Harry me softly with his song… on HP6

We are 200 pages into JK Rowling’s latest installment – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I have to agree with Stephen Waldmen’s 2004 article on Slate.com that drew connections between HP and Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind series on a number of points, particularly the base line of the 21st century – fear sells. Also, the current trend to reimagine the current security-obessive zeitgeist in fantasy (Battlestar Galactica for example) seems to have not just seeped, but flooded into JK Rowling’s brain. Hogwarts is ‘defcon 5 Red Alert’ and “the Daily Prophet” sounds as if it has been added to Rupert Murdock’s publishing empire. Hogwarts has been fitted with security devices at all entrances and Paranoia is in the air they breathe.

So much for fiction…


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  1. Ummmm…..Sensei…..you are in no way admitting to have actually spent time reading The Left Behind series, are you?

    And don’t you dare stoop to calling such an activity exegeting culture or anthropological explorations.

    I just finished the latest Potter installment and I have to say there is a constriction that has gone on in it. While Harry has grown in many ways the world in which he lives has grown smaller.

    I’ve said it about the movies and the same is true regarding the later books, what is so obviously absent is the humor. The first books dry humor and comedy was so clever and unexpected. That has virtually disappeared. But then as Voldemort’s power has grown so has the darkness and seriousness of the book.

    Not unlike Tolkien really. Initially, we’re charmed by the hobbits and Gandalf but then things move along and get quite serious.

  2. matt:

    we are further into the book now (diana and i read the book aloud – something we have done for the past 5 – quite fun)and I am also amazed at the level of ‘snogging’ going on. Granted, this shows JKR knows that teenagers wanna ‘git jiggy wit it’, but it does chance the innocence of the characters quite a bit – esp. Ginny Weasley… when did Ginny become such a vixen?!

    I concur with the serious tone and lack of humour – i miss it actually. In some sense, I fear JRK has her sights on life after Harry and is trying to move into more serious literary consideration. I do think she is a good writer of plot and can move a story along quite well.

    Sorry, but I just cant go there on the Tolkien comparison – I am just too much of a snob…

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