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Updated: Portions of Forthcoming Chapter, 'Galley Proofs' As It Were. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
wemyss
wemyss
Updated: Portions of Forthcoming Chapter, 'Galley Proofs' As It Were.
For those who are members of the fic group, those who wish to be, and those who run screaming from the prospect alike, an announcement that may bore all of you to tears.

Roughs of two major parts of the next chapter are available for review, criticism, mocking, editorial pouncing, blue-pencil-wielding, or snark and whinge. (Please do be of age.)

They are:

Portion of Chapter Ten (Rough) Regarding Throwing Pots. Nev, Draco, and Harry take a tour.

Portion of Chapter Ten (Rough) Regarding Remus Lupin, Tom Riddle, and The Perils of Self-Examination. Remus reflects on the history of an orphaned boy.

Feel free to have at them, and their author, with the usual broad-axe.

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32 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: balfrog Date: June 19th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
So, silly me - I find it easier to post and discuss in the LJ format than on groups. Completely arbitrary.

But I cackled through half of GIGH last night - and only left one review. Same goes for this one - it's so long been one of the fics I enjoy reading, so thoroughly, at the jokes, and casually tossed out (off?) references every other word, that it's become more of a reading experience that I don't put my snarly hat on for.

haha

Because it's a highly enjoyable, wry play of conversations between/amongst people, and that's what's best about it - that I don't really have to give up the enjoyment of the moment to think "plot! plot!" where's that action-packed ending?

Though, stupid stupid me, I didn't pick up on Neville's Yorkshire accent until today.

And the Riddle piece? That was just perfect. More conventionally fic, than GIGH, of course, but chilling just that way.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 19th, 2005 04:47 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, My. Thanks, Love.

It sounds as if all is working as intended, from that.

Do, please, pick at anything that wants picking at, though. Or not: enjoy it as you will.
avus From: avus Date: June 20th, 2005 03:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Would love to read & comment on your rough drafts. But I'm not a member of your group. I've "applied", but I will confess that my ability to sort through all the technical pieces has often been rather low. If I have problems getting in, I'll let you know.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 20th, 2005 02:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

My Dear Gaffer!

We're delighted to have you. You're 'in'.

We could use a psychotherapist 'on establishment'.
avus From: avus Date: June 20th, 2005 02:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: My Dear Gaffer!

I'd be careful about that. We psychotherapists can be a weird & disruptive lot. Isn't there supposed to be some unsavory reason why we're psychotherapists?
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: June 20th, 2005 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Comments, pt 1

For I do witter on so. ^^

But the Seconds Club were a greater threat to Harry’s peace – yes, and Cousin Ferret’s – than ever the Witches of their acquaintance were.
*giggles* Oh good, then it's -their- turn. And by way of my very favourite female character, too!

It had sometimes caused to her wonder if this sort of thing was why arranged marriages lasted longer and better than those that followed upon some years of living together in the modern fashion.
*snerks at the litany of Harry's 'sins'* I love that girl. And these lines. And, well, she does sort of have a point. ^^

He was like the young Churchill in India, after Sandhurst, making up for lost time by reading everything he could get his hands on (Ginny consulted her copy of Colonel Bellowes every morning: it was her job).
*grins faintly and resolves to read Stalky & Co again---but not just before bedtime*

Ginny knew these things: it was her job.
I love this repetition...

It was, after all, her job to know these things, as Head of the Department of Mysteries and Chief Unspeakable as successor to old Dung Fletcher.
I love that girl. Pardon, woman.

Although he pretended not to know, he was well aware that Ginny Creevey had a very extensive dossier on him, including that perfectly explicable incident in the drag club with Harry at home asleep and innocently unaware of his absence at said club, but largely devoted to the file labelled, ‘MALFOY D, THINGS HE HAS SAID THAT WILL GET HIM KILLED SOONER OR LATER BY SOMEONE’.
*cackles madly--and oh heavens, the things!


