So, this thing happened this past weekend called “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” No, I’ll try not to spoil it for you but I will tell you there has been an uproar over the publication of the SCRIPT. Yes, read that. I said script not book. Folks pre-ordered the book and thought they were getting an actual book. Yikes. No. That’s not what happened at all. It was clearly stated that the release would be a script. I can’t understand how people don’t know the difference.
Here’s my two cents on actually reading the item in question, but I will tell you up front, I have a theatre background and reading plays is not out of the ordinary for me. Now, moving on…
The book/script has about 301 pages, that’s including the “act breaks” and excluding the beginning “intro” pages as well as the ending cast list and acknowledgements. So if you take out the extra blank pages, it’s shorter than a HP novel. If you can, like I did, picture Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Bonnie Wright in their roles, but older then you’ll do just fine reading this addition to the collection. But if you’re the kind of person that needs all the description and action filled in for you then… don’t bother. If you want to know more, read on.
The play begins nineteen years after the Battle of Hogwarts and we find ourselves seeing Albus off to Hogwarts for the first time and meeting Scorpius Malfoy. (Let me point out now that J.K. Rowling did not write the whole story but she did contribute. Jack Thorne wrote the play.) Then, we skip to years 2, 3, (with brief pauses in each) and land on 4 where the play takes place, all in the span of a few pages. It’s enough to give any stage manager, even a rock star, a headache, but we make it. Albus doesn’t like school, being Harry Potter’s son will do that, apparently. This story does not focus on Harry Potter. It focuses on Albus. It focuses on the dynamic between father and son, both Harry’s relationship with Albus and Draco’s relationship with Scorpius.
Albus feels the need to prove himself worthy of being the great Harry Potter’s son and gets into trouble doing it. He usually has Scorpius in tow, who also feels enormous pressure being Draco Malfoy’s son. More due to the rumors that Scorpius is not Draco’s but Voldemort’s. (That would be impossible without the help of a time-turner and we all know those were destroyed in the Battle of the Ministry in book 5!)
I won’t tell you anymore. You’ll have to read it for yourself. In my opinion, it’s a quick read and a good addition to the world, however I think it would have been fuller and richer had it been a novel. I was not disappointed. After all, I did spend my time in line to get it.
The Cherry Orchard was written by Anton Chekhov in 1904. It was a play much loved
by the Russian government because it was believed to be what the government, at the time, was preaching, the lower class replacing the ailing upper class. By ailing it is meant that the wealthy upper class was slowly losing out to the increasing lower class. This is seen here when Madame returns penniless to Russia to sell off the last thing she has to her name, the cherry orchard.
However there is more to this play than what the government wanted the populace to take away. Chekhov meant for this to be a comedy and surely it could have been but the humor seems to be lost in translation. Upon reading The Cherry Orchard one may get the impression that it is a tragedy. Truly it is if it is looked at from the point of the rich. Madame has a series of tragedies that befall her in her poor choices in men. But where is the comedy as we know it? Could the comedy be in some of the characters like Trofimov, Epihodov, or Yasha? Perhaps in Charlotta, the governess? Sometimes comedy is obvious like the slapstick of Larry, Moe, and Curly or the Keystone Kops. Sometimes comedy is less obvious like the dark humor of Ophelia's psychological breakdown which is indirectly caused by Hamlet. Can we compare Chekhov's humor to that of Shakespeare? We can compare the humor to any humor we want to. Flannery O'Connor comes to mind in the category of dark humor.
A lot can be said for “lost in translation” and this is not referring to the movie. The
Cherry Orchard was originally written in Russian.
GAEV: The train was two hours late. What do you think of that? Is that the way to do
CHARLOTTA: [To PISHTCHIK.] My dog eats nuts, too.
PISHTCHIK: [Wonderingly.] Fancy that! (2094)
The lines uttered by Charlotta to Pishtchik as they arrive home to the estate seem nonsensical but maybe Chekhov meant for them to be comic relief in a tense situation. Without consulting another translation one cannot be certain if the translation by Constance Garnett is off. However, Ms. Garnett is one of the best translators of Chekhov's work. Perhaps the humor can be translated back into the play by seeing it rather than reading it.
The comedy may also be interpreted by the reader. Each person has their own sense of
humor. Finding no humor in this play even after discussion with other individuals and revealing Chekhov's intent with the dialogue, it still lacks the outright humor most audiences are used to. We need to see this comedy or this play remains a tragedy no matter how we examine the lines.
