Posts filed under ‘Uncategorized’
Hence not a lot of posts right now.
Lots of work to do; posting new blog entries has sunk way down on my priority list this month.
To fill the steadily increasing gap between posts, here’s a little Churchill anecdote:
Winston Churchill had a running battle with Lady Astor, who once said to him, “Mr. Churchill, if I were your wife I would put poison in your coffee!”
To which Churchill replied, “Lady Astor, if I were your husband I would drink it.”
I’m currently re-doing my categories. So if they are a bit messed up, you know why.
It’s important to only criticize what we have a taste for—or at least to be very cautious about any other kind of criticism. In criticizing Harry Potter, therefore, we should first decide what genre Harry Potter represents. We need to know what we are dealing with.
C. S. Lewis tells us (although the Greek philosophers have told us so, too) that the “first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know WHAT it is—what it was intended to do and how it is meant to be used. After that has been discovered the temperance reformer may decide that the corkscrew was made for a bad purpose, and the atheist may think the same about the cathedral. But such questions come later. The first thing is to understand the object before us: as long as we think the corkscrew was meant for opening tins or the cathedral for entertaining tourists we can say nothing to the purpose about them.”
And the first thing the reader (and critic) needs to know about Harry Potter is what the books are meant to be.
Some people would say that the Harry Potter books are primarily meant to be “children’s literature,” but C. S. Lewis resisted this special classification of “juvenile tastes.” He believed that authors started to label their books “For Children” primarily because children became the only market recognized for the books they wanted to write. The genre “children’s literature” was therefore born more out of economic necessity than out of the recognition of an altogether different type of book.
Children are not a distinct literary species with a taste alien to adults.
But this statement requires some elucidation, which it will get in my next entry.
I continue my journey through the case of Christian apologists for the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as the response of skeptics, attempting to present both sides fairly. In this video of the series, I start to critique C. S. Lewis’ “trilemma” argument, making references to Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins.
In this video, I continue to outline the case of Christian apologists for the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as the response of skeptics, attempting to present both sides fairly: