05 February 2007

The Great Debate

Ha ha! Orson Scott Card is writing a chapter in The Great Snape Debate, an soon-to-be-released essay collection about whether Snape is good or evil. It's too good to be true. Someone keep me awake! Card puts up a good argument for Harry Potter as literary classic:

It is ironic that the litterati of the New York Times removed children's literature from their bestseller list for the sole purpose of getting the Harry Potter novels out of the number one, two, and three spots. Here we have the most significant event in English language literature in decades -- a book that turns nonreaders into readers! -- and they kick it out of their pages.

Well, they've been kicking real readers out of their pages for years anyway. The Harry Potter books will endure as Tolkien's Lord of the Rings has endured -- because the readers love it so much that they refuse to let it go away. That's what determines what will be studied in literature classes a hundred years from now -- not what's on the adult list in the New York Times, and not what academics of today think is respectable literature.

When The Great Snape Debate comes out, I hope you'll read it. Of course, I think my essay proves that my opinion is correct -- but I would, now, wouldn't I? The book itself, as a commercial enterprise, is a blatant attempt to capitalize on the success of Rowling's work. But I still can't think of what's wrong about that. Because what it really is is a public conversation about one of the most pivotal story points in the most significant work of literature of our day. I thought it was worth taking part in; I hope you'll think it's worth listening in on when the book comes out.
Here, here! When was the last time the public was this involved in a book, or even a story of any kind? Perhaps when they convinced Doyle to bring back Sherlock Holmes. Or when people sprayed "Frodo lives!" on the subway walls. Chalk one up for our favorite wizard.


John Governale said...

But, Liz, you didn't tell us what you think of Snape.

I'm of the he's good school.

Why? I don't know.
The Spirit whispered it to me?
I like Alan Rickman?
Snape's such a natty dresser?
Don't know. Just think he's good.

Liz Muir said...

But of course he's good. Nothing else makes sense, storywise. The real question is if he must die to prove his innocence.

John Governale said...

Confidentially, I always thought that Snape was Harry's older twin brother.

But seriously, folks.

Do you think that Snape will have to sacrifice his life for Harry to confirm which side he has really been on?

Do you think that at the finish the good will triumph completely and there will be no mysteries left, or could we, at the end, still be wondering about Snape?

By the way, I would gladly be Ron's rival for Hermione -- the book H, not the movie H. My wife, however, might take umbrage.

Paradox said...

Do I get credit for thinking that Orson Scott Card was Mormon before I knew for sure, just from reading a small excerpt of Lost Boys?

No? Well, I still thought it was funny that I was right. Because that doesn't happen very often.

I don't think Snape is evil, nor do I think Dumbledore is dead. We'll see how wrong I am soon enough, now won't we?

If you've never waited in line at midnight for a HP book before, I highly recommend it. It's REALLY fun. And, naturally, go sleep deprived. It's as close to a rave as you'll ever get being LDS.

Well, that's my two-cents worth for now. Hope you're feeling better!

Liz Muir said...

Oh, I've done more than wait in line at midnight. Last fall, I went to Salem, MA, for the Harry Potter convention. Three days of pure insanity. I loved it. :D I'm a real Harry Potter fanatic.

As to my opinions on Snape, I'm thinking of maybe starting weekly blog entries on different predictions related to the last book. But maybe I'll wait to start until we get closer . . . .

John Governale said...

I went to my local library and asked to be put on the list.

"What list?" they wanted to know.

The HP7 reserve list, I told them.

There was no list, so they started one and put my name at the top. Ha.