mary_j_59: (lullaby)
Yes, I know I'm supposed to be doing a six-sentence Sunday update, but, this week, I just haven't had time to get much further in the WIP. You see, Deirdre and I were participating in Avada Kedavrock in NYC - the dancing death eaters actually did a quickstep to one of our songs! If you don't know wha a dancing death eater is, here they are dancing to one of Swish and Flick's, with Swish (aka Stacey) singing.
mary_j_59: (Michael)
I am just crossposting here an essay I put up on Deathtocapslock. Here's the link:
mary_j_59: (by sigune)
And I, too, rather like how it came out!

Your result for The Sorting Hat: A Comprehensive Harry Potter Personality Assessment [Test/Quiz]...


52% Ravenclaw, 54% Hufflepuff, 50% Slytherin and 47% Gryffindor!

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mary_j_59: (Default)
Publisher's Weekly tweeted this. I hope Rowling will speak out against it; that might make some difference.

But really, kids old enough to read the Potter books ought to be able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality! One wonders how long this has been going on, and whether it's happening in other countries?
mary_j_59: (Default)
Author mary-j-59
Title Narnia and Hogwarts
Genre Informal essay, g-rated, about 2,800 words
Summary Is Rowling really the C.S. Lewis of this age, as some have claimed? why or why not?
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Well, we are back, and we had a blast! Draco and the Malfoys like us! Kids were asking us to sign their T-shirts! Eek! More under the cut, because I'm rambling a bit. Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Travis Prinzi got back to me with a very nice note last night, so all systems are go! He and I disagree strongly on (1) theology and (2) the way we see the "Potter books", but he liked my paper, anyway. :) It may still need a little editing, but I do think it makes sense.

Here goes:
Author mary-j-59
Title J.K. Rowling and the mores of the 19th century
Genre essay, about 3,000 words. G-rated
Credits Thanks to Bohemianspirit, Raisin-gal, and Cardigrl, whose posts and the resulting discussions inspired me, Travis Prinzi for allowing me to quote, and my sister for her comments and encouragement. The essay follows the cut:
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
I am now unlocking this essay, having done a brief rewrite, but I'm sure I'll need to do another rewrite. Have I toned it down enough? Does it make sense to you? I have added a brief list of citations, but need to get exact info for some of them, particularly websites. Looking forward to your responses! I did try to outline it, but, at this stage, I'm not sure that makes sense, either. Otherwise -
Is it still too harsh? Too religious, for you atheists? (But the religious symbolism is right there in the book and bothered me mightily!)
Does it lose you anywhere?
Does it make sense? Or are there places where i seem to have skipped a step?
I'm really shocked at how harsh this ended up being, actually. But there were so many things that bothered me so much about DH, they have almost killed the beautiful things for me. And I still don't understand what *story* Rowling thought she was telling. It's seriously lacking in substance, for all its length. (Unless she meant the ironies I was spotting?)
Anyway:Title My final thoughts on Deathly Hallows
genreessay, about 8,000 words
rating, warnings, etc None, g-rated, but I do examine the religious symbols in DH. My thanks to Sigune and Nemesister for their criticism of my first draft - also to Sigune and The bitter word for inspiring me to write it in the first place.

The essay follows the cut:
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
I've decided to seriously cut back on my fan activity for lent, so I won't be posting anything more here until after Easter (unless, of course, it's not fan-related). But I have been thinking of writing up these observations for a few months now. They are about a possible influence on J.K. Rowling, and what this might mean for the themes and conclusion of her story.

Title A possible influence on J.K. Rowling?
Author mary-j-59
Genre Essay
Rating G
Length About 1850 words
Comments Thanks to my sister Deirdre, who inspired this essay. No warnings - completely g-rated! The essay follows the cut:

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Title:"To Love and Be Wise": the Ethical Imperative in the Potterverse
Type: Essay
Category: Gen
Length: About 6,000 words
Rating: G
Summary:What is the major conflict in the Potterverse, and, if we can answer that question, might it help us predict the ending? Compares the Potterverse to the world of "Lord of the Rings"
Disclaimers and Notes: I'd like to thank my sister and Beyond_Pale, who read this for me and approved it. The essay follows the cut (and it's not about Severus Snape! Really! This one is about Harry-)
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
TitleSo, what's so wrong in Potions Class? (or, Harry Potter and the sin of plagiarism)
Author mary_j_59
category essay, gen
length about 500 words
warnings none - rated G
summary So - what, exactly, is the problem with Harry's use of that Potions textbook? Why am I so bothered by it when many fans don't seem to care? The essay follows the cut-
Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
Title: The Last Horcrux
Type: fiction
Category: gen
Length: short story, complete, approximately 5,660 words
Main characters and/or pairings:Severus Snape, Harry Potter, Voldemort, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, Neville, Draco and Narcissa Malfoy, Minerva McGonagall, also Fawkes and Nagini!
Warnings: Some violence (non graphic) and minor bad language. Character deaths.
Rating: pg or pg 13 - see above
Summary: Summer, 1998, and Harry has just disposed of all but one of the horcruxes. Before he can plan how to confront Voldemort and deal with the final one, he must deal with an old enemy who has his own ideas about what to do next.
Disclaimers and Notes: Thanks to my sister, who read and approved this for me. All characters and settings, of course, belong to J.K. Rowling, without whose work this story would not exist. The story follows the cut; as always, crit is welcome.

