Thursday, July 19, 2007

Oh Snape, are you evil, or just misunderstood?

In a little more than 24 hours I will be at Powell's Books in a sea of freaky-excited kids (and their even freakier & more excited parents) waiting to get my hands on a big fat wonderful chunk of book. I can't wait! I reread Half-Blood Prince a couple of weeks ago and I have my theories, but I can't wait for J.K. Rowling to wash them all away in a slew of unpredictable twists and turns. I'm sure she will. I can't even decide if I hope Snape is good or bad! On the one hand, it seems like she's set him up in this horrible role (horrible for him, I mean, great for the reader) where he might really be a good and loyal character who has to seem bad. I kind of think that Dumbledore told him to kill him. In book 6 Dumbledore made Harry promise he would do as he said, no matter what it was. So did he make Snape promise the same thing? Did he make Snape kill him, for some very important reason? Maybe. And what could be worse than to be believed evil when you're not, to have to let others believe you ARE what you're actually fighting AGAINST? To let yourself be tainted by that association, possibly forever?

I read an amazing novel a year or so ago called A Thread of Grace, and it concerned the end of WWII in Northern Italy, how Italian peasants hid Jews from the Nazis. And there was one character who was an Italian who spied for the Resistance by seeming to be a Nazi crony. The most haunting of many haunting things I took away from that book was this: at the end of the war, many resistance fighters were executed as collaborators in the frenzy of "justice" after the occupation ended. I'm sure it must have happened in France too. How awful is that? I can't get it out of my head. They were summarily executed. They'd been seen with the Nazis being all cozy and smoking cigars or whatever, so they were assumed to be collaborators and were hanged or shot without trials, without giving anyone a chance to vouch for them. Awful. So if Snape is in that position, I really really feel for him. What a terrible sacrifice to have to make!

Or, maybe he's just a vile and wicked villain. I don't know! In a few days I'll know! Man. An era comes to an end.

I have not yet been to a midnight Potter release party and I wouldn't miss this one for anything. I will be taking my 11-year-old niece and 9-year-old cousin first to see Order of the Phoenix and then to Powell's for the late-night party. And, as Miss Erin pointed out, I have kind of a "Tonks" thing going on now. I should go in costume! Anyone got a spare wizard robe? Magic wand?

Here's a very interesting Washington Post article on Arthur Levine, the U.S. editor of the Potter books. Check it out. Good stuff.

Enjoy your Potter, fellow junkies! I'll meet you back here in a few days to discuss Snape!

P.S. After I kept seeing "the first annual Kidlitosphere Conference" mentioned on blogs here and there, I couldn't help myself. Late late last night when my reasoning faculties were weak and my airline-website-navigating fingers were strong, I got tickets to Chicago for Jim and myself. This "conference" sounds so fun. I'm always envious when I read about "kidlit drinks night" that those cool New Yorkers are always having -- and this will be a kind of bigger and better version of that. It's a bonanza of kidlit bloggers like "Fuse #8" + writers like Barry Lyga and Ysabeau Wilce. And it's in Chicago, where I have never been. Yippeeee! And as if all that isn't cool enough, it turns out the Field Museum just opened a Darwin exhibition that is "the most complete collection of Charles Darwin's manuscripts, artifacts, memorabilia, and other rare personal belonging" -- it even traces the voyage of the Beagle. So cool. I LOVE natural history museums, and the Field Museum has the biggest T-Rex skeleton in the world. Her name is Sue and she's awful pretty!


Frida said...

Ooooowww! We have to wait so long for things to get here. I'm still waiting for my copy of "Faeries of Dreamdark" which was posted from Portland ages ago. Please give spoiler warnings on posts about Snape so I can avert my eyes until the distant future when my copy of "Deathly Hallows" finally gets here.

Little Swing Fairy said...

Hey Laini,

I will be there in line too...but 8 hours ahead of you! Whoo Hoo! I knew there was at least 1 advantage to this time zone thingy! At 01.01 tonight (midnight in London, 10.00 Portland time) I will get my hot little hands on the Deathly Hollows. I'm in the Snape is good camp- I think he made an unbreakable vow with Dumbeldore to carry out Draco's mission. This worked out rather nicely with the vow he made with Draco's mother...and gave him cred on both sides. Should be an interesting ride. Can't wait! I won't call and spoil it (like I would LOVE to to do my sister!) but I envision more conversations in the future on our mate Harry...

Did I tell you my theory about Dumbledore and the socks? Don't know if it will pan out now...but you never know!

Ciao (dag!)


xegbp said...

I completley agree about Snape. Probably because I love Alan Rickman so much that I can not image him evil and want him to have a good ending in the movie!

Chicago will be beautiful in October. As I live here and love it I can not say enough about its greatness. You must let me treat you and Jim to the best Cupcakes(Southport Bakery) in the enitre world at one of the best independent bookstores in the the entire world if you have time during your stay! Ask Alex about the cupcakes, seriously they are the best thing I have ever eaten!

Rilla said...

Snape is good, Snape is good, Snape is good...but if that's so, what a waste of a juicy evil character...I think playing the villain is sooooo much more fun than the good guys...but that's only acting of course, in real life...there are so many of them out there...and it's no fun at all.
I have to admit I did not pre-order H7 and it will have to wait until I'm done with DreamDark anyways. I've been really slow at reading for the last of couple of weeks...but I promise I'll have a review before SCBWI.
The Darwin exhibition sounds must write a full report. I haven't been to Chicago in yonks and would love to see say hi to Sue from me ;)

radiogirl said...

Hi! Erratic visitor here...

that I am SO glad I am not the only one who thinks Snape might have been acting upon Dumbledore's instructions. I just re-read book 6, too, and I really think there was something else happening there under the surface.

Tinker said...

My younger daughter went to the B&N Harry Potter party last night to get her reserved copy - I'm being cheap, as I have with the other ones, and waiting till she's done, to read her copy. I'm not ready for it to end yet, anyway.

What a heartbreaking situation for those resistance fighters - and possibly for Snape, too...though the conflict in fiction does make for more interesting reading - I don't even want to imagine how awful it must be to be in that position in real life!*shudder*

That conference sounds like fun - bring back lots of info and photos!

HipWriterMama said...

Hope you're enjoying the book now!

Amber said...

You haven't posted in a while, so me-thinks you're busy reading! :-)

Jone said...

I have decided to go to the kidlit conference. How can I not go? Never been to Chicgo either. October is a busy month for me.

fusenumber8 said...

Woo-hoo! I'll be seeing you in Chicago then. Most excellent. That's worth the price of the airline ticket alone.

I will now go pretend that you will write me some additional Snape stories.

khambagirl said...

I just got my Powell's Kids Book List for the month. The first book listed was, none other than.... Faeries if Dreamdark, by Laini Taylor!!!!