Skip to main content

Harry Potter Readalong, Half-Blood Prince II: "Dumbledore's man through and through, aren't you, Potter?"

And yet again, I did not finish the reading. LOOK LIFE IS BUSY RIGHT NOW. But I did do some of it. And I skimmed the other parts. So we're all set.

Regarding this section: I. Love. Backstory. I love backstory so much, if you give me 5% current day situation and devote the rest of your book to backstory, I WILL LOVE YOUR BOOK 95% MORE. This is a big reason I'm liking A Visit from the Goon Squad, which I started prior to Saturday's readathon because I have no regard for your "standard practices."


So when they just spend large amounts of time visiting Tom Riddle's past, oh so very happy am I. Then it reverts back to present day and there seems to be some trouble on the Quidditch team, and okay. I guess I'm on board with that. But sekritly I'm hoping there'll be more backstory. And then there is! Oh happy day. We also get flights of verbal fancy with Dumbledore:

"From this point forth, we shall be leaving the firm foundations of fact and journeying together through the murky marshes of memory into thickets of wildest guesswork."

Nice.

I was reading some section involving Harry hating Snape (you know how it goes) and tried to think, did I EVER hate a professor. Because it seemed an important feeling to remember; Harry's attitude towards Snape seems ridiculous otherwise. This is his teacher. He shouldn't act the way he does towards him.

I was such a huge suckup in school, it was hard to think of a professor I disliked on a personal level. I had absolutely no social life in college (think of your college experience, then subtract all interaction with friends/sports/activities, and you have my four years) and I spent my free time in office hours or asking my TAs to work with me in coffee shops on my Russian/German grammar (btdubs: I might have had crushes on said TAs).

BUT then I remembered. A certain professor who decided she hated me on the first day of class. In terms of personal compatibility, it was like taking two items and trying to fit them together, but the points all jar against each other. We went so far as having a special meeting to discuss our mutual dislike.

this probably would have made the meeting go better

So now that that's resurfaced in the ol' brain, I'm with you, Harry. There's no getting around it. You're just gonna hate him. But make sure you call him 'Professor' Snape, 'cause that's just basic politeness.

The other thing I want to touch on — because recap posts seem pointless, we all having just read all or, y'know, part of the section — is the Harry/Draco thing. One of the main things I've noticed in this reread is how dissatisfied I am with how the characters are paired off.  JKR, I love you, you know I do. But you cannot write romance for shit. And I don't think you know how your characters actually feel about each other when it comes to happy squishy love feelings.

So there are a ton of Harry/Hermione shippers, and a ton of Harry/Draco shippers. I used to be vehemently anti-both, because I only wanted canon. Obviously in the last couple of years, things have changed and I've gotten far more sympathetic towards non-canon pairings.

thank you, Alison Brie

There's a lot to support Harry/Hermione in the text. Way more than Ron/Hermione, actually. But when I've had Harry/Draco explained to me — damnit, it makes a lot of sense. And does anyone really believe the Ginny thing? Yeah, sure, Harry. You just happen to fall in love with a girl — who creepily enough looks like your mom — after you've ignored her for five books, and even in the book where you're supposed to 'realize' you like her, you spend the whole time stalking Draco.

SLUGHORN...how about that guy.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Harry Potter 2013 Readalong Signup Post of Amazingness and Jollity

Okay, people. Here it is. Where you sign up to read the entire Harry Potter series (or to reminisce fondly), starting January 2013, assuming we all survive the Mayan apocalypse. I don't think I'm even going to get to Tina and Bette's reunion on The L Word until after Christmas, so here's hopin'.


You guys know how this works. Sign up if you want to. If you're new to the blog, know that we are mostly not going to take this seriously. And when we do take it seriously, it's going to be all Monty Python quotes when we disagree on something like the other person's opinion on Draco Malfoy. So be prepared for your parents being likened to hamsters.

If you want to write lengthy, heartfelt essays, that is SWELL. But this is maybe not the readalong for you. It's gonna be more posts with this sort of thing:


We're starting Sorceror's/Philosopher's Stone January 4th. Posts will be on Fridays. The first post will be some sort of hilarious/awesome que…

How to Build a Girl Introductory Post, which is full of wonderful things you probably want to read

Acclaimed (in England mostly) lady Caitlin Moran has a novel coming out. A NOVEL. Where before she has primarily stuck to essays. Curious as we obviously were about this, I and a group of bloggers are having a READALONG of said novel, probably rife with spoilers (maybe they don't really matter for this book, though, so you should totally still read my posts). This is all hosted/cared for/lovingly nursed to health by Emily at As the Crowe Flies (and Reads) because she has a lovely fancy job at an actual bookshop (Odyssey Books, where you can in fact pre-order this book and then feel delightful about yourself for helping an independent store). Emily and I have negotiated the wonders of Sri Lankan cuisine and wandered the Javits Center together. Would that I could drink with her more often than I have.


INTRODUCTION-wise (I might've tipped back a little something this evening, thus the constant asides), I am Alice. I enjoy the Pleistocene era of megafauna and drinking Shirley Templ…

Yes, Frances Willard was as gay as Oscar Wilde. But in a lady-way.

Yup. We're gonna do it. We're gonna talk about Frances Willard and gayness. Look, it's not a major part of her life, and it's definitely not the main thing she should be remembered for, but the fact that a line is being put out that she was totally straight is complete hogwash and it upsets me.




The thing is, I get when people say it's anachronistic to put the cultural concept of "gayness" onto a person from a century other than the 20th/21st. I get that. And usually agree with it. But Frances Willard is one of the gayest people in history. I have zero problem labeling her with that. The fact that she didn't have the language to describe what she was experiencing is upsetting, but she managed to have a seemingly full and satisfying life anyway, so I am happy for her.

And for people annoyed when gay people say that someone from the past was gay, here's the thing: When you're completely whitewashed from history, it is a matter of TOTAL DELIGHT wh…