?

Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
What's wrong with Narnia? - moonspinner
moonspinner
moonspinner
What's wrong with Narnia?

I read this JKR interview on Time here

http://www.time.com/time/archive/preview/0,10987,1083935,00.html

 


Okay, there is this part that goes:
Rowling has never finished The Lord of the Rings. There's something about Lewis' sentimentality about children that gets on her nerves. "There comes a point where Susan, who was the older girl, is lost to Narnia because she becomes interested in lipstick. She's become irreligious basically because she found sex," Rowling says. "I have a big problem with that."
Mmm.
Now I have read the Chronicles and I'm very sure that Susan wasn't lost to Narnia because of sex but because of vanity. Let's not forget that one of the 7 books featured a very Ron/Hermionish pair of children that and I quote 'were so used to arguing and making up again that when they grew up, they got marreid so as to continue to doing it more conveniently.' Or that Prince Caspian of 3 stories, met and wooed a lady in one of his adventures and had a son. I greatly doubt that CS Lewis ever had anything against sex. It just wasn't necessary to emphasize it in the context of what he was writing.



 

Frankly, those casual condescending statements of Ms Rowling towards Toklien and Lewis grated badly. The whole idea of noble, superior centaurs was created in the forests of Narnia. And let's not talk too much about the odd parallels between LotR and HP. http://www.mugglenet.com/funlists/hpvslotr.shtml

 

Let's not talk about the fact that it was Tolkien's great works and the efforts it costed him that gave 'fantasy' the authenticity it now enjoys as a serious genre - the authenticity the likes of Rowling take for granted.

 

Maybe it's the fame, maybe it's the fortune. Maybe I'm reading too much into it at all. But it seems like Rowling doesn't just rank herself up there with the greats, she happens to think that she surpasses them.

Tags: , ,
Current Mood: disappointed disappointed

19 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: August 10th, 2005 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good! I always thought that I was the only one utterly pissed off by that comment. JK Rowling's fame is clearly gettinginto her head. The interview with Emerson, laughing at H/Hr fans was so out of line. It's so sad when writers that acting like paris hilton
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 11th, 2005 09:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd be the last person to say so myself but... Yes, from all indications that's what it means, isn't it?
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: August 20th, 2005 03:18 am (UTC) (Link)
Much belated comment, but I agree with what you said; Susan turns her back on Narnia because she's self-centered, not because she has discovered the joy of sex. *rolls eyes*

And Rowling does not rank up with the greats, at least not in my mind. I've unfortunately been getting diminishing returns from each Potter book.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 22nd, 2005 11:13 am (UTC) (Link)
Better late than never, I always tell my boss. :p

Regarding satisfaction from the Potter books, it's really been up and down there for me. I think JKR really peaked in PoA and GoF. The two books before and after, while not bad - PS will always hold a special place in my heart - have been the declining portion of the curve.

That cannot be said of the Tolkien books or Narnia. The last stories - The Horse and His Boy, Magician's Nephew and Last Battle are my favourites. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my least favourite Narnia story and that was the first.
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: August 22nd, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Am I the only one who doesn't worship at the ground of PoA and GoF? My favorite HP will always be SS (or PS as the rest of the world calls it), probably because it's the most efficiently written while touching on universal themes. Since then, JKR's plotting has become increasingly complex and, in her hands, increasingly unwieldy. OotP had 432908423904 new secondary and tertiary characters, none of whom I cared about because none of them has a real personality or significant meaning to the story. E.g., Tonks has pink hair. Woo hoo. Now I'm supposed to care that she's lovelorn over Lupin? Whatever. Ditto for Narcissa Malfoy and her sister. What is the point of Luna Lovegood? What was the point of Grawp? What happened to Neville in HBP? What happened to Hagrid in HBP? Is Hermione still into S.P.E.W.? Actually, did Hermione just get bumped to make room for popular, pretty, athletic, independent Ginny Weasley, who somehow (I have no idea how this is possible) understands Harry better than anyone? Blech. I admire JKR's imagination, but she is not the writer that some people think she is.

FWIW, the only Potter book that made my heart ache (in a good way) was SS. That's not to say there weren't some pretty good moments in the other ones, but they haven't been quite as emotionally effective for me. I never was attached to Sirius, and I was surprised that Dumbledore's offing didn't devastate me (mainly because Dumbledore has been somewhat of an enigma in the past few books, and that's annoying--or maybe it was because I have been waiting for Dumbledore to be removed from the picture, since it is a necessary element of the hero's journey).

