~ Hannah Moskowitz, Gone, Gone Gone (via quoted-books)
I’m taking my boyfriend to see Real Friends October. He’s never been to a little club like The Marquis and I’m so excited to show him this little piece of growing up.
sometimes I forget that Americans have to pay for university upfront like what the fuck is that are u guys ok
sometimes I forget that Americans have to pay for university like what the fuck is that are u guys ok
No, we’re not okay.
It’s been such a long day, I just want to go home and sleep.
(This may be longer answer than you anticipated. If you are not interested in my opinion whatsoever, my favorite books are listed at the end.)
I disagree. I think that Rowling’s writing is very good. She created a whole wizarding world purposely full of flaws like racism and classism. Yes, there are holes in the world, but it’s also a world viewed from the eyes of teenagers, so of course we don’t see or understand every aspect of it (politics, international relations, etc).
The fans, however, have taken the text and interpreted and analyzed it enough to start to cover these holes. I love that. As much as I love the series, I think I love the fans more. I love sharing new views on relationships or thinking what could have happened to characters. (What if Voldemort had chosen Neville instead of Harry? How does George handle the death of his twin? What happens to the Ministry after the Battle of Hogwarts?)
I think it’s remarkable that the series touched so many people that they keep the love for the book alive so many years after the last book was published. Some books stay with you forever, and this one did for me and many others.
I hate the label “young adult” as a derogatory. Also, why put down what someone else reads so long as they are reading? I appreciate that you don’t like Harry Potter and I’m not going to change your mind about that. Please don’t call someone else’s favorite books “trash” or without “literary merit.” You asked me not to think you are rude, but then offended me. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt here, but that still stung.
To answer your question though, some of my other favorite books are The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Our Town by Thorton Wilder, Man in the Dark by Paul Auster, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The Plot Against America by Phillip Roth.
Actually one of the strongest things a text can have to give it “literary merit” is a large audience. When enough people are aware of something and care about it enough, as with Harry Potter, you are bound to get lots of discussion and speculation on it.
Shakespeare would have been more or less forgotten centuries ago except that so many people saw his plays and felt a connection to them that they continued performing them and talking about them. How many people have heard of his contemporaries, Marlowe and Kyd? While I happen to think Shakespeare’s work is awesome, I know a lot of people don’t feel the same (something that our exposure to them in school can be partially to blame for). But I also recognize that I buy into the idea of the importance of these works, not because they are “classics” but because of how we can create meaning from them. So so so many people have been talking about Shakespeare for so long that all sorts of new ideas have sprung forth. And since we can’t ask Shakes about them, the merit of these new ideas depend entirely upon how the individuals of the Shakespeare fandom (that’s right, tenured professors, I know what you really are) can defend them. The best of these defenses lead you to think, yeah, Shakespeare must have been aware this was going on when he wrote it, it’s obvious the character is like this. Ultimately though we can never know for sure. And it doesn’t really matter. Shakespeare is dead and gone. His works remain. They are only valuable to us in that we continue to enjoy them and create meaning from them.
The same is true of the Harry Potter series: it struck a chord with a LOT of people, more people than any other text in probably a century or more, but its value to us will only remain as long as we are able to enjoy it and draw meaning from it. That means rereading it, reinterpreting it, concocting and defending new theories about the plots, characters, places, and magic. And while JKR is still around and we could theoretically ask her about this stuff if she’d be willing to answer, to a large extent I think we’re better not doing that. Even if we did, I don’t think her answers matter. We know she got stuff wrong in the text. She knows that (though her regrets and ours are typically different). Harry Potter is no longer in her hands and what she has to say on it (perhaps barring future books) has to contend with fan theories, scholarship really, that can often create better and more meaningful explanations. If Harry Potter stays relevant in our lives and we continue to create meaning for it in the decades (centuries?!) to come, this will only become more true.
On a slightly different note, when we talk about YA literature and any desire for literary merit, if I were trying to get published today, I think YA is the way I would go. If I were trying to create a work of “literary merit,” something I hoped would be read and dissected a decade or more from now, I am almost certain I’d write YA literature. The market is huge (the more well-received works will be read by well more than just the “young adult” demographic they were initially targeted at, which I don’t think a lot of works in other genres can say) and the people who read it are tenacious. If they find meaning in a story it will stick with them for many years. Most of us can call to mind a few books that did that for us. The special thing about Harry Potter is that it did that for literally millions, even tens of millions, of people. If you want a hotbed for scholarship, I can think of nothing better than a body of work with so many committed, intelligent fans. It brought Shakespeare a long way, after all.
This is possibly the best addition to any post ever. Thank you, zanmor!
@makereasonablechoices of The Story So Far backstage at Reading Festival
1) A boy telling you you’re pretty won’t make you see the beauty in the fullness of your cheeks, in redness of your lips at 2 in the morning when tequila is making the bar bathroom spin. He can’t take away the ugliness that you see in yourself, you have to do that.
2) You have to be ready to hear someone say they love you. You have to be ready, and you have to be willing, and you have to listen. Because sometimes, they won’t say those three words, they’ll put a blanket over you while you’re watching a movie, they’ll kiss your cheek when they think you’re asleep, they’ll smile when they see you first thing in the morning. But you, you have to be willing to see it, feel it, let it in. Letting someone love you takes practice.
3) Don’t make compromises you can’t live with. Compromise is a different version of what you want, not a whole other Universe.
4) Learn to say no. No - to a movie you don’t want to watch; no - to sex you don’t want to have, no- to a relationship that’s driving you mad. Say no - to things that hurt you, to people that extinguish your fire, to jobs you hate and places that are desolate. There are bad things that we can’t control, bad things that happen and we are sucked into and have to feel with every fibre of our being, but the rest - learn to distance yourself, learn to say no.
5) Don’t expect people to walk through fire for you - not your parents, not your friends, not the person you’re in love with. Love doesn’t mean sacrifice, love shouldn’t mean sacrifice. Don’t expect someone to give away pieces of them, so they could fit you better. And don’t feel hurt when they refuse to - it’s self-preservation. Instead - learn from them. Do it as well.
6) Don’t tether yourself to people. Learn to make connections, to love, with both your feet steady on the ground. Learn to let people pass through your life; like a summer breeze, not a storm that’s just been unleashed.
7) Learn the difference between growth and growing up before it’s too late. Rooftops and water fights and ice cream for breakfast can be a part of your life at 10, 25, or 35. But by the time you’re 35 you need to learn to say enough, to be able to walk away, you need to be able to love yourself. Love yourself the way you loved yourself at 10, before the world had a chance to fill your head with ugliness.
I would just like to say fuck you to everyone who made me feel inadequate growing up and ruining my self esteem for years. You all suck and I’m glad I don’t talk to any of you any more.
if a boy ever hid behind the flowers he was trying to give me i would probably just squeeze his face and kiss him because hes so cute
FUCK I WANT TO DATE SPIDERMAN SO BAD HOLY FUCK
This happened yesterday. I am so happy to finally meet these people that have been so influential to me over the years. They were all so kind and Patrick shook everyone’s hand. Such solid and caring guys. Thanks for making music.
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