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Rowling's "Beedle and the Bard" to be published Dec. 4th

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  • Rowling's "Beedle and the Bard" to be published Dec. 4th

    As there seem to be a couple of Potter fans here, I thought I'd post that message: According to http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/, the fairy tale collection "Beedle the Bard" that was auctioned last year for £ 1.950.000 will eventually be available for the general public.

    JK Rowling said that the disappointment of the fans (who had complained that the tales were available only for a handful of people, the buyer and the receivers of the other six copies) was "understandable", and that she was delighted to announce the publication of "Beedle the Bard" in an exclusive deal with Bloomsbury, Scholastic and Amazon (the buyer of the original auctioned copy). Proceeds will be donated to the Children’s High Level Group, to benefit institutionalised children.

    "The new edition will include the Tales themselves, translated from the original runes by Hermione Granger, and with illustrations by me, but also notes by Professor Albus Dumbledore, which appear by generous permission of the Hogwarts Headmasters’ Archive." (JKR)
    The book is scheduled for release on December 4th, 2008, and can be pre-ordered at Amazon now. Two editions will be available, a limited collectors edition (100,000 copies), which will be a replica of the look of the original copy and will be around $ 100, and an inexpensive standard edition containing the illustrations and text.

    Details here:
    http://www.the-leaky-cauldron.org/20...rd-in-december

    I'm really, really glad she came around to make that decision, and I love the idea of offering those two editions and donating the revenues. Good on her.
    Last edited by mandragora; 07-31-2008, 04:32 PM.

  • #2
    I just stumbled upon that when I was visiting Amazon. The collectors edition looks awesome, though I don't know if I'll be able to come up with the Ç66.50. But it's tempting
    It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have something worth living for?
    Rule TwentyNine (Blog about B5, politics, environment and much more)

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    • #3
      The timing is perfect, also. Today is JK Rowling's and Harry Potter's birthday. Looks like this is her gift to the fans.

      ETA: It's been added by TLC now that the publication has the approval of the six people who received the gift copies. Judging from the reactions in fandom, they, JKR/Scholastic/Bloomsbury and Amazon have made a lot of people happy today.
      Last edited by mandragora; 07-31-2008, 04:49 PM.

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      • #4
        Anyone already got and read the book?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mandragora View Post
          Anyone already got and read the book?
          I got it a couple of days ago. I haven't read it, but even the normal version is quite beautifully designed. It's next up on my list of books to read, as soon as I've finished Chesterton's "Orthodoxy".
          Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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          • #6
            I've finished it now. Some thoughts:

            The first story about the magical pot I found quite nice, although not overwhelming. The second story, the Fountain of Fortune, I liked very much. Very well done. The third didn't convince me at all. Too horrific, and the message it transported for me didn't justify that level of horror. The fourth is, again, quite nice, though I have to wonder about the muggle implications. So Voldemort was actually right that there aren't any genuinely muggle-born wizards, they all have a wizard in their ancestry. Incidentally, one potions master named "Granger" is mentioned, so it's clear where Hermione got her talents from. And this is supposed to be a series condemning racism? The fifth about the three brothers has been known from Deathly Hallows and it is once again Rowling's litany that you can't escape death and need to accept it, preferably voluntarily.

            As for the notes, with respect to continuity JK is as terrible as ever; suddenly there are academies in Wizarding World, something she's been negating previously. Otherwise DD's notes are entertaining, especially his skits at the Malfoys.

            Somewhat contrived I found the preface with its instructions how to interpret Potterverse, especially the indications how emancipated witches are (probably a response to criticsms of JK's conservative portrayal of women).


            All in all, it was enjoyable, with at least one tale that I wouldn't have thought her capable of writing after the disappointment that was DH. Using her own scale, I'd rate it a solid E (exceeded expectations).
            Last edited by mandragora; 12-07-2008, 11:02 AM.

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            • #7
              I'll have to disagree there - I thought it was quite wonderful, and not even remotely racist. (If anything, I think this is a nod to actual human history and the fact that there has never been such a thing as purity.) The violence of the one story is also quite justified, both in that it's a fairy tale (they tend to be very violent!) and in that it actually makes sense to me in the context of what is being said. And Dumbledore's notes were wonderful - funny and cuttingly sarcastic.

              But then, I thought that The Deathly Hallows was absolutely mind-bogglingly good.
              Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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              • #8
                The footnote in question confirms that there are no muggle-born wizards or witches really, because magic is a hereditary trait. Any witch or wizard classified as "muggle-born" actually has a witch or wizard in their ancestry. It's not a gift every person can be blessed with, it's genetics that matters. While this isn't racist in itself (and I've never said that), it's certainly not helpful in a series allegedly devoted to condemning racism, either.