The Last Battle may be my favorite Narnia book simply because I almost always tear up at the last couple of pages. C.S. Lewis's prose is always gentle, simple, yet extremely effective. There's something desperate and glorious about LB, and there are so many memorable scenes. Further up and further in! Prince Caspian is probably my least favorite Narnia book.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 23rd, 2005 08:24 am (UTC) (Link)
Am I the only one who doesn't worship at the ground of PoA and GoF?

::blush:: Well, I think PoA was well written but that's probably because I've always been partial to mysteries. I like the way it all added up in the end - and Crookshanks was my favourite new character in that book. And it's its sheer complexity that made me like GoF even though I'll be the first to admit that there were some things that simply didn't add up - e.g. how come Barty Jr could mimic Moody so completely that he deceived his long-time buddy Dumbledore? Polyjuice can make you look like someone but can it make you act like the person?


OotP had 432908423904 new secondary and tertiary characters, none of whom I cared about because none of them has a real personality or significant meaning to the story. E.g., Tonks has pink hair. Woo hoo. Now I'm supposed to care that she's lovelorn over Lupin? Whatever.

I said it once and I'll say it again - HBP Tonks/Remus was inspired by fan fiction. And nothing anyone ever says will make me believe otherwise.


Actually, did Hermione just get bumped to make room for popular, pretty, athletic, independent Ginny Weasley, who somehow (I have no idea how this is possible) understands Harry better than anyone?

::rolls eyes:: This sounds really weired but I wasn't so much of a harmony shipper until after HBP. post-GoF Ginny isn't just only a Mary Sue, she's nothinglike her earlier personality. For crying out loud, one minute, Ginny was bored into sleeping on her bowl of pudding on the night of the Quidditch World Cup. A year later, she's a budding Quidditch star who has been teaching herself to fly since she was 6. ::rolls eyes:: Yeah. Right. Whatever.

Prince Caspian is probably my least favorite Narnia book.

I think Caspian comes in second from the back after Lion, Witch and Wardrobe for me. Although I adored the Dawn Treader and the end of the Silver Chair when he dies seconds after being reunited with his son was just heartbreaking. For some reason, the stories starring all four Pevensie kids were never my faves. I loved them alright. I love all the books. But I love them least.
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: August 23rd, 2005 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, I think PoA was well written but that's probably because I've always been partial to mysteries. I like the way it all added up in the end

One thing that bugs me about Rowling's writing is that she always seems to have a big scene/chapter of almost pure exposition to clear up each book's "mystery." It's her version of the end of a Scooby Doo episode. Sometimes it works because it sends you back through the story to reevaluate in light of the new information (SS did this very well), but more often it doesn't give you that "ohhh!" sensation. Instead, it feels like she's dumping new information on you, but it's more like, "oh, okay. so that's what that was" instead of the "ohhh!". I suppose other fans feel differently, but SS was the only book where I felt the "reveal" was really effective, from a writing perspective.

I agree with your comments about the polyjuice potion. More than once I've gotten the impression that Rowling is twisting previously established "rules" to fit her new needs. (E.g., the TriWizard tournament, the Yule Ball--how come we never have heard of a Yule ball before or since?)

I said it once and I'll say it again - HBP Tonks/Remus was inspired by fan fiction.

If this is really true, then I want to weep. Heh, maybe JKR got tired of Lupin always being shipped with Snape or Sirius and felt the need to prove his heterosexuality once and for all. ;)

This sounds really weired but I wasn't so much of a harmony shipper until after HBP. post-GoF Ginny isn't just only a Mary Sue, she's nothinglike her earlier personality.

LOL, it doesn't sound crazy at all. When Ginny suddenly became supercool in Book 5, I was grudgingly accepting since she didn't have a huge bearing on the plot. But in Book 6, it's just bad writing. JKR can't write teen romance very well, and what she did with Ginny (and to Hermione as a result) to accomplish the romancing was awful. From a writer's and storytelling perspective, H/G makes no sense. You simply cannot build up Hermione over five books and then toss her aside to make room for a secondary (or even tertiary, since Ginny practically disappeared for two books before getting a personality makeover in book 5) character. URGHHHHHHHHHHH.