Madame Ranevsky is a tragic character, if a little melodramatic. She comes into the
nursery in tears. She gives money to a poor man and carries on after in guilt for her household starving yet she gives away money. But is she funny? Perhaps we can find humor in her over large motions and the unawareness of her situation. But wait, could the comedy be in Lopahin and his purchase of the cherry orchard? He does buy the one place that symbolizes repression and poverty to him. However, there could be a bit of humor here:
LOPAHIN: Then you’re going to Moscow now?
TROFIMOV: Yes. I shall see them as far as the town, and to-morrow I shall go on to
LOPAHIN: Yes, I daresay, the professors aren’t giving any lectures, they’re waiting for
TROFIMOV: That’s none of your business. (2122.)
But, it seems more of a snide exchange than humor.
The humor that Chekhov may have intended is that of Madame Ranevsky upon learning
of the identity of the purchaser. She sinks “into a chair and is weeping bitterly” (2120.) No, this still isn’t the humor that the masses look for.
Most read this play as a tragedy because of the lack of obvious comedy. Chekhov is, in
popular opinion, one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. He was good at dark characters and odd and quarky behaviors. He may have had humor somewhere but in The Cherry Orchard, his brand of humor is lost.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight 132-150, An Inside-Out Paper
Because another sound, a new sound, suddenly drew near,
which might signal the king to sample his supper,
for barely had the horns finished blowing their breath
and with starters just spooned to the seated guests,
a fearful form appeared, framed in the door:
a mountain of a man, immeasurably high,
a hulk of human from head to hips,
so long and thick in his loins and his limbs
I should genuinely judge him to be a half giant,
or a most massive man, the mightiest of mortals.
But handsome, too, like any horseman worth his horse,
for despite the bulk and brawn of his body
his stomach and waist were slender and sleek.
In fact in all features he was finely formed
Amazement seized their minds,
no soul had ever seen
a knight of such a kind-
entirely emerald green.
There was a new sound approaching, usually it would have been the start of the meal, the buglers having just finished their call, with the appetizers just being served. In the door appeared a frightening man. He seemed as tall as a mountain, a hulk from his head to his hips and his limbs were long and thick, I thought he surely must be half giant or the most massive of men and mightiest of all mortals but handsome, too, like any horseman worth his horse. Despite the bulk of his upper body, his stomach and waist were slender and sleek. In fact, he was nicely formed it seemed. Shock was evident as none had seen a knight of this kind, he was emerald green!
The first appearance of the Green Knight! Woohoo! I feel like I should be watching for the "batarang", or some other delivery device, to come whipping the challenge in, gently nicking Arthur's ear as it "thawacks" into the back of the chair he's sitting in. The Green Knight's description is more of a super villain from Marvel or DC but perhaps this is where we get the modern idea of super villains. His bulky upper body and his thin waist conjure that image of Bane or the Hulk, not necessarily a villain but the comic book body image of the Green Knight, green from head to toe. His narrow waist suggesting that of a body builder, a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is a suggestion of power, more power than Arthur's knights seemed to hold.
There seems to be a symbolism here with the Green Knight. His color suggests a link to nature as well as his build suggesting power. It could be that the description alone is meant to instill a sense of awe, even fear, at the power of nature and to scoff at the power is to scoff at nature herself. We have to take in the whole story to decide if the line "...or a most massive man, the mightiest of mortals..." (141) speaks truth. We clearly see that the man is not typical in appearance, he is emerald green and more closely resembles Bruce Banner's gamma irradiated alter ego, the Hulk, than a mortal medieval man.
In this passage we don't see his equipment but it is all green as well as his horse. This pushes me to believe that there is a connection to the Green Knight and nature. Arthur's time was a time of turbulence in the transition from the old ways of worshipping the earth and nature to Christianity. The Druids and the Celts were losing ground at an amazing rate. I feel that the Green Knight is representative of the old ways coming back. No mortal man is all green so he must be supernatural.
Supernatural. How else do we explain the bulky shoulders and the tapered waist as mentioned in the poem? He was also “a mountain of a man, immeasurably high…" (137). Back when this was written anyone over 5'8" would likely have been considered "immeasurably high" since poor nutrition stunts growth. But to be considered a “mountain of a man”? Supernatural!
The fact that this text calls the Green Knight a "fearful form" insinuates that the reader should be somewhat afraid of the Green Knight. If he were a mere mortal then why would the reader need to be afraid? “I should genuinely judge him to be a half giant.” (140) The author even says that the Green Knight is half giant, another mythical, supernatural being.
