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!
Posted by Laini Taylor at 8:59 PM