FWIW, I've always wanted Harry to end up with Hermione, but after the pathetic ship-writing in Book 6, I don't think I want anyone to end up with anyone. LOL, I guess JKR was inspired by the Luke/Leia/Han love triangle (minus the whole sibling thing, heh) and decided she also needed a Mara Jade (red hair and all!) in the mix, too. :-P

the end of the Silver Chair when he dies seconds after being reunited with his son was just heartbreaking

Wasn't it, though? Devastatingly beautiful imagery. That's one thing I love about CSL's writing--I always get gorgeous pictures in my mind, even though he doesn't spend a lot of time describing things.

For some reason, the stories starring all four Pevensie kids were never my faves.

Maybe it's because it's hard to juggle four would-be protagonists at the same time. Lucy was obviously his favorite, and I think Peter was probably his second fave. Edmund and Susan were never quite as interesting, imo.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 23rd, 2005 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yet Edmund's arc - from traitor to hero, was actually the most interesting, wasn't it? Peter and Lucy were always good people - they only grew in innate courage and kindness. But Edmund's personality actually underwent a profound growth. I actually read 'Lion, Witch and Wardrobe' last. And I still can't get over how utterly unlike the Prince in 'Horse and his Boy' or the young man in 'Prince Caspian' and 'Voyage' he was in that very first book.

I suppose other fans feel differently, but SS was the only book where I felt the "reveal" was really effective, from a writing perspective.

Ah well, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one. In PoA, between Crookshanks' innocence and the whole time-turner scenario, I was in a constant state of 'Ahh' for the last chapters. But yes, I completely understand what you meant about the other books. Particularly CoS which I feel was the worst of all the HP books. And the end of OotP was just... ::rolls eyes::

More than once I've gotten the impression that Rowling is twisting previously established "rules" to fit her new needs.

e.g. the ability of prefects to dock points. to mention a few.

LOL, I guess JKR was inspired by the Luke/Leia/Han love triangle (minus the whole sibling thing, heh) and decided she also needed a Mara Jade (red hair and all!) in the mix, too. :-P


Thank Goodness. I was afraid I was the only one that realized that. ha Ha!
foodsthatcan From: foodsthatcan Date: August 24th, 2005 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Yet Edmund's arc - from traitor to hero, was actually the most interesting, wasn't it?

It was the most interesting, but it didn't make the character himself that interesting to me. Weird but true!

Particularly CoS which I feel was the worst of all the HP books. And the end of OotP was just... ::rolls eyes::

CoS...it's very "whatevs." I don't think the ghost of Tom Riddle was that great of a villain--but I think Voldemort as a villain is problematic in general, just because he's often not there as a live menace. And the whole "get to know Voldemort" stuff in HBP, while interesting, wasn't that compelling for me. Don't get me started on the mess that was OotP. I keep meaning to reread it, but the writing is so flabby and messy that it's just frustrating instead of enjoyable.

Thank Goodness. I was afraid I was the only one that realized that.

While I ship H/Hr, I had thought that JKR might pair off Ron/Hermione a la Han/Leia, because Ron doesn't seem to have a lot going for him, and it would be easier to let Harry stand alone as the Auror/Jedi. But noooo. Just like Luke cannot be allowed to be single, JKR had to give Harry a perfect girlfriend. In general, I have a hard time seeing how Hermione and Ron could work when Hermione holds Harry in such high esteem (even when she is annoyed with him) and Ron seems not to be particularly smart, resourceful, or athletic...but it's not my story. I suppose you could chalk it up to "teenage girls make no sense when it comes to love," but I would hate to see Hermione reduced to that.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: August 24th, 2005 07:00 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oops! I forgot to sign in. :)

Don't get me started on the mess that was OotP

LOL!

I re-read it for the firs time just before HBP came out just to remember what the stories were all about again. :p i still find the last battle chapters hard and difficult to understand. And foreknowledge makes me even more unsymapthetic towards Harry when Sirius dies.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: August 31st, 2005 06:13 pm (UTC) (Link)
This sounds really weired but I wasn't so much of a harmony shipper until after HBP.

