Archives for November 2012

Life Imitates Art: Hunger Games Pods to Pleasant Parks

If you remember your Hunger Games Trivia well, the arena sites are converted into tourist attractions afterwards. That is apparently also happening in the state park where the Games scenes were filmed.

Elizabeth, have you considered a part time job as a tour guide?

Casual Vacancy 16: Chaya Golan on “What is Real?”

From a letter to me written by Hogwarts’s Adjunct Tutor, Chaya Golan:

I have finally read The Casual Vacancy, motivated in good part by wanting to be able to read and enjoy your posts about it.  And indeed, as I read through the beginning of the book, as many others who responded to your posts have said, I might not have continued reading if it weren’t for that motive.  Mysteries were introduced (“What was Krystal going to be interviewed concerning?” and then “What was the terrible thing Tessa Wall did?”), but the main and most compelling mystery for me was, “Why did J.K. Rowling, who can write so beautifully, write this???? “  You had said before the book came out that as an “adult” book, it was likely to contain foul language and sex scenes – but even thus forewarned, I couldn’t help but say to myself, “but to such a degree???”

However, by the end of what turned out to be, I thought, a beautiful – if very sad – story, I understood why.  And I am moved by what I imagine to be JKR’s story – that of someone who must feel such an awful responsibility for what she writes – knowing that she has the power to reach millions of people all over the world – and choosing how to use it.  I could feel that this was a story that came straight from her heart.

So, a bunch of things went through my mind as I read the book, and I wanted to share some of them with you. [Read more…]

Sharon Slade Jackson: The Final Meadow Scene of ‘Breaking Dawn 2’ Departs From and Resonates With Last Book’s Ending

The Twilight Saga Movie Ending: The Final Meadow Scene

By Sharon Slade Jackson

As Elizabeth Baird Hardy has already shown in her review of the final Twilight Saga movie, Breaking Dawn Part 2 stays fairly close to the last third of Breaking Dawn, with most changes being for the purpose of streamlining the story for the viewing audience. Some of the changes are large, but several tweaks appear minor at first – a different character says a particular line than says that line in the book, for example – yet when we examine them more closely, we see that they have a larger impact on the storyline than would first appear.

One such alteration was the setting of the final scene, where Bella is finally able to remove her mind shield and share her memories with Edward, revealing the depth of her love for him fully for the first time. In Breaking Dawn, this scene happens in Bella and Edward’s cottage; in the movie, it occurs in Edward’s meadow.

Before I examine the significance of this change, let me first explain why this scene is important. [Read more…]

MuggleNet Academia 14: Harry Potter For Nerds!

Potter Pundit and friend of this blog Travis ‘the Half-Blood’ Prinzi joined the MuggleNet Academia crew the night before Thanksgiving to talk about his latest book, Harry Potter for Nerds, and the future of serious reading of the Hogwarts Saga. Here’s a synopsis of this wild and wide-ranging program:

Harry Potter for Nerds with Travis Prinzi

Travis Prinzi, the author of Harry Potter and Imagination: The Way Between Two Worlds, editor of two collections of essays on the Hogwarts Saga, most recently Harry Potter for Nerds, and web site host for, sits down to chat with Keith, John, and Natalie Cooper about what’s ‘hot’ on the front line of Potter studies. Looking through his For Nerds collection, Travis shares his thoughts on the literary magic of the seven novels, from their ring composition to the symbolism of the planets, from the Dante, Spencer, and MacDonald echoes to exploration of the meanings of magic and technology. He talks, too, about the difference between academic and fan contributions to the series, his thoughts about the several future directions of Potter Studies, and the effects of the Hogwarts Saga on how he thinks and what he believes. Pull up a bar stool and order a Butterbeer or Fire Whiskey; this conversation is one you won’t want to miss!

Check it out by clicking here and listening in! Many thanks to Travis for the lively and challenging conversation on the eve of his family’s Thanksgiving celebration.

For those interested in the Alan Jacobs piece about Tolkien criticism I mentioned in the discussion, it can be read here.

The Defining Center of Harry Potter: November 22nd?

22 November 1963 was the day an extraordinary trio of men died: US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, philosopher and apologist C. S. Lewis died of kidney disease at the Kilns, and novelist Aldous Huxley expired high on LSD at the end of his battle with laryngeal cancer. Peter Kreeft‘s novel Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley is the story of their meeting in Purgatory to discuss issues of faith.

So what? Well, if you’re a C. S. Lewis fan, it was announced today that he will be honored on this date next year, the 50th anniversary of his death, with a stone in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. With Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Browning, Eliot, Tennyson, and a few other pikers.

Today is also the day that Harry is out of bounds late at night under the Invisibility Cloak seeing the dragons the Champions will face in the first TriWizard Task and meeting with Sirius Black between midnight and 1 am via the Flew Network in the Gryffindor Common Room. The chapter is ‘The Hungarian Horntail’ which is the center chapter of the fourth and central novel of the seven book series. I discuss this at greater length in my Goblet of Fire lecture (which you can see anytime you like!), but the fun part of it is just noting that, at the half way point in the series, Ms. Rowling sets the date and time as 11/22 (or 22/11, UK fashion) between 12 and 1 (12-1).

If you don’t see the pivot picture there in the numbers, ask a friend or, better, watch the ‘Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Goblet of Fire’ talk.

Happy Thanksgiving, All Pros!