Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by jazzabel, Jul 27, 2013.
I really enjoyed this, thought I'd share
Yeah, that was great. Not what I expected, either. Much better, in fact. She's a really cool person, isn't she?
I like this: sobering, down to earth and humorous. And I can already relate to it. Damn it Mrs. Rowling, stop giving me reasons to like you as a person!
[MENTION=53222]jannert[/MENTION] and [MENTION=2124]Lemex[/MENTION]: I never read HP (tried and didn't manage it) but I took immediate liking to her first time I saw her speak (in an interview) because she is a spitting image for one of my friends. And she sounds like her too. If I'm right, JK is painfully shy, especially with public speaking, she also has a lisp so she sounds a bit weird. But if you give her a chance, she is a lovely and intelligent person
I have mixed feelings about the Harry Potter books, both as a whole and the books individually. What she did do well with the books, she did very well, including the fact that the books are dynamic in the sense that they grow with Harry, both the way it is told and written and the way Harry's thoughts and feelings take shape.
The speech was surprising in a positive way. I know better than to form an opinion on people based on something such as a public speech, but she comes across as a very pleasant and intelligent person. Thanks for posting this.
I've watched a view of her other videos, and she really does seem like a nice person. This particular speech was excellent.
I thought the writing got better with each book, so if the writing was what initially put you off, I would consider revisiting the series.
[MENTION=55406]Orihalcon[/MENTION]: I'm so glad you like it
[MENTION=5272]thirdwind[/MENTION]: I got her recent crime novel she wrote under a different pen name, it's waiting in the queue to be read. I'm so glad HP got better with time, I definitely envisaged myself reading my kids this, but since that'll have to wait, I might give it a go sooner
As for no interest in the HP series, I can't fathom it. My son urged me and urged me to read the books. He was in grade school. I kept saying no, I didn't want to read a children's story. But I bought book 3 or 4 on audio to listen to on a long car trip, and after a couple chapters, I stopped it, went and found the first book on audio and started from the beginning. I loved all of them except, I didn't like whiney Harry in one of the later books.
[MENTION=53143]GingerCoffee[/MENTION]: You may well be right. I tried it while I was still working, and I didn't have a lot of time or patience then. I will give it another go
If you spend a lot of time in your car, like a long commute, you might consider getting the audio version, at least for the first book. The reader, Jim Dale, does a perfect reading of the series, better than any other audio book reader I've listened to.
I don't, unfortunately, but I read books all the time on my Kindle so in that respect I have no excuse
I listen to people talking on my headphones on a constant basis, whether it's podcasts, stand-up comedy, or any speech in front of a large crowd. I also obsess a great deal about my own speaking ability, from the pitch of my voice to enunciation to the set-up and delivery. (And yes, I am strongly considering joining Toastmasters!) I even bought a portable voice recorder and do deep breathing exercises. With that in mind, I was curious to hear how JK Rowling's speech, even if I don't care for her writing. Random thoughts;
1. Her voice is annoying to the ears. (And I usually find women speaking with British accents sexy)
2. She is not funny. While opening with jokes is a standard approach, the material was subpar, and the delivery simply awful. Thankfully, the crowd already loved her, and gave her polite chuckles. But this wouldn't have worked for anyone less than the most beloved children's writer in history.
3. Her speech is too quick at times. I'm a bit surprised at this, since it's a common mistake of many beginning, uncertain speakers. Perhaps she was nervous for that speech, but I'm sure she had delivered plenty of speeches by the middle of 2008, no?
Okay, all the above is petty bullshit on my part, right? She's a fucking writer, not a stand-up comedian or amazing talker, correct? Hell, Vladimir Nabokov was not a good talker, either. Fine. But
4. Her entire speech was a vague, unhelpful cliche. What do we take away from her talk? That some people fail, but they can learn from their mistakes and improve their situation? Wow, that's deep and unexpected!
[MENTION=54840]IronPalm[/MENTION]: You know how they say, everyone has a right to their opinion
I think I was quite lucky, since both my high school and college commencement talkers delivered excellent speeches I remember to this very day. The high school one in particular was a wonderful, honest speech about the necessary ingredients for success by the co-founder of Atari. The college one, delivered by a high-ranking member of the Obama regime, was both inspirational and humbling, while abstaining from politics.
