In the cheerful spirit of Happy Hoggy Days, here’s a gift many a Harry Potter fan should enjoy: a Harry Potter and Philosophy podcast put together by Keith Hawk at MuggleNet, starring our own Carrie-Ann Biondi and two of her students! Says Carrie-Ann:
It’s kind of a survey-ish discussion among the five of us ranging over a variety of questions and issues in philosophy and literature that John Granger came up with, so it’s very accessible to a wide audience.
Listen and enjoy! And now, here’s your roundup of the week’s news:
Here is a bonus essay to the two-part series on Classical influences in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. Enjoy. [Previously, “The Hunger Games: Gifts of the Gods” was published on August 6, 2012.]y,
As I was recently reading an historical murder mystery set at the Olympic Games in ancient Greece, I recognized another echo between Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy and the Classical world: the veneration of Hunger Games’ tributes and the superstar status earned by Olympic champions.
[This is the second essay in a two-part series on classical influences in Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy. The first –“The Hunger Games: How Glorious Fall the Valiant (‘Careers’ as Spartan Warriors)” — was published on May 28, 2012.]
Hunger Games author Suzanne Collins has acknowledged that her series was significantly influenced by classical mythology and history, especially the Greek myth of “Theseus and the Minotaur” and the gladiator games of ancient Rome (Collins, “A Conversation”). But there are other classical stories that bear a striking resemblance to the events in the Hunger Games arena. In the timely descent of those little silver parachutes – each one delivering life-saving food, medicine, or tools – readers can see an echo in the gifts and aid the Olympian gods sent to their chosen heroes in Greek mythology. Likewise, the manipulation of the arena’s environment by the all-powerful Game Makers is reminiscent of the way the gods used weather and other natural elements to help or hinder mortal champions. Two famous classical tales particularly illustrate these ideas.
Happy Friday the 13th!! Hope you’re not superstitious. I know I plan to have black cats crossing my path all day long as I have 5 of them. 🙂
Here’s a blast of various stories and links with a few probably not so pithy comments by me. Enjoy!
First up, Daniel Radcliffe will be hosting Saturday Night Live for the first time this weekend. From the story I read apparently he can be funny. So, if you like that sort of thing, be sure to check him out.
In other Potter news, the President of China has declared a culture war against Harry Potter, along with people and things like Lady Gaga and The Transformers films, as being destructive to Chinese culture and unity. Now, while I agree that Lady Gaga and The Transformers would eat away at the cultural foundations of any nation, I wouldn’t say the same for Harry Potter. Hu Jintao, the President, has called for the Communist Party to respond with some culture of its own, forgetting, as the article aptly points out, that government cannot really produce “culture” on demand. Check out the full article for all the details. (H/T to Carrie-Ann Biondi for the previous two links.)
First official trailer out for The Hunger Games movie. Debuted this morning on Good Morning America. Thoughts? Really excited for this movie? Couldn’t care less? Think they’ll do a good job or botch it horribly? Let us know!
[Update] The trailer has been pulled off of Youtube, but you can find it here at Entertainment Weekly. Thanks to Jenna for the link.
I don’t normally pay attention to various awards, except in a tangential way, but I did take note of last year’s nominees for the Nebula Awards, which are given out by the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. They’ve been presenting these awards in various categories since 1965, which just happens to be when I was born, not that this has anything to do with my post. 🙂
Anyway, they do also have some other awards, one of which is the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, which we’ve discussed here in the past, is one of the nominees. I really don’t recognize any of the other books, except for one, that it’s up against, so I’m curious if anyone else is familiar with some of the books and what chances you think Mockingjay has of winning. Personally I thought Mockingjay the weakest book in Collins’ trilogy, but I think it has good chances of winning.
I just finished reading Mockingjay an hour ago and am still reeling.
It’s as much of a page-turner as the two previous books in the trilogy. It’s a masterpiece screed on war and its impact, and the terrible things people do and the sacrifices they make. I had a hard time with it because I don’t like horror, and the dystopian horror is cranked to 11. Collins’ imagination is stunning.
I’m no literary critic. I recognized the strong literary alchemy and some symbolism, but want to give some early impressions as a reader, because that’s what I am first and foremost. Please check out John Granger at Hogwarts Professor; he’s enlarging on the deeper meanings and scaffolding of the book. I’ll just lightly touch on some things here to get the conversation going.
ALERT—SPOILERS beyond this point.