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Martin Marks

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Harry Potter: The Norton Ridiculously Expanded Edition (With Criticism)

Posted: 06/25/2012 1:23 pm

Dear Muggles,

Some wonderful news! To mark the release of all seven volumes of Harry Potter in eBook format, the Norton Library, in conjunction with David Cameron's Big Society and J.K. Rowling's No Child-Actor Left Behind initiative, is pleased to announce the release of its very own, definitive Norton Critical Edition of Harry Potter!

Produced with the British Government to offset any economic fallout from hosting the Olympic Games, painstakingly researched by some of the best literary minds at Oxford and Cambridge because on-location filming of the Harry Potter series is over and tourists just don't visit like they used to and please help us, and compiled under the watchful eyes of our Norton editors now that all interest in Dryden and Milton has dried up because everybody's spending their time and money on ridiculous new contraptions upon which to play that even more ridiculous Angry Birds Guitar Warcraft Move Dance Dance game or whatever it's called while they're all hopped up on Skittles and Pepsi-Cola even though it's three o'clock in the morning and some people have to go to work the next day and are trying to get some sleep, we've completely lost track of this sentence. The point being: Child actors don't feed themselves, and Ms. Rowling's castle needs a bigger moat.

This handsome leather and gold-bound 742 volume set comes with its own 40' x 17' bookshelf, and a kit for an extra room in which to place it. Delivered on its very own Harry Potter flatbed truck, these volumes will personally be delivered to your front door by some of the lesser known characters from the films -- that lovable Hogwarts Schoolchild 7, Uncredited Goblin 35 and Quidditch Players 12 to 17 -- because they're not doing much of anything these days. But that's not all! Call now and we'll throw in a reduced insurance rate for accidental death due to crushing and/or smushing. The sheer weight of the Norton Critical Edition of Harry Potter could devaposcoriate even the most discerning glundungess! And we certainly won't be held responsible for it.

For those readers used to our trademark, tissue-thin paper that disintegrates when exposed to humidity, act now, and we'll upgrade your order to the Norton Critical Edition Phantasmogical Stupendorific Other Harry Potter-words Plus version of Harry Potter. The Norton Critical Edition's Cistercian monks have been hard at work (we beat them if they don't work hard enough), painstakingly hand-inscribing the volumes of J.K. Rowling's masterwork onto velum. This finely illuminated manuscript, available in the uncial font so popular with clergy of the late 14th Century, is quill engraved with the Norton Critical Edition's Magically Wonderific Charming Lushtacular (i.e., highly toxic) ink. The monks are dropping like flies due to the ink's mercury content, so please, think of the monks, and place your order.

The Norton scholars provide commentary that answers all your questions about Harry Potter and his Hogwarts chums -- both on the screen and off. Have you ever wondered how the galleon-to-dollar exchange system works? Or how to jimmy the lock on the front gate of Daniel Radcliffe's country home? Or the password to Emma Watson's Gmail Account? Or Rupert Grint's ATM PIN? Then the expansively expandedly expanded commentary section will delight even the most ardent Potterphile. Especially those that can't get dates.

The edition brings together translations steeped in the rich literary tradition of Harry Potter (i.e., those whose foreign publication rights haven't already been purchased), including but not limited to Tagalog (Bulacan and Batangas dialogues), Matukar Panua, Yanomámi, Yanomamö, Pig Latin, Gibberish, Cardasian, and Mimicry, whereby a street performer comes to your home and pantomimes the major action of each and every book, chapter by chapter. Our greatly expanded "Backgrounds and Contexts" section begins with a three volume sub-index to the index of the indexed indices of indexes of this wizarding world. It then opens into a vastly greatly expanded introduction that charts the historical, biographical, post-structural, philological, and philatelogical contexts, ablative, declensional, and dative tenses, migration habits, mating patterns, predation behavior, caloric intake, fiber content, batting average, fielding percentage, forced fumbles, and touchdowns of... What were we talking about again?

In the interest of removing all enjoyment from the texts, our scholars have taken the books out of order and re-grouped everything by overly-pedantic yet very expansively expanded theme. Subheadings such as "Rhetoric and Regard: Anglo-American Nuance in Prepositions and Punctuation," "Corporeal Recognition in the Other," and "Admitted Admittance in Expulsive Re-Admittance: This Title Cancels Itself Out," will make children and adults alike agree that this is the least fun edition of Harry Potter yet! And, our greatly vastly supremely expanded annotations will be sure to clear up any misreadings of tricky words such as "and" (a coordinating conjunction that binds certain words or groups of words with those that appear in front of it) and (see previous note) "the" (a definite article quite often employed in English texts, but not in this parenthetical note), in a way that ruins the ending by the time you reach the very first footnote.

The Norton Edition's adverbially-infinitely-plus-one expanded "Criticisms" section gathers work by Martin Amis, Seamus Heaney, Terry Eagleton, Sir Richard Attenborough, Marcel Marceau (Mime edition), and Lindsey Lohan, because it just isn't a book if it doesn't have Lindsey Lohan, with highlights including Harold Bloom's "Metaphysical Ontology and Gnomic Fate," John Irwin's "Muggles, Miscegenation, and Revenge: Potter as Post-Faulknerian Hero," and Dr. Henry Kissinger's seminal work, "Metternich, Talleyrand, Voldemort."

For the cost of one cup of coffee, you too can help feed a poor, starving child actor from southwest Knightsbridge -- specifically, those that aren't at work building Ms. Rowling's new moat. Just call our 1-800 number from any land-line rotary phone, or send a telegraph by your local Western Union offices, to order your copy of the Norton Critical Edition Harry Potter. Our operators are standing by.

 

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