Okay, so last week I said that once Pottermore was done Mitchell and I would be starting something new that we’d mentioned before. That something is…
*dramatic drum roll noises*
The Harry Potter Re-Read! [official name to be decided].
Exactly what it sounds like, we’ll be doing a lengthy and in-depth read and analysis of all seven Harry Potter books. I may take a quick look at each film after we finish its book, just to comment on things that were added or changed and things I liked/disliked, but I know Mitchell isn’t so keen on the films so that will probably just be me. We haven’t decided yet.
This is a big project, folks. That means the unofficial weekly schedule I seem to have fallen into is going to vanish; these posts will take much longer to write. We have a certain amount of content already from past conversations about the series, but it’s going to need a lot of editing and polishing and we need to add more from actually re-reading the books, it’s been years since either of us last read them. We also live in different time zones and both work part-time, meaning scheduling time to work on this is going to prove interesting, and we’re likely to spend a lot of time laughing helplessly or getting sidetracked and ranting for pages about a single sentence, which will also add to the time.
When it starts, we’re going to be looking at the books in a lot of depth, focusing on worldbuilding, characterisation and plot holes, as well as diverting occasionally into things that really infuriate us about Rowling’s attitudes. Expect rants. Many rants. But unlike our general Pottermore mockery, we will try to provide a more balanced view where we can; there are still some things we like about the series, or we wouldn’t spend so much time on it.
I’m pretty excited about this, guys. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Time for all you lurkers to come into the light and talk to us, our few regular commenters are awesome but we know there are a lot more of you out there reading silently.
Watch this space.
Addendum by Mitchell:
This re-read/deconstruction is something Loten and I have been looking forward to doing for a long time (though we’ve been admittedly putting it off for a while, because it’s going to be an enormous undertaking). We both have lots of Thoughts about this series, which I suppose is only natural considering how we met and how long we’ve been discussing it, so a reread and in-depth analysis was inevitable. At one point Loten undertook to winnow out the best of our Potter-related discussions from the better part of two years’ personal correspondence, and there’s at least a hundred pages of text there (amusingly, we can no longer tell which of us wrote any given passage in that document, but that’s neither here nor there), just to give you an idea.
I’m going to be perfectly clear from the outset that our intent here is not completely friendly to the text – while there are things we love about the Harry Potter series, there are also lots of things we hate about it; I really can’t put it any other way (if you’ve read any of our fanfiction, this probably won’t be a surprise), and we intend to subject the text to quite a bit of critical analysis and will be discussing many of those issues in great detail. That said, I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised; it’s been long enough since I’ve read these books that I’ll admit my memory of the things that don’t enrage me may be rather hazy.
If this sounds like fun, please do stick around, and join us in the comments – I’m sure we’ll miss plenty of things, too. We’ve been going through these stories with a fine-toothed comb for years and keep finding new things to discuss, after all.