Harold Bloom and Potter, Again: 2005 interview and this month in Alibris Promotion

Here is something I found today while searching for the article mentioned in the questions in the post under this one. It’s from a rambling 2005 Eurozine interview with Harold Bloom, “Breakfast with Brontosaurus“:

IL: Your insistence on what you call higher culture makes many people mad, and when you talk about your dismay at the decline of the book as a cultural phenomenon, they say that never before in history have there been as many books and bookstores as now.

HB: I spend a good part of my life in bookstores – I give readings there when a new book of mine has come out, I go there to read or simply to browse. But the question is what do these immense mountains of books consist of? You know, child, my electronic mailbox overflowing with daily mesages from Potterites who still cannot forgive me for the article I published in Wall Street Journal more than a year ago, entitled “Can 35 Million Harry Potter Fans Be Wrong? – Yes!” These people claim that Harry Potter does great things for their children. I think they are deceiving themselves. [Read more…]

Questions from a Newspaper Reporter: A HogPro All-Pro Event

800 miles in the car yesterday so I’m whupped! I hope to comment on some length about Accio Quote Lisa’s thoughts on Harry and Aeneas when I’m human again, but, until then, here are some questions sent by a newspaper reporter today (obviously from the religious beat; he doesn’t ask about Deathly Hallows until the very end).

Please send in your answers to whichever question or questions that you want. Thanks in advance for starting your post with the question or at least the number of the question you are answering.

Your incentive? The “HogPro All-Pro” who sends in the most interesting answers will (1) have their name engraved on the HogPro All-Pro trophy here in my office (The Mundungus Cup, which serves as both a Big Gulp drinking cup and, in a pinch, as ash-tray; you’ll just get a silly certificate) and (2) receive one free copy of Richard Abanes’ new book, Homeland Insecurity. It’s a novel and enjoyable like nothing else of his that I have ever read. Steve Vander Ark, to whom I gave a copy at Sonorus 2007, was ecstatic; like me, Steve owns a copy of everything Mr. Abanes has written and he agrees that Homeland Insecurity is a “must-have” for all Potter bibliophiles.

So, have at it! May the wildest HogPro win! Decisions of the judges in this contest will be arbitrary and final. Immediate family members of Osama bin Laden are prohibited from entering; let them buy their copy of Homeland Insecurity. Management is not responsible for accidents consequent to loss of sleep involving readers who begin this novel late at night. [Read more…]

Update on Rowling Near Death Comment in 2000: It’s “Near the Dead”

Beloved and ever-helpful Lisa at the Lexicon and Accio Quote wrote me to say the house-elves at these sites have found the original Glasgow Herald interview in 2000 with Ms. Rowling by Anne Johnstone and posted it on Accio Quote. It’s even more interesting than the snippet we had this morning.

Before you get to the quotation discussed in the post immediately below this one, there is this lively exchange: [Read more…]

Rowling: “In Book Seven You’ll See Just How Close You Can Get” to a Death Reversal

Anne Johnstone of Glasgow’s The Herald wrote an article that appeared in today’s paper called “Happy birthday Harry: 10 years of magic from the Potter generation.” It is a delightful read by a reporter who has known and interviewed Ms. Rowling for more than ten years, well before all the hype and madness of Potter mania. The article ends with delightful reflections of children (now in their twenties) from Glasgow and their first memories of Harry, to include the times Ms. Rowling came to their school classrooms to talk.

Those reflections aren’t why Hans Andrea at Harry PotterforSeekers.com wrote me this morning to let me know about the article. There was a bombshell near the end of this sentimental set-piece.

After explaining why she thinks Harry will still be on children’s reading lists a century from today, Ms. Johnstone offers this memory from her 2000 interview with Ms. Rowling: [Read more…]

“Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers”

Lev Grossman and Andrea Sachs at Time Magazine have written an essay about security for the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows called “Harry Potter and the Sinister Spoilers.” I’m no Lev Grossman fan (anyone who thinks C. S. Lewis would be a Death Eater if he appeared in Rowling’s sub-creation — and says so in a national magazine — has gone out of his way to make a poor first impression) but I especially enjoyed this point about it not being possible to spoil the magic of this last book: [Read more…]