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更新时间:2016-8-3 18:54:46 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Harry Potter’s a Dad: ‘Accio, Pacifier!’

Our family is just home from the bookstore, with multiple copies of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” in hand, gamely reading in a new format — the book is the script of the play by the same name, and thus a different reading experience from the seven novels that came before it.

我们一家人刚从书店回到家, 带回好几本《哈利·波特与被诅咒的孩子》(Harry Potter and the Cursed Child)。大伙儿聚精会神读着这本新体裁的书:它是同名舞台剧的剧本,所以阅读体验和前七集小说不一样。

There will be no spoilers here, but the very title makes clear that “The Cursed Child” is a story about parents and children in a way that the original series never was. Harry Potter is a father now, and one question this book will answer is how the Boy Who Lived — when his parents didn’t — handles that role.


As an orphan, Harry himself could operate free of the burden a parent’s fears, love and expectation can place on a person. Now, as a parent, he has to confront it.


For readers who started reading these books when the first one came out nearly 20 years ago and grew up with Harry and friends, the scenes that reveal the characters as adults are the ones we’ve been waiting for. Though the story has serious themes, the sheer fun of returning to the familiar magical world is a delight.


And there are certainly moments when real-life parents can fantasize about the possibility of a magical assist. Imagine being able to use a spell like “Accio Binky!” to return a dropped pacifier to the sleeping baby, or “Expelliarmus Mobilio!” to expel a mobile phone right out of a teenager’s hand.


Molly Brennan, a mother of two attending a book release party on Saturday night at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, N.J., suggested a spell called Behavioramus. “I would dodge it,” said her son, Logan Brown, 9. “I like my behavior how it is.”

莫莉·布伦南(Molly Brennan)是两个孩子的妈,在周六晚间参加了新泽西州蒙特克莱尔(Montclair)的沃昌书店(Watchung Booksellers)的新书发布会。她提出一个叫做“表现好点儿!(Behavioramus)”的咒语。 “我会躲过这个咒语,”布伦南9岁的儿子洛根·布朗(Logan Brown)说。 “我觉得我的表现很好啊。”

Becky Middleton of Glen Ridge, N.J., who has four children ages 6, 9, 9 and 11, said her spell of choice would be volume control. Rob Fechner of Montclair, the father of two boys ages 7 and 10, asked for a spell “to pause time so I could get stuff done and take a nap.”

新泽西州峰岭区(Glen Ridge)的贝琪·米德尔顿(Becky Middleton)有四个孩子,一个6岁、两个9岁,最大的11岁。她说她想选的是能控制音量的咒语。蒙特克莱尔的罗伯·费区纳(Rob Fechner)有7岁和10岁的两个儿子,他想要的是“可以暂停时间,好让我把事情做完,还能打个盹”的咒语。

It’s giving nothing away to say that none of those abilities seem likely to make raising children any simpler for Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron. As Julia Miner, a mother of three who lives outside Washington, D.C., said Sunday, when she was up to page 70 of “The Cursed Child,” parenting teenagers has challenges no matter who you are. Magic has never helped much with relationships in the Harry Potter universe, and the fact that wizards face some of the same bitter limits that Muggles do has always been a part of the series’ appeal.

哈利、金妮、赫敏、罗恩拥有这些魔法,可是抚养孩子这件事恐怕不会因此变得简单——这么说应该不算剧透。正如三个孩子的母亲茱莉娅·麦纳(Julia Miner)周日所说的:无论你是谁,孩子到了十几岁,做父母的都不容易。她住在华盛顿特区郊外,这本书读到了第70页。在哈利·波特的世界里,魔法从没给人际关系帮上多大的忙。巫师也要面对和麻瓜一样的各种艰难的局限,这也正是这个系列故事吸引人的一部分原因。

But for many parents and children in this universe, the books are conversation–starters that help connect us, engaging us in the same world. Now our conversations can go further.