Posts Tagged ‘Harry Potter’

Literary Mixtapes, 8tracks and Fan Fiction

December 14, 2011

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 »



July 21, 2011

Aren’t these great?  I found them here but think they originated here.

There wasn’t one for Ginny, which I thought was such a startling oversight that I made one myself.  Thanks for the inspiration pink-martini!  I hope you don’t mind.

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Fan Fun Weekend

July 19, 2011

The last Harry Potter Weekend has come and gone.  I enjoyed it to the max; I went to a midnight release with friends and dressed up as a Ravenclaw in uniform skirt, blue and grey striped tie, wand and robes adapted from my graduation gown.  My sister came over from Madison to see it with me again on Friday after work.  I quite enjoyed … but didn’t entirely love the movie.  I haven’t really processed it yet.

Uncertainty about the movie not withstanding, we celebrated Harry Potterdom to the max by discussing it ad nauseum while watching movies 5 thru 7a, preparing British foods  for dinner (Bubble and Squeak is great) and experimenting with Pumpkin Pasties for desert.  The recipe, as we executed it, was basically pumpkin pie filling cooked in a casserole dish until firm and then scooped into 4″ circles of pie dough, folded and crimped, then baked till brown.  They were delicious, if not very seasonally appropriate.

We also celebrated our favorite character with a mixed drink we’ve christened the “Strong Neville” adapted from the Backyard Bartender’s HP themed coctails.  We slightly upped both the lemon juice and simple syrup in an effort to make it slightly less alcoholic but no less delicious.  The result was, as promised: “a little fussy, quintessentially British, and unexpectedly strong.”  Her recipe:

Neville Longbottom
1.5 oz tea-infused gin
1 oz Pimm’s
.75 oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice
.75 oz simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass.

Tea-Infused Gin
In an airtight jar, combine 1.5 cups of gin and 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of loose English Breakfast tea leaves. Seal the jar, shake once, and allow to sit at room temperature for two hours. After two hours, open the jar and strain out the gin.

It was, all in all, a lovely weekend of fan fun.

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Incorrigible Fangirl

August 2, 2010

Anyone who knows me at all is already aware that I am an incorrigible fangirl.  I mention this now not because it really needs re-stating but as a warning that I think there’s about to be a flood of Harry Potter analysis and discussion and general fandom on this blog soon. I’m in the mood for it.

I’m in the mood for Harry Potter specifically, rather, because I’m pretty much always in the mood to geek out about some favorite fiction or other and will happily debate the most minor character or plot details from sun up to sun down with anyone so unwise as to get me started.  I read and re-read favorite series and find myself thinking of the people in them, both major and minor, as friends and relations.  When I really need to buckle down and work hard on something in my life for a few months I usually touch base with Alanna and Kel first to get inspired by the value of hard work.  When I need a mental vacation, I take it in middle earth.  If I feel like I need some momentum to push through and beat the odds, I turn to Star Wars.

I think what kicked off this Harry Potter furor is that I somewhat randomly picked up the soundtrack to the latest movie from the library and fell instantaneously and completely in love with it.  The Half Blood Prince score, by Nicholas Hooper is by far the best to date (I’m heart broken that he’s not slated to score the final two).  Listen here and then buy it!  I like John Williams as much as the next die hard Star Wars fan, but  this musical score completely outclasses the first three movies!  Its delicate and filled with a sense of yearning that complements rather than overplays the darker tone of the book.  Interestingly, the CD is also organized into a series of musical themes for characters or moments rather than simply tracking the plot of the movie minus sound effects and dialogue.  I’ve been listening too it pretty much non stop since I adding it to iTunes a few weeks ago.  The soundtrack made me curious to watch the movie again, which led to more movies over a weekend and then fired me up with a desire to re-read the books.  The result is that I’ve been steeping myself in the world of Hogwarts and wizards to the saturation point and now I need to share.

So (assuming this counts as an apology) you’re only going to get one apology.  Strap in.

Happy Birthday, Harry.

July 31, 2010

In case anyone is still paying attention its Harry Potter’s birthday today (He’s turning 30).  Actually its also J.K. Rowling’s.  And a very happy birthday to the both of them.

I’ve been on a bit of Harry Potter kick lately.  (My love for the series really knows no bounds.)  I re-watched several of the movies over the last couple of weeks and decided that its been too long since I read the books.  So … I’m starting again from the beginning.  More to follow …

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Mysterious Ticking Noise

April 7, 2010

I happened to watch Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my aunt and uncle when I was in Seattle.  (It was awful.  Chris Columbus should be ashamed of himself.  The movie versions have improved SO MUCH in recent years now that he’s no longer involved in them.  Thank goodness!)  But for some reason it reminded me of this video which I then re-watched and felt inspired to share.  Enjoy.

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