Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Works of Spanish language literature that allow me to make relevant Harry Potter references in the classroom, 1

"El Sur" by Jorge Luis Borges. The connection to stories about Mr. Potter has to do with a dangerous scar on the protagonist's forehead. Lucky for Harry, his scar never got infected with lead-based paint. However, the protagonist of the short story, Juan Dahlmann, never had any run-ins with Lord Voldemort. Still, Harry has the advantage: despite what the wizarding media says during a couple books, Harry's perfectly sane.

La vida es sueño (the drama — not the auto sacramental — by Calderón de la Barca) and a whole lot of other dramas from the siglos de oro are prime material for discussing self-fulfilling prophecies. Self-fulfilling prophecies bring to mind that one time when Trelawney and Dumbledore walked into a bar in Hogsmeade...

La vida es sueño works for an additional reason: its opening line talks about a violent hippogriff. I kid you not! If I ever teach this play, I'm so going to show a scene from the film version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, probably the one when Harry and his Care of Magical Creatures classmates meet their first hippogriff.

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