No, Luna reflected, Harry could stand the gaff. It was the others who might crumple like a Snorkack’s horn.
I worship Luna. ^^


Nev, meanwhile, sitting happily in his potting shed with his pipe drawing well and a pint positioned rather precariously next his elbow, was amused alike by Draco, Ginny, and his beloved Luna. Harry would go his own road, any road, and that were t’whole of it. No one else’s worriting would have slightest effect, b’gum. And if truth were told, Twins had better notion than usual. But Harry would react as Harry would, and there weren’t anything they could do about that. Besides, he reflected, chuckling – which caused the flutterby-bush cuttings he was grafting to jiggle sympathetically – if Harry got worked up over aught, he had therapy to hand.
*grins madly* I believe I declare my admirations of Our Nev not less than twice a minute?


‘“Throwing pots”, Harry? Throwing pots? You may call that therapy,’ Draco had huffed, tossing aside his half-read Arbiter – the Wizarding world’s Spectator – ‘but to me, heaving crockery at the wall and smashing up the tea set is a tantrum, and I’m rather by way of being an expert in the art of the tantrum!’
And here he's got it as his -name-, Draco dearie... ^^

Shimmering, the outline of a building emerged, long and low in parts, its silhouette punctuated by sudden heights where tall rooms with pitched roofs and clerestory were set in the midst of all, flanked by curious shapes that resolved into mighty kilns. It solidified, took on form and detail, became real. A house-elf with the bustling air of a master foreman came towards them at a trot, nodding to Harry with dignity and due but not overawed respect.
Gorgeous, this and the preceding litany of names.

Nev chuckled: he knew what Harry was going to say. T’lad were predictable.
And no less adorable for it; perhaps the more. ^^

Draco looked small and abashed. It worked: Harry hugged him. Over Harry’s shoulder, Draco ghosted a wink at Nev, who was smiling broadly, shaking his head. T’ferret were fawce, sly, and incorrigible.
*giggles*

‘I thought – but.’ Draco furrowed his brow. ‘The land looks right, but the houses aren’t like ours. Thatch? Brick? Neither flint nor slate nor stone, nor even timber as in Steeple Ashton! Are you sure we’re in Wilts?’
I love the tone of his voice here--leastwise, in my head.

Draco dropped to one knee, grace instinct in every movement, and lightly laid his hand upon the warm turf, closing his eyes for a brief moment as he said a simple Culdee prayer. Then he rose again, and composed himself to listen to his Harry.
...for who needs to say anything?
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: June 20th, 2005 05:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Comments, pt 2



It’s nowt different to any place in England, lad, but it be thi country and thi folk.’

*cackles at the story of the earl*

‘Love, there’ve been Muggles here for seven thousand years, and for most of them, we dwelt amongst them in harmony. Their stories are the stories of our shared land, the fields we know. They’re here because of the ford and the way and the land and the clay; well, so are we, still, with a small works at Fritham and the distribution centre hidden behind Morgan’s Vale C of E Primary School. The house-elves sometimes help the children on the sly. They do love children, the eccentric little beggars.

*snickers* Oh dear, oh dear. ^^


‘Harry –’

‘Love?’

‘But where are we?’

‘I told you,’ Harry laughed. ‘Gloucestershire. Stroud District. Looking down towards St James the Great parish church.’

‘Harry! This is a place I’ll want to come back to. Now tell me the name of the bloody town, so we can.’

Harry grinned. ‘Dursley.’

‘You’re taking the piss.’

‘No, love. This is Dursley town. Don’t look at me like that, I can’t help it if Vernon looked more like a Gloucester Old Spot than a man whose family derived from a quaint village.’

‘You’re not telling me the Potters had a pottery here.’

‘Lord, no. All limestone oolite, this. No good clay. This was a wool town. And then heavier industry, after. But the wealth that built that church and that market house? All wool.’

*grins madly*


‘But, damn it all! Will I never reach the time when I am not still casually uncovering the lies and the rubbish Lucius spoon-fed me with? Damn it, if I had the bastard here before me, I’d kill him all over again!’

‘Now, lad,’ Nev rumbled. ‘No way to treat your pet budgie.’
*giggles with relief*


‘Blanxy is showing Master Harry and his Dragon the works, sir, and Master Nev. Blanxy is being proud to do. Master Harry is honouring the works by bringing his Dragon here – and not before time, Master Harry, sir.’

Draco smiled to himself. Mummy had always said, The very grammatical structures the little buggers bring over from their own tongue are passive-aggressive. Still, it was past time Harry had let him in on this aspect of their joint holdings. And he supposed it was better to be ‘Harry’s Dragon’ than – as his cousin the Weasel was – ‘Harry’s Wheezy.’
Ya think? ;p *giggles more, not that she seems to have really stopped, by this*


‘But this is like potions,’ Draco said, watch Harry’s deft manipulation of the materials. ‘The oxides and the elements, the grain and the decorations, and all. You’re absolute pants at potions.’

‘Yes, well, they’re not tactile enough. I’m rather a tactile person.’

‘I know,’ Draco grinned, trailing the merest touch along Harry’s jawline.

‘Keep that up and I’ll bollix this, and then you’re sans gift,’ Harry warned.
*snerks*


As if pottery wasn't cool enough already, you had to put magic in it! And all understandable, too...


‘Christ,’ said Draco, his shoulders slumping. ‘Did my – did Lucius ever once tell me the truth about anything? Or was it all pure balls?’

‘Did he ever, even when you were quite small, tell you that you were special, and worthy, and destined for great things?’

‘Well, yes. Of course.’

Nev snorted, but Harry ignored him. ‘Then, Draco, my love, at least once or twice, he told you the truth.’
Waaaaa~i... ^^ (I loved the cider rant to bits, of course.)
avus From: avus Date: June 22nd, 2005 04:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Not sure if this is the proper place to comment, but I can't seem to find a spot anywhere else, so I'll set my first down here, and you can shove me anywhere else you want.

Pottery portion.

Not sure I have much useful to add. Part of it may be that I'm nowhere near this part of your story. But I'll give it a go.

Style: Glorious writing, as always. You have some truly virtuoso sentences in the Ginny section. They have the structural variety, the conversational sinuosity that I love.

And you might be a bit cautious. There were a few sentences that threatened to escape into obscurity and even pushed this reader. The 2nd paragraph is pure delight & virtuosity. My overall suggestion, though -- when you get to the third paragraph, while there are some pithy delights (e.g., "Familiarity had not bred contempt, but it assuredly hadn't bred, either."), I'd suggest cutting a couple of the longer ones in two. Might be kinder to the reader, unless (and not having read the story to this point), of course, this is Ginny's style, and so -- as w/ Neville's dialect, so, too Ginny's "thought/sentence construction, as it were. Even then, though, consider one or two more full-stops there, and in similarly lengthy Ginny parargraphs.

The same w/ Nev. Taken in short bursts, he's a delight. But when the whole paragraph goes on a bit in Nev-dialogue, I find myself flagging. (Could be it's late at night.

You do length in a different way than I do. As a musician, I tend to work with repetitive structure, which has different dangers, and can get tiresome in its own ways. Not writing as you do in building long conversational sentences, I apologize for not being able to give specifics beyond what I've said. And, of course, my reaction may be idiosyncratic, and so if little use. Mostly, is there a way of slightly tempering (and I mean "slightly" tempering -- no pun intended) the style, while preserving it's overall flair & intent.

Your paragraph on Malfoy, D's "Things he has said that will get him killed sooner or later" was pure joy. The following was wonderful Luna -- perception, right on the target, buried under all that weirdness. Bravo -- in character & psychologically astute is a tough mix to pull together.

Next post on content rather than style.

Hope this helps, and always encourages. And keep in mind, your writing is damned fun to read, and that's high praise, giving the level of sophistication you demand from your reader.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 22nd, 2005 02:27 pm (UTC) (Link)

Definitely Useful. The Sort of Eye I Welcome, In Fact.

And this is a perfectly proper forum for it.

I'm especially relieved, as, when it does happen, I invariably am, to hear that Luna 'works'.

I suspect you're quite right about the paragraphing and the nead for a break or two. I'll certainly be giving that aspect a longish look now.

