel) when the rest of the school was pretty much a struggle on an easy day

I could go on - and if you ask me to I will - I have much to say on the subject, but that isn't what finally made me decided to start my blog.

It was how sad I am that in about 24 hours and some change it will be over. The story will be done. JK Rowling is finished and even though I finally get to see that Snape is a good man and he and Harry will FINALLY understand each other for a fleeting second before he gets killed and Harry gets Voldermort (that's my prediction at least) - but the thrill of the "next book" will be gone. Its the end of an era - of an institution. I wonder if this is how the original Star Wars fans felt about Return of the Jedi? I should ask my dad -

But that's not the point.

The point is - I've rarely felt so conflicted over an element of pop culture before. If they discontinued pixie sticks or Saturday morning cartoons I think I would feel much differently. Like I would be sad, I might even throw a party to say good bye if I was feeling saucy enough.

But I will miss Harry. I will miss all the thrill of a new installment very much. I am excited for Harry to finish his journey, but I am sad to see him go.

Harry Potter is more than a story - he has done what good books should do. He became my friend. All of them did. That's how good these books are to me and I am positive that in time they will be a marker and probably a bulwark of our generation. I was glad to be a part of it. But mostly, I will miss him.


Rachel said...

"Shelves in the close. Happy thought indeed." Love it.

Hannah said...

1) I told you that thing about my dissertation in private!

2) I totally have a blog now too!

3) This is Hannah.

4) Hi Liz!