With all due trepidation, I admit that until a few days ago I was not a Harry Potter fan. What can I say? When, years earlier, I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, I was not feeling the magic. In my defense, this was in the midst of a dark, mugglish phase of my life.
I know, I know. Why should you keep reading such a scandalous affront to good taste? Who is this guy? Can a person trust such a person?
Wait. Shouldn't you be happy for me? Like – OMG, the grand story awaits you like a glorious banquet!
That is the sort of thought resonating through my mind when I recommend X book or Y movie or Z tv series to a friend who somehow missed out when most of the rest of us were all-in. The Fault in Our Stars. Baby Driver. Breaking Bad.
I hope you're feeling this feeling for me now. I imagine that you are. And this imagined feeling I ride like a wave.
It is why I have moved along at last to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. (I am on page 36.) Already I find myself with a newfound awe for Harry and Rowling. I will share a few outsider's insights...
But first, a bit more backstory:
No doubt you saw at least one of those "Which Hogwarts House Do You Belong In" personality tests that made the rounds to commemorate Harry's 20th anniversary on 6/26/2017 – that being my birthday, by the way – coincidence? – perhaps not.
I'm a sucker for personality tests. When I came across a Hogwarts iteration, it reminded me that my Myers-Briggs results (INFP) purportedly correlate with the personality of none other than Harry himself. I couldn't resist taking the Hogwarts test to see whether I would be sorted as Gryffindor.
Here are my results:
So: Huffleclaw: predominately Hufflepuff yet also significantly Ravenclaw in nature.
Cool, I thought.
Since so many folks these days share their Hogwarts affiliation on social media, identifying as such in their bios, I wanted in on that action.
Here's my bio as of today:
Once you post a Hogwarts affiliation, you're duty-bound to read the whole Potter series if you have not already done so. Anything less would amount to sheer hypocrisy.
Yes, I am all-in. Committed. Happy. This stuff is better than good, it's otherworldly. I am feeling it.
Which brings me back to page 36 of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Thus far, my biggest takeaway is: J.K. Rowling is a genius (duh) in ways myriad but particularly in juxtaposition – contrast – commingling opposites.
Here is a table I created to enumerate the excellence:
Is it any wonder the Harry Potter books constitute the best-selling series of all time? Such unforgettable juxtapositioning essentially weighs reality against fantasy, disappointment against ideal, hell against heaven.
Don't we all want a secret identity, secret powers, a destiny with a higher purpose, adoration, respect and Quidditch?
Don't we all feel trapped by circumstance, holed up in a metaphorical room under the stairs or a chamber offering only a catflap of a connection to the outer world?
Rowling paints our anguish and desire on the page with colors magical, breathtaking, and bold. We appreciate the art.
But enough with the analysis. I have 998,712 more words to read.
Writer, reader, runner, teacher, father, infp, huffleclaw.