Friday, July 15, 2005

how far is too far?

I'll be the first to admit that I am pretty fond of Harry Potter, but I am also fond of Garfield, and I don't spend hours and hours debating the nuances of his syntax and activities with Harvard Grads. For one thing, he is a paradoxically fat, yet ossifying feline who hardly ever forms a particularly remarkable sentence, and for another, WHAT IS THE POINT?!?!?

So imagine--when in preparation for my midnight marathon tonight--I googled a summary of Book Five to freshen up my memory of the storyline, only to discover that SPARKNOTES does Harry Potter!

I LOVE Sparknotes when it comes to completely avoiding Beowulf, or for help analyzing Heart of Darkness (?), but who honestly thought that someone with the brains to tackle those would spend the time playing Freud to a CHILD'S FANTASY book?

"The writers of SparkNotes are top students or recent graduates who specialize in the subjects they cover" only the "how to cite this" page doesn't just list Life, Greta as the author, it lists the entire Sparknotes Staff, who are all apparently experts (after seeing their pictures that's not so surprising, I guess).

Knowing that, I'm not sure why I was then furthur surprised when I googled the Cruciatus Curse because I couldn't remember what it was only to find this piece of work:

But suprised I was, only now I'm not sure if it was the intense work behind that Harvard Degree or the competition to become head honcho at the office that produced this kind of wacko.

What is the world coming to?


Maria said...

i really liked your links... they made your post come alive!

Erika said...

Um, I'll be honest. I totally don't understand any of this blog because I've never read/watched Harry Potter. But the links were great. Very great.

Meagan said...

only because of you, Erika!

p.s. I'm SO sorry about this weekend Maria! I left my cell phone in the basement and never heard it ring! Let's play this week!

Jena said...

THAT is why I hated my English major. Deconstruct this, Professor Overanalytical.

g_samsa said...

To analyze literature is to not appreciate it. Literature is no different than any other art; One either likes it or doesn't. I've never analyzed anything and THEN come to like it or the other way around. So if analyzing something doesn't affect my enjoyment of the art then what is the point of analyzing? The point is for untalented people to feel better about themselves by either validating or discounting something they never understood in the first place. Harry Potter is what you want it to be. You either like it for what it is or you don't. It doesn't matter if it's a chrildrens book or percieved to be "for the masses"; you either like it or don't. I've read Heart of Darkness and would take Harry Potter any day, but thats just my opinion.

AnneGirl said...

I disagree. I think some (though not all) literature calls for an analysis. Granted, one may weave a story or carefully craft a sentence for the beauty or enjoyment of it, but a huge part of writing is the conveyance of ideas and often to persuade others to action. There's a lot to the process of determining whether you "like" something or not. Opinions come into play, as well as style and an understanding of or experience with the topic at hand. Someone might say they don't like a piece of literature because it affronts their basic beliefs, or because they simply find it boring. Either way some analysis comes into play. While I agree that analyzing can be extremely overdone, I also believe that many writers write to provoke ideas, and if no one was to find/consider those ideas, then support or refuse them, a large point of literature would be lost, and our society would experience some sort of naive danger. Before you start thinking I believe we should read and analyze everything, consider that some texts, whether trivial or overtly objectionable, are not worth analyzing in my opinion. However, I also think you can’t read something worth considering then accept/reject it without some sort of analysis taking place. Sorry about the epistle.

g_samsa said...

Hmmm. Maybe for non fiction. I still think writers write to make obvious points. If you analyze it too much you're probably missing what the author intended. I think analysis should be almost instant, you will agree with it or not ( If the author is trying to say anything). But, I've never published anything so maybe I don't know what authors are realy thinking. All I know is that when I finnish a book I go right on to the next with a good or bad feeling about the last.