[quote="fom4life, post:6, topic:267116"]
Interesting comments about Rowling herself. I do hope that this does't turn into another pro-Harry/Anti-Harry Debate. I want to have a discussion about Principles.....
What makes bad liturture that should be avoided? What are the general principles? Is there any other popular books that others are weary of?
Well, if you'll read your first post you kind of set it up as 'another pro-Harry/Anti-Harry' by the way you worded your questions.
However, what makes bad/good literature is a matter of opinion, and well, I've got as much opinion as anyone and it's worth a lot less than most.
I don't think there are any popular books to be wary of. Most of the critique of HP is the issue of it's suitability for children. That it may influence individuals who have not as yet have a fully formed conscience and therefore do not read it from a christian viewpoint to begin with. So, the issue isn't with the author as much as it is with the audience, the reader. I've posted this before but there is a great line from a comedy song 'Smut' written by Tom Lehr (That was the Year That Was) as a commentary on the USCOTUS decision on pornography.
"When correctly viewed, anything is lewd.
I could tell you stories about Peter Pan, or the Wizard of Oz.
(There's a dirty Old Man)"
If literature is an expression of ideas via a novel/short story or some other written fiction, I would say the measure of good literature is that it accurately presents the message the author intended to convey. Communicates the ideas and concepts intended- which doesn't require the reader to accept them or agree with them (heck, the author might not either, they may be trying to provoke thought vice elicit support for the position their characters seem to be espousing). Simply understand them, and what the author is saying about them. In short, good literature is the communication of a truth as the author sees it.
Now in another HP thread, a commenter stated they believed that great literature is that which presents an idea/concept that is in fact TRUTH. That an author has provided a commentary in which their viewpoint does in fact coincide with a profound Truth which all can relate to.
Which gets back to the audience. Literature requires an audience, that audience reads with their own biases and knowledge base. They bring almost as much to the work as the author. We may read into something the author never intended but that we find profound. I see a lot of christian symbology in HP, the literal attachment of the soul to things of this world as an inherently evil act that leads to one's eternal damnation. This is shown literally in HP and therefore some see it as 'cheapening the message'. That because it is so blatant it precludes the work from being considered great.
I can't know for sure what Rowlings or any other author intended unless they tell me. If they have to explain their work to me for me to understand it, then either they've failed or I have. But where's the breakdown? Them for not understanding their target audience? Me for not understanding or allowing my own prejudices/biases to conflict with considering the ideas in the work?
I can read or even write works with ideas which conflict with my own values. I can consider opinions contrary to my own. I don't think literature is bad for presenting those ideas, I do not have to accept them, but I should be able to provide a reasoned response. Contemplate exactly why I reject those values/concepts, understandy my own contrary position better, as well as the position they seem to be setting forth.