The Green Knight, is he a mere mortal or is he a supernatural being? It is my belief that he was in fact a mortal man imbued with mythical height and strength by the Old Ways. He is the mortal embodiment of the Green Man. There is no real description of the Green Man but I imagine him to be a huge hulking man much like the Green Knight, perhaps with more tree bark and leaves. The idea that the author considers the Green Knight fearful lends support to this belief. Why would he consider the Green Knight in any fashion a threat? He’s all green just like the Hulk. I’ll concede that the Hulk is a genetic mutation but the author had no concept genetics, radiation or mutations. So, what do we classify things we don’t understand? Supernatural!
Directed by Tomas Alfredson, written by John Ajvide Lindqvist (the film is based on his novel); starring Kåre Hedebrant as Oskar, Lina Leandersson as Eli, Per Ragnar as Håkan, Henrik Dahl as Erik, Peter Carlberg as Lacke, Mikael Rahm as Jocke, and Ika Nord as Virginia.
In the 2008 vampire tale Let the Right One In, we are introduced to a twist in classic vampire lore. We discover a man and his young child. Yet that isn’t really the case. The man is in love with the child and seems that he has been for a long time. How can that be right? She’s twelve and he’s in his 40’s or 50’s. Well, that is the case. He has been caring for this lovely girl for many years. He grows older and she stays the same. She is our vampire. Yet she doesn’t go out and do the killing. That’s what the older man does for her. He kills people, drains them and brings back their blood for her to drink. This causes them to move around a lot. Eli (Lina Leandersson) and her keeper move to a new apartment complex. Here she befriends Oskar (Kåre Hedebrant), an awkward young man that gets tormented at school and dreams of revenge. Shortly after moving in, Eli’s keeper gets caught attempting to collect for her. This makes Oskar so much more important. Her keeper was not just someone that took care of her but he kept her company too.
In Let the Right One In we are treated to some classic elements of Vampire Lore (or mythology.) We see Eli only at night, she can’t come out in the daylight. She doesn’t eat and she has a protector, Håkan. Eli has the characteristic pale skin of traditional vampires and thankfully, she doesn’t sparkle! One thing that has been left out of a great deal of vampire films since Dracula (1931) and I am glad was reintroduced, a vampire must be invited into the home. In this film one of the elements that we see that generally shows up in other horror films is the need for revenge. Oskar is in need of revenge when the film opens. Whether it is revenge on camp counselors for a drowning death (Friday the 13th films), or revenge on the parents that got justice on a serial child killer (Nightmare on Elm Street films) by burning him where he lived.
Let the Right One In doesn’t follow the convention of other films in the genre. In my opinion vampire films should have their own genre all together. It doesn’t focus specifically on Eli as a vampire. It focuses on Oskar, his life, Eli and his relationship with her. Eli is almost like a supporting character. It also introduces the idea of a child vampire. We have seen children before (Interview with the Vampire (1994)) but they have been portrayed as impulsive, unpredictable and whiny. Eli is anything but. She is childlike at times and is calculating. The way she manipulates Håkan into doing her dirty work is anything but impulsive or unpredictable. This film revisits the classical only in the inclusion of Eli requiring the invitation into Oskar’s home. We do, however, see the consequences when Oskar refuses to invite her in.
According to Tudor, this movie is considered Supernatural/Autonomous. Our vampire is external. However, if we bring in the character of Oskar, I believe his torment gives Eli the perfect opportunity to move in and be his “savior”. The cultural impact of this film is a renewal in the mystery of vampire, the renewal of the first vampire lore. I don’t think that there is any other real impact. Perhaps though it scares the pants off you when we discover that Eli is in fact capable of murder.
The Cherry Orchard was written by Anton Chekhov in 1904. It was a play much loved by the Russian government because it was believed to be what the government, at the time, was preaching, the lower class replacing the ailing upper class. By ailing it is meant that the wealthy upper class was slowly losing out to the increasing lower class. This is seen here when Madame returns penniless to Russia to sell off the last thing she has to her name, the cherry orchard.
However there is more to this play than what the government wanted the populace to take away. Chekhov meant for this to be a comedy and surely it could have been but the humor seems to be lost in translation. Upon reading The Cherry Orchard one may get the impression that it is a tragedy. Truly it is if it is looked at from the point of the rich. Madame has a series of tragedies that befall her in her poor choices in men. But where is the comedy as we know it?
