It takes a certain person, I think, to become obsessively infatuated with something that isn't real. Then again, maybe not. Just look at the billions all over the world who have dedicated their entire lives to living according to ancient texts written thousands of years ago that speak of belief systems we have no proof of knowing exist. I wonder, then, at those same people (or even different people who worship man-made gods such as Starbucks or Facebook or Manolo Blahniks or Fox News) who turn up their noses at those of us who choose to rally behind a woman named Jo and the universe she has created with a swish and flick of her pen. Is it really so silly to become completely entranced with something that has inspired millions the world over to shut off the television, the Xbox, and that frantic part of ourselves that never wants to stay still, even for a second, to pick up a book and begin reading for the first time?
I think not.
I am aparecium13, and I am a Harry Potter fan. I will gladly stand and be counted.
To say these books have changed my life would be correct. Not only did I grow up with them (a slight hiatus during high school be damned), but in many other arenas, as well, not least of all from a writer's standpoint. Yes, I, myself, am a writer. And whenever I pick up the series, I am, once again, in awe of Ms. Rowling and her gift. She may not be the next William Shakespeare or Oscar Wilde or Virginia Woolf or Stephen King or [insert a Great Writer of History's name here], but that does not mean that she isn't a fantastic writer. I, and others like me, do not come for her poetry. We do not come for her eloquence or the way in which she captures images with the perfect wording. No, we come for something far more important than any of those things: We come for the story. Rowling is a storyteller at heart, anyone can see that as soon as they read the first page of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone, and that's what you get when you read these books: A wonderful story.
But that's not all you get. The Harry Potter series truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Not only do you get a story full of action, adventure, excitement, battles between good and evil, being caught up in the coming of age, and fish-out-of-water scenarios...bigger topics of religion, mythology, politics, and society (to name just a few) are layered throughout the books, some subtly, some not quite so, and cover such a wide spectrum of analysis that can be done while you're reading or afterwards with a nice cuppa tea and, if you're lucky, a few friends, which is almost as enjoyable as the books themselves, once you know the story, the characters, and the mythos. And speaking of the characters, they leap right off the page and, if you let them, can become old friends that you want to return to again and again; their personalities come through so clearly, and their particular voices are easily "heard" (both in your head and whilst reading bantering dialogue).
I can go on, but I don't need to sell you lot on the many aspects of why the series is phenomenal.
As I said, the story is not all you get. If you're like me...you also get Fandom.
Wikipedia defines "fandom" as: "A term used to refer to a subculture composed of fans characterized by a feeling of sympathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest." It is with this common interest in mind that I'm writing this in the first place.
With this journal, I have aimed to become unashamedly a part of fandom. I have been Sorted via hogwartsishome (and still plan to apply to hogwarts_elite—because I consider myself an elite Potter fan who can rumble with the best of them, as well as one of those Liberal Elitist Bitches who will lead the country into galloping ruin—when and if my entire life becomes functionable only through the computer, probably somewhere around Christmas), which has given me an identity and a community, I write fanfiction, I write meta, I look at fanart, I rock out to Wizard Rock (a brand of music that has directly come out of love for the Potter series), I have friends that I've only met because of the aforementioned...I, essentially, have a life that's entirely fandom-centric.
I tried explaining all this to a friend of mine a while ago. My best friend. The person who, despite everything, is supposed to love me because of who I am. And she laughed at me. Not outright, and not to intentionally hurt my feelings, I don't think (I hope not), but because the concept seems so silly to her. It wasn't a malicious laugh...it was condescending. Something that, perhaps, has hurt worse. She saw my love for a book and its universe—a series that is, in her mind, aimed toward children and is best kept in a children's world—and, I think, pitied me. As though what I feel isn't worthy of so much time and attention. As though I'm wasting time (and money) on something that isn't real. I almost retorted nastily that she spends plenty of time and money worshiping a deity that the human race has no concrete evidence to support exists, either. But I held my tongue. And wondered when, exactly, she would start loving me in spite of who I am.
Perhaps I'm taking this a bit too personally.
And it seems as though my will to meta further has died after saying all that. I fail.
If you read all of that you get a cookie.
And now, I'd like to open up discussion:
Have you told anybody how deep your Potter obsession runs? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on the Potterverse, fandom, real life, etc?
Feel free to leave as many comments as necessary. I enjoy coming home to spam after work.