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A review of The Golden Compass

Many, many things get me angry: Elizabeth Cantor (oh, the rage!), ideologically-dominated literary criticism in general (uttery fucking hogswash!), creationism (wtf?!), ethnocentrism (especially in speculative fiction)...

But few things really fired up the burning, burning rage of the thousand burning suns quite like the film adaption of Pullman’s Northern Lights (save maybe Roger Zimeck’s Beowulf, but we’ll get to that).

the burning, burning rage of the thousand burning sunsCollapse )
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It began as a discussion on free will and memory charms, but it sort of got out of hand. Personally, I'm really not too happy with it as it's as messy as the system its trying to critique. I think there's several issues I've negelected, but here it is...

The morality of Harry Potter exists in some sort of indecisive limbo, as though Rowling wanted it to be dark and ambiguous, yet wanted an objective universe. From the first, I'm not one looking for the main characters to be towering beacons of shining virtue. I have a mild distaste for Western fiction's "unrelenting drive toward 'the moral of the story,' as Jenny Sawyer puts it,[1] and in the end, I love moral ambiguity. But I'm not calling for that either.

I'm asking for consistency in the moral fabric of Harry Potter. Objective morality doesn't mix well with the subjective or the humanist or the plain ambiguous. Authorial voice either needs to take a stand or refrain from judgement. One simply can't have it both ways, as the moral universe of the book needs to stand as a coherent construct.

Obviously, spoilers all the way 'til Hallows.

In which the author discusses Unforgivable Curses, Horocruxes and Memory Charms...Collapse )
Current Location:
Current Mood:
geeky geeky
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Yes, this will contain spoilers. I don't believe it's possible to discuss a book properly without spoilers, so venture forth if you dare.

It doesn't quite contain all my thoughts about the books, especially concerning women, magical ethics and objective morality, but here's most of it. I'm using the discussion of ships as a structure for further discussion of character as well as for its own sake. It seems to boil down to whether or not I find something emotionally satisfying, but well, here is.

In which it begins with a messy metaphor...Collapse )
In which it opens at the close...Collapse )
In which the dead are counted...Collapse )
In which S.S. Cliched sails...Collapse )
In which curses are touched on...Collapse )
In which there is a discussion of princess in towers...Collapse )
In which grumbles about the Good Ship continue...Collapse )
In which an eyebrow is raised at slash and triads are enthused over...Collapse )
In which the author loves Neville...Collapse )
In which platonic love is brought up again...Collapse )
In which Luna isn't neglected...Collapse )
In which the author balks at the subtext...Collapse )
In which the author cries for women in the Harry Potter universe...Collapse )
In which Aberforth/Goat just isn't enough...Collapse )
Current Location:
Current Mood:
discontent discontent
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A long time ago, my associates and I formed a theory. We were reading Eragon, late one night, after enduring the horror that is the film (very pretty, though) and came up with the following theory, which neatly explains the some of the silly economics of Eragon and what happened to the gods of Alagaesia (as Eragon does repeatedly mention the existence of nonspecific deities.)

A Butcher requires 1200 people
A Blacksmith requires 1500 people
A Healer requires 1700 people
A Carpenter 550 people
A Tanner 2000 people
From: Medieval Demographics Made Easy

Yet Carvahall has but a populatoin of 300...

The Cult of the Butcher GodCollapse )

Current Location:
Not Here
Current Mood:
lazy lazy
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