Thursday, July 21, 2005

Comfort

Sarcasm Girl finished reading Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince on Monday morning (Saturday and Sunday having been too full of other stuff to permit her to read straight through) and came downstairs, distraught over some of the events in the book, sure, but also distraught because the series is coming to a close. "There's almost no more!" she wailed. Boy, do I remember this.

When I was ten, and read the last of the Narnia books I wept because I had gone through all the books and none of them would ever be new to me again. It wasn't about the Wow finish (in fact I think I was rather irritated that poor Susan Pevensey was locked out of heaven just because she'd grown up); it was the sort of sense of loss you have when a friend moves away. You might visit that friend or revisit the characters in the book, but the relationship changes, and what you get from the relationship may not be what you prized. An intangible sense of comfort and support is being taken away--comfort and support you very likely didn't realize had become important to you.

I'm not saying this feeling relates to literary quality; it's more about finding a universe that makes sense to you however harrowing the events that take place in it might be. So if the Harry Potter books are getting darker, or Jane Eyre has had to leave Thornfield, or Buffy is dead, for God's sake, there's still the feeling of knowing the rules and believing in your companions. It's comfort reading, and I say it's a force for good.

6 Comments:

Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

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12:12 PM  
Anonymous Sarcasm Girl said...

As I remember, I wasn't the only one getting teary, Madeleine. And yeah, I was crying mostly over the death of... a certain pivotal character, rather than the book being close to an end. I was partially just in shock that... well, that it's a book! I mean, how can a book make you cry so much? I really wanted to just run in there and give hugs all around. But NOOOOOO! I can't! Why? Because it's a BOOK!KInda astonishing when you think about it...

But hey... *Sniffle* We can cry together then...

12:12 PM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

Sarcasm girl! I am so glad you did not mention WHO dies. I have the book but I'm saving the reading until my vacation (which starts next Friday or Thursday night however you look at it) but, I'm sorry it made you sad.

Yes, I know about series withdrawals. I felt that way with The Lord of the Rings and actually yours Madeleine (though I hope Sarah is not over).

1:58 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Well, one of us is going to win: Sarah or me. If she wins, it's the end, and she can sweep through the streets of London unchronicled. If I win, there will be this book and perhaps some more afterward. This assumes people are buying them, of course...

4:07 PM  
Blogger C. F. Blog said...

I'm buying, plus I made my friends buy them too! And everytime I find out someone is a reader your books are mentioned.

Have faith, the books are good. :)

7:11 AM  
Blogger Megan Frampton said...

I felt the exact same way about the Narnia books. I've read Potters 1-4, but I am now reading #2 to my six year-old, who doesn't grasp as much, but loves it (And I recommended your books to a friend of mine just this week. My son won't be old enough for them for awhile).

4:54 PM  

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