I was mortified when I realized that I haven't written on this blog since September 30th.
It's definitely not that I haven't been reading, but I think it's because I've been reading so much for school: my students have all created their own reading blogs and since it's so early in the process I feel compelled to read them all 93 every week, which has been happening over my Saturday morning tea rather than writing about my own reading experiences, per usual (which must change). I've also been preparing for the book clubs that are starting up in my classroom. This is the first time I have attempted to be in book clubs with students all year long. A little crazy. My brain has been consumed lately with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. While my reading focus has been on what my students' book club experiences will be like, I also realized that there are depths to be mined in old Harry Potter. I've been overwhelmed by all of my thoughts that I have no idea where to begin, and this has snowballed as I've been reading multiple essays in Harry Potter and Philosophy and Reading Harry Potter: Critical Essays.
That being said, I'm currently looking to reinvent some healthier rhythms that don't involve quite so much work *and* I promise I'm on a mission to draw some serious conclusions about Harry Potter (though, I can say that I'll be rereading this series for the rest of my life, so I suppose I don't have to discover them all now). For now, here are some of the biggest Harry Potter threads going in my brain (please do not continue reading if you have not read the entire series, and on that note, if you haven't read this series, I'm not sure what you're waiting for):
- The fact that since we are able to be inside Harry's brain, Rowling brilliantly creates a narrative in which most readers begin to trust all of Harry's thoughts and the conclusions he draws, especially about Snape, and especially in retrospect in light of the ending of book 7.
- "In book II, Dumbledore tells Harry that the essence of one's character is defined by what one chooses to do rather than by any inherent ability...by Dumbledore's standards, is [Snape] not an even greater hero than Harry?" (from Cruel Heroes and Treacherous Texts, Schanoes)
- "Both Snape and Black complicate a black and white moral schema. Where Snape forces the reader to accept a bad person who chooses the side of good, Black forces us to acknowledge the potential for violence and ruthlessness that can exist in a good person." (from Cruel Heroes and Treacherous Texts, Schanoes)
- The character arc of Neville Longbottom, and the development of Harry, Ron and Hermione, obviously.
Tomorrow the Harry Potter 7 Reread book club begins their "pre-club" thinking work...developing the narrative arcs of the first six books in order to provide a foundation for our approach to book 7. My guess is that my conclusions won't be totally drawn until I've talked all this through with my brilliant students. My hope is that I will be posting on the other aspects of my reading life before then, though.