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Harry Potter and I

Another of itsjustc's questions from the long-ago meme I have not forgotten about was about Harry Potter.

Oh, boy. I do not know where to start, and there is no end in sight.

In an nutshell, if it were not for Harry Potter, I would be someone very different.

Because of all the hype, I did not want to read the book at first. I did not for the first several years. And then around 2000, a girl I was tutoring in English that summer all but shoved the first book at me and said I had to read it. I read the borrowed first book in a single day, and the same week, I bought and read the 2d and the 3d books (the only ones out then). Then the following happened: I caught the tail end of the Philosopher's Stone run in the theatres, on the small screen of the local one (before the advance of the multi-theatre monstrosities, there were mostly two-screen theatres around, with a large and a smaller screen, and the movies' run started on the large screen and ended on the little screen). It was then that I first noticed Alan Rickman; noticed him well enough to discover his name.

I bought the Russian translation of the fourth book; I watched the first two movies in English. Doing so was a small adventure because we did not yet have a DVD-player at home, so I had to borrow my mother's colleague's laptop to do so; a friend sent me the 4th book in English from the States; another friend and I ordered the 5th book online; I bought the 6th book soon after its release while on a trip abroad, then its Russian translation the first day it went on sale. Went to the bookstore in the early morning to do so, met a mother and kid in the book store and had a nice chat with them about how not only kids wanted the book at once. Finally, bought the 7th book the day it was released in English and spent the next 36 hours straight reading it and ignoring a trip to the country my parents insisted I accompany them on. Reading a book in the forest while the others gather berries and get a little bit lost? Quite unforgettable and a lot of fun. I did not read the Russian translation of the 7th book even though they were slowly getting better from book to book.

Things that happened during the years the series was being written and directly and indirectly caused by it: I experienced the first disorienting moment of thinking in English first and in Russian second while reading the Goblet of Fire in the commuter train to see my grandmother in the hospital (she took ill on the way from Moscow to Vladimir, my father's hometown; the express train they were on had to be stopped midway, and she was then taken to the local hospital in an ambulance. It was more an adventure than something serious, and caused by the heat and stuffiness in the train and her usual heart problems. Visiting someone in a hospital that is 1.5 hours away by train then some time by bus is, well, it is something that you do. There is no emotional component in it one way or another. Having a book to while away the road is a nice bonus, even if the train is full and the book is bulky and can barely be held with only one hand.)

Joined my first-ever internet forum of fellow Harry Potter fans during the wait between book 4 and book 5, and discovered fanfiction without knowing that the stories I was reading were called fanfiction. Was disappointed in canon somewhere during books 4 and 5; very disappointed in canon in book 7, and read and continue reading an ever-growing mountain of fanficiton. Wrote my first ever fanfiction without calling it fanfiction. Stopped being afraid to get to know people online. Got to know online people in real life and visited with them while abroad. Stayed with people I met online.

What else? Found time to watch the last Harry Potter movie in English while on a trip abroad when we had a scant few free hours out of a guided tour in Stockholm (it was totally worth it, even though the fact that I saw it then was a small miracle: I'd arrived at the movie theatre 5 minutes before the start of the movie and would not have had time to look for another, and had to sprint back to the bus as it was.)

In general, I did unexpected things at unexpected times and learned a lot of stuff I might or might not have had chance to do otherwise that had far-reaching consequences in many other spheres of my life.

Some statistics:
Favourite book (and movie): Prisoner of Azkaban;
Favourite character: Snape;
Least favourite character: Umbridge;
Actors seen live since: Alan Rickman (twice, and want more); John Hurt (want more); Fiona Shaw (twice, and want more); Daniel Radcliffe (no more).


Продолжаю отвечать на вопросы itsjustc из давнишнего, но не забытого флэшмоба. Второй вопрос - я и Гарри Поттер.

Не знаю, где начать, а конца и края и вовсе не видно.

В двух словах: если бы не Гарри Поттер, я была бы совсем другим человеком.

