Sunday, August 12, 2007
Several weeks ago my sister got the soft copy of so-called Harry Potter’s manuscript of the latest serial, entitled “Deathly Hallows”. Both she and Angie are great fans of Harry Potter. Therefore they loved it a lot. At first, Angie was not really sure if she would read it because she thought that her capability in English was limited. However when one of her school friends told her that he got the soft copy of it too and started reading it, Angie felt challenged. So, she started reading it too, with the help of ‘Linguist’, a program of dictionary we have in the desktop, or once in a while she looked up in the printed dictionary, or asked the one she sometimes considered as living dictionary: her mother: ME. J
Several days ago again my sister came up with more wonderful news: she got the soft copy of the printed edition of “Deathly Hallows”. She was excited but Angie was not really happy with that. She complained to me, “Mama, I have read the manuscript more than 50%. Now I have to start all over again from the very beginning?”
I calmed her by saying, “Well honey, I don’t think the story would be very much different. Why don’t you just go on reading the manuscript?”
“Okay then,” answered Angie.
One day after that, Angie reported to me, “Mama, the story is very much different. For example in the manuscript, Dudley was told to be a witch, but in the printed edition, he didn’t become a witch. Surely, this will make the plot of the manuscript and the printed edition very different.”
“Oh???” I didn’t understand.
As one outsider (I mean I am not a fan of HP. Although I love reading, I have never read HP yet. I have never watched the movie either) I didn’t understand the way JK Rowling thought. Why should she change the plot that far? Did she get too much energy? Or what has made her change her mind, from making the manuscript for the first time until she wrote the printed edition?
When talking about this to my sister, she told me, “You know I heard that the sixth serial of HP also got two versions. I don’t know which one was published in Indonesia.”
“I really don’t understand. Why should JK Rowling issue two versions at the same time? To fulfill what her fans wanted? While the other one she wrote it for her own satisfaction? A writer in some extent really has omnipotent power to decide what will happen to the characters, just like God. Right?” I said.
“That I don’t know.” My sister commented.
“Don’t you think it was perhaps because another person wrote the other version?” I was curious.
“Well ... maybe...” she said.
“Do you remember the children literature we enjoyed reading when we were teenagers? Famous Five by Enid Blyton? Do you remember at that time Enid Blyton decided to stop the story of Famous Five in the twenty first serial and she no longer wrote about Famous Five? Obviously that made many fans of Famous Fan disappointed. We were also disappointed because we could not read a new adventure of Famous Five. Knowing it, someone else wrote some other books of Famous Five. We read some serials too but then we decided that this new writer didn’t write as well as Enid Blyton, or well, she could not enliven the character of Julian, Dick, Anne, George and Timmy as well as the original writer, we didn’t read it anymore.” I said the whole thing to my sister.
Remembering our experience during our teenage years, she smiled and said, “Yeah, and I remember the new writer wrote more about George and Timmy as the central characters while Enid Blyton gave the same portions to those five characters. Sometimes Julian was the hero in one serial, in another serial, it could be Dick, Anne, or George and Timmy. I didn’t mind it because I loved George.”
“Yes, that’s right. I liked Julian better and the fact that the new writer chose George and Timmy more often as the central characters also disappointed me.”
My discussion with my sister ended there.
One day after that, my sister told me another thing. “From the internet I gathered information that many people who already got the outline of “Deathly Hallows” secretly made their own versions, to make themselves satisfied because of the rumor before that JK Rowling would kill Harry Potter in her last book. And then they exchanged their own stories with many other HP’s fans.”
Nah lo. This answered my curiosity. It was not JK Rowling who had too much energy so that she made several versions of HP. Besides, as probably you HP lovers realize that many books about HP or JK Rowling sold in bookstores where on the cover there is a writing, “This book is NOT endorsed by JK Rowling.” But still people who are crazy about HP still buy those books. It is possible that the soft copy of the manuscript my sister got was not written b JK Rowling, isn’t it?
Well, the story has ended. Many key characters died but the “three musketeers” Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley survived. As one blog friend of mine said, “No matter what, this is children literature.” J
If JK Rowling is consistent with her words-she will not write some more serials of HP-there will be possibilities other people will continue writing the story, not only for profit, but also for fulfilling the thirst of its million fans to read HP again, again, and again, until they get bored with it eventually.
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