Archives for October 2009

Alecto Carrow: Hesiod, Dante, Eliot, Rowling

How about that author name-dropping in the post title? Top that set…

Today’s name exegesis is of one of my favorite Death Eaters, Alecto Carrow, whose performance at the Ravenclaw door just before the Battle of Hogwarts with Professor MacGonagall by itself is sufficient to put him at the head of their class. I want to focus here on the name ‘Alecto’ to suggest how Ms. Rowling wants us to understand the take-over at Hogwarts School in Deathly Hallows. [Read more…]

HogPro All-Pro David Gras Hosts SVA!

Check out the Aurora Advocate article describing Steve Vander Ark’s talk in Aurora, Ohio! At the bottom, you’ll find the YouTube clip of David Gras, good friend of this blog, introducing Mr. Lexicon to the crowd of serious readers.

George MacDonald: The Mirrors of the Lord

Robert Trexler, editor of CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society and at Zossima Press, a George MacDonald scholar, and HogPro All-Pro to boot, sent me this essay from George MacDonald’s Unspoken Sermons. I run it in full here not to proselytize or make theological points (be fore-warned, it is a sermon not a literary criticism essay) but because I think it demonstrates something I have asserted about Ms. Rowling’s use of eyes, mirrors, and Harry being a symbol of Christ, namely, that this usage is Coleridgean natural theology and, as such, the heart and light, if you will, of the English fantasy tradition from Coleridge, Carroll, and MacDonald right through to the Inklings and the author of the Hogwarts Saga. I look forward to reading what you think. [Read more…]

Can You Say “Shared Text”?

Try to understand this article from The Stanford Daily, The Pensieve: Harry Potter and the Stanford Bubble, without a thorough knowledge of all seven Potter books. The title, premise, and argument of the whole piece is that you, the reader, know Harry’s adventures so well that I, the writer, have to explain absolutely nothing about it. The Hogwarts Saga is the foundation of the conversation, the cultural ‘given.’

Harry is the Shared Text of the 21st Century. I have a hard time imagining a faith community in the US discussing a topical issue with this many references to that faith’s scriptures with the kind of surety that this writer and The Stanford Daily editors have that their readers will get the allusions. (H/T to David G!)

J. K. Rowling Denied Medal of Freedom?

Must all political partisanship and culture war battles eventually involve Ms. Rowling and Harry Potter? Perhaps.

The latest proof that we live in the End Times, when everything that is possible must happen before the apocalypse (e.g., watermelon flavored ice cream, the Cubs winning a World Series, the Dalai Lama being refused an audience at the White House), is that The Daily Prophet, aka the BBC, is reporting that Joanne Rowling was denied the Presidential Medal of Freedom (PMOF) by President Bush in 2008 because her books “encouraged witchcraft.”

I kid you not. [Read more…]