However, I have definitely heard a lot of groaners, including earlier years for both my high school and college.
It might be that these speeches are tailored to specific schools. We had our dean and a professor of philosophy, medicine, ethics and all things gay, give our speeches and I tear up to this day when I remember them. Especially my old prof, such a character, such an intellectual, when you know his accomplishments it's quite intimidating, but he is the loveliest, funniest guy in person.
I adored JK's speech, I think it's beautifully eloquent, meaningful and unusual, but exactly what I'd like Harvard graduates to hear. I think she is fabulous, superbly intelligent and emphatic, she is doing us women justice. And she reminds me so much of my bf
What we need to remember is that Mrs. Rowling is not a professional orator. She's also well known for being shy. She is not going be some sweet tongued Paris.
[MENTION=2124]Lemex[/MENTION]: Ok, I'm gonna tell the story of me and Lorien, because JK always reminds me of it. We were both fresh out of Uni, our first job. Both blonde and noticeable, but with one important difference - I was an extroverted star of the show while she was a sour-faced quiet girl. We took immediate dislike to each other, rolling our eyes etc, until one night at a party we both attended, we got really drunk and ended up evading a really insistent suitor who was hell-bent on following Lorien home. In a moment of drunken empathy, I totally bailed her out and we ended up in my place, talking all night. We were exact opposites, but our core values and interests were exactly the same. What followed was a girl version of a bromance, and I remember how stupid I felt when she explained the crippling shyness she suffered from, which always made her sound sarcastic. Not the words, but the stiffness when she spoke in meetings and to groups. I just didn't understand it before, because I never suffered from it and I viewed shy people with suspicion, as if they're hiding something. I was so wrong about that. Shy people are great and often a whole deal wiser than eloquent chatter boxes like myself
I know. Hence my disclaimer, and the actual meat of my post;
"Hell, Vladimir Nabokov was not a good talker, either. Fine. But
4. Her entire speech was a vague, unhelpful cliche. What do we take away from her talk? That some people fail, but they can learn from their mistakes and improve their situation? Wow, that's deep and unexpected!"
For the record, while they might not be a sweet tongued Paris, I feel that everyone, no matter how shy or naturally bad at talking, has the ability to prepare and deliver a good speech with enough practice.
I absolutely loved this, rewinding and noting certain things she said. I am older now than she was then and she makes me wonder just what I have done with my life.
I believe I'm going to have a seriously long cry, then get out of my own way and finish my damn book.
[MENTION=7103]nhope[/MENTION]:I am so glad you liked it, it was hard to hear but so worth it. And I'm all for tearful reassessments. They usually kick me down to the floor, but when I get up, my life changes for the better. Best of luck with the book!
That was an inspiring speech. I've noticed that, as it is with many things, be it writing, health & fitness, whatever, most people already know what they need to know. They are just too lazy or too good at making excuses not to do what needs to be done, and it's during those times that a simple nudge in the right direction might help them grab the bull by the horns. To me, this speech is an example of such a nudge; nothing new, nothing we haven't heard before, nothing groundbreaking or Earth-shattering, but then again, as is the case with many things, the basics are far more important than fancy little details, contemplation of supposedly advanced concepts etc.
In any case, when it comes to material like this, be it a speech, an essay, or some such, the content is far more important than its delivery. I know the adage "it's not what you say, but how you say it," is valid, but, in my opinion, can't be blindly applied to everything and certainly doesn't really work in relation to this speech. Rowling might be lacking as an orator, but did the job very admirably, especially when considering that she probably spends more time writing and on whatever else she does instead of rehearsing speeches. Besides, even though almost anyone can become a great speaker with enough solid practice, she's at a point in her life / career, where people pay attention to what she says even if her delivery isn't on par with the greater orators, so she doesn't need to spend hours upon hours in front of a mirror / listening to recordings of herself, practicing pronounciation, intonation etc. in order to be noticed and get her message(s) across to her audience. Instead, she can put her efforts into things that are more important (to her), such as producing art and inspiring people all around the world.
That was wonderful She seems like such a charming person, and those Harvard graduates were lucky to have her speak to them!
[MENTION=53329]T.Trian[/MENTION] sand [MENTION=53403]KaTrian[/MENTION]: I completely agree with you both
Thanks for posting!
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