Totally late reply, but I have to say I don't think it's weird at all. If anything, HBP made me even more of a H/Hr fan, and my sister - who'd derided me for liking H/Hr and, while not actively a shipper, did lean a bit towards OBHWF - made her absolutely detest H/G, and start wishing he'd ended up with Hermione. *g* My issues with H/G are numerous and intense.

And Tonks/Lupin was even more out of the blue to me than H/G, though with both I'm trying to content myself with the philosophy that if my guys are happy, then cool. Not great, but cool.

Can't comment on the Narnia stuff, as I haven't read those (they're high on my list, though). Aside from saying that if JKR got a certain impression from the books, and has problems that result from that impression... well, I guess that's her own right, regardless of how many disagree.
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 1st, 2005 07:47 am (UTC) (Link)
my sister - who'd derided me for liking H/Hr and, while not actively a shipper, did lean a bit towards OBHWF - made her absolutely detest H/G, and start wishing he'd ended up with Hermione. *g*

LOL! Now, that is weird.

Can't comment on the Narnia stuff, as I haven't read those (they're high on my list, though). Aside from saying that if JKR got a certain impression from the books, and has problems that result from that impression... well, I guess that's her own right, regardless of how many disagree.

Definitely. But I think it's a simple matter of a writer extending courtesy to another (older, dead) writer of her genre. Nobody was asking her to lie that she loved the Narnia books. But nobody was asking her to run them down with her own (extremely, unimaginably) flawed understanding of them.
ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: September 2nd, 2005 12:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah. She got sick of Perfect!Super!Ginny being pushed in her face, and Hermione becoming a secondary character. Luna, Hermione... anyone for Harry but Ginny.

But nobody was asking her to run them down with her own (extremely, unimaginably) flawed understanding of them.

That's just it, though - what makes her understanding of it more flawed than another person's? (Sorry, it's just that I just continue to see this same general label tossed around fandom circles, and usually as a way to trash a group of people - the reason people ship H/Hr, or like the prequels, etc., is because of their 'flawed' understanding of things.) Unless there was something in the article that I missed...
moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 2nd, 2005 09:55 am (UTC) (Link)
That's just it, though - what makes her understanding of it more flawed than another person's?

But that goes back to the question, doesn't it?
What gives her the right to air that opinion of CS Lewis more than I have a right to air my opinion of her opinion of CS Lewis? ::snickers::

ladyaeryn From: ladyaeryn Date: September 3rd, 2005 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)
Meh.
From: a_p_ Date: September 6th, 2005 02:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
I guess I'm really quite late, but if you don't mind my jumping in...


This sounds really weird but I wasn't so much of a harmony shipper until after HBP.

It's not weird. I'm still not a Harmony shipper, as I just don't see romantic love (or romantic anything) between H/Hr in canon. BUT after reading HBP I was compelled to admit that the *idea* of H/Hr that most of their shippers had was quite attractive compared to what we actually got in Book 6 between R/Hr and especially H/G. I'm a long-standing R/Hr shipper, and there were moments between them that I liked, but boy did Hermione get the shaft in this book in terms of her characterization, and I really loved H/Hr's friendship and closeness in OotP, and that was nowhere to be found as far as I'm concerned in HBP, and both those developments -- Hermione's characterization going haywire and her friendship with Harry changing -- were wholly and absolutely unnecessary to getting her together with Ron. (Ron/Lavender was pretty unnecessary too, but whatever).

But then again, this is the book that gave PowerSapped!Tonks, with the insanely out-of-place and inappropriate Remus/Tonks love fest scene at the end, so maybe Hermione escape relatively unscathed, comparatively. The whole Tonks thing truly irritated me, and the idea that we should worry about her poor, unrequited love when Dumbledore's dead and Bill's lying right in front of them badly injured and scarred for life was silly. I think JKR forgot that not all that much time passed between the end of OotP and the beginning of HBP, so mousy, browned-haired Tonks just makes the girl look weak.


And don't even get me started on H/G and the absurdities there.


OotP was definitely unweildy in some respects, but I liked the ideas in there a lot (interhouse unity, Harry expanding his circle of friends and supporters, the Order vs. the Death Eaters in the war, etc., etc.). HBP wasn't as unweildy, and to me was a quicker and more enjoyable read-through than OotP, but the shipping left much to be desired and in so much as that affected the characterizations it did so badly, and somehow I felt like JKR just mentally went from GoF to HBP in a lot of ways, skipping a lot of the tone and themes of OotP rather inexplicably, which was kind of jarring. My thoughts on HBP run a wide gamut (except on the shipping, which I'm pretty certain about). I don't know what exactly to expect for Book 7, particularly for the parts of the story removed from the Voldie main plot. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but...

