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Rayjo July 19th, 2006 12:43 am

Telling Stories
 
Discussion for Telling Stories by Tom Morey.

SteelAzalea July 19th, 2006 1:25 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
Interesting! I actually just watched an old Dateline the other day in Psych class about lying and the psychologist they interviewed said the average adult lies 25 times a day, which is weird when you think about it but then again, how many times has someone asked "how are you doing?" and you replied "fine" when you really weren't?

They also showed that children as young as 4 lie to help themselves (about breaking the rules) but can not lie and say they enjoy something when they don't.

As for this relating to Harry Potter, I was always struck by how Harry seems to be more honest than other characters...When someone says something and he's expected to respond he always is like "uh...errrr...gotta go." He is a foil to Ginny who as you said, has been shown to be very good at lying.

It also reveals something about the characters about WHEN they lie. For instance, Hermione lies to save other peoples feelings, such as when she insults the Quibbler in front of Luna and then tries to say a few flattering things about it she clearly does not believe (Page 193, Order of the Phoenix, US edition). Also, I think Ron lies when he is trying to save his own image like when Ginny points out that he is less romantically experienced than others his age, he makes small attempts at denial (Half Blood Prince, page 288, US edition). I kind of see Ron as the 4 year old who can lie to save himself but not usually otherwise. Going by my theory, I guess this makes Ron and Hermione a foil (saving others feelings vs. saving own image) just like Harry and Ginny are (being a bad liar vs. being an accomplished one).

FABULOUS editorial!

SmR July 19th, 2006 1:25 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
Interesting editorial, particularly the bit about Snape. But I'm not completely sold on the idea of storytelling and lying being so similar - they usually have very different motives behind them (lying can be out of shame, desperation, desire to manipulate, greed or other self-serving motives while storytelling, to me, has the connontations of an innocent diversion). However, someone lying out of desperation or shame probably wouldn't lie very well, leaving the self-serving motives...I guess someone who could lie well enough to take the risk for personal gain would make a credible storyteller. Appears to describe Snape pretty well, doesn't it? But not Ginny, really, although she is good, isn't she? :-)
Cheers for investigating an original, interesting aspect of the books.

ziprose July 19th, 2006 3:27 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
Interesting ideas. Just a side note about liking fiction but hating lying.

The reason most have a problem with lying is not the lie itself. It is the trust broken. You have no emotional stake in fiction writers... no expectation to hear the truth, and therefore their lies are amusing.

YaMo July 19th, 2006 4:29 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
It was a nice editorial, but I didn't really get the point.
People lie, people tell stories, but so what? This editorial feels unfinished to me.

blessed_dragon July 19th, 2006 4:56 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
I thought you brought up some interesting points although, like another poster, I don't really quite understand what it was you were trying to prove, so the editorial felt kind of unfinished. However, you did make me stop and think about how good of a liar Ginny is. I'd never really noticed that before. I would think that the fact that she's the only only girl and the youngest has something to do with that.

lupislune July 19th, 2006 6:22 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
The fact that Ginny is a good storyteller is quite intriguing. Are you hinting at that perhaps Ginny will end up betraying Harry somehow?

bribe July 19th, 2006 10:00 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
All lies are stories but not all stories are lies.

Like other reviewers I thought the editorial lacked a focus and that there was no obvious point being made. Although interesting this editorial seems incomplete and in need of some further development.

Mellilot July 19th, 2006 2:09 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
I loved this editorial- it was a great look at JKR's relations with her characters for one- and employed excellent use of language and puns. Harry does occasionally lie, but for the same reason that he was very bad at occlumency he's very bad at lying. For similar reasons both Ron and Hermione aren't the best liars either- they all three wear their hearts on their sleeves. Ginny however keeps her feelings a little closer to her heart- a trait I think she learnt from growing up with Fred and George always teasing Ron, and from pushing Harry away when she was open with her feelings for him in her first and second years at Hogwarts.

witch007 July 19th, 2006 4:53 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
But there are instances when Harry lies or tells stories very well! For example in PS when he's impersonating the Bloody Baron :lol: or in CoS when he makes McGonnagall cry by telling her they(with ron) were going to the hospital wing to visit hermione who was Petrified or in HBP he fools both Ron and Hermione with Fake Felix Felicis...he also lied to Fudge and Umbridge about the DA and he got off, although I suppose that was more thanks to DD than to his lying abilities.

PygmyPuffer July 19th, 2006 6:56 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
The main difference between lying and stories is that a lie is presented as the truth. It is dishonest. A work of fiction is not presented as truth (usually).

