Monday, July 03, 2006

Who Wants a Retired Harry Potter?

Rumors that J.K. Rowling may kill off Harry Potter in the last book of her series have stirred up, so I gather, some indignation and disbelief among her fans. Charles McGrath, writing in The New York Times, has a good point to make about this:

Would we even remember Little Nell if she hadn't died in such spectacularly mawkish fashion? Would we prefer that Emma Bovary didn't swallow the poison and instead became a clochard, cadging francs at the agricultural fair? And do we really want to contemplate Harry, now bald and grizzled, the lightning-shaped scar faded into an age spot, retired from magic and, pint in hand, prattling on about old quidditch matches? Surely it makes more sense to employ the other kind of magic, and go back to Volume 1 and start over.
This is, of course, the sort of heartlessly clinical thing that only a critic could seriously propose. If Dickens or Flaubert were writing today, they would've found a way to revive their characters. ---No, scratch that. Dickens wouldn't have bothered with writing novels if he were alive today; he'd have gone straight to scripts, and even now be hard at work on An Even Bleaker House. Flaubert, well ... he'd probably be unpublished.

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1 comment:

Weekend said...

It's obvious from the end of the previous book that 1: Dumbledore IS alive and 2: Harry Potter is the seventh Horcrux and must die in order to vanquish Voldemort.