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 8th, 2005 06:37 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess I'm really quite late, but if you don't mind my jumping in...

Not in the least. ::hugs::

Hermione's characterization going haywire and her friendship with Harry changing -- were wholly and absolutely unnecessary to getting her together with Ron.

I am beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that JKR simply doesn't have too good a handle on female characterization. She caricatures Fleur, deifies Giinny (and Lily), and has a big problem finding an inbetween ground for Hermione. It's also worth noting that the other female characters in the stories who are not Hermione, a Potter or a Weasley are either vapid, bimbo-headed personalities like Parvarti, Padma, Lavender or Cho... or really pathetic judges of character like Pansy Parkinson.


The whole Tonks thing truly irritated me, and the idea that we should worry about her poor, unrequited love when Dumbledore's dead and Bill's lying right in front of them badly injured and scarred for life was silly.

Well Remus/Tonks have a huge fan following so I think she wasn't completely off-base there. She was the first to admit that she checks out the HP fansites so that's most likely where she got the idea from. But yes, fandom aside, exactly who cares about Tonks (hello? completely new character who isn't even a major contribution to the story!) and her love life when Dumbledore is dead. ::rolls eyes::

I felt like JKR just mentally went from GoF to HBP in a lot of ways, skipping a lot of the tone and themes of OotP rather inexplicably, which was kind of jarring.

Makes sense. Just that in one book, Ginny's falling asleep in her pudding on the night of the Quidditch Cup and almost breaking into tears at the thought of Krum being wounded in the Wronski Feint; and in the next book, she's the best thing to happen to Gryffindor Quidditch since, say, Harry Potter and she has no compunction against using physical violence against someone else in the game.

And we're supposed to believe she's always been like that and Harry's too occupied to notice it.

I liked the old Ginny. The new HP-version of Mara Jade is just scary.
From: a_p_ Date: September 9th, 2005 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
::hugs back:: :)


I am beginning to get the sneaking suspicion that JKR simply doesn't have too good a handle on female characterization.

It certainly seems to be an increasing issue. I'm hoping in Book 7 it won't get worse, and that some of these female characters will get some of that earlier, better treatment. We'll see.


She was the first to admit that she checks out the HP fansites so that's most likely where she got the idea from.

I do wonder about that. In any event, it certainly seems she got the idea late (i.e., after OotP, when it was too late, apparently, to do any decent kind of hinting or build-up).


who cares about Tonks and her love life when Dumbledore is dead. ::rolls eyes::

That's how I feel. Add in all the other characters inexplicably ganging up on Remus to give some, "All you need is love" thing and the return of the pink hair about 10 seconds later, and well...


And we're supposed to believe she's always been like that and Harry's too occupied to notice it.

::massive eye roll:: Boy, Harry's POV is a convenient excuse for a variety of things, isn't it? And yes, Ms. Weasley seems to be the main one who needs to be excused. Because, you know, it was Harry's limited POV that made Ginny appear generally disinterested and FALL ASLEEP right after the biggest event for a sport that she apparently loves so much she's been spunkily stealing brooms to practice it since she was a wee lass. And, you know, Harry's "preoccupation" doesn't mean he was completely disinterested in Ginny (at least, no more interested than he was in any Weasley), it was just a great literary device to appropriately "hide" the future love interest until the glorious moment when the monster claws through the hero's chest to throw shade on those glorious, sunlight days.

Boy, does the HBP shipping make me snarky. ;)


The new HP-version of Mara Jade is just scary.

LOL!!!

moonspinner From: moonspinner Date: September 10th, 2005 11:18 am (UTC) (Link)
And, you know, Harry's "preoccupation" doesn't mean he was completely disinterested in Ginny (at least, no more interested than he was in any Weasley), it was just a great literary device to appropriately "hide" the future love interest until the glorious moment when the monster claws through the hero's chest to throw shade on those glorious, sunlight days.

LOLOLOLOLOLOL!

Wow! That was mean. ::grins widely::
19 comments or Leave a comment