I’ve long been a devotee of Flavorwire’s Literary Mixtapes. Every so often the clever folks over there “sneak a look at the hypothetical iPods of some of literature’s most interesting characters” and provide their readership with a list and links. The character write-ups are pithy and thought provoking and the music is always interesting and often enjoyable. Some of my favorite mixes are:
Lyra Belacqua – “Here’s what we think Lyra would battle Mrs. Coulter, deceive Iofur Raknison, and read the alethiometer to.”
Harry Potter– “Here’s what we think Harry would be moping about, Wronski Feinting, and saving the world to.”
Ender Wiggin – “Here are the songs we think he’d calculate, strategize and defy gravity to.”
Earlier this year I was inspired to a couple of my own. The seed of that inspiration actually came not from “literature” per se but from a piece of Harry Potter fan fiction, albeit a very literary example of the type. Amends, or Truth and Reconciliation is the epic tale (as yet incomplete at 300,000 words – some of which I needed to look up) of what happened to Hermione after the war. Its complicated and dark, turning over all the rocks in the Potterverse and looking underneath them.
Perspective is nearly everything in fiction. Harry simply doesn’t pay attention to the complexities of the wizarding world the way Hermione does. So although wizarding world has authoritarian governments combated by underground resistant movements, rebel forces on the run, pirate radio stations and break ins at highly secure official installations, the seven Harry Potter books feel more like the story of one boy’s heroic brush with fate. Amends, told from Hermione’s perspective, is more complex and darkly nuanced and much more political. I spent most of September steeping myself in her combative, question-everything point of view and thoroughly enjoyed it. One of the results is this trio of playlists based on three of the main characters in the Amends plot line.
Wandless Incencio: Here are the songs I think Hermione would be time turning, writing code and plotting to overthrow the Ministry of Magic to.
Worth Twelve: Here’s what Neville would be pining, planting and pacing the Lancashire moors to.
House Arrest: And these are the tracks Draco would be stunt flying, sulking and re-evaluating his place in the world to.
8tracks doesn’t allow its users to list the songs in each mix (something to do with the legality of making music available for free on the internet – like Pandora there has to be an element of randomness). But each of the songs on the mix was chosen for a specific reason and, if you care to, you can read the liner notes for Hermione’s playlist, “Wandless Incendio” after the jump. Warning: it contains some spoiler alerts for the Amends plot line so beware. Read the rest of this entry »