The year 2011 is coming to a close. The Palo Alto Borders store, where I purchased all my Harry Potter books, is closed and out-of-business, but Harry Potter marches on. Part 2 of the Deathly Hallows movie is selling now to the home audience on Blue-Ray and DVD—this must mean that the Harry Potter series is truly finished. But, fans can look forward to the Pottermore web site opening in 2012. (What is happening with Pottermore? The beta testers are being very quiet.)
I have yet to watch the Potter movies, preferring to savor the novels a bit longer. I read books 1-6 in Spanish. The hardbound Salamandra editions are nicely printed in Spain and were well translated (Volume 6, El misterio del principe by Gemma Rovira Ortega, was especially nice).
Reading the Spanish translations of Harry Potter was interesting, but as I became more and more interested in Harry’s story, it was harder and harder for me to wait the year between the English publication and the translation. So, on July 21, 2007 I was in the queue at Borders to buy Deathly Hallows in English.
It was around 2 pm, when I arrived at the store and joined the line of Harry Potter fans that had queued up to buy the much-anticipated book. I bought my copy, and asked the clerk how he was holding up (he shrugged his shoulders “OK”).
I rushed home to start reading. I read it straight through (no Internet, and no TV, for fear of someone inadvertently disclosing the ending). I finished reading sometime Sunday. What a happy time.
Reading Deathly Hallows in English, I had to look up and puzzle over many of the nicknames that I knew in Spanish but not in English. For example, Ojoloco (literally, crazy eye) turned out to be “Mad-Eye” Moody, who played a key role in helping protect Harry until ambushed by Lord Voldemort. Another examples: Nearly Headless Nick the Gryffindor poltergeist is translated as Nick Casi Decapitated, and Wormtail Pettigrew, the infamous spy, became Colagusano in Spanish.
Deathly Hallows was a great read and a fitting end to the Harry Potter series. Rawling followed it with a wizarding classic: The Tales of Beedle The Bard, translated from ancient runes by Hermione Granger. One of the stories, The Tale of the Three Brothers, is the story that provided clues to the meanings of the three deathly hallows, which greatly helped Harry, Ron and Hermione in a time of crisis.
Happy New Year to Everyone.
Day 87: The Tales of Beedle the Bard , J. K. Rawling (2008).