                I'm not going to elaborate on the DH argument, as I've spent far too many unpleasant hours on that topic already and consequently have closed it for myself. I'm aware that many of the more casual fans in particular were quite satisfied with DH. A significant part of the Potter fandom, especially older fans and fans who are very familiar with the books, were not. Everything else aside (and there's a lot more than that), given the gaping plotholes and inconsistencies in DH, I cannot fathom how one could label DH "mind-bogglingly good". But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you're interested, Red Hen Publications and Daniel Hemmens of ferretbrain have summed up much of the criticism better than I ever could (the latter has written another five or six articles on DH also to be found on that site; particularly, I'd like to draw your attention to this one. Be warned, though, this guy's thoroughly pissed off with the book).
                Last edited by mandragora; 12-20-2008, 11:56 AM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mandragora View Post
                  The footnote in question confirms that there are no muggle-born wizards or witches really, because magic is a hereditary trait. Any witch or wizard classified as "muggle-born" actually has a witch or wizard in their ancestry. It's not a gift every person can be blessed with, it's genetics that matters. While this isn't racist in itself (and I've never said that), it's certainly not helpful in a series allegedly devoted to condemning racism, either.
                  Yes, but it makes the point that there are no "pure" muggles or wizards. It dismantles the very idea of purity. Which, considering human history and genetics, is a very good argument. Being a wizard, after all, is not better or worse than being a muggle.

                  I'm not going to elaborate on the DH argument, as I've spent far too many unpleasant hours on that topic already and consequently have closed it for myself. I'm aware that many of the more casual fans in particular were quite satisfied with DH. A significant part of the Potter fandom, especially older fans and fans who are very familiar with the books, were not. Everything else aside (and there's a lot more than that), given the gaping plotholes and inconsistencies in DH, I cannot fathom how one could label DH "mind-bogglingly good". But everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you're interested, Red Hen Publications and Daniel Hemmens of ferretbrain have summed up much of the criticism better than I ever could (the latter has written another five or six articles on DH also to be found on that site; particularly, I'd like to draw your attention to this one. Be warned, though, this guy's thoroughly pissed off with the book).
                  OK - I don't want this to turn into a flamewar, but I dislike being called a "casual" fan. I love the Potter books and have read them with great attention and care. I see coherent themes, wonderful writing, strong character development and deep and profound thoughts about society, politics, and philosophy. If you do not, that's fine, but don't imply that I'm not reading the books carefully because I see things that you do not.

                  I only read the last article you linked to, but I have to say that this person apparently didn't actually read the books. Everything he complains about - like Dumbledore being presented as a god, or Gryffindor as superior - is exactly the opposite of what's actually in the books. If anyone is being fanatical, it's the author of the article.

                  Anyway - I don't think there's much of a point to this discussion, and I don't want a flamewar. I like it, you don't. Let's leave it at that.
                  Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                  • #10
                    I'm not aware of having called you, specifically, a "casual fan". There are hard-core fans who are enthralled with DH, and I'm not aware of having denied that. I've merely stated that a significant part of the hard-core fans are *not* enthralled.

                    As for Daniel Hemmens: "I only read the last article you linked to" says it all. Too bad that you place your judgement on the basis of one article, which, apparently, you've understood partially at best, and it's even worse that you reproach the author with "not having read the books". That's a really cheap shot, and not an argument at all. I've read the books a dozen times each, if not more, and I agree with his reasoning to 90 pecent. He's understood a lot more about the series than most of its readers could ever hope to. The idea that the Potter books are exemplary when it comes to character development I find laughable, but the notion that they have something profound to say about society, politics, and philosophy tops it. For children up to the age of 12 or at most 14, perhaps.

                    I've stated before that in my mind being a fan doesn't mean I have to worship everything a creator puts out. Being a fan to me means being generally supportive, without feeling obliged to applaud everything a creator puts out. I'm aware that this attitude isn't exactly endorsed on these boards. Which is why I've mostly stuck to posting news lately, and have avoided critical discussion here. Your post just confirms that this was a wise choice. This clearly is a news board, not a place for critical discussion. So I agree on the part about "Let's leave it at that."
                    Last edited by mandragora; 12-20-2008, 03:56 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mandragora View Post
                      I'm not aware of having called you, specifically, a "casual fan". There are hard-core fans who are enthralled with DH, and I'm not aware of having denied that. I've merely stated that a significant part of the hard-core fans are *not* enthralled.
                      Which is why I used the word "implied".