Could the comedy be in some of the characters like Trofimov, Epihodov, or Yasha? Perhaps in Charlotta, the governess? Sometimes comedy is obvious like the slapstick of Larry, Moe, and Curly or the Keystone Kops. Sometimes comedy is less obvious like the dark humor of Ophelia's psychological breakdown which is indirectly caused by Hamlet. Can we compare Chekhov's humor to that of Shakespeare? We can compare the humor to any humor we want to.
Flannery O'Connor comes to mind in the category of dark humor. A lot can be said for “lost in translation” and this is not referring to the movie. The Cherry Orchard was originally written in Russian.
GAEV: The train was two hours late. What do you think of that? Is that the way to do
CHARLOTTA: [To PISHTCHIK.] My dog eats nuts, too.
PISHTCHIK: [Wonderingly.] Fancy that! (2094)
The lines uttered by Charlotta to Pishtchik as they arrive home to the estate seem nonsensical but maybe Chekhov meant for them to be comic relief in a tense situation. Without consulting another translation one cannot be certain if the translation by Constance Garnett is off.
However, Ms. Garnett is one of the best translators of Chekhov's work. Perhaps the humor can be translated back into the play by seeing it rather than reading it.
The comedy may also be interpreted by the reader. Each person has their own sense of humor. Finding no humor in this play even after discussion with other individuals and revealing Chekhov's intent with the dialogue, it still lacks the outright humor most audiences are used to. We need to see this comedy or this play remains a tragedy no matter how we examine the lines.
Madame Ranevsky is a tragic character, if a little melodramatic. She comes into the nursery in tears. She gives money to a poor man and carries on after in guilt for her household starving yet she gives away money. But is she funny? Perhaps we can find humor in her over large motions and the unawareness of her situation. But wait, could the comedy be in Lopahin and his purchase of the cherry orchard? He does buy the one place that symbolizes repression and poverty to him. However, there could be a bit of humor here:
LOPAHIN: Then you’re going to Moscow now?
TROFIMOV: Yes. I shall see them as far as the town, and to-morrow I shall go on to
LOPAHIN: Yes, I daresay, the professors aren’t giving any lectures, they’re waiting for your arrival.
TROFIMOV: That’s none of your business. (2122.)
But, it seems more of a snide exchange than humor.
The humor that Chekhov may have intended is that of Madame Ranevsky upon learning of the identity of the purchaser. She sinks “into a chair and is weeping bitterly” (2120.) No, this still isn’t the humor that the masses look for.
Most read this play as a tragedy because of the lack of obvious comedy. Chekhov is, in popular opinion, one of the greatest authors of the 20th century. He was good at dark characters and odd and quarky behaviors. He may have had humor somewhere but in The Cherry Orchard, his brand of humor is lost.
Chekhov, Anton. The Cherry Orchard. The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. Tenth. New York: Norton, 2010. 2092-2128. Print.
“The Canterbury Tales – The Knight’s Tale”
This is not the Heath Ledger movie but we can see where the movie got its premise. The wrong guy wants the right girl, poof, there’s your story. It is very difficult to read in the original Middle English. “The Canterbury Tales” has been “translated” and made “easier to read” often. So often that my Kindle had pages of versions! This book shares that translation honor with “The Song of Solomon”.
“The Knight’s Tale” flows like poetry with sentences that end in rhyme, granted this “translation” may not be quite right but here’s an example from one of the last few passages:
“ ‘This ought to weigh with you, it seems to me,
For mercy ought to dominate mere right.’
Then said he thus to Palamon the knight:
‘I think there needs but little sermoning
To make you give consent, now, to this thing.
Come near, and take your lady by the hand.’
Between them, then, was tied that nuptial band,
Which is called matrimony or marriage,
By all the council and the baronage.
And thus, in all bliss and with melody,
Has Palamon now wedded Emily.”
“The Song of Solomon” (Or the original Hebrew name “The Song of Songs”.)
I question why this bit is even in the Bible. It seems little to do with a Holy Book and more to do with lusting after a lover than God. The version, (and who knew there were so many variations!) I read was from the Holman Christian Standard Bible. It was plain in speech and simple to understand. However, it is implied that King Solomon wrote this whole section.
In the HCSB it has broken down whether a female or a male wrote that section. There is some thought that this book of the Bible is allegorical. Was it meant that way? There is also other opinion that it could be a drama of some kind. We won’t ever truly know what this book is supposed to be.
