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ConnieAnnKirk
Posts: 5,472
Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Occasionally, readers of both of these fantasy series like to compare the Pullman and Potter books. Here's a thread for that purpose. Do you have a preference for one series or the other? Do you like both series for different reasons? Does one series contribute to an appreciation of the other in some way? Let us know your thoughts! Beware that this thread may contain spoilers about the entire HIS DARK MATERIALS trilogy, including THE AMBER SPYGLASS.

EnJOY!

~ConnieK
~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
ABI
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ABI
Posts: 2,577
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Er...difficult question, yet extremely easy still...

My automatic answer would be Harry Potter. But that might be attributed to my having grown up with those books. They are so familiar, like family...each one, wonderfully set up for the other. But HDM has its great appeal as well. They are somewhat darker, and that I love about them. They also delve into world issues like religion. He is a superb writer, like Jo, but, I don't know... I still say HP. But again, it's probably because my addiction to that series has always been with me, and always will, I assume. I didn't start HDM till relatively recently. They're great books. But HP has a somehow more wonderful appeal to me. It depends on the person, I suppose.
"There is nothing easier than self-deceit."
"Bombing for peace is like f***ing for virginity"
"There is no such thing as death, only the absence of life."
"There is no end, unless you let it."
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Kellyb628
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

My senior year in college I actually took a class comparing Harry Potter and His Dark Materials. At this point, I was already a huge fan of HP, and was interested to see how HDM compared. I loved the first two books, but I really couldn't get into the third. It seemed so drawn out, and I just didn't enjoy parts of the story line.

While I think Lyra and Will are wonderful characters, I will have to agree with ABI and say that HP is my favorite. I have gotten to meet and become friends with people from all over the world because of HP. HP has drawn my interest to other subjects such as Alchemy and the legend of King Arthur in a way that HDM never did.

ABI, now that the Harry Potter series is complete, religion is a part of Jo's books. This last book is filled with Christian Symbolism and she admits this from her summer interviews. It may not get into the issues that HDM does, but it is still there for us to examine.
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Nadine
Posts: 2,456
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Is there a double standard here? Some Christian fundamentalist made a lot a fuss about Harry Potter being anti-religious and promoting witchcraft. And now there is a lot of discussion going on about Dumbledore being gay. There isn't anything directly in the whole series that even brings up the subject or even remotely references God, religion or homosexuality.

But here we have His Dark Materials, also a children's series and popular, and yet there doesn't seem to be the same fuss. And furthermore, there is a blatant confrontation with traditional ideas about God and traditional religious practices that certainly seems like it should get someone upset or at least promote some spirited discussion. But no one, at least in what I have encountered, has seemed to protest. Why?

And then in The Amber Spyglass we are introduced to two gay angels, Balthamos and Baruch. Still not a peep from any conservative groups. I am sure as we progress into the Amber Spyglass that there may be more that could offend some people.

So I wonder, what was the big deal in Harry Potter and why is the issue so unimportant in His Dark Materials?

On a parallel thought, I am sure Pullman would love to see such controversy. Not only would it bring his ideas to a public forum but such controversy sells a lot of books!
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Nadine
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Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Kellyb628 wrote:
ABI, now that the Harry Potter series is complete, religion is a part of Jo's books. This last book is filled with Christian Symbolism and she admits this from her summer interviews. It may not get into the issues that HDM does, but it is still there for us to examine.
--------------------------------------------------------

I have am not an expert in this area (David would know a lot more), but I view much of the symbolism in the Harry Potter books as more mythic models drawn from by literature and religions in general and not necessarily of particular Christian origin, though sometimes reformulated through the Christian model. For instance, the Hallows were probably drawn from Christian Grail quest symbolism but, before it was Christianized, this was a pagan myth. Rowling certainly could have been inspired by the Christian version but she could have just as easily gone back to the earlier model for her inspiration.

