|Art by Alkanet.
the recurring theme of chapters two and three is nothing short of a Cinderella tale, a boy-who-in-reality-is-a-prince adopted by relatives and treated as a servant in his own house.... as far as situations go, it couldn't have been much worse for him and he couldn't have come out better.She also covered the timelessness of the tale—that is, its clean avoidance of obvious references to pop culture, which would date it very quickly. The story would feel dated even nowadays if Rowling had built her world into the brand names and celebrities and public ideals and debates of summer 1991, which is the actual time period in which these few chapters of the story occur. As she didn't, however, children and the childlike should be able to read Harry Potter in a hundred years as easily as we now read Frances Hodgson Burnett's A Little Princess.
With a tip of pointy hat, then, I recommend Christie's post; also, her picture of her own homemade Knickerbocker Glory. Masha had the week off since her piece was already up, so we'll move forward. Before we do, however: the first butterbeer attempt!
From Masha's kitchen:
1 pint chocolate stout (Jenna used cold stout, but room temperature would make for a warmer drink)
1 pint vanilla gelato
Melt gelato over medium heat, stirring frequently, until gelato simmers (but don't boil it!) Whip on high speed until frothy. Stir in stout, pour immediately into mugs, and serve.
|They come in PINTS???
|Stir three times clockwise to one time counterclockwise
|Every wizarding family needs a KitchenAid mixer;
you'll never get such good results with frothing spells
|Make swirling motion with wand, say "Tempero"
|One for the wizard, one for the witch
Also, it tasted good. This is where most butterbeer recipes fail; they're usually cream soda based and sweet enough to make your teeth ache. The stout gives this one a strong, pleasantly sharp flavor underneath the cream. It's like a cappucino translated from coffee language to alcohol. It did not taste buttery or butterscotchy, but that was the closest thing to a fault I could find with it. This recipe's going to be hard to top.
And now, Accio this week's study!
* * *
Read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Chapters 5-6
(We'll probably take more chapters per week once we're into Quidditch games and chasing around Hogwarts, but there's so much in these early chapters that I don't want to blast through them at the expense of good discussion.)
I am feeling very tempted to try this pumpkin pasty recipe. It could happen. I'll take pictures if I do.
Potential Discussion Points:
1. The amount of foreshadowing in these two chapters is astounding. It's hard to talk about all that without spoilers, but seriously... Gringotts and Griphook and thieves, James' wand being "excellent for transfiguration", the wand cores, Dumbledore's accomplishments, Harry's being "singled out"...
|Holly tree, by Colin Smith. Source.
- mahogany: "strength and endurance"
- willow: varied symbolism from use in the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles to Celtic association with the moon, which would work alchemically within the books
- holly: unconditional love, sacrifice, and reincarnation
- yew: dark, complicated symbolism involving immortality and death
"It was not an arbitrary decision: holly has certain connotations that were perfect for Harry, particularly when contrasted with the traditional associations of yew, from which Voldemort’s wand is made. European tradition has it that the holly tree (the name comes from ‘holy’) repels evil, while yew, which can achieve astonishing longevity (there are British yew trees over two thousand years old), can symbolise both death and resurrection; the sap is also poisonous." —Quoted from the Harry Potter wiki entry on wand wood*, referencing a now-dead link to Rowling's site
|Art by Giova94.
Feel free to peruse the wand woods and cores,
decide what combination would be most likely to choose you,
and post the results in the combox!
3. Hedwig, Harry's quiet white owl, is probably named after St. Hedwig of Silesia. St. Hedwig—feast day, 16 October—is the patron saint over the death of children.
4. Young students' first entry into the magical world as initiates is beautiful, even mystagogical. It starts with an act of faith—running headlong into a concrete barrier to get onto Platform 9 3/4—and continues with the Keeper of the Keys at Hogwarts leading them to the school on a boat ride, heading their procession up to the castle, and knocking three times on the door.
It reminds me a little of initiation into the sacred mysteries (sacraments) as a Catholic, actually. I don't recall our deacon marching my group of candidates up to the door of the church and knocking, but I believe that's sometimes done. Baptism itself is an initiation rite, though I suppose talking about Dennis Creevey getting dumped into the lake on his boat ride would be getting ahead of the game a little. And we won't even whisper about a certain event involving a silver doe yet.
5. "I think we must expect great things from you, Mr. Potter. After all, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named did great things—terrible, yes, but great."
6. The Weasleys—oh, the Weasleys, all foreshadowing their future. Molly is immediately empathetic and motherly, Ginny curious, Ron stubborn and self-protective but friendly, Fred and George hilarious, Percy self-important. Bill and Charlie get mention, and though Arthur doesn't, I wind up thinking of him all the same. I love the Weasleys.
I also love Ministry of Magic. They're probably going to get a lot of their videos embedded in these posts.
7. Another of the best naming jobs in the story: Draco Malfoy. Draco is Latin for dragon, and Malfoy is basically the French mal foi: bad faith. I'd call that a spoiler, but Draco doesn't waste any time making his snobbery and meanness known to Harry and reader alike.
8. Hermione Granger. I love our first sight of her—bossy, know-it-all, sniffy, and yet she's trying to help poor Neville find his toad. That's our girl!
Lots of things to talk about this week, and as always, those are just the options that came to me! Take from these topics or pick your own, and have fun!
* I only discovered the HP Wiki entries after doing all that Google search, which is why I didn't just take everything from there... silly Jenna!