Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Life (or is it Death?) Of Mr. Potter

As a brief note to the Suitable Boy anecdote in my last post:

I'm becoming a little worried about Harry. That is to say, I don't believe there's any way that we'll be able to pull off the distribution of Ms. Rowling's final book without someone spoiling the ending for everyone. News travels too fast. It'll be up on YouTube, on CNN... or maybe person #1 in line at the bookstore will grab the book, flip to the last pages, and shout out the ending to persons #100 and beyond.

I'm not a fan of the HP books as literature (mea culpa, Mr. Daniel and Ms. Ginny). I am, however, fascinated by the HP books as catalysts for community -- for speculation, discussion, creativity, and play. I thoroughly enjoy the experience of reading an HP book because it gives me the chance to talk about books with other people. (Also it gives me the chance to put on a silly costume and jump around. Yes, I have cosplayed Hermione before. No, there aren't pictures.)

The ideal way to present the final book would be for everyone to read it slowly, maybe a chapter at a time, and then talk about it (online or IRL). Because what's fun about the books is the chance to predict and analyze and follow JKR's clues.

However, everyone is undoubtedly going to sit down, on their lonesome, with the book and rush as fast as they can towards the end because OMGWTF i wanna know whether Harry lives or dies!!!!

And then someone's going to find out and broadcast it, and spoil it for all of us.

And, as I will not be reading the book myself until at least a week of the HP madness is over (as I will have my copy in a corner of Borders, instead of paying full ticket to take one home with me), someone's going to spoil it for me. It's sure to be spoiled by then.

Which makes me sad, just a little.

But only a little.


Daniel said...

I won't spoil it for you! I promise.

I do, however, expect to get an early copy, as my neighborhood grocery store likes to put them out early.

So, it needn't be persons #1 in line, but rather a malicious meanie who bought the book early.

And as to whether they're literature or not... Meh. I know they're not classically literature. It's fabulous nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

:D! Though I love HP, I don't think that I'd argue that it's genius literature. Rowling's genius lies in synthesis, in my humble opinion...

I'm planning on getting the book at midnight on the dot and then going into self-imposed exile till I'm done with it, but then that's what I did with all the others... And most of the books I read, really. I devour them. So I'm not gonna ruin anything, though I may call you making incoherant noises once or twice...

Stacey and I actually talked about holding a final book party where everyone we gets together in one place and reads, with set places where we would stop and discuss the progress... But it was waaaaaaay too much work to organize that sort of thing, plus neither of us could get all that time off work. Boo.

Want me to send you my copy after I'm done with it? That way it's still free and you can read it before the ending is broadcast all over the internets.

~The aforementioned Ms. Ginny