Stories Without Method: Harry Potter Notes - Part Three

Stories Without Method: Harry Potter Notes - Part Three
We have come to the end. Or rather, this is the end of this series of notes on Harry Potter that I started a few weeks ago, talking about the depth and breadth of the saga first imagined and then written by JK Rowling.

I have focused on some questions and nuances that in the more than three thousand and five hundred pages of the saga seemed striking to me, but I realize that these are just ideas. The narrative territory that has Harry as its protagonist, and which has Hogwarts at its core, extends to the limits of the imagination and human experience. It would take a long, long time to explore all that territory, made up of hidden corners, forbidden places like a part of the library and the forest surrounding the most famous school of magic in the world, or other unknown and dangerous ones, like those that belong to the past. of Dumbledore or guarding the fragments of Voldemort's soul.

The teachings of Harry Potter

As I wrote in the first part of these notes, Harry Potter is a sort of question box i, a mirror in which to discover - exactly as happens to its protagonist in front of the Mirror of Desires - what we want most and why. Indeed, what is the meaning of our desires and the intensity with which we feed them.

Guiding us in this extraordinary journey are in particular some virtues and some aspects of our experience on this planet, which we call life: they are knowledge (we talked about it last time), friendship (the one with Ron and Hermione is the pivot and the engine of the story), the scholastic and personal transmission of knowledge (as happens or should happen at school) and above all, love. Love is very banal and very clearly.

It is love that protected Harry, love that drove him to fight and love that, more than anything else, is able to defuse the plans of the Dark Lord. But, even in this case, to get closer to the ending, let's go step by step.

As I mentioned, Rowling has woven her saga with foresight and with a clear plan. From the very beginning he knew where it would go, how his epic would end. And indeed, it seems to have started right from the end to baste its work.

So, from the very beginning, he warned us. He disseminated his path with clues, he implicitly and explicitly left us to understand that the two ancestral, visceral and very powerful elements that constitute the core of his story would be two: love and death. Two parts of the atom that joined or split can trigger explosions that can change the world forever, overthrow it or amplify it. Two small parts of the speech which, by themselves, contain all other speeches in their entirety. The two sides of a single coin which, just like birth and death, contain a whole life and every single life.

As the beloved says to the beloved in the Song of Songs, the most erotic and sensual book of the Bible, which takes us for a walk through verdant meadows, vineyards and through the adventure of being men and women:

"Put me as a seal on your heart,

as a seal on your arm;

because love is strong as death,

passion is tenacious as hell:

its flames are flames of fire,

a flame of the Lord!

Great waters cannot extinguish love

nor rivers overwhelm it ".

And that's exactly what happens in Harry Potter, through an abysmal mystery, running through Harry's existence from his salvation - remember, true, he is The Child Who Lived, as says the title of the first chapter of the saga? - to his resurrection, accompanied by a vision that has Dumbledore as its protagonist.

In short, if we were to start from the beginning, we should remember the moment when Dumbledore speaks to Harry about Death for the first time. And he talks about it on the occasion of the first case to be solved, that relating to the Philosopher's Stone. Harry has just learned that Flamel and his wife have decided to get rid of the Stone and, therefore, to die. Says Dumbledore:

“For someone as young as you, I'm sure this will all sound incredible, but for Nicolas and Peronella it's just like going to sleep after a very, very long day. Ultimately, for a well-organized mind, death is but a new, great adventure. You know, the Stone wasn't such a prodigious thing. Yes, of course: all the money and all the life that one could want ... These are the two things that most human beings want more than any other ... But the trouble is that men have a particular ability to choose the very worst things for them".

'Ultimately, for a well-organized mind, death is nothing but a new, great adventure'. That's right. That's a jaw-dropping statement.

When read it simply sounds like a way to fill Harry's life with hope. Or otherwise, a way of seeing things that contemplates eternity as a possibility, but, in reality, says something just astonishing: death is a new, great adventure not for everyone. No. It is for a well-organized mind.

How to experience mortality

What does this mean? Why a well organized mind? A well-organized mind - we discover this in the next six volumes - accepts the gift of its own mortality. Indeed, he does not accept to come to terms with life, to cling to it with all his strength and to desire immortality more than anything else, to the point of breaking his soul, fragmenting it and making it become an object. Indeed, various objects called Horcruxes. Exactly what Voldemort does.

Laura Anna Macor, whom I have already mentioned once and who is the author of Philosophy with Harry Potter, entitles a chapter of her work Worse than Death. It is an expression that often recurs - in this form, or in other similar ones - within the saga. Whoever pronounces it has an organized mind, that is, he knows how to distinguish the limit within which he must move and knows that yearning for immortality is useless and senseless, both for muggles and wizards, both united by the fact that they are indeed mortal.

Worse than death, more than anything else, is the condition chosen by Voldemort. The Dark Lord rejected his own condition, sinned hubris and so desired to expel death from his life that he made his life a shadow, a semblance of existence. It did so to the point of dissolving, becoming an impalpable essence that needs a body - this is how we meet it at the beginning of the saga - and that to realize itself again it needs to kill and multiply suffering. Worse than death is his soul that becomes a Horcrux, that is an object, protected by a series of spells that should ensure its intangibility. But is a soul divided into pieces a soul? Is that life?

Now, the extraordinary and dizzying paradox of Rowling's masterpiece - and this is where we conclude - consists of a double conceptual somersault: Voldemort has entrusted his immortality to the Horcruxes and sought to fulfill the prophecy killing Harry, but he did not realize that he had transformed Harry himself into a Horcrux.

Inside this bond, inside this game of mirrors that tends to infinity, the stroke of genius closes in a double way. extraordinary of the saga: Harry guards the last piece of the soul of his enemy, who, trying to kill him, does not know he is contributing to his own death. Indeed, once all the other Horcruxes have been eliminated, Harry's murder marks the death of Voldemort and the resurrection of Harry.

One must, however, be willing to die to kill Voldemort. And Harry is. Because, before him, his parents were, and in particular his mother, who immolated herself to save him and, by sacrificing herself, protected him.

The love of his mother, sealed on his body by scar imprinted by Voldemort's assassination attempt, it is the shield that protected him and which lasted intact until his seventeenth year of age, but which continued to act as a driving force for a very specific reason, clearly stated, again once, from Dumbledore: "if there is one thing that Voldemort cannot conceive, it is love".

And whoever fails to conceive that force capable of unhinging the world from its pillars, in kind succumbs to it. Those who conceive it, like Harry does - and like Neville, the other candidate to become the Chosen One - accepts the gift of mortality and surrenders to it.

We can only thank J. K. Rowling for this marvel. The secret to being happy, according to what this enormous masterpiece entitled Harry Potter teaches us.

You can enter the magical world of Harry Potter by purchasing the box with the complete saga of books at this link

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