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  1. #1
    circlemidnight
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    Literature in the Magical World

    Something that J.K. Rowling never mentioned on an in-depth level was literature for wizards and witches. There was The Tales of Beedle the Bard, A History of Hogwarts (I'm not sure if those two even count), and I remember a French play called, "Alas, I Transfigured my Feet" (From either Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them or Quidditch Through the Ages.)

    Anyways.

    Some questions I have about literature:

    1. What are some titles you have off the top of your head? Any plot ideas as well?

    2. What subjects could be considered controversial?

    3. What type of literary movements like Romanticism or Modernism existed in the Wizarding World? Could they be similar to the Muggle movements? If so, how would they be the same or different?

    4. Could some of the more ancient writers/philosophers like Aristotle and Aeschylus or possibly more medieval writers like Dante and Chaucer be wizards as well? Could they have written separate manuscripts intended for magical readers and Muggle readers?

    5. Could there be a major difference in French literature as opposed to British literature or American, etc.? (Or any nationalities in general.)

    6. Would people appreciate literature in the Wizarding World?

    That is all.

  2. #2
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    I'm not really sure whether I qualify to talk about these, but I"ll throw in my two cents anyways


    2. What subjects could be considered controversial?


    Since we never hear about religion in the books (except Chrismas, Easter, etc), I tend to assume that they're not really into religion that much. We never hear them talking about a God/Deity. So, unlike the Muggle World, I think that religion wont be much of a controversial topic. However, writing anything related to Muggles might be risky. If they wrote anything like how they thought that the Wizarding world should be revealed to the Muggles in the 1600s, that might be considered controversial. Or if someone wrote about how Muggles were their equals and should be treated with respect during Voldemort's reign, Voldy might just have him dead. Remember what happened to Charity Burbage?

    4. Could some of the more ancient writers/philosophers like Aristotle and Aeschylus or possibly more medieval writers like Dante and Chaucer be wizards as well? Could they have written separate manuscripts intended for magical readers and Muggle readers?

    I've always thought that all the important people were Wizards. They know too much for their own sakes. Even scientists like Sir Isaac Newton and playwrights like Shakespeare- there's a good chance that these people are Wizards, because how else would people in those times be so knowledgeable with things like these? And yes, I like the possibility that they had separate manuscripts. Some of them, like Galileo, already had separate manuscripts for the church and the people of science. Perhaps they might add in another manuscript just for the Wizarding community?

    6. Would people appreciate literature in the Wizarding World?

    Yes, of course. Everyone appreciates literature. We see lots of bookshops full of books, and therefore there must have been lots of books written. All of them can't be textbooks, right? There's a high chance these are books of literature. Also, if literature had not been appreciated, Beedle wouldn't have written the Tales, would he?

    That's just my opinion, though...

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  3. #3
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    1. What are some titles you have off the top of your head? Any plot ideas as well?

    I imagine that almost any kind of genre (with the possible exception of fantasy and science-fiction?) would be well covered in the wizarding world.

    No fantasy because if you already have magic, I'm not sure that there would be a huge demand for fantasy. Maybe they're into high fantasy with elves and orcs and stuff, who knows.

    No science-fiction because wizards seem to be widely ignorant about science... period.

    2. What subjects could be considered controversial?

    Quote Originally Posted by majestic ginny
    Since we never hear about religion in the books (except Chrismas, Easter, etc), I tend to assume that they're not really into religion that much. We never hear them talking about a God/Deity
    Well, JK has come out and said that religion is about as important in the wizarding world as it is in the Muggle world... which doesn't really make sense if you consider the history of movements like the Inquisition.

    But if that's the case, then religion is unlikely to be controversial in Europe unless it is Islam, and religion is highly likely to be controversial in the US.

    As for other controversial topics... wizarding supremacy, pure-blood supremacy, any particular country or culture declaring supremacy...

    3. What type of literary movements like Romanticism or Modernism existed in the Wizarding World? Could they be similar to the Muggle movements? If so, how would they be the same or different?

    From what I remember about the history of Romanticism, it arose as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution. Wizards didn't have and probably wouldn't need an Industrial Revolution, since magic can construct things in such a way that you don't need pollution creating nasties like coal mines and smoke stack factories.

    Ditto Modernism, which was a reaction to the beginning of really scary industrialized total war that was World War I.