And so onwards, then....

avus From: avus Date: June 22nd, 2005 05:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Now the content side.

You're making what, to me, is a very British point. You folks are awash in history, your history, in a way a Yank can never be. We, on the other hand, are awash in technology (gag!) or nature (my preference). In a way, by visiting your country, I saw my own more clearly (though could only, of necessity, glimpse yours). In the same way, in reading your writing on magic, I see my own more clearly, but am hanging on by my finger tips to yours.

We both treat, very seriously, the ethics & origins of magic, the responsibilities which flow from this, and the broadening of a humane approach. But you come to it from such a different -- and delightfully different; I love differences -- understanding.

Your England is a land of people, above and below ground -- its history a history of people. We're a wilder folk out here, taking our music less from 15th c. harmonized patriotic hymns & war, and from Handel, than from the music of wind in the pines, and thunder echoing from mountains near three miles high from sea-level, and the hummingbird's wings, the fox's cries. You give a wonderful description of dairy cattle (my wife was raised on a dairy farm, still horse-farmed). Our distinctive cattle, what causes my blood to stir, are the long-horns. And we try to get out to the wild horse preserve each year, which borders on wilderness -- on land that stretches for dozens of miles and more, seeing nothing that couldn't be seen 2,000 years ago and with pathways made largely by animals.

Do you see? Your magic comes from people & their craft. Mine from the land and its living wildness. Let me copy a quote from the draft of my Ch 25, not quite at rough draft stage. It's from Thoreau's Walden:

We need the tonic of wildness, to wade somtimes in marshes where the bittern and the meadow-hen lurk, and hear the booming of the snipe; to smell the whispering sedge where only some wilder and more solitary fowl builds her nest, and the mink crawls with its belly close to the ground. At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn al things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land a sea be infinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature. We must be refreshed by the sight of inexhaustible vigor, vast and titanic features, the sea-coast with its wrecks, the wilderness with its living and its decaying trees, the thunder cloud, and the rain which lasts three weeks and produces freshets. We need to witness our own limits transgressed, and some life pasturing freely where we never wander."

We're both doing the same thing, but how I transgress our limits and how you do, I sense, are Yank & Brit.

So I'm nattering on, most likely tiresome, but I find your writing, as I've said, a similar but different approach -- we're saying similar things, but in such different ways, and seeking them out from such different sources. ANd that, to me, is pure pleasure, and why I so enjoy, not just your writing, which is great fun, but what you write about. One of my teachers, Gene Gendlin, once advised me that, when I read a work of philosophy in a language I didn't understand, to get several translations. Each translation is an interpretation, and a deepening & expansion, of what's said. By reading the differences, I broadened the meaning, the same meaning, yet opened up & lived in different directions.

That's what your writing is doing so well for me. That's what I treasure about it.

Now, at the risk of seeming churlish, I have one thought you might consider regarding content change. I have been privileged to travel to several places you mention. Yes, the diversity can be fun, but at least for me -- all the place names.... Well, perhaps it's a teeny bit name-dropped, and my readerly sharpness was blunted cutting through so many proper place names. Maybe consider pruning just a bit?

But perhaps this is the slightest flaw which highlights the perfection. Know you've done a good job.

I'd like to say a bit about your references to war. Next post. (God, I do go on & on!)
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 22nd, 2005 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

It's A Matter of Pastoral, Isn't It.

As you rightly surmise, below - and indeed, I've never concealed the fact, which has come up naturally in FA discussions, though I am no more specific than this - as you rightly surmise, I am indeed ex-Army, as is traditional in my family save for a few on the mater's side who swanned about in the adamantly Senior Service, the Navy. Most of the Americans I know - and I am vy pro-American, in part as a result, in part because I find anti-Americanism at once an ingratitude and an inanity - are Army types, and they have proven to me what an American correspondent has suggested, that the US Army has always, save for five years in the 1860s, been Southern in ethos and largely in personnel, whilst the US Navy has always been New-England in mind and manpower.