The style of writing is very different from anything in “The Canterbury Tales”. There is no rhyming to speak of. It is argued that this book is poetic in nature, yet it’s a tale of love like “The Knight’s Tale”. This tale is a start to finish relationship. Some of the verses take on a very sexual nature. One that springs to mind is chapter 5:2 –4.
“(2) I sleep, but my heart is awake. A sound! My love is knocking! Open to me, my sister, my darling, my dove, my perfect one. For my head is drenched with dew, my hair with droplets of the night. (3) I have taken off my clothing. How can I put it back on? I have washed my feet. How can I get them dirty? (4) My love thrust his hand through the opening and my feelings were stirred for him.”
The two stories were quite obviously written several centuries apart. But the overall theme is the same. They speak of love.
In the time “The Song of Solomon” was written feelings between men were expressed differently. They were more affectionate to each other. Perhaps not as affectionate as the above verses may suggest but, if King Solomon did indeed write this passage why would it have been changed? Is it maybe the skewed version that a man can not love another man that Christians have? I find it hard to believe that if we are to buy that “The Song of Songs” was written by King Solomon that he would have written about anyone but himself.
The next passage is chapter 1:1-4:
“Solomon’s Finest Song. (2) Oh, that he would kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is more delightful than wine. (3) The fragrance of your perfume is intoxicating; your name is perfume poured out. No wonder young women adore you. (4) Take me with you – let us hurry. Oh, that the king would bring me to his chambers. We will rejoice and be glad for you; we will praise your love more than wine. It is only right that they adore you.”
The preceding passage does imply that someone other than King Solomon is speaking. Is that what the author intended? I doubt we will ever really know the answer to that question.
“The Canterbury Tales” seem to have been written as poetry. But to whom was it intended for? It seems that in the time it was written, the late 1300’s, it would have
been meant to entertain nobility. Nobility tended to be more educated and therefore literate.
Why did Chaucer write this massive work as poetry? It suggests that it may have been popular at the time. Due to the nature of how “The Canterbury Tales” was passed on, in handwritten manuscript, it is fragmented. There is no sure way to know what order the tales are supposed to go in or if they are all there. It reinforces what we all take for granted …technology. Chaucer didn’t have the printing press to help preserve his work.
“The Song of Solomon” was also hand written. Again, we take the printing press for granted. Neither the Middle Ages nor in the time of the Old Testament did they have that most modern invention.
“The Song of Solomon” could really have been written by anyone. Solomon himself or someone wishing to be noticed by the public. “The Canterbury Tales” we know was written by Geoffrey Chaucer. Yet we don’t really know the reason behind why either work was created. Nor do we know the intended audiences. Something both works have in common.
The societies in which these works were created were very different. “The Song of Solomon” is obviously very open about sexuality and how it was perceived at the time. It’s a love story but when it talks about being unclothed, kissing and how the lover’s touch ignites feelings … all things that lead to sexuality.
“The Canterbury Tales”, however, are very chaste in how love is presented. At the time love is fighting for the woman that you desire; showing that you are capable of providing for her; proving you can protect her. It is demonstrated when Theseus stops the duel between Arcita and Palamon. He allows each man to gather an army to come back and then fight for Emily. It is, after all, the age of chivalry. So, they return after the allotted time. Emily, Palamon, and Arcita all pray to different gods to get what they desire. In the end Palamon ends up on death’s bed but gets Emily anyway. Yet he is seemingly snatched from the fiery jaws of death or perhaps he was never really going to die. All things we don’t know just by reading the story. Man, I would love to chat with Chaucer about that!
“The Song of Songs” has none of the defending her honor stuff. It’s straight forward about the love between two people. No ‘Come back after you have gathered a hundred men willing to fight for you’ stuff. There was a certain sense of honor in this time period but it wasn’t about warfare. It was about really loving the person you were with. If indeed King Solomon wrote this book about how he felt … then it is not a tale but a truth. Again, a factoid we will never really know. Séance anyone?
“I am a wall and my breasts like towers. So in his eyes I have become like one who finds peace.” The Song of Songs 8:10.
In my search for better understanding of both works I used a variety of sources. Sadly, the only free sources I found were Wikipedia. I did not quote anything from them but used them to better understand the texts and the time periods.
Any similarities to “The Canterbury Tales” and “The Song of Solomon” are all contested. I’ve read that “The Song of Solomon” reads as erotica. Again, if it is, why would it be included in a Holy Book? Could be that’s how they did things back in the day. With writings from those time periods we will never know the purpose or the intent behind them.
