20 November 2010

The adventure begins to end

As I've made abundantly clear elsewhere, I have a very high opinion of J K Rowling's "Harry Potter" novels. I pay a considerable price in academic street cred by stubbornly sticking to this view ... but, my admiration remains nevertheless undimmed.
The films are, of course, as all films must be, immensely stripped down and cannot ever give even a hint of what is in the books – especially as the books become longer and more complex in line with their characters' developing intellectual and moral awareness (not to mention puberty) – but they are, in themselves, a pretty wonderful achievement.
That development mentioned in the last para reaches its zenith in what is, for me and for that very reason, the finest book in the series: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. So, I'm very much looking forward to this afternoon when I will, under cover of fifteen year old and eleven year old companions, see how the first half of the book is handled on screen in the latest film.
If you haven't read it, that first half of the book includes a highly impressive portrayal of resistance in a Britain post (magical) coup d'état, with our three primary protagonists on the run with a tent in the countryside. Grubbing for food, getting cold and wet, looking always over their shoulders, betrayed and alone, bickering and almost at times falling apart, it's a superb achievement. (The sociopolitical mechanisms also sent me back to reread Scwabach's paper on rule of law in Harry Potter's world, originally mentioned and considered in depth by Ray Girvan in JSBlog's "Law and the Potter mythos".)

  • J K Rowling, Harry Potter and the deathly hallows. 2007, London: Bloomsbury. 9780747591061 (hbk). Also 2008, 9780747595823 (pbk)
  • Schwabach, A., Harry Potter and the Unforgivable Curses: Norm-formation, Inconsistency, and the Rule of Law in the Wizarding World. Roger Williams University Law Review, 2006. 11(2): p. 309.

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