Knowing mostly Southerners and some New-Englanders - the most settled and long-settled of Americans, dwelling in landscapes not without layered history - as my representative Americans, therefore, I perhaps tend to forget that 'wildness' and 'wilderness' are to many Americans something more than the Coleridge-infused effusions of Romantics and Transcendentalists, of Thoreau and John Muir. (Coleridge, of course, was from Ottery St Catchpole - I mean, Ottery St Mary. Doubtless a Weasley collateral.)

The thing is, I think, that the English tradition is the Classical pastoral, in which Arcady is not Snowdonia or the Highlands but a landscape bearing the impress of man, a place safe from wilderness or at least wild-ness. The American Romantic tradition is derived, ultimately, from the extreme Protestant immersion in the Old Testament, lions and desert prophets and Job's confronting and questioning the whirlwind.

That said, on a more mundane level, I wanted to avoid suggesting any Peter-Pantheist bollocks about magical theory and the earth and ley-lines and all that shower, not because I personally think it a load of old, well, never mind, but because the all-too-common fanon motif of a 'pagan'-ised Potterverse annoys me immeasurably as being wilfully uncanonical.

You are, I think, right about the Baedeker elements. I find, as I believe JKR finds, place-names (and surnames taken from them) intoxicating, and it seems to have been too readily apparent that I do. The purpose of including them is not denotation, but connotation, the long impress of the Potters on the land whilst the Malfoys have sequestered themselves; but it wants to be better done, as you rightly note - for which I thank you.
avus From: avus Date: June 22nd, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: It's A Matter of Pastoral, Isn't It.

I'm not sure if I'm mentioned this, but my family, too, has a long military traidition, but not "professional" military tradition. They volunteer and/or are drafted for the wars. Some officers, some "enlisted" or NCO's, but maintaining a very civilian approach to the Army, still committed to a civilian army in a democracy.

Very different in the South and from professional military families.

We remain skeptical yet respectful. It's what the family has had to do, not at all what they wanted to do. A necessary, sometimes/often a proud, but always a reluctant & tragic duty. Does that make sense? And a believe that a professional army, in a democracy, must always be not only in the firm control, overall, of civilians, w/ all the problems that represents, but also leavened with a strong civilian element within the ranks, so to speak. Not that we think the military not as an honorable profession, just not our profession and, like all important professions (religious, political, medical, psychotherapy), having problems that need outside overview, and careful overview at that. Too important to be left to professionals, if that makes sense.

I couldn't agree more w/ your view of English countryside, and the East & South tend more in the English direction. Midwest, wilder south & West.... I could, in a day's hike from my back deck, walk in places where another human hasn't specifically walked in, perhaps, several hundred years. Man's impress, here, is slight, overall.

What emerges from this, and from Thoreau, as opposed to fandom, isn't a Pan-theism, as I understand the term. Let me try to explain it. I was taking a psychological training, very intense with the same group over a two-year persion. One of the trainers talked about what was & wasn't living. A good friend, who was a quarter Native American, quietly & confidently said, "My grandmother believes that mountains are alive." Another naturalist, Aldo Leopold, wrote a wonderful essay, much of it based in the souther New Mexico mountains, entitled "Thinking Like a Mountain." Yes, these could be thought of as pan-theism. And some of what I'm writing could be so thought, in Getting Harry Back. But it's more a respect of life, and life beyond the only human, that having value & importance, crucial importance. Thoreau once wrote, I think in his journals, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." That, in the States, esp. here out West, is where we're closest to magic. Can you sense that different from Pantheism, esp. in the context of the Thoreau quote given earlier? Or do I need to make it clearer, give more aspects?

And, yes, what you delightfully call the "Baedeker" elements -- we didn't have those guides here, "back then" (do you recall some of the Blitz being called the Baedeker raids?) -- I got your point, but had to struggle, just a bit, to hang onto it in the reading. For me, at least, a bit less might be more.
avus From: avus Date: June 22nd, 2005 05:25 am (UTC) (Link)
Forgive me for one more diversion. It makes the point I made in my previous posting -- Yank/nature & Brit/history.