What are the Deathly Hallows besides a clever way to distract Harry and
company? (Imagine a deep drawling voice of a grandfather beginning a fairy
tale.) The legend goes … no, sorry, not really. The Deathly Hallows consist of
three objects that will allow the owner to cheat death: the Resurrection Stone,
the Cloak of Invisibility, and the Elder Wand.
Daniel Radcliffe and company appear in the final installment of the “Harry
Potter” saga. How closely does this movie follow the beloved final book in the
epic series from J.K. Rowling? In my opinion, as a fan, pretty darn close! With
a few discrepancies, mostly minor, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve
Kloves did a fantastic job of sticking to the book. Beginning with Voldemort’s
theft of Dumbledore’s Elder Wand (The final element of the Deathly Hallows,
remember that, it’s important later!) and the gentle reminder of Dobby’s death
at the end of part one, and giving us the epic battle at Hogwarts* when all
hell breaks loose. This film did not disappoint; however, there were some
minor flaws that the discerning “Harry Potter” connoisseur would spot.
The first minor flaw we saw was at the Shell Cottage. Shell Cottage is the
home of the eldest Weasley, Bill and his new wife Fleur. (They were
married in part one!) It is also a safe destination for the Order of the Phoenix.
No discussion of Griphook, the sword and what to do. This is a good thing. It
would have disrupted the flow of action in the movie. So, yay for this flaw!
Gingotts* didn’t go right if you’re a purist. The ride through the vault area felt
condensed. If you’re a purist and you watch this movie, you’ll notice that Ron
casts the “Imperious” curse* rather than Harry. This bugged me a lot more
than it should have. It was line reassignment that was unnecessary. In the
book, Harry has the idea to ride the dragon to safety. However, in a clever line
reassignment, Hermione has the idea. It made Hermione a stronger female
lead. But, the Gringotts scene turned out better than the audience could have
All of Harry’s visions in the movie cover what couldn’t be used from the
book. This worked well to help keep the pace of the film. It also helped explain
the depth of the connection between Harry and Voldemort* for those that have
not read the book.
The final moments of everyone’s least favorite professor happen in the wrong
location. Yet, it was rather moving. We finally see Snape* issue a few kind
words to Harry, “You have your mother’s eyes.” He also demands that Harry
take his tears. Uhm, okay. It should have been gray strands of memory rather
than tears. If you’ve not read the books, here’s where we learn a few things
about Lily Evans Potter* as well as Severus Snape. Snape should have died in
the Shrieking Shack*. But hey, who wanted to see the Whomping Willow* on
screen again anyway?
“The Battle of Hogwarts” will be talked about for years to come! Well, it
would be in Harry Potter’s world. Okay, who am I kidding? Potterphiles* will
be talking about how much detail was cut, and whether or not they liked it or
loved it. However, the rest of us will be talking about how HP8 beat the pants
off The Twilight Saga: Eclipse for midnight showings. It raked in $43.5
million in just a few hours. That takes in all the midnight showings across the
country. That’s right. Just in the US alone. The figures are staggering when
we take into consideration the rest of the world! Way to go Harry!
As for me, I will be going over that epic battle in my head until it’s out on
DVD. The battle didn’t play out on the big screen as it did in the book. We
didn’t witness Percy shielding the body of Fred as the fighting raged on.
Instead, we see this afterwards in the Great Hall, which functions as the
infirmary. We see an abbreviated battle. Again, it works. The battle in the
book occasionally lagged. But, J.K. Rowling crams in so many details that it
doesn’t translate well. If we had gotten it exactly like the book, it would have
dragged the movie’s pace. Another win for Mister Kloves!
The final pieces I will make my comments on are the separation of
Voldemort from Harry, or Harry’s “death” and the death of Voldemort. Come
on, if you’re surprised that Voldemort dies then you’ll be surprised that there
won’t be any more movies!
There were several sniffles spotting the midnight showing as Harry realizes
he has to die. Now, we were expecting it right? Well, those of us that bothered
to pick up the book anyway. Great execution on the part of Mister Yates and
Mister Kloves. One hitch though… invisibility cloak*. Where was the
invisibility cloak and why did the director and screenwriter make Hagrid hold
Harry? He should’ve been on the ground. I was curious to see how the
invisible Harry attacked Voldemort. But, thanks, they cut that out.