    So neither of those movements is likely to have been replicated in the wizarding world, at least at a contemporaneous time period.

    But I could see some kind of literature arising in reaction to... e.g. the Voldemort Wars.

    Movements don't just happen, they happen for a reason. So, if you can think of something traumatic that happens, there will be a reaction in the artistic community. You get things like Dada and Modernism out of the post-WWI era because as far as the artists were concerned, nothing was sacred, everything could be destroyed.

    If the wizarding world faced a hugely destructive war on that kind of magnitude maybe there would be a similar art movement.

    It does seem that Grindelwald was actively at war in Europe, maybe after Grindelwald's defeat, wizarding artists had a Modernist movement.

    4. Could some of the more ancient writers/philosophers like Aristotle and Aeschylus or possibly more medieval writers like Dante and Chaucer be wizards as well? Could they have written separate manuscripts intended for magical readers and Muggle readers?

    Why not? I don't find it particularly likely, but there's no reason why not in canon. Some writers like Milton, I would really, really not believe were wizards. Anyone that religious in that era, I really doubt was a wizard.

    Quote Originally Posted by majestic ginny
    Even scientists like Sir Isaac Newton and playwrights like Shakespeare- there's a good chance that these people are Wizards, because how else would people in those times be so knowledgeable with things like these? And yes, I like the possibility that they had separate manuscripts. Some of them, like Galileo, already had separate manuscripts for the church and the people of science. Perhaps they might add in another manuscript just for the Wizarding community?
    I don't believe that famous scientists would have been wizards. For one thing, they would have made very terrible wizards. How does a spell like wingardium leviosa fit with Newton's theory of gravity? If they were wizards, then they wouldn't have come up with the scientific theories that they did.

    5. Could there be a major difference in French literature as opposed to British literature or American, etc.? (Or any nationalities in general.)

    Again, why not? Different cultures appreciate different styles and structures. Take it from a writing tutor who has worked with international students, there's a wide variety in styles just for essays and prose. A good amount of time, international students have to get used to American "style" as much as anything else.

    I don't imagine British wizards writing much haiku, for instance.

    6. Would people appreciate literature in the Wizarding World?

    Any culture that writes has literature. Any culture that does not write, still has oral story-telling traditions.

    Ergo, yes.

    At least to some extent, Hogwarts does not have a literature class, even as an elective. So whether people still study literature the way we do is another question.
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  4. #4
    circlemidnight
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    Thanks for the help! I wouldn't assume Milton was a wizard, but I could see Shakespeare as one. Really helpful and over and out.

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    2. What subjects could be considered controversial?
    I suppose that it depends on whether we're talking within the context of the 'four walls'.

    Anything on the subject of Muggles seems to draw a great deal of controvercy, no matter what side it is coming from.


    4. Could some of the more ancient writers/philosophers like Aristotle and Aeschylus or possibly more medieval writers like Dante and Chaucer be wizards as well? Could they have written separate manuscripts intended for magical readers and Muggle readers?
    Although this man was not really a true writer, I have always though Benjamin Franklin was a wizard. Think about it! He was an inventor, a journalist, a diplomat, and a Founding Father; and he did it all with a third grade education. You tell me how this is possible!

    Not to mention having a wizard among the founders of the United States would make for some very interesting stories!


    5. Could there be a major difference in French literature as opposed to British literature or American, etc.? (Or any nationalities in general.)
    I suppose this would largely depend on how you envision the French wizarding world. It wouldn't just be a clone-copy of the British world. I would say that first you create the French wizarding community, and then build the world of literature around that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AidaLuthien
    [B] ...Some writers like Milton, I would really, really not believe were wizards. Anyone that religious in that era, I really doubt was a wizard. ...
    Well, there was The Fat Friar. One must be fairly religious to join a religious order. However, I agree that Milton would not fit that well.

    Also, in regard to the topic of religion being controversial, while there weren't any instances of people sitting around talking about God, there are a few places I remember people saying, "Thank God." Never thank the gods, goddess, etc...Harry has a godfather, the holidays cited above, etc... But more telling than anything is that Dumbledore obviously had read the Bible. He must have put the verse from Matthew 6:21, For where your treasure is, there your heart is also, on his sister's tombstone. There is also speculation that he is the one who had the verse straight from 1 Corinthians 15:26, The last enemy to be defeated is death. put on Lily and James' tombstone. Who else would have done so? Yep, Dumbledore read the Bible.