Pottery. When I hiked through English fields, it was not unusual to come upon various broken bits of old china & crockery. (I brought a few back.) Here, when we hike, the pottery -- much rarer -- is Native American. They had no wheel -- it was coiled, then pinched, then smoothed. It's still made that way. WE have several pieces we cook out of. Micacious clay pottery -- no slip at all. Giving a subtle clay-rich flavor to the beans or stew of what-have-you, slow-cooked throughout the day, because of high altitude. And the unique qualities of its cooking, not just its flavoring, comining more from the micaceous clay than from the human craft. Not to fault or putdown human craft -- not at all. Just different, perhaps symbolically different.

Now, I've long suspected that your people & mine both came from war. (I have given you a bit of family hx on that, haven't I? My family's been fighting -- and sometimes dying -- since the early 17th c. over here & other places.) I strongly suspect your military background or training. It shines through in your writing. (You needn't comment on that.)

And here, though we may not be far apart, I think we see & feel war differently. For you, war has its courage & glory & duty well-done, all of which are true, though I confess I'm a bit uncomfortable with the glory part. I suspect this is a tradition, an honorable tradition. For me, in my current work (working, as I do, w/ so many children whose parents are in Iraq, some for the second & third time), and in my family's background, war is sometimes necessary, appallingly necessary. And it's ugly & brutal & tragic and transforming in ways both good & nasty -- can't seem to pull those two apart in that. And whenever war involves children -- as it does in the Harry Potter books -- it's outrage, so far beyond mere child abuse, it's war crimes & unspeakable.

Yet I'm so glad you speak the unspeakable. B/c so damn much of fandom thinks of war so shallowly, which you never do, when it thinks of war at all, which it mostly doesn't.

Issues of war & children & morality, as we both well-know, are at the heart of the Potter series, even though it's equally clear that JKR doesn't see it that way. At best, she sees it as a struggle of good & evil, which is both true, and a truth she applies in such a way as to make it bordering on false.

It's late. I need to sleep as tomorrow is a busy day, with many challenging clients. But I would like to begin a dialogue, a conversation (not, by any means, a contention or a dispute) on this topic. You clearly see beyond what you've beautifully called her "fairytale trope". (Have your ever sung any Gregorian tropes?) I suspect you have direct experience in these matters. I have no direct experience, but can draw on some indirect, and try to do so accurately & respectfully. A coming together here might be interesting.

And I may have just misunderstood. (I often do!)

So, as I said, at the beginning, if this isn't the proper place to respond. Please feel free to haul my comments over to wherever they best belong, with my apologies.

Hope this, if it doesn't help, intrigues or at least amuses. ANd most of all, I hope this encourages, which is what it is meant to do. And it's meant to do that, b/c your writing highly merits encouraging.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: June 22nd, 2005 03:50 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Natural Occupation of Man.

Robert Graves claimed that Winston, when First Lord in the 1914 War, told Graves, then a subaltern, 'But war is the natural occupation of man! War - and gardening!' Very Churchillian, and, I suppose, very English.

As I noted, I have never not disclosed having been a peace-time soldier of no particular attainments. (I simply don't mention such identifying elements as what regiment, troop, battery, or other unit - you see how cagey I am - I served with, or its precedence in seniority.) I am no veteran of conflict, unlike my father and his generation (and every preceding one, I imagine), but I do stand in a family tradition that is also the national tradition in parvo. The Channel, unlike the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, has not save in poetry been a real 'moat defensive' in some time, after all: which may explain the English preference for manicured lawns in a very peaceful Arcady in contrast to wilderness.

What I had hoped to set up: and your response suggests I may have done: is the contradiction of war. To Tom Riddle, the events of the Blitz were an indictment of Muggles generally, and contributed to what he became and how he thought. He became, in a sense, one of those who proclaim moral equivalency between a despotism and a democracy when the two are at war; if anything, his sympathies were with the former. (One wonders if George Galloway is related to the Riddles.) Nev and Harry, veterans (as indeed is Draco, though in a staff billet) of the fight against what Riddle became, see the occasional necessity of just war, and, in a very special sense, its glory. Not the jejune idea of glory, the Boy's Own vision, but glory as understood by two of war's greatest practitioners, the duke of Wellington in Great Britain and RE Lee in America: glory as the daughter of duty faithfully performed.

