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March 2016

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BtB: pensieve entries and more

O.k.: First of alle: here are my entries in my pensieve for BtB:

  • De veritate : :DD quoted by JKR on parsimony with truth : It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution. (p.XVI)

  • Historia magiae : Potterverse: rinascimentalis: witchhunts :DD writing. : The persecution of witches and wizards was gathering pace all over Europe in the early fifteenth century. (p.13)

  • Observationes variae : :JKR reporting about a conversation/correspondence with Minerva McGonnagall : (p.80n2)

  • Theoria magiae : :DD writing. Nice citation of "the eminent wizarding philosopher Bertrand de Pensées-Profondes". : not found a way of reuniting body and soul once death has occured. (p.79)

  • Theoria magiae : Leges :DD writing. : he is falling foul of the first of Adalbert Waffling's Fundamental Laws of Magic:
    Tamper with the deepest mysteries - the source of life, the ssence of self - only if prepared for consequences of the most extreme and dangerous kind.

These are not very many entries, but that's in the line with the other companion books (QttA: 13, FB: 5).

P. 80n2 (JKR/McG) is AFAIK a new way in this series of the interaction between the author and one of her characters.

I called the book a strange book in my previous posting.

One of the reasons is the style: It is my impression that either the author was more attend to style or was better edited in all of the previous 7+2 books of this series.

The next aspect of strangeness might be connected to my being German, and thus having grown up with German Märchen instead of English fairy tales.
Thus I'd not say that magic in such Muggle texts "tends to lie at the root of the hero or heroine's troubles" (p. XI): The world of at least part of the Märchen is magic in a matter of fact way.
And: The tales of Beedle the bard are moral tales, but Märchen essentially are not moral tales (as already stated by Heinrich Heine in the French version of his Erdgeister): have a look at the two versions of KHM 38 (the wedding of the she-fox), and you'll probably see what I mean.) And: - and you may use KHM 38.1 as an example again - many of the German Märchen do talk about a world in which not only gender but also sex does exist, whereas Beedle might have been as prudish as I assume Ms Bloxam to have been. And: females in Märchen (at least in the KHM) are not as passive as assumed by JKR on p. XII for "fairy-tale heroines". So: the second aspect of strangeness is probably due to my having grown up with an other type of magic tales for children than JKR's intended audience did grow up with.

The next aspect of strangeness is that the language of the tales (in Ms Granger's translation) does not preserve any trace of being the translation of 15th century texts.

Next and last aspect: do these stories stand on their own? Would anybody not having read HP1 through HP7 find them worth reading?

O.k.. That's it for now.

EUR 7.49 well spent. But any cent EUR which went into HP1 through HP7 IMO was better spent.

This brings a lot of things to something like an end.

And not too far in the future this blog here might end too.

And I look forward to reading all of the books again, but this time just for fun and entertainment. (I might still owe you pensieve entries for part of the books, but I'm not sure whether I do, no whether you'd want to have them in case some should indeed have remained unposted here.)

That's it for now.


I think in the end JKR might find that, like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Ian Fleming, that the world wants only one thing from her and that she could carry on with honor as so many other authors have done before. You might have more to write about some day.
The de veritate sounds very Wildian or maybe that is just because I had been immersed in his works.
So the Tales owe more to Aesop than to Grimm. Tolkien wrote a fascinating essay called On Fairy Stories and he calls animal stories like this fables not fairy tales. He is very specific about that. It is worth reading if you feel inclined.
Thanks for your comment!

As I do like part of Arthur Conan Doyle's Brigadier Gerard and Professor Challenger stories too (not just the Sherlock Holmes ones): I do hope to be able to read some not-HP-related and yet good fiction by JKR sometime in the future.

The different types of moral tales/childrens' stories/fairy tales/Märchen in different traditions might be a worthwhile field of research (when having more time available than right now).

Thanks again!
Hey don't forget that the Tale of the Three Brothers is inspired by the Pardoner's Tale by Chaucer.
No, I don't forget that. It is probably also connected to the date JKR set for her character Beedle (p. xiii: "Beedle the Bard lived in the fifteenth century").

BTW: I just added you to my LJ flist, so that any future comments by you here should become generally visible instantaneously from now on.
I will go back and read your other entries - I'm way behind because of my own postings, and also because I've had computer problems over the weekend, so I'm not caught up on my Friend's List.

It would be sad if your blog just suddenly ended! If you stay around long enough, she will surely write something else. Melissa Anelli hinted that JKR is considering a book about Albus Severus in an interview. Whether it will be on the same level as the original seven books is anyone's guess.

I noticed that JKR writes about her interaction with McGonagall, and while some fan parodies such as Inkwolf's "Hogwart's Staff Meetings" have assumed that sort of thing, I never knew that JKR was actually in contact with the characters by letter or possibly email. *lol*
It would be sad if your blog just suddenly ended!

The time for this has not yet come, but the way thinks look now: it will probably end rather soon.

I'll not wait until The Scotish Encyclopedia (or even The future lives of Albus Severus Potter) are out.
The time to end this will have come when writing about a historian of philosophy's/philosopher's views on some aspects of the HP stories for people who more or less know the stories by heart will no longer be a good idea. And we are rapidly approaching this point, it seemeth.

I never knew that JKR was actually in contact with the characters by letter or possibly email.

Maybe she talks to them via the floo network?

I have been considering genres for the BtB tales and doing some research. As yet, I have been unable to find a group that best fits the tales. I suppose it is possible they might be unique, but the research is interesting.
I did start reading BtB last night and my first thoughts are it would work better as a pretend real text if it had been Hermoine doing the commentary. Since Dd died long before Hermoine could do the translation and it is a matter more of art, interpretation and personal preference how the text comes out, so parts of the text should not match the commentary. And you are correct, there should have been some comments on the language of the text since Beedle is a Yorkshire man and his dialect would have been more difficult/
I started with Babbity Rabbity since it looked slighty more interesting and I wonder if JKR realizes that a laundress in Medieval Lit. is usually a prostitute. For all the main characters being Muggles, they are never referred to as such, merely foolish, highlighting their inferiority. Dd's comments about the ignorance of Muggles is grating since whose fault is it that they are ignorant of the true nature of magic. The king's desire to own all magic is extraordinary and she provides no reason for this.
The one that made the most buzz - the Hairy Heart; I thought a feral heart, given that he had a beautiful young witch in his power, would have ravished her rather than kill her. But then, I don't understand why he showed her the heart when she did not demand to see proof of a heart. It all went much too quickly. Considering that without his heart, he was indifferent; the wizard felt a surprising amount of anger and pride. Perhaps I am being too picky but that one need to be longer to develop the story more.