The final battle between Harry and Voldemort was better than I expected.
The strength behind Harry’s spell shows the power he had without that tiny
part of Voldemort inside. He beat him by sheer determination. Oh, and Neville
helped, I suppose, when he killed Nagini, Voldemort’s last horcrux* and
ginormous snake. The shock on Voldemort’s face was exactly like what I, and I
think countless others, imagined it would be. “What? A boy defeated me? And
not even a Pureblood!” At least I imagine that was what went through his
This is where I will leave you. There is a bit more but I want you to enjoy
the movie as I did. For the love of all things Potter, one Muggle* to another, live
long and prosper. Oh, wait! That’s Star Trek!
*Here is your “Harry Potter” glossary (From harrypotter.scholastic.com)
Gringotts – The wizard bank in London, with vaults far below the streets, run by goblins.
Hogsmeade – The only completely magical village in Britain. Hogsmeade is not far from Hogwarts and has an array of wonderful shops including Honeyduke’s sweet shop, the Three Broomsticks pub and Zonko's joke shop.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry – The best school of its kind in the world. Hogwarts is in a secret location somewhere in the North of Britan The four greatest witches and wizards of the age founded Hogwarts more than a thousand years ago: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin. They built a remote castle, far away so that witches and wizards could train in safety. Pupils attend from age eleven for seven years of rigorous training in the art of witchcraft and wizardry. There are a hundred and forty-two staircases at Hogwarts and everything keeps moving around, so things are not always in the same place.
Horcrux – An object in which a person has concealed part of their soul.
Imperius Curse – Spell to control another person completely, using the incantation “Imperio.” One of the three Unforgivable Curses, it can be resisted only with great mental effort.
Invisibility Cloak – Magic cloak granting the wearer invisibility.
Muggle – Person totally without magical powers. Muggles live in ignorance of the world of wizards and witches. (I encourage anyone to look this word up online, UrbanDictionary.com and Dicitionary.com)
Potter, Lily – Harry's mother, born to Muggles but married a wizard. Lily is the sister of Petunia Dursley who is decidedly un-wizardly.
Shrieking Shack – Supposed to be the most haunted building in Britain. Situated in the town of Hogsmeade.
Snape, Severus – Potions master at Hogwarts. He is tall and thin with sallow skin, greasy black hair and a hooked nose. He hates Harry Potter. Head of Slytherin house.
Voldemort, Lord – Evil Wizard greatly feared by wizarding folk. His dark reputation is such that his name is hardly ever spoken out loud. Most wizards will only refer to him as He-Who-Must Not-Be-Named or You-Know-Who. Disappeared from view after the death of James and Lily Potter, following a battle that left Harry an orphan and bearing a lightning scar on his forehead. (Also known as Tom Riddle)
Whomping Willow – Large tree in the grounds of Hogwarts that hits anything that comes too close.
NOT FROM SCHOLASTIC –
Potterphiles – The media name for fans of Harry Potter, whether it is the book series or the movies. I’d rather like to think that it’s a term of affection given the fans. Sadly, I couldn’t find the outlet that first used this term!
This poem is included in a collection of poems entitled Late Wife in section three “Late Wife: Letters to Kent.” Claudia Emerson is a Pulitzer Prize winning poet for this collection. This collection focuses on a woman leaving one marriage and finding another with a man that has lost his wife to lung cancer.
“Driving Glove” is an elegy. An elegy, I admit I had to look up. We didn’t cover it in class. It’s a mournful, melancholy, or plaintive poem, especially a funeral song or a lament for the dead. It’s not set up in stanzas nor does it have a rhyme scheme. The rhythm and meter of this poem is trochaic pentameter. An elegy can, however, have its own meter but it doesn’t appear here.
The imagery of the glove is quite literal. Ms. Emerson gives a great description of a glove long forgotten that is also well worn. “It still remembered her hand, the creases where her fingers had bent to hold the wheel, the turn of her palm, smaller than mine.” (870) It’s obvious from the poem that some tragedy befell the owner of the glove but the reader doesn’t get to know what it is. This poem is not lyric but narrative. It’s telling the reader about something that happened to the speaker after returning from a shopping trip. The speaker describes the junk in the trunk that her husband obviously had yet to remove from his loss. The speaker even mentions that the glove is a reminder of that loss. “There was nothing else to do but return it – let it drift, sink, slow as a leaf through water to rest on the bottom where I have not forgotten it remains—persistent in its loss.” (870) The only simile is seen in the previous quote, comparing the glove returning to the bottom of the trunk to a leaf through water to the bottom of a puddle or other small body of water, although a body of water is never truly mentioned in the poem.
