Friday, November 11, 2011

Part XII: Harry Potter Love, My Memories

Well, the last Harry Potter has come out on Blu-Ray and perhaps DVD. The conclusion to the movies is over, and soon the mania will ebb perhaps, the wave no longer strong as before. I wonder if anyone remembers the Harry Potter books? I have only seen movies 1 and 2 perhaps and due to my nit pickiness and comparing them with the books, didn't enjoy the movies. However, I became huge fan of the books, at least up until Book 7. Just for fun, I will talk about my life involving Harry Potter.

For me it started in middle school in 1999. I recall I was in 7th grade and everybody was constantly talking about Harry Potter all the time. What I remember is during a book club or something like that we could check out Harry Potter book from the library, which I did. The book I checked out was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the third one in the series.

I don't recall how long it took me to read that book, but I remember falling in love with the magical world that the author has created and from then on I was in sort of love with Harry Potter. I did manage to read and get Harry Potter books 1-3, including the 4th one as soon as the paperback editions were out. As soon as I got hooked onto Harry Potter, the forth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire came out. Because hardback editions came out first, I couldn't exactly ask my parents to get it for me, and this book was in demand by everyone. I was friends with a librarian back then and she let me check out the fourth Harry Potter book first! I returned it in just two days, grateful for what she did. (Because I couldn't stand the noise, I always ended up sitting beside my locker enjoying my own company, and afterwards I spent the remainder of time in the library.)

So time passed, and while I was waiting for the fifth book, I started going on, a site that contained Harry Potter fan fiction where I got to read different authors' stories about the possible couples, etc. etc. meanwhile rumors and excitement were wild as we speculated over and over about how the stories will be, who will die, and so on.

In the summer of 2003, I really will take a wild guess that everyone was impatient with the delay that Harry Potter was experiencing. It seemed that the books were published every two or so years. But during that summer the fifth book came out at last. I might have been excited about Harry Potter, and came up with an idea of going to bookstore, buying the hardback but then selling it back as soon as I was finished. I don't recall when I might have read it, in June or perhaps July, but I was shocked by the fifth book. The fifth book contained no real Harry Potter, at least not the beloved and sweet character that I had loved and admired from books 1-4. This Harry Potter character was atrocious, the editing and the writing were the same, or so I felt. I remember reading this book, looking at a page number and being mystified that I'm still on the first week of when Harry Potter came to Hogwarts. In other words, this was a terrible book.

In the summer of 2005, I'm pretty sure that it was in July, the sixth book came out. For me personally, the fifth book cured me of Harry Potter mania. When I received the sixth book, I recall that my boyfriend broke up with me, (In 2003, sort of similar thing but a different boyfriend broke up with me,) and although the book was slightly better, again, it was tedious reading through it. I honestly felt awful for Snape and also very sorry for him. In this book I realized how much I detested Harry Potter's father and the friends and the torment they put him through. Harry, it seemed, didn't learn lessons from the dead. In third book as well I liked Sirius Black, but this book caused me to dislike him.

By 2007, when the last book came out, and after facing Order of Phoenix and Half-Blood Prince, I no longer cared for Harry Potter at all. After two books that I didn't like, I started to read Deathly Hallows, and for me it was as bad if not worse than Order of Phoenix. There was endless camping, I didn't understand their goals or what they were trying to do, there was also fighting, umm pointless romance, pointless fighting, disillusionment with certain characters, and the most dumbest epilogue I have read in my life. Starting from second book, I knew that Harry Potter and a certain character will end up together, I knew it. And sure enough, I was right.

Well, today is November 11th, 2011, ages since I picked up or read a Harry Potter book. And today also, the second half of Deathly Hallows is being released, the saga becoming completed.

I do wonder if years from now these books will stand the test of time and become classics or perhaps next to the "greats" such as Fyodor Dostoevsky, Lewis Carroll, Alexandre Dumas, etc. etc. I might argue both ways. Harry Potter is inventive, just like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series which is continually being read and re-read by readers, and perhaps C.S Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, (Which I will not touch with a ten foot pole.) so perhaps it might be classics one day.

On the other hand though, Harry Potter books were what I would call "mania books". Everyone knows or has heard of Harry Potter in one way or the other, and for me personally they have that aura that doesn't cry out 'classic.' Classical novels tend to explore psychology or society at a very deep length, or else in one way or the other become very memorable for people. There are also classics that weren't popular during the authors' lifetime but became popular after their deaths.

Personally I don't want for Harry Potter books to become classics. Although they are an enjoyable read, for me there is little exploration involved of characters or of what I think is important. They are very action oriented books. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House Series might be considered an American classic because they have been in existence since 1930s, and they're slow paced as well as give vital information and exploration of pioneer life. At least for adult me, they are also easy to read. Judy Blume books might also be seen as sort of classics because it seems that every generation of girls reads them, and those books has girls that anyone can relate to. (Including me and my sister,) Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys might be seen as classics because of the mystery element and those have been in print since 1920s actually.

Still though, only time will tell if J.K Rowling's Harry Potter series is destined to join the greats and the most remembered of all times.

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