                      As for Daniel Hemmens: "I only read the last article you linked to" says it all.
                      Ummm... no. Not really.

                      Too bad that you place your judgement on the basis of one article, which, apparently, you've understood partially at best,
                      I understood it fine. Doesn't make its arguments any more coherent.

                      and it's even worse that you reproach the author with "not having read the books".
                      Really? Why not do so, when I find so little relation between his words and the reality of the text?

                      That's a really cheap shot, and not an argument at all.
                      No, a cheap shot would be pointing out that you didn't even get the title of the book right - it's "Beedle the Bard", not "Beedle and the Bard". As for my comment that he seems not to have read the book, you correctly point out that it's not an argument, but an evaluation of how close his arguments stick to the text that I have read.

                      He's understood a lot more about the series than most of its readers could ever hope to.
                      Well, I would say he has understood less than most readers, and seen only what he wanted to see, which is why his arguments fall apart at the slighest prodding. Like the idea that Dumbledore equals God when Rowling spends so much time making clear that he was a man with many, many failings. A good man, but thoroughly flawed. This is blindly ignored, as are many other aspects of the novels.

                      The idea that the Potter books are exemplary when it comes to character development I find laughable,
                      I don't. I think the character development is quite nice, and at times rather subtle. At other times it's obvious, but still well-done and enjoyable.

                      Why did you read the books that many times if you hate them so much, by the way?

                      but the notion that they have something profound to say about society, politics, and philosophy tops it.
                      Why? Because you disagree with what they have to say, or because you simply refuse to see what is there? Or because it has to be trumpeted and insisted upon by the author instead of simply being present in the narrative?

                      For children up to the age of 12 or at most 14, perhaps.
                      Ah, the old arrogance. It's funny - this is the kind of talk one usually gets from the people who despise fantasy and science fiction.

                      I've stated before that in my mind being a fan doesn't mean I have to worship everything a creator puts out. Being a fan to me means being generally supportive, without feeling obliged to applaud everything a creator puts out.
                      I have never felt obliged to do so - nor do most people I know.

                      I'm aware that this attitude isn't exactly endorsed on these boards.
                      Now you're degenerating into pure nonsense, and this accusation is really getting old. The moment someone disagrees, it's not because they have a different opinion, but because they worship JMS or J.K. Rowling or whoever. So you're the only one who is rational, and everyone else is a fanatic. I'm sorry, but you're quite simply wrong. I admire JMS as an artist, and I think Babylon 5 is a monumental work, but that doesn't mean I can't criticize him. I have no problem pointing out the severe problems of LOTR or Crusade or Thirdspace or A Call To Arms. The same goes for the Harry Potter books. But I don't agree with the flaws that you see.

                      Which is why I've mostly stuck to posting news lately, and have avoided critical discussion here. Your post just confirms that this was a wise choice. This clearly is a news board, not a place for critical discussion.
                      You know, if critical discussion doesn't involve disagreement, what does it involve? And if you insist that you dislike this board so much, what are you doing here?

                      So I agree on the part about "Let's leave it at that."
                      I hope you understand that I felt compelled to reply.
                      Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                      • #12
                        <pointedly turning the conversation back on topic...>

                        Silly question here. I enjoyed the books well enough but quit reading them when they got too unwieldy in size.

                        Is this book just set in the Potter-verse and not related to the major series? My impression, based on nothing in particular, was that the bard might have been mentioned but wasn't in the actual series, is that right?

                        Too lazy to go to Amazon and look, I guess.

                        Thanks,
                        Jan
                        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jan View Post
                          <pointedly turning the conversation back on topic...>

                          Silly question here. I enjoyed the books well enough but quit reading them when they got too unwieldy in size.

                          Is this book just set in the Potter-verse and not related to the major series? My impression, based on nothing in particular, was that the bard might have been mentioned but wasn't in the actual series, is that right?

                          Too lazy to go to Amazon and look, I guess.

                          Thanks,
                          Jan
                          That would be correct. The book consists of several annotated fairy-tales by Beedle the Bard, and notes about the stories by Dumbledore. Half the fun is actually in the notes.
                          Jonas Kyratzes | Lands of Dream

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jonas View Post
                            That would be correct. The book consists of several annotated fairy-tales by Beedle the Bard, and notes about the stories by Dumbledore. Half the fun is actually in the notes.
                            Thanks, sounds like fun. I was thinking of getting it for my brother for Christmas.

                            So...are Dumbledore's 'footnotes' as much fun as JMS's?

                            Jan
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

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