Monday, November 21, 2011

Harry Potter and Long-Form Fiction

Finally finished all seven (um, eight) of the Harry Potter films.  Cumulatively they add up to something special!

There's something wonderful about the really long, immersive experience of long-form art.

These exist in many genres: whether that's a series of books like Patrick O'Brien's Aubery/Maturin sea saga (more a single multi-volume novel than a series of sequels) or Lois McMaster Bujold's similarly multi-volume Vorkosign series in science fiction.  Bujold says the multi-volume form is distinct from the standard novel; I tend to agree - just as the short story is distinct from the novel, or the ode from the epic poem.  Sprint versus run versus marathon.  The TV version might be a miniseries like Roots or, more extended, a mythologically dense long-term series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  And there are operas, like The Magic Flute, and operas, like Wagner's Ring Cycle.  Personally, I enjoy the long-form, but I'll admit that some of its satisfaction comes from making it through the whole thing!

The cover of Ace's LotR, center of a copyright dispute

I think creators have a natural pace and style... and some need time and elbow room.

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