ALLYsaysErm July 19th, 2006 7:50 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
Interesting.....

As an actress, i have long had a number of theories about lying in life. IT seems to me that there are a number of different types of lies. Not just white lies and black etc., but lies that we create, lies that create us, lies that we run from or try to conceal, and lies that we embrace, even become. When becoming a character on the stage, actores must do just that -- become a character. Hubris aside, I feel that although I still have major trouble lying to a person's face, I have mastered and thoroughly enjoy the art of lying in order to transform myself in front of an audience... go figure. THis type of "lying" is difficult and draining at times, because it takes a lot of a person to extract part of themselves from themselves, and integrate parts of someone else entirely on command. I don't think a good actor could ever be a character to the best of his/her ability in the time span Ginny has to make up her little "Stories."
This in mind, is Ginny's ability to come up with quick excuses and diversions even in the same ball park as being a good srotyteller, examplifying traits of the great JKR herself? I don't know, but I think the argument is a little weak here... while the idea is intriguing.

p.s., I have always thought that if JKR had a little less of the attitude with which i have heard her say she would be a horrible actress, I bet she would be fantastic. The ability to understand and efectively write about human niuance and idiosyncracies is a key component in being able to manifest those traits in a dramatic performance.

luvtheheaven July 19th, 2006 10:39 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mellilot
Harry does occasionally lie, but for the same reason that he was very bad at occlumency he's very bad at lying. For similar reasons both Ron and Hermione aren't the best liars either- they all three wear their hearts on their sleeves. Ginny however keeps her feelings a little closer to her heart- a trait I think she learnt from growing up with Fred and George always teasing Ron, and from pushing Harry away when she was open with her feelings for him in her first and second years at Hogwarts.

This is very true. Harry hasn't been trained to hide how he feels - he was taught at the Dursley's that no matter what he said or did, no one would care, so what's the point in hiding? Ginny does now know how and when to lie, in a different way than Harry.

Quote:

Originally Posted by witch007
But there are instances when Harry lies or tells stories very well! For example in PS when he's impersonating the Bloody Baron :lol: or in CoS when he makes McGonnagall cry by telling her they(with ron) were going to the hospital wing to visit hermione who was Petrified or in HBP he fools both Ron and Hermione with Fake Felix Felicis...he also lied to Fudge and Umbridge about the DA and he got off, although I suppose that was more thanks to DD than to his lying abilities.

With the fake Felix Felicis, Harry planned his lie. When he made up the story about visiting Hermione, it was more like what Ginny does, which is evident as others around both of them are impressed and surprised by the quickly thought up lie. Harry usually doesn't want to lie - he's say what he feels even if he shouldn't. Ginny, however, will keep her eye on the goal, and pretend to not like Harry anymore, etc.

What this editorial seemed to be suggesting, however, is that Ginny is actually more like JKR than Hermione or Harry - because Ginny can lie, and by writing a series of ficticious books, Jo can too. Perhaps there is some of Ginny in JKR, because Ginny seems to be the kind of character she hopes is seen as extremely likable. You're not supposed to hate Harry - otherwise you'd hate the books. Even though Harry has faults, everyone can relate to him. You're not supposed to hate the stubborn know-it-all who doesn't know exactly how to socially deal face-to-face with people sometimes, because Hermione still has lovable qualities, and for every time Harry's annoyed by Hermione, he's also marvelling at the amount of time she spends on her homework and how much she understands and knows. JRK always cites Hermione as being most like herself because Hermione's the girl who reads too much - and that's what JKR probably thinks about every time she writes about how Hermione read something in "Hogwarts, A History". True, when she writes about siblings quarrelling she probably refers to her own experiences with her sister, and since the main example of siblings we see is in the Weasley family, and Ginny's the only girl, I could see that correlation. But, I don't think that means much.

I really have no idea as to what you were implying about Snape's lies. But it was still an interesting and fun editorial.

YaMo July 20th, 2006 12:48 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
And I would like to note:
You say that fiction and lie are synonyms, but there is a little detail in the definition of "a lie" that you seem to have overlooked. I even searched for it in a (Dutch) dictionary. It says (translated):" incorrect message that is meant to deceive"
Fiction is not, in most cases, meant to deceive a person (or so I hope).

Cady July 20th, 2006 4:02 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
Bravo! Really well done. I loved this little editorial. This has some nice incites into the characters that I never noticed before; I always thought of Ginny as sweet and innocent. And well, I guess she is just as sweet and innocent as ever, but definitely sister to Fred and George ;)

I particularly liked what was said about Ginny as a reflection of Jo. I know Jo has stated that she's a lot like Hermione, and occaisionally puts her words into Hermione's mouth to say things to Harry, but I think Ginny may reflect a more personal side of Jo- I think Ginny reflects the lessons Jo herself learned in growing up. Just something I've always felt.

