January 28th, 2007

little review

Poem for Sunday

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Book World this week also has two cover stories on hip-hop and and popular culture, plus a review of Elisabeth Ladenson's Dirt for Art's Sake, a book about literary trials from Madame Bovary to Lolita which of course includes Margaret Anderson's trial for publishing Ulysses in The Little Review (Ladenson's book's title is taken from the later trial in the 1930s, when Random House won the right to publish the novel in the US since the judge found no "dirt for dirt's sake" in it). And there's a new translation of The Aeneid reviewed, too.

It was much warmer than expected -- not sure precisely how warm, but at least high '50s -- so after older son got home from working at Hebrew school and younger son finished a top secret project he was working on involving a shoebox, some Legos and a photo of the cats, we went to Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park. (Do other people's children create creatures out of Legos, give them names like "Bitey," then leave them lying on the floor so that when they are accidentally stepped on by cats or brothers, they must cry out, "You killed Bitey!" and sulk?) Brookside was lovely. We went first to the nature center, where all the bees were out for the season and the snakes were hiding under paper but there were turtles and toads and fish. Then we went through the greenhouses, which are having a contemporary sculpture show and weren't particularly warmer than the air outside, with a lot of tulips and amaryllis and the permanent big tropical greens. We also walked around the gardens outside, where there was still ice on the ponds but there were also ducks and geese waddling around, and many of the lights from the winter light show had not yet been taken down.

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Since we were up in Wheaton, we stopped at Rodman's and got P&G Tips, shortbread and some fruit, then came home and had tacos for dinner. Spent the evening watching Young Frankenstein on cable and howling; I don't think that one's quite as magnificent as Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety, maybe because I'm more familiar with Westerns and Hitchcock than classic horror movies, but between "Abby Normal" and "Destiny! Destiny! No escaping that for me!" and Frau Blücher and the horse, "Could be raining" and the enormous schwanzstucker and "Puttin' on the Ritz," there are still a great many hysterical moments!

Sunday we may be going to see Epic Movie as the kids are demanding it...so much for my chances of seeing Dreamgirls before the Academy Awards (because my next grownup movie is definitely Notes on a Scandal). But this is all dependent on it not snowing overmuch!
little review

Question for US Harry Potter Readers

...from someone who first read Harry Potter as children's books to my own children and wasn't all that impressed by them, particularly Chamber of Secrets:

At what point did you discover that the versions published by Scholastic were different than the versions published in the UK and countries that speak The Queen's English? Before you ever read them? After reading but before you became involved with fandom? Between books 5 and 6 when it made the news? When you were informed that a word in your fic which is also in your version of the books was unacceptable to a Canadian reader?

Did it affect anything for you...did you buy/read the UK books in their entirety, look up specific bits of text, or not particularly worry/care? Did you feel that Scholastic had robbed you as an adult reader, or had robbed millions of US children of the unedited version? If you have children, which versions did you give them or read to them?

Do you think this is likely an issue outside of organized fandom...that there are readers, teachers, parents and kids who strongly feel that either both versions or just the UK versions should be available in the US? Does anyone know whether Scholastic has been asked/told that maybe they could make more money selling the UK editions, or if there's a licensing reason they can't?