    I think the problem some have with the idea of 'religion' working in the potterverse is the equating of the 'magic' in Harry Potter with the sort of 'magic' or 'witchcraft' that the Church does condemn. Harry Potter's 'magic' is not the type of magic we can go down to Barnes and Noble and get a book on to help us cast spells. It does not call upon 'spirits' 'earth spirits', etc... It is not a form of worship or practice like Wicca, paganism, etc. that one decides they are going to do. It is an (imaginary) ability that people are 'born with' similar to gifted musicians or artists. As Michelangelo had a gift from God to sculpt, Harry Potter could be said to have been gifted with magic. No matter how a non artistic person tries, they will not be able to do what Michelangelo did; likewise, no matter what a "Muggle' does, he can not perform the type of 'magic' Harry had. It is pure fantasy, so a wizard who was a believer would know that they were not calling on forces outside themselves or from other than God to perform it. While they would know that some 'Muggles' didn't believe they existed and despised the sort of 'witchcraft' condemned in the bible, a 'real' wizard would know that it was the 'Muggle' who was confusing the two. Therefore, in these fictional books, we have a Fat Friar. I can't believe he was the only 'religious' person in the entire wizard world.

    Who might be famous wizards: Someone mentioned Sir Isaac Newton. I actually like the idea of him being a wizard. Perhaps his understanding or study of gravity helped him to develop the Wingardium Leviosa spell?

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    I remember Ron having comics about a mad Muggle, but comics aren't really literature, are they? I don't think that literature would really change all that much, except that they couldn't have like science in it. Oh, they could definately have literature revovling around like goblins. Greg the Gross and the Stolen Sword or something like that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_and_PheonixFeather
    I remember Ron having comics about a mad Muggle, but comics aren't really literature, are they? I don't think that literature would really change all that much, except that they couldn't have like science in it. Oh, they could definately have literature revovling around like goblins. Greg the Gross and the Stolen Sword or something like that.

    Also Crabbe (or Goyle?) reads a comic during the train journey in HBP. They definitely seem to be around and not uncommon. They don't seem to be just a 'Muggle to Wizard' thing (so that only people like the Weasleys would read it) but popular with purebloods too.
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    Interesting topic.

    Controversial subjects: Like almost everyone else has said, Muggles. Nobody seems to know how to react to them, how to act around them, or what to think of them. They fight two wars over Muggles. Also, I think non-wizard rights would be controversial, such as goblins' right to carry wands.

    Literary movements: People have said that they probably wouldn't have the same ones as Muggles because they weren't involved in WWI and what not. I think that even if they weren't involved, they most definitly witnessed the same horrors and aftereffects that Muggles did, which is part of what inspired the muggles. So I think that the movements might be called different things, but would probably correspond at least somewhat. But that's assuming that Wizards did not invlove themselves in Muggle wars. I think they probably were involved, at least to some extent. The Prime Minister, of course, who knows all about Wizards, might convince a Minister of Magic to help win the war or something. Then the other country they were at war against might say, "Why are you killing off our Muggles?" or something to that effect until the Wizards were as involved in the war as the Muggles. At any rate, I think it unlikely that Wizards would just stand by in a Muggle war while people were dying. Unless, of course, you're working with a society that is very old-fashoined pureblood-y and doesn't think Muggles are worth anything as people.

    I think it's an interesting idea that people like Newton were actually wizards. The only problem is that if they're wizards, why is the Wizarding community is so confused about physics and electronics? Wouldn't they be likely to know as much about it as Muggles, if not more? Of course, you could say that they used ot know all that, but then they didn't need it, so they forgot it... Also, in my mind, Shakespeare is definitely a wizard. He's just so remarkable, he must be one.

    Genres: I think that all the muggle ones would be the same for the most part. I think the only differences would be fiction would most likely contain magic and all that we would consider fantasy but isn't fantasy to them, and fantasy would be replaced with a different genre for books without magic. So fantasy and fiction would switch.

    I think literature would be influenced by national cultures. The differences might even be more pronounced, because the wizarding countries seem to be a little more out of touch with each other than the Muggle ones do. (where was foreign aid in DH?) I think that the out of touchness would make their cultural differences more pronounced, and that would make the literary differences more pronounced.


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