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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Once upon a time . . .

. . . children's fiction consisted of tales of faries, elves, brownies and well behaved little boys and girls who got rewarded with goodies and treats. They had all sorts of fun and adventures, along with their friendly unhuman friends - they were courageous anmd truthful (in most of the cases) and saved the world - like the heroes that they were.

Sounds a lot like the collected works of Enid Blyton, doesn't it?

And then there was Roald Dahl, I suppose, at some level, it was his work that made a little-bit of the dark side acceptable in literature for children. I suppose that has now reached a certain level of fruition with the best selling works of avada kedavra and other interesting adventures such as those of Percy Jackson and his Olympic escapades. (Yes, literature for kids is something I read and enjoy for somewhat similar reasons as I enjoy watching Tom and Jerry cartoons!!)

When I first read the immortal works of J K Rowling, a little after she started Rowling in money . . ., (yeah bad pun, I know, but I could not resist that one . . ), I noticed certain parallels between her works and those of other fictioners who had consumed much ink before her. I remember thinking, when I first read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"", that it felt like a cocktail of Enid Blyton's bedtime fairy tales, the Addam's Family chronicles and the big daddy of the fantasy genre - Tolkein's Lord of the Rings.

And yes, I am a big fan of LotR, I can't help intoning in deep slow tones -
Ash nazg durbatul√Ľk, ash nazg gimbatul,Ash nazg thrakatul√Ľk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

I cannot but feel a sense of awe and respect at Tolkein's creative genius. And traces of Sauron are unmistakable in Voldemort.

The horcruxes though are interesting - as a kid I recollect hearing tales where wicked wizards or ogres hide their 'life'in some other object so that they are unkillable by conventional means, so the concerned Prince Charming has to deploy unconventional tactics to rescue the distressing damsels.

The parallels between the burden Harry and his friends experience when wearing the locket horcrux, and the burden of the Ring bearer are also unmistakable. A pity poor Frodo (or more likely the practical minded Samwise) did not think of sticking a Basilisk fang into the One Ring instead of trudging all the way to Mount Doom!!

Anyway, I will now conclude this meaningless rambling deconstrution, and resume my routine vacation programming!!

Cheers all!!