MagicLantern July 20th, 2006 6:36 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
I really liked this editorial also! I would have been disappointed if Snape had not been mentioned. From the moment I saw the word "lie" I started hearing the refrain "and tells naught but lies."

I enjoyed your analysis of Ginny as liar and good story teller. It was a revealing character study.

About Snape, maybe I would have liked a little more development. Have we ever seen Snape lie so far? We have seen him be nasty, but lie? Because I think that is extremely important in determining whether Snape lied to Dumbledore, actively lied.

The only "big lie" I can think of is not an outright lie but an omission of truth (which can be a lie: "Do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"). And again, I am concluding Snape lied from the evidence, but some don't agree. I don't think Snape ever told Dumbledore about the Unbreakable Vow.

Before that, again, I have never seen Snape tell an outright lie, but I did see him withhold information once before, and fish for information another time.

At the dueling club, Snape had Draco do the Serpensortia spell and then watched Harry calculatingly when he spoke Parseltongue. I think he was investigating on his own Harry's powers, and I don't think he was telling Dumbledore what he was up to. I wonder if he thought for a moment that Harry was attacking students. How could he?

Also, still in CoS, when Dumbledore was investigating the cat, Snape was standing back with a smirk on his lips. Clearly he knew the cat was petrified. He must have known why. But he didn't share that information with Dumbledore. Was it out of outward respect? (Because the smirk doesn't seem respectful). There was something that looked suspicious about Snape's attitude there, although it may have just been his usual scorn for the ineptitude of others (...Dumbledore?).

But in fact, so far, I can't off the top of my head think of a single instance of Snape lying (in fact, that is what makes him so scary: how honest he is with his hate)... except with Narcissa and Bellatrix, i.e. with the "enemy." That was the only time I grew suspicious of some of Snape's answers (and I'm not in the Dumbledore's-man-through-and-through Snape camp).

At Hogwarts, on the contrary, Snape has been the very portrait of honesty. He has been showing Harry exactly how he feels; he has been actively hating Neville and Hermione; he has been a nasty and biased teacher, hiding none of his nastiness and none of his bias. Even his walking straight towards Fudge with his Dark Marked arm held forth was like a metaphor for his openness and honesty.

Was this just a "parade of honesty" in order to "build his character image" to Dumbledore as a man who doesn't hide his feelings, who tells it like it is, who is incapable of telling an emotional lie?

I'll be very impressed if Snape actually planned it like that.

It was quite a shock to me to see Snape be nice to someone for a change, like he was when he saw Narcissa. He seemed to be polite, to have social manners, to be balanced in his responses, not at all the portrait of Snape I have learned to see at Hogwarts. When he sat back in his chair, with his arms on the arms rests of his chair, he seemed to be projecting the body image of an equal among equals, not that of a power abuser. But in this more human Snape I started also detecting a lot more hints of lies.

Anyway, I think it's worth investigating Snape more from the point of view that you bring up.

P.S. I liked the post above about different kinds of lies, and the one about Ginny representing some of the issues Rowling has had growing up.

Mercer July 20th, 2006 5:42 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
I wonder if JKR is not hinting at the perspective of the books with Ginny's character. Could the books actually be from Ginny's perspective, as told her by Harry in some fashion, after the fact? This could have some serious implications to the outcome of the books, and where JKR is going.

Just a thought

Mercer
Elf of Old

im_her_one July 25th, 2006 2:10 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
I liked the character analysis - very interesting points brought up. It just didn't seem like a theory. It seemed like all evidence and no explanation/conclusion. But it does seem like the ability to lie is an important theme now...hmmm...*pondering*

Volodymyr July 25th, 2006 11:12 pm

Re: Telling Stories
 
As a writer, I can attest to the fact that every main character in every story is in some way a caricature of the writer. It makes perfect sense to me that Ginny is as much a caricature of JKR as Hermione is.

american_allie July 29th, 2006 9:03 am

Re: Telling Stories
 
Captivaing as this editorial was I, like many others, fail to see the main point. I loved all this information, as it has given food for days worth of thought but, what was the reason to bring in Snape if it was about JKR and Ginny, and what the point of bringing in JKR if it was about lies and what they could mean in the books. So I guess we can say It was about lies and stories but where else could this info help out? I feel as if this is a ansewer I have been looking for but as the sorting hat put best "....So where shall I put you?"


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