Dagger in hand
A man of prodigious fortune, coming to add his opinion to some light discussion that was going on casually at his table, began precisely thus: "It can only be a liar or an ignoramus who will say otherwise than," and so on. Pursue that philosophical point, dagger in hand.
--Michel de Montaigne, Of the art of discussion.
Stab back: cmnewman99-at-yahoo.com
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Of wands and trenchcoats
Via a commenter on Heidi's blog, I found this bit of Harry Potter fanfic, in which the premise is that John Constantine (if you associate that name with Keanu, I pity you) gets hired by Hogwarts to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. Now one could easily imagine doing this sort of thing as a quickie pastiche joke. But the author Camwyn is far more ambitious, and has the talent to carry it off. While she certainly mines the rich vein of humor inherent in viewing Hogwarts from Constantine's jaded perspective, she's also writing a mini mystery novel that's as intruiguing and engaging as one of Rowling's, in which the characterizations and voices of both Constantine and all the Rowling characters ring perfectly true. If you're a member of that particular subclass of geekdom to whom the above sounds interesting, you should definitely check it out.
Here's a taste from Constantine's "field notes" to whet the appetite:
Hagrid's war all down to one man, some git calling himself Lord Voldemort. Apparently he's some magic psychopathic racist dictator or something who held power 15+ yrs. ago. Reign of terror, people dying left & right, armies of sinister magic creatures, etc. etc., but got his arse served to him on a silver platter by a baby name of Harry Potter. Been trying to stage comeback ever since. Lord V wants to 'purify wizarding race', can't even stand wizards w/muggle ancestors, would be happier if muggles all died screaming. Sounds like every fascist wanker to come down the pike only w/magic. Tried telling Hagrid this. Did not help. Hagrid unwilling even to say Lord V's name. Talked about his allies, though. His Nibs has gang of wizards & witches hanging on his every word- "Death Eaters". Pure-bloods and Muggle-haters, the lot of 'em. All chomping at the bit for a magical race war, though they'll stop off for a bit of torture & such along the way if they're not in a hurry. Then they kill you.
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