Or as Drake put it, 'There must be a beginning of any great matter, but the continuing to the end until it be thoroughly finished yields the true glory'. After all, 'Not once or twice in our rough island-story /
The path of duty was the way to glory'. It's the duty I want to focus on and contrast to Riddle's views.

Draco says, very early on in every chapter, in the framing flash-back, that victory means that they are all now free to live as they please. As a war objective, when the alternate prospect is slavery, that is worth any sacrifice, I suggest, and that is the message Nev and Harry at least have taken from the war memorials and the country churchyards, from Potterne to Downton. It is different to Riddle's views, and choices, and that I think is the real theme here, even if it is a theme or motif that starts as secondary and surges forward only to fall back again and again until the final measures (think any Bach, or Vaughan Williams, or Sibelius's 2d Symphony).

You have the floor, Grandfather. I look forward to your further comments, all of which are indeed helpful in the extreme.
avus From: avus Date: June 22nd, 2005 09:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Natural Occupation of Man.

Your comments recall for me something Churchill wrote in his massive history of WWII, regarding his feelings on VE-Day. "We gave thanks to God for his most sublime gift: the sense we had done our duty."

England is keen on a sense of duty, of responsibility. Yanks are keener on a sense of independence. We, as a nation, would be wiser if we did have a sense of duty, a duty to something larger than ourselves or our well-being. Which is why, I suspect, you so often quote Cicero -- his keen sense of duty, of the people. (My decayed Latin remembers something like the Well-being or the good of the people is the highest or most supreme law. I've read almost no Cicero, and I feel that lack.)

And yet, duty on this side of the pond would never be confused with obedience, except in the sense that Socrates is obedient to that voice within himself, the voice of higher wisdom. For duty & wisdom, of course, can never be separated. Duty w/o wisdom becomes dangerous & blind. Wisdom w/o duty becomes irrelevant & impotent.

You are right, in that all of your non-Death Eater characters, but especially Harry & Draco, appear to be undergoing a long education on the meaning of duty & wisdom.

Riddle, of course, comes out of a long tradition stating there is no good except what I want, and if I have the power, then I will get what I want, and should. This is Draco's early education, though clearly he was able to learn otherwise. We both reject this, utterly, though it is the primary ethos of American business, and much of American politics, though somewhat modified, as I will discuss below.

And how he did that is a fascinating discussion. You imply what Socrates once demonstrated with a slave boy, understanding mathematics -- leading Plato to the point that knowledge isn't something we learn, but something inherent w/in us, and so something that (at least as translated into English) we "remember" or are "realled to."

A sense of right & duty, while it clearly needs education, is also inherent, naturally within man, in such a view. And appealing to that naturally within is all, truly, that one needs to get things started. Either duty is a fundamental building block within man -- such as a Freudian id or ego -- or it's our natural urge to the transcendent, our instictive, inborn push to ascend the hierarchy to something greater than ourselves. I'm not clear, given my reading only 2 chapters, plus this, that I know which you believe. (Have I misunderstood?)

Others would say that duty has a cultural basis. Duty is what we have learned, and it's invariably cultural. I would say that culture at least shapes, even strongly shapes. Lots of good evidence for that.

Still others would see duty as a practical problem in the relationships between men, one that has been worked out again & again. And duty, and the training of duty, the training of citizens (or subjects) -- an issue where ethics meets politics. As a pragmatic way to understand it, this has its points, too.

I agree with your definition of glory, and its sometimes & important link with duty, including military duty. Yet you bring up a fascinating point by your example of RE Lee. (You have been well-tutored by southerners. He's sort of their Vigin Mary.)

It is perfectly understandable that RE Lee saw his duty in the way he did. And I cannot think of it other than not glory, but a duty soiled.

Let me complete my post, with apologies for my long-windedness.
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