Read more... )
mary_j_59: (Default)
These are just a few questions I have had about physical appearance as it relates to character in the Potterverse. The first two points are things I noticed, and the third is a response to j.K. Rowling's recent comments on eating disorders.

Point one: Along with many other fans, I've been struggling with Harry's character after "Half-Blood Prince". Who is this boy, really? Why is he so incapable of introspection, and how will he ever survive his journey unless he learns to think? Then I noticed something in the very first book:

"The only thing Harry liked about his appearance was a narrow scar on his forehead that looked like a lightning bolt" (Page 26 of the Carlsen paperback, German edition.)

This is interesting to me - the only thing this young boy likes about his own appearance is something external to him; something that is a remnant of the greatest tragedy in his life; something that may - if my speculations and those of other fans are correct - actually hide a portion of Lord Voldemort's soul. What does it mean that this is the only thing about himself that Harry actually likes? For one thing, it indicates that, as arrogant as he may seem at times, Harry actually has rather low self-esteem. He doesn't like himself much, when he bothers to think about himself at all. This is a natural result of his aunt and uncle's abuse, but it is also a very serious problem. Harry really needs to learn introspection - to see and recognize his own faults and to forgive himself for having them. Otherwise, those faults are likely to control him, as they seem to be doing at the end of HBP. Not that Harry is an evil character by any means, but he has consistently been vengeful and prejudiced throughout the books, and those characteristics are particularly marked at the end of HBP. I firmly believe that he will be able to defeat Voldemort only by conquering those failing in himself. One more thing I noticed is that Harry shares these failings with a couple of other young men (but a generation older than he). One of them is Severus Snape, and the other is Sirius Black. It may be pertinent that the first of these characters may also have suffered abuse, and the second one definitely did.

Point two: This is really a question. What is going on with the physical resemblance between four characters in these books - Tom Riddle, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Harry Potter? On the surface, these four do not look alike at all - Dumbledore, who was auburn-haired as a young man, has different coloring than the other three; Tom Riddle was strikingly handsome before his horcrux experimentation, Dumbledore and Harry pleasant looking but not exceptional, and Severus homely; Dumbledore and Riddle are notably tall, while Harry and Severus would seem to be average height or a bit over, and so on. In short, if you saw all four standing together at the age of 20, for example, you wouldn't have the slightest problem telling them apart. Still, there seems to be almost a family resemblance. All four are slender; all four have large hands and noticeably long fingers; at least three of the four have remarkable eyes. Are these merely the shared traits of powerful wizards in Rowling's universe, or is something else going on?

Finally, a repsonse to J.K.Rowling's recent essay on her website. I liked the essay, for eating disorders are a real danger and the mass media are still doing nothing to combat them. But is Rowling herself sending a mixed message, as she seems to be doing about bullying? Yes, some of the evil people in her books are slender and beautiful. But is there a single unambiguously good character who is heavy? Unless you count Molly Weasley (and she is capable of being narrow-minded and unforgiving, and is also merely slightly plump) there are no truly overweight heroes or heroines in these books. No - instead, we have the Dursleys. I always thought that Dudley, Uncle Vernon, and Aunt Marge were a slap at overweight people, and this is one of the reasons I find it painful to read about them. Yes, Neville is plump, and he is one of my absolute favorite charactes, but Rowling does not dwell on his weight as she does on Dudley's. Dudley's obesity seems to define him as much as any other characteristic, and all his other characteristics are bad. Just a thought -

BTW, I know Slughorn is also obese. He is not unambiguously good; indeed, I'm not sure he's good at all.
mary_j_59: (Default)
A death eater moment analyzed (or, Snape as Darcy, after all??)

Here is my first essay about the Potterverse. Is Snape really as cruel as he seems to be in a key scene of HBP? Read more... )


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