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Old 08-02-2009, 04:39 AM
FourDeer is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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This is slightly off OP topic; my apologies. My further apologies for continuing the subthread after Jefahrbach suggested ending it.

For the record, I love the Potter books. But one thing seriously bugged me, still bugs me; related to Eyebrows of Doom’s and Jefahrbach’s gripes: She was frequently, I don’t know how to put this, careless or disrespectful or uninsightful or something, about the nature of magic itself. For example, in battles, she treats wands as though they were ray-guns: people shoot spells at one another, and if their aim -- their physical aim -- is off, the spells miss! Well, to my mind, any spell worth casting ought to be “smart”, at least; surely the aiming device is not the hand, or even the wand, but the intent in the mind of the spell-caster. How could that miss? This is exacerbated in the movies; but it’s there in the books as well.

Along the same lines, in Halfblood Prince, Harry begins to recite aloud a dangerous curse whose meaning he does not know -- and it works! So if the magic lies in the words themselves, then anybody, including a Muggle, could pick up a spellbook and go to town. But a major premise of the series is that only these special people have magical power, and they have to go to special schools for years to learn how to deploy it, and it requires intense mental focus. She isn’t consistent about this; e.g., the teleportation lessons illustrate what seems to me to be a more plausible magic-acquisition process.

But, to return to something a little closer to the OP, a counterbalancing delight, for me, is that some, though not all, of her monstrous or magical menaces are shrewd descriptions of mental and emotional ailments. The most obvious one, of course, is that the Dementors/Azkaban = depression; but there are several others. I made a list once; can’t find it; will return with it if I do.

But, yeah, the Latin is simplistic.