Musings ● Ravings ● Qualitative Observings

Month: July, 2014

If Books Belong to Their Readers

Under the nom de guerre of Rita Skeeter – the infamous and enchantingly nasty journalist of the Daily Prophet, J.K Rowling resurrected the cherished personalities of the Harry Potter series. Upon discovering this news, I immediately rushed to my computer, thrilled to be reunited with my faithful elementary school companions. However, my excitement quickly subsided as it was replaced by disappointment.

You see, I think an author should give their readers a little credit and a little room for their own imagination – which can be achieved by leaving a certain level of vagueness nearing the end of a story. As John Green always suggests, Books Belong to their Readers. Whilst J.K Rowling offered Potterheads an extraordinary saga to relish upon, this latest snippet denies readers a certain sense of freedom. Rowling revisits the world of wizards, painting a vivid image of Harry Potter and Co.’s current state of affairs. Here are some of my findings:

1. The notion, Nothing Gold Can Stay, as proposed by Robert Frost is enforced as the characters of our childhood exhibit signs of aging. Exhibit A: Harry’s hair are reported to be graying.

About to turn 34, there are a couple of threads of silver in the famous Auror’s black hair

Exhibit B: Ron seems to display signs of balding.

In the immediate aftermath of the battle Weasley, whose famous ginger hair appears to be thinning slightly

The evergreen, youthful images of the characters of our childhood are replaced by images  of senility, reminding us of their mortality. Harry Potter won’t be forever, nothing gold can stay.

2. There may have been a Harry-Hermione love affair.

Press reports of the time revealed that as a teenager,  [Hermione] toyed with the young Potter’s affections

It is no secret that Rowling regrets the pairing of Ron and Hermione, preferring Hermione with Harry instead… but one my most favourite part of the series was the oddball couple of Ron and Hermione!

3. Neville Longbottom may have a drinking problem.

Idle gossip suggests that she and her husband, [Neville], both enjoy a little more Ogden’s Old Firewhisky than most of us would expect from custodians of our children

This makes me incredibly uneasy. Let’s just hope that it is merely the suggestion of idle gossips.

Things to consider:

  • The reportings of Harry Potter and co.’s future is done through Rita Skeeter – whose integrity and honesty are very questionable.
  • It can be argued that the series of books belong to J.K Rowling. An author does have the right to revisit her characters or revise the story.
  • The original text of the Harry Potter series stands still. Even if Rowling revisits the Harry Potter clan, it should not affect Potterheads’ relationship and understanding of the series. Besides, if Books Belong to their Readers, in the end, it is up to the readers to decide what they make of the story.
  • The Harry Potter series was my first love affair with literature, so despite all, you are the bomb dot com Ms. J.K Rowling.
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Roses and the in Betweens

For quite a while I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a blog – a place wherein I can string my thoughts together to share and reflect upon with the rest of the internet. However, the dilemma in creating such a blog lied in the pursuit of  (quote un-quote) the perfect blog name.
And I hear you groan, thinking in your head,

What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet
– Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

Touché, touché. But nevertheless, I did end up coming across a name that deeply resonated with me and I’m sure – with many others as well. The name In Between Roses is inspired from a chapter in the book, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, a non-fiction narrative by Katherine Boo.

Everything around us is roses…
And we’re the shit in between
– Mirchi to Abdul

Boo intricately depicts the slum of Annawadi which resides within the bumbling and bustling city of Mumbai, India. Encircling Annawadi are pink condominiums and luxurious hotels. Henceforth, Annawadi and its dwellers remain as “the shit in between” – a mere eyesore. I found this statement particularly intriguing.  How often do we do we find ourselves idolizing the materialistic, seemingly luxurious world that plagues us, characterizing it as roses.  How often do we deduce our own circumstances to the “shit in between”.

But… and there is a but: Albeit, it may have not have been the intention of Mirchi – could we not view this statement as an optimistic one? Perhaps, we could vie for the roses and work towards liberating ourselves from the “shit in between” as we ascribe roses to contentment, friendship and love. Just a thought.

Also worth mentioning is John Green‘s (largely important & greatly terrifying) take on this statement. “Roses are unable to grow without manure,” he says, likewise, “the rich need the poor for all our inexpensive consumer goods”, therefore, “the rich need the poor and they need the poor to stay poor”.