Weekly Vlog: Embedded Misdirection

Did you know that J. K. Rowling’s ‘voice choice’ for her Harry Potter novels is such an important part of her artistry that she embeds narrative misdirection in the plot lines of each and every book, i.e., that characters are experiencing the same kind of twist in struggling with the texts and narratives they encounter that we are as readers?

Weekly Vlog 9: Rowling Mystery

Choice, Free Will, and The Prophecy

PDF Transcript of Choice, Free Will, and the Trelawney Prophecy

Link to Potter Pundits Online Survey: “What One Question Would You Ask Me?”

Exciting times! Next week is the launch of a fifteen years effort, online classes for serious readers of Harry Potter, classes that are affordable, interactive, accessible, and even alchemical, and I am over the top delighted that it is finally happening.

Today’s video entry is about another meme in the way we think of Harry Potter — that the Hogwarts Saga is a celebration of choice as the gauge of character and token of our free will to shape our lives and events — and how that is certainly true but still deceptive without some serious qualifications. Please let me know what you think in the comment boxes below!

AND! Because we’re just about to start filming the Potter Pundit Summer School free classes and live Q&A webinar midstream that will launch next Sunday (they’ll be available by subscription only for two weeks at PotterPundits.com; I’ll explain how that works in the next few days), I want to be sure I’m talking about what you want to discuss, I have put together a 20 multiple choice question survey. I sufficiently eager and grateful for your prompt feedback that I’m offering a $100 Amazon gift card I’ll be giving away in a drawing from the names of those who fill it out (it takes less than five minutes).

Click the link above or right here to take the survey and to let me know what you want to hear in the free online classes that will be available starting next Sunday. Affordable, interactive, accessible, even alchemical Hogwarts Magic! At last! Thank you again for your help in making sure these first classes answer the questions you have.

Is Harry Potter a Schoolboy Novel?

PDF Transcript of Is Harry Potter a Schoolboy Novel? A Parody?

This talk, first posted at PotterPundits.com, is the fourth in a series about the unexamined ideas about Harry Potter that shape and, as often as not, restrict our thinking about the series.

Today we discuss the idea that Harry Potter’s adventures are best understood as Schoolboy fiction, say, something like Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown Schooldays or Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers, or a combination of this genre and one other, maybe ‘fairy tales’ or ‘High Fantasy.’

They are, of course, all that — but not just that. Have a look-and-listen or read the transcript above — and then let me know what you think in the comment boxes below!

Tomorrow, I’ll be talking about Fate and Free Will in Harry Potter and whether ‘Choice’ is the be all and end all many think it is. And I’ll be sharing news and dates for the Potter Pundit Summer Camp, four free classes in which I answer your questions about the world’s best selling novels. Talk with you then!

Is Harry Potter One Story or Seven?

Potter Pundits Summer School, four free online classes with yours truly and a live webinar for Q&A, will be rowling out in a little over a week. To get you ready for that, I’ll be posting my PotterPundit.com videos here at HogwartsProfessor this week. Look for a survey about what you want to be sure I cover in those classes in your inboxes later this week!

We started a conversation last week about unexamined and prevalent Harry Potter ideas that shape our understanding of The Boy Who Lived’s seven adventures while also obscuring other ways of seeing them. That first post in the series revealed the obvious advantages and the not-so-obvious disadvantages of looking at the series as Children’s Literature (‘Kid Lit’). Check it out here if you are joining us mid-stream and missed that.

Today let’s talk about the idea of Harry Potter as seven distinct, stand-alone novels. We know there’s an over-arching story that connects them, especially after the return of the Dark Lord in Goblet of Fire, but is it really, as Rowling has said, just one story in seven parts? What does the predominant idea of the books as a seven part series obscure in the artistry and meaning of the work?

Quite a bit actually! Let me know what you think by shooting me an email at John at HogwartsProfessor dot com or just writing a comment in the boxes below.

Click Here for pdf of ‘Seven Books or One? Transcript

For pdf of ‘Top Twelve Rowling Story Sources Every Potter Pundit Needs to Read (and Re-Read)’ simply move cursor to side of screen for LeadBox Form