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Jumping into Harry Potter Meta - Mo's Journal
May 30th, 2006
02:02 pm

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Jumping into Harry Potter Meta

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From:mofic
Date:May 30th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
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The thing that strikes me again and again, both in the books and the films, is that Hogwarts feels more to me like when WE were growing up than now (or for me, when my brother was, really). Do you get the same vibe? 1960s? Bren Kuebler kinda felt the same -- public school when she was there

I went to public school in the USAmerican sense :-) but I do think it's got a bit of an archaic feel to it. I think - like most things in the HP books - Hogwarts is a bit of a hodgepodge. It's public school as reflected in popular literature (of the lighter variety) with some other elements thrown in. I remember early on reading an essay (wish I knew who wrote it or what it was called - it was quite good) by a man who had been through the English public school system talking about how JKR remembers it so fondly because she never experienced it and is only going by the light-hearted descriptions in Wodehouse et al.

In terms of other elements - well, she's made Hogwarts coed and multi-racial, too, as a nod to feminism and ethnic diversity. But women are still presented mostly as enacting very traditional gender roles. The expectation is that even the smart and competent ones (like Molly Weasley) become housewives. And I think the traditional gender roles are reflected in the greater restrictions on girls than on boys, which you point out. They don't need to put restrictions on the boys' rooms because it is the girls' reputations that are being protected. It reminds me of the parietal rules at colleges in this country (before my time, but I remember hearing about them). They were all about appearances, not about preventing sex at all.

I wonder about pregnancy. Would they have magical ways to prevent conception? No way to know since it's just not discussed.

Which brings me to homosexuality. Like you, I think the total lack of mention of any possibility of same sex sexual activity is complete denial that it's possible, not tacit acceptance. In that way it's like the public schools she bases Hogwarts on. There was tons of homosexual activity, but everyone pretended it wasn't happening.

Anyway, thanks for weighing in. You gave me lots of food for thought. I see you are at least knee deep in HP now. Have you given up on X-Men, do you think?
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From:mofic
Date:May 31st, 2006 10:56 am (UTC)
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I didn't know about JKR saying no schools before or after Hogwarts in an interview. I assumed she just hadn't thought that one through. penknife said elsewhere that HP fandom really pays attention to author interviews and considers them almost canon, which I thought was an interesting concept.

Sorry that your disappointment in X3 seems to have sealed your leaving our fandom. I wasn't all that disappointed in the film. I don't mean I liked it (although there were things I really did like about it, as detailed in my journal). It's just that my expectations were really low. I didn't read any spoilers but I read a lot about all the production problems and so on, and just thought it unlikely it could be very good. I also think Bryan Singer is an extraordinarily talented director and have thought so since The Usual Suspects, so I didn't have such high hopes for the new guy. So, anyway, I didn't have high hopes to be dashed.

X3 hasn't really affected my feeling about the fandom. I think it has lots of fanfic possibilities but I don't see it as necessary to fanfic - plenty of canon to work off of with the first two movies and the comics. X-Men is still my primary fandom and Star Wars my second one (and it's TPM that I'm most interested in and that's two movies ago {g}). But I dabble in others. As I said at the outset, I find HP interesting for the meta.

An HP/X-Men crossover? I can't imagine! One of my favorite crossovers ever was a Kim Possible/X-Men crossover a couple years ago. I read it to my kids, too.
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From:mofic
Date:June 1st, 2006 01:15 pm (UTC)
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Well, I hope you do come back to writing X-Men. Preferably before I run out of stuff of yours to read :-).
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