Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Curse of the adult brain

I just finished the Harry Potter book. The first one. What a marvelous read. As I was reading, I kept lamenting that my adult brain inhibited my full enjoyment of it. If only Rowling had been writing when I was a kid. I can say without doubt that I would have would have eaten this up and lusted for more. But as an adult, the constant, overriding knowledge that wizards don't exist prevents me from losing myself, or letting go fully into the story. All the way through, I noted how excited this little bit, or that little bit would have made me as a boy.

Ah magic. Like most kids, it held me spellbound. The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Escape (and Return) to Witch Mountain, Freaky Friday and finally Star Wars all made a huge impact on me. Of course Bewitched was one of my all time fave shows. I used to try so hard, alone in my bedroom, to levitate things, I thought if I could just get the nose twitch right, I could do it.

I haven't shed all my belief in magic. In face, I still think there are a few undiscovered mysteries here on Earth. But a land of wizards and dragons and potions and spells?

No, those beliefs died along with my youth. I miss that naivete.

26 comments:

Ed said...

"Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you if you're young at heart." I sure would like to have a Cloak of Invisibility, that would be so cool. Harry Potter is such a little cutie, well not so little if those pictures on the internet are correct. LOL. I still remember a line form Cinderalla, "Impossible things are happening every day."

Lemuel said...

I find it curious that so many adults scoff and deride those among us who remain naïve, yet so many more of (myself included) mourn the loss of that innocence that brought such a sense of wonder and hope to life.

bardelf said...

Good on you, torn, for picking up Harry Potter. I'm such a fan of those books and movies. As a former librarian, I know directly how powerful they have become in getting middle school and junior high students -- even boys! -- to read again. They really are magical books!

Regarding Bewitched, I, too, loved that show. Ever notice how many real life gay men and women were stars on that show: Uncle Arthur, Endora, and the second Darin.

dirk.mancuso said...

I normally turn my nose up at fantasy novels (mostly because I hate all the made up names of people and countries), but the Harry Potter books are so much fun it's hard to resist.

And I too loved BEWITCHED (and I DREAM OF JEANNIE).

tornwordo said...

Oh my God, How could I have forgotten I dream of Jeannie?!

Petie said...

I finish each of Harry Potter book in one day (except for book six due to my feverish state of having tonsilitus).

And English is not my first language :p

I do like the book though

Dantallion said...

I still think there are a few undiscovered mysteries here on Earth.

Donald Trump's hair comes to mind...

Fatinah said...

my biggest sadness is that it all comes to an end in July! I have lost myself in each one of those books.

Sunshine said...

The HP books are my all time favourites. Ever since the first book, I've been completely spellbound. As unrealistic as the books are, I have no problem completely losing myself in Harry's world. Incidentally, I have a HP shrine next to my bed. :P

Chunks said...

Keep reading HP Torn, they get better and better with each one. One summer, I read all four (at the time there were only four) back to back and was just captivated.

JoeL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris said...

What's interesting about the Harry Potter books is that the writing improves as you get further along in the series. The first one, while an enjoyable read, is total kiddie lit. But by the third or fourth book, the author's using metaphors and introducing all sorts of adult themes.

It's as if JK Rowling took writing courses between each book.

JoeL said...

The first is great, but the others are similar. You will have different "challenges" but you'll know what I mean if you read the others.

Book 4 5 and 6 came out after the craze, you find a lot of fluff.

I like the movies.

Naïvete?!
Why do you think I'm sick?

David said...

I haven't read any of the Potter books, although I got sucked into the movies because a friend wanted to see the third one as part of his birthday celebration (yes, we are all adults).

My reads were the C.S. Lewis books, A Wrinkle in Time and anything by Piers Anthony, although I never got into Tolkein (but saw all the movies). I was fascinated by witchcraft and sorcery as well. I also loved the whole superhero genre and became a rabid X-Men fan. I loved super-normal abilities, whether from magic or mutation or technology.

I don't know if I ever stopped believing. I've just stopped thinking about the possibility.

Polt said...

Well of course you liked Bewtiched. I heard a comedian say once that I Dream Of Jeannie was for straight boys and Bewtiched was for gay boys. And ya know, it is SO true. :)

HUGS...

about a boy said...

i love fantasy! and am so glad youve ventured into the realm of wizards dragons potions and spells!

magic is alive in the world. its just not seen by everyone.

ive only read the first 2 books of the potter series i was waiting until they were all released. i guess i can finally get at them!

always believe!

Lewis said...

Daniel Ratcliffe. That's the only reason I'd read the book. Well, actually, that wouldn't take care of it. I'd have to see the movie. Not a fantasy or sci fi fan at all. But a Daniel fan, for sure.

GayProf said...

I enjoyed the books, but hate the sections on the sport. Even an imaginary sport involving wizards couldn't hold my attention.

When I was young, I thought the key to Bewitched-style magic was learning the right incantations. I can actually do an okay-ish nose twitch.

Lyvvie said...

The stories get a bit more mature after book three. Not like with sex or anything, but you can see the stories mature as the characters do. It's kind of weird but neat too.

Scottsdale Girl said...

What do you mean Wizards aren't real? ;)~

dawn said...

Escape to Witch Mountain!!!!

Awesome.

The great thing about kids reading the Harry Potter books is that they probably have a better imagination that us too, so the movie they are seeing in their head is probably amazing compared to us.

David said...

The sad part is we are told when we reach a certain age, we must put childish things behind us. There are many who say Harry Potter is for kids only and adults should not read them because we know that dragons and wizards are fantasy.

I think we should never forget what made us happy as children. I read alot of history books, but I still love fantasy books -though, I admit, not as much as I used to.

Harry Potter may be for kids, but for every adult who remembers the joy of play acting and spending hours wishing he was Emma Peel (or is that just me?), getting lost in the pages of these books reawaakens those halcyon days.

mainja said...

I can't reccomend enough the 'his dark materials' series by philip pullman (the golden compass, the subtle knife, the amber spyglass).

They are among the best books I have ever read in my life.

Also written for kids in theory.

Daniel, the Guy in the Desert said...

I still don't understand why some people insist how dark and demonic the books in the series are.
As to modern day magic, why don't you come with me into my magic cavern?

Cooper said...

I feel sorry for adults who haven't retained some of the magic they believed in so completely as children. It makes all the difference. This earth IS magic ... and the stars ...and the portals between them.

Jason said...

Finally, someone that's in my age bracket and can appreciate the same things.

Don't forget Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Loved that.