Sunday, May 11, 2008

Random Thoughts on the Harry Potter Series


The Book You Can't Stop Reading


In one of the early HP books (possibly #2), Ron told Harry about a book you can't stop reading. Anyone who begins reading it will be doomed to wander around with it forever, doing everything with one hand.

In witchcraft trials, mention was often made not only of the Devil's Black Book of names (the diabolic inversion of the Lamb's Book of Life), but of a mysterious grimoire or Satanic bible called The Black Bible, The Devil's Missal. The book was said to be penned in an unknown language, or else was read aloud in a mumble; no trial witnesses could actually recall its contents.
Pennsylvania Dutch folklore said if you began reading the book - even innocently - you would be drawn into reading further - you'd sich fast lesen, "read yourself fast". And unless you started reading backwards to sich frei lese ("read yourself free") the Devil would actually appear to you.

H.P. Lovecraft's characters seem to "read themselves fast" when they open the Necronomicon, bringing Devil's Missal folklore into the realm of horror fiction.

But belief in the reality of the Devil's Missal didn't die out. In the last century Montague Summers wrote, "This blasphemous volume is the same one Satanists today use when performing their abominable rites."

In the '70s, self-described reformed Satanist and Illuminati member John Todd told his church audiences that the Necronomicon is the Bible of witchcraft, and that the most accurate cinematic portrayal of real witchcraft is in the movie The Dunwich Horror (1970) starring Sandra Dee. I saw this last night on the Drive-In Channel, and believe me - it's not an accurate representation of anything, except hokey, occult B-movie directors who try to be artsy but realize their budgets just can't make that happen and are forced to settle for T&A with some witchcraft thrown in...
I think the HP books themselves could qualify as books you can't stop reading!

4 comments:

tweetey30 said...

I have to agree there. i got my 4-7 books and had to put the one you bought me for x-mas down until i finished my HP books.

SME said...

I'm the same way right now, totally hooked!

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SME said...

Oh, thanks, John. That's highly relevant to Harry Potter.