Я узнала об этой книжной серии то ли из радио, то ли из газет, и несколько лет не хотела к ней прикасаться из-за слишком большой шумихи. Но затем девочка, которой я помогала летом с английским, почти насильно всучила мне первую книгу. Книгу я прочитала за один вечер и на той же неделе купила и проглотила остальные две из тех трёх, которые тогда уже были изданы. Могу с гордостью сказать, что успела купить издания, в которых Снейпа зовут Снейпом, а не не-будем-повторять как. После этого произошло следующее, точно не помню в каком порядке: я успела зацепить конец показа "Философского камня" (в малом зале нашего кинотеатра; тогда ещё почти не было многозальных уродцев, фильмы показывали сначала в больших залах кинотеатров, а потом в малых). В этом фильме я впервые обратила внимание на Алана Рикмана настолько, чтобы прочитать потом список актёров и узнать, как его зовут.

Купила перевод четвёртой книги, посмотрела в оригинале первые два фильма. Это было сделать не очень просто, потому что фильмы нашлись на ДВД, а просмотрщика ДВД тогда на нашем компьютере ещё не было, пришлось одалживать ноутбук у маминой коллеги. Подруга прислала мне четвёртую книгу на английском из США; мы с другой подругой заказали на двоих 5 книгу по интернету; купила 6 книгу вскоре после её выхода во время одной из поездок за границу, и перевод 6 книги в первый день его выпуска в России. Чтобы купить 6 книгу, пришла в книжный с утра пораньше, и застала там маму с дитём. Открыла глаза маме на тот факт, что не только дети покупают эти книги в первый же день продаж. И, наконец, купила 7 книгу в первый же день её продажи на английском, уже у нас в Москве, и прочитала её не отрываясь в те же выходные, несмотря на принудительную поездку к друзьям на дачу, на которой настояли родители. Читать на ходу книгу в лесу, когда остальные собирают ягоды и немного блудятся — незабываемое ощущение. Русский перевод 7 книги читать не стала, хотя они и становились лучше от раза к разу (или 6 была приятным исключением).

А вот что случилось пока эти книги писались и медленно выходили в печать: я впервые испытала странное состояние, в котором иностранный язык делается в голове "первым", а родной — "вторым", читая "Кубок огня" на английском в поезде по дороге к бабушке в больницу (у неё был сердечный приступ в электричке из Москвы во Владимир, пришлось останавливать поезд-экспресс на полдороге и везти её на скорой в местную больницу. Но несмотря на большой стресс, который испытал тогда сопровождавший её отец, ситуация была не совсем серьёзной, и вызвана она была скорее всего жарой и духотой в поезде. Посещать кого-то в больнице в полутора часах езды поездом плюс через полгорода на автобусе,... это, ну, едешь и навещаещь. Интересная книга с собой в дороге помогает, даже если электричка полна а книга такая толстая, что с трудом можно удержать в одной руке).

Присоединилась к первому в своей жизни форуму — форуму поклонников Гарри Поттера — между выходом 4 и 5 книги; обнаружила там фики, ещё не зная, что эти истории называются фиками. Слегка разочаровалась в книгах где-то между 4 и 5; очень разочаровалась в 7 книге, прочитала и продолжаю читать гору фиков. Написала свои первые собственные фики. Перестала бояться общаться с людими в интернете. Познакомилась вживую со многими людьми, встреченными в интернете. Ездила к ним в гости.

Что ещё? Выкроила время, чтобы посмотреть последний фильм в оригинале во время поездки за границу с туром. Потратила на это всё свободное время в Стогольме и довольна как слон, хотя позволило мне это сделать только счастливое стечение обстоятельств — прибежала в кинотеатр за 5 минут до начала сеанса, и уже не успела бы добежать до соседнего, потому что по окончании фильма и так пришлось почти бежать на автобус.

Сделала и узнала очень много всякого такого, что могла бы не узнать и не сделать, если бы не гаррипоттерный фандом.

Немного статистики:
Любимая книга (и фильм): "Узник Азкабана";
Любимый персонаж: Снейп;
Самый нелюбимый персонаж: Амбридж;
Актёры, которых я видела в театре: Алан Рикман (дважды, и ещё хочу); Джон Хёрт (ещё хочу), Фиона Шоу (дважды, и ещё хочу); Даниел Рэдклиф (больше не хочу).


( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 1st, 2015 03:39 pm (UTC)
Как интересно!
А ещё очень забавно, что я сегодня в голове тоже носила мысль такого поста. Меня никто не осаливал, просто захотелось всё записать, потому что детали всё равно стираются. И не хочется их потерять. :)
Apr. 1st, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
Да, надо обязательно периодически записывать хотя бы мысли о важных вещах, ещё и потому, что отношение к ним со временем меняется, и интересно потом перечитывать и сравнивать.

Edited at 2015-04-01 08:03 pm (UTC)
Apr. 1st, 2015 08:06 pm (UTC)
Harry Potter changed a lot of lives for the better around the world. Like yourself, for me HP was the spur that got me interacting online, into fandom, making international friends, travelling and meeting with those friends – and all this while my children had the special magical joy of growing up in real time with the young HP characters they loved.

My favourite book (and film) of the series is Prisoner of Azkaban. I agree with you also on fave and least fave characters. Am quite jealous that you have seen John Hurt on stage. The actor I have seen the most since his HP days – quite by accident – is actually Alfred Enoch (Dean Thomas). I would love to see Gary Oldman... :-)
Apr. 1st, 2015 08:24 pm (UTC)
I am grateful to you for taking me to see The Scenes from an Execution (as well as Judas Kiss, of course. I still slightly regret we did not have time to try the stage door after that one).

I, too, am glad that I went to see John Hurt, even though it was in Los Angeles. He was wonderful on stage, and quite unforgettable during the after-show interview I was lucky enough to be there for. They asked him about his two times of playing Quentin Crisp and he answered by remembering his meetings with the man and, in character (not those exact words) "Whatever you played since, you were still playing me".

I would like to see Rupert Grint, actually (I still haven't seen CBGB, bad Dobby, but he looked promising in HP).

(For myself, I was always quite chuffed to be born the same year as Ginny Weasley, even though the books came out when I was already in my 20s :-) )
Apr. 2nd, 2015 08:54 am (UTC)
Although it was wonderful to see Fiona Shaw, the better play by far that day we met for matinee and evening performances, was The Judas Kiss.

I missed the chance to see both Rupert Grint, and more annoyingly, Ralph Fiennes, on stage in London in the past couple of years. Unfortunately one just can't see everything that comes up. :-/

Fun that you are the same age as Ginny. I am a contemporary of the Marauders and indeed Snape – not that they would've paid me any attention, alas, but it's nice to dream. :-)
Apr. 2nd, 2015 01:03 pm (UTC)
I agree that Judas Kiss was much more refined, yet it was the second play that put Fiona Shaw on my "want to see again' list, while Rupert Everett is still on the "yes, if I get a chance" one. :-)

Apr. 2nd, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
It's always interesting to know how people got into Harry Potter. For me, I had no desire to read any of the books until sometime a bit after book 6 was published and I'd watched a few of the movies because a long time before that, I read part of the first book and found it too juvenile. It's too bad that I missed out on most of the excitement of the fandom during its heyday. What I want to do now is buy all the British versions and reread the series, even if it means rereading that second book.
Apr. 2nd, 2015 09:38 pm (UTC)
I was shocked when I learned how the books were 'mutilated' in their American edition (and that the author agreed to it).

Haha, I agree that the second book is not one I'd want to reread.

I am very glad I was there for it, partly because that was what allowed me to start reading fanfiction. Before, and especially with deceased authors, I was like, but they have said all they wanted/had time to say, what more candy there be?! Well, now I know. And its nice to share others' wishful thinking :-)
Apr. 4th, 2015 10:06 am (UTC)
An interesting read - Thank you x

I've not read any of the HP books. When the first book was published many years ago I was helping my friend who taught 10 year old with her art class at school once a week. On that day of the week that i was there they still had a 'Story time' for the last 45 minutes of the day. So I stayed and listened to the first half of the first book being read to the class by my friend. Unfortunately my time as a helper finished and I was quite disappointed not to hear the rest of the story but obviously not enough to have ever read the book myself! Last summer I picked the first 4 books up cheap from a charity shop and I do plan to start reading them this year.
Apr. 4th, 2015 01:48 pm (UTC)
Your story is also very interesting :-) . I also have books like that, those I have heard quotes many times, or those I've started reading and never finished, but sometimes eventually return to. I hope you like them.
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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