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Rowling, etc.

Michael Bérubé, on how his son discovered narrative by way of Harry Potter:

This is one of the lessons of the series: the people in charge are often capricious, clueless, and cruel. Jamie could have been horrified by this, but he wasn’t. Instead, he began to ask about things like “innocence” and “justice.” So the philosopher Martha Nussbaum, in Poetic Justice: The Literary Imagination and Public Life (1995), gets at this critical question by way of Charles Dickens, and Jamie Bérubé gets at it by way of J. K. Rowling—so what? One’s a prolific novelist who writes triple-deckers packed with plot twists and idiosyncratic characters, and the other is a pop-cultural phenomenon with an enthusiastic American readership and a line of products—_A Christmas Carol_ chief among them—that has spawned all manner of spinoffs and tie-ins.

Read the whole thing. I’d add more, but the damn cat woke me up at 4 o’clock this morning and wouldn’t let me fall back asleep, so I’m finding coherence difficult at the moment. (It didn’t help that I was up late last night, reading.) That’s two nights in a row he’s been obnoxiously nocturnal. I suspect it’s payback for having left him (and Jane) alone all last week. Tonight before bed I will run him with the hope that he’ll be exhausted and sleep through the night.

I was up late because I was finishing Eugenides’ Middlesex, which I must admit I was prompted to read—after it had sat on the shelf two years after K had finished it—by Oprah. Without saying more than is shallow: I like it; it doesn’t sustain the excellence of the first 200 pages; and it’s something like what Lizardbreath says, and is much in keeping with Colapinto’s As Nature Made Him—but not entirely.



FYI, “I will run him” means I’ll drag a string around the house for an hour and force him to chase it the whole time. Just in case you wondered.

A laser pointer might be a good investment.

It might be—for someone who’s lazy.