In His Dark Materials I do see a lot that is drawn directly from particular Christian mythology, such as Paradise Lost and early Genesis literature, though the basic underlying ideas are embedded in our general mythos and common to other ideologies. These ideas can just as easily be found in other cultures and other religions.
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ConnieAnnKirk
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Registered: ‎06-14-2007
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Hi, Nadine--You might not see much controversy here at the book club forum for HDM (I think people are perhaps being guarded in their comments, or at least respectful--which I appreciate, but also the controversy, per se, comes really most into play with the last book). I assure you, though, there is a lot of debate and heated discussion about this series out there!

~ConnieK



Nadine wrote:
Is there a double standard here? Some Christian fundamentalist made a lot a fuss about Harry Potter being anti-religious and promoting witchcraft. And now there is a lot of discussion going on about Dumbledore being gay. There isn't anything directly in the whole series that even brings up the subject or even remotely references God, religion or homosexuality.

But here we have His Dark Materials, also a children's series and popular, and yet there doesn't seem to be the same fuss. And furthermore, there is a blatant confrontation with traditional ideas about God and traditional religious practices that certainly seems like it should get someone upset or at least promote some spirited discussion. But no one, at least in what I have encountered, has seemed to protest. Why?

And then in The Amber Spyglass we are introduced to two gay angels, Balthamos and Baruch. Still not a peep from any conservative groups. I am sure as we progress into the Amber Spyglass that there may be more that could offend some people.

So I wonder, what was the big deal in Harry Potter and why is the issue so unimportant in His Dark Materials?

On a parallel thought, I am sure Pullman would love to see such controversy. Not only would it bring his ideas to a public forum but such controversy sells a lot of books!


~ConnieAnnKirk




[CAK's books , website.]
Author
DavidC
Posts: 102
Registered: ‎04-09-2007
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Rowling took more heat in the US because the books have a higher profile. In the UK, Pullman is certainly more vilified than Rowling.

Most of those controversies are manufactured by the press anyway. We can expect it to pick up for HDM when the movie comes out. The news outlets will run pictures of Nicole Kidman with the word "controvery" as a teaser before commercial breaks. And thus will more detergent be sold.




Nadine wrote:
Is there a double standard here? Some Christian fundamentalist made a lot a fuss about Harry Potter being anti-religious and promoting witchcraft. And now there is a lot of discussion going on about Dumbledore being gay. There isn't anything directly in the whole series that even brings up the subject or even remotely references God, religion or homosexuality.

But here we have His Dark Materials, also a children's series and popular, and yet there doesn't seem to be the same fuss. And furthermore, there is a blatant confrontation with traditional ideas about God and traditional religious practices that certainly seems like it should get someone upset or at least promote some spirited discussion. But no one, at least in what I have encountered, has seemed to protest. Why?

And then in The Amber Spyglass we are introduced to two gay angels, Balthamos and Baruch. Still not a peep from any conservative groups. I am sure as we progress into the Amber Spyglass that there may be more that could offend some people.

So I wonder, what was the big deal in Harry Potter and why is the issue so unimportant in His Dark Materials?

On a parallel thought, I am sure Pullman would love to see such controversy. Not only would it bring his ideas to a public forum but such controversy sells a lot of books!

Contributor
FionaBR3
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎01-27-2008
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

CAUTION SPOILER LEAK CAUTION SPOILER LEAK CAUTION SPOILER LEAK CAUTION SPOILER LEAK

My concentration in both was love. In Harry Potter the books all say that love is the greatest magic of all. I feel that was also said in His Dark Materials, though very subtlely, through Dust and what attracts it. They both have astonishing love stories throughout them and they both have love stories that end in death, although the one in HDM was oblivion and the one in HP was death with a nice comfortable after life. But having read both all the way through, I feel that His Dark Materials poses a threat to Harry Potter in the opinions of which is the best. Look out J. K. Rowling 'cause Philip Pullman is gonna run you outta town.

P.S. Did anyone else notice that all the best books have European authors?
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FionaBR3
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Registered: ‎01-27-2008
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Re: HIS DARK MATERIALS and HARRY POTTER -- SPOILERS

Weather or not they mean to, they both state that love is important and without it, we would not survive.


Love is the eternal grace, which without we could not survive
- Love lifts us up where we belong
- HDM - "Call him now, Marisa, my love" - Lord Asriel
- "to have been loved so deeply... will give us some protection forever"
- Albus Dumbledore
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