dislogue

Books, culture, fishing, and other games

August 13, 2003

More Potter-y

I knew there was another piece on Potter I'd read recently, but I didn't bookmark it and forgot where I read it. Trying to find a specific thing on Potter using search engines is difficult. The list approximates infinity.

But when I cruised Polytropos, which I read looking for game-related content, I found Nate had responded to my "Potter's Missing Numinosity," and when I read his post, "Numinous Potter?" I found the missing link. Nate wrote it. I probably missed finding it because the title was a bit obscure, "ASB vs. JKR". I wish I'd tracked it down again so I could work Nate's thinking in to mine, but I've got it now, and will probably come back for more " prattling on about Potter" before too long (like when I manage to pick up books IV and V.)

I'm still chewing on an idea that the lack of depth, forward and backward in time, to the Potter panorama may be contributing to the absense of the missing numinous. Books, rather, series of the sheer size of Potter often look backward millenia in their history. Despite having the advantage of being able to tap the real world's history, or maybe because of that, there is not the same sense of historical location for the part of the Potter books that makes them Potter (ie. the non muggle part). That positioning may be instrumental in creating the feeling of importance that contributes to the summoning of the numinous. Potter lives in a much narrower slice of time than does Frodo.

One niggling doubt I have about this thesis is that I haven't read much C.S. Lewis, so I don't know how the Narnia works fit into this. I can speak for much of the spectrum of modern popular fantasy, though, and haven't found obvious exceptions so far.

But even if this does prove out, I should not infer that there is only one way to affect the summoning of the numinous. At best I can say that this method or structure is common to many, or even most, works of long fantasy; Rowling does not use it (at least in the first three books); her books lack the numinous.

Now back to book 5 of Wurts. Blogging is cutting into my reading time.

Posted by dan at August 13, 2003 04:42 PM
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