JKR Twitter: Three Weeks of Silence

Today makes it three weeks that J. K. Rowling has not tweeted from her platform with close to 15 million followers. We follow her twittering pretty closely because, between what she writes about her books there and the changes in the page headers, it is our best source for what she is thinking and planning.

The fandom mind about the silence — those millions of people who “follow” her daily remarks and retweets — seem to fall into two general categories. The first school is that “We are unworthy of her sharing so generously her thoughts and commentary.” This tweet from a fandom site is representative:

The second school is, as you’d expect, that “She is unworthy of us; good riddance.”

My own thoughts? I’m told by a source I trust that The Presence took almost a month off in the New Year two years ago for a retreat to her estate in Tasmania. [Update: there is no “estate in Tasmania” (see comment thread); insert “island resort hide-away”] 2018 was a crazy busy year for JKR; in addition to her Lumos and Volant charity responsibilities, she published Lethal White, participated in the roll-out of Crimes of Grindelwald, and opened the Broadway edition of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. She was active on Twitter throughout 2018, not only promoting all things which Rowling, Inc., was celebrating and selling that week, but participating in the ugly push-and-shove of UK politics especially surrounding Brexit not to mention the various controversies with the Social Justice wing of Harry Potter fandom.

The safest bet, I think, is that Rowling is just taking some time off to gather her energies, creative and disputative, for the coming year. She might also, of course, be involved in a re-writing of the Fantastic Beasts 3 screenplay so we once again do not have her story and the agreed upon shooting script butchered in the director’s cut. Or maybe she has just made a resolution not to feel obliged to police the world’s conscience, politics today being a fool’s game.

Your thoughts? Any guesses if or when she’ll return? Let me know in the comment boxes below by clicking on ‘Leave a Comment’ up by the post’s headline.

BBC’s ‘The Silkworm’ Adaptation Posted

The Silkworm was the first Cormoran Strike novel according to Rowling but appears second because the hero needed a big case that would propel him into the public eye in spectacular fashion; solving the death of a novelist whom few knew was still alive wouldn’t cut it. Having said that, as the point of origin and the Strike novel about novel writing and the reading of novels, The Silkworm is what Rowling is all about in her Galbraith series.

But why watch the adaptations for the BBC? Shouldn’t we confine our reading to the book about reading rather than than waste time watching the small screen fare meant to entice non-readers to pick up the books?

Believe me, I’m all for another reading of The Silkworm or to listening again to Robert Glenister’s brilliant recorded version. The BBC adaptations, though, are done by Bronte Studios, Rowling’s production company. As we saw yesterday in Louise Freeman’s discussion of the Career of Evil adaptation for the BBC, there were the usual absurd cuts to the story for the sake of abridgment but there were also novel add-ons, Brittany Brockbank in a commune most notably, that are important pointers to important events to come in the written stories.

So have another look at the BBC version a la Bronte Studios of The Silkworm. Is there a scene in there, say, about the IED explosion that all but killed Cormoran Strike, a scene which tells us something we have not been told in the written version? Check it out while the adaptations are still up for free on YouTube — and let me know what you think!

BBC ‘Career of Evil’ Episodes Posted

Enjoy them while they’re up! Hat-tip to Rebecca for the find.

J. K. Rowling’s 1999 60 Minutes Interview

Twenty years ago! I doubt she likes ‘the look’ today, but her answers to the interviewer’s questions reflect the intensity of Rowling’s artistry and her commitment to a project she is not close to finishing. Enjoy!

London Production of Rosmersholm: Starring Tom Burke (Cormoran Strike)

Every chapter-heading epigraph in Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White is taken from Henrik Ibsen’s Rosmersholm. As we have discussed here, it would be hard to overlook the importance Galbraith/Rowling attaches to this play about the haunted lives of people living in the wake of a woman’s suicide for which they were responsible. That longish post and the conversation that followed with Joanne Gray in its comment thread — ‘Lethal White: Ibsen’s Rosmersholm — offered five reasons beyond the ‘white horses’ for Serious Strikers to study the play.

Joanne Gray wrote me today to share the news that there will be a new production of the Ibsen classic in London this summer. Tom Burke, the star of the Strike novel adaptations for the BBC, will be playing the lead role of John Rosmer. As Professor Gray noted, he will be on stage with Rosmersholm just before he returns to filming Lethal White, the only Strike novel not yet transformed into little screen fare.

I’m not a big fan of the teevee production or Burke’s selection to play Strike; the shows are truncated, devoid of nuance, and he, though a fine actor, is far too short and trim to play the Cornish giant. Having said that, learning that he will carry a memorized knowledge of Rosmersholm into the filming of Lethal White, I am much, much more enthusiastic about this adaptation of a Galbraith novel than I have been about any of the others.

I hope friends in the UK will get tickets to see the show and let us know if the “new adaptation” is faithful to the original or a pointed political interpretation. The invitation to see the fresh staging because “The piece sees West try to undermine Rosmer’s idealism and get him to understand a more free-thinking way of life on the eve of a major election” is not encouraging in that regard. Let me know what you think — and thanks to Joanne Gray for the news!