It is my belief that this poem represents small reminders of a past life, one that didn’t include the speaker. It seems to me that she is sad that this woman is a persistent reminder by small things in this new life. Some of the junk in the trunk: ragged maps, possibly from long ago road trips and a broken umbrella, perhaps her favorite. The husband has also retained his late wife’s car that his new wife is now using. Does he not want to let go of his late wife? Is that the reason behind all the junk in the trunk that allows this driving glove to shuffle to the surface? Along with the sadness I sense a little bit of pain from the speaker. It’s as if she hurts with all the old reminders there are in the trunk of her car, even though the car was not hers to begin with.
The junk in the trunk makes me visualize a hoarder’s stash; the layers and layers of junk that they hold on to. I don’t think this is what the author intended. I think she intended to let us see the unspoken pain of the little reminders. The speaker is not the first wife of this man and the tragic loss of his love is there in the little things, the ragged maps, the broken umbrella and the driving glove, still in the shape of her hand. We can almost feel that little twinge as the glove is described, a kind of disconnected affection.
In conclusion, this poem is an elegy from a collection of elegies and that collection won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 2005. It has meter consisting of trochaic pentameter and is about the pain and loss of a beloved wife, the one that came before our speaker.
Emerson, Claudia. "Driving Glove." The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Alison Booth and Kelly J. Mays. Tenth. New York: Norton, 2010. 870. Print.
So, who has read this little gem? If you're an English Lit major you probably would have. If you're a Victorian Era specialist you probably would have. If you haven't read it ... you should but SPOILER ALERT!
We're going over this poem in class. I don't know what it is about this poem but I like it, despite one professor's reading that it seems highly sexualized. For example lines 125 - 140 "'Buy from us with a golden curl.'/She clipped a precious golden lock/she dropped a tear more rare than pearl/ then sucked their fruit globes fair or red/ sweeter than honey from the rock/Stronger than man-rejoicing with wine/clearer than water flowed that juice/she never tasted such before/how should it cloy with length of use/She sucked and sucked and sucked more/Fruits which that unknown orchard bore/She sucked until her lips were sore/then flung the emptied rinds away.But gathered up one kernel-stone/and knew not was it night or day/as she turned home alone."
Line 134-136 is apparently as close to being erotic as Victorians got. But it makes sense! Okay not really just those lines. If you take it apart stanza by stanza... the first stanza completely sets up the scene for temptation, sin, lust and a moral at the end. The way Rossetti describes the fruit the goblins are hauling to market is enough to make a young girl desire them. (Temptation/lust) The way Laura eats the fruit is really sexual (I suppose) but it's her reaction to how they taste... she lusts after the goblin fruit and can't rest until she has more, despite what her sister, Lizzie, said to her. The sin is taking the fruit after Lizzie warns her not to! There it is. That's the only sexualized part in the poem.
But couldn't this poem be about something else? It was suggested Tuesday in class that it could be a study in addiction. Yes! Laura became addicted to the fruit and in drug addition it can lead to death. But it isn't what you think! There was a price for her lust. Her golden locks suffered as well as her health. Her sister, as sisters should, took pity on her for her condition. She goes to the goblins to bring fruit back to Laura. But (you could describe this scene as a kind of attempted rape) the goblins wanted her to eat with them and she refused. Yay! She stood her ground and took some remnant of fruit back to Laura.
Oops, I lied. There is one other part that could be considered a bit sexual. Lines 465 -510 "Did you miss me/Come and Kiss me/Never mind my bruises/Hug me, kiss me, suck my juices/Squeezed from goblin fruits for you/Goblin pulp and goblin dew/Eat me, drink me, love me/Laura, make much of me...Flung her arms up in the air/Clutched her hair/"Lizzie, Lizzie, have you tasted/For my sake the fruit forbidden...She clung about her sister/Kissed and kissed and kissed her...She kissed and kissed her with a hungry mouth." I could go on but I won't.
Another taboo thing in Victorian London. Did it happen? Probably. Was this something that Rosseti was familiar with? She had a strange relationship, from what I understand, with her own siblings.
So what do you think? Is this a Victorian Era erotic poem or is it more of a tale with a moral?
College graduate, Army vet, single mom, Husky mom, Movie lover, writer