HogPro All-Pro Dr. Amy Sturgis in the News!

One of the great things about checking in at Hogwarts Professor, as you have noted again and again in the comment boxes, is the fascinating and brilliant people you meet here. Quite a few of them are University Professors and published authorities on Potterdom; Edmund Kern at Lawrence, Carrie Birmingham and James Thomas at Pepperdine, Daniel Nexon at Georgetown, David Baggett at Liberty, John Mark Reynolds at Biola, Louise Freeman at Mary Baldwin, Melissa Aaron at CSU Pomona, Scott Moore at Baylor, Vincent Kling at La Salle — really, this site should be called “Potter Professors,” with emphasis on the plurality.

One of the neatest people and smartest folk on hand, though, is Dr. Amy Sturgis at Belmont University. She is our local default Tolkien authority and the on-the-spot reporter who revealed how risibly the Carnegie Hall Open Book Tour event was misrepresented in the Skeeter reports the day after said event. And is she ever in the news this January! Check this out: [Read more…]

“J. K. Rowling: A Year in the Life” (James Runcie)

If you haven’t seen it, please do go immediately to tvCatchUp’s link and watch the James Runcie television program, ‘J. K. Rowling: A Year in the Life.’ I don’t know how long this link will be active (the phrase “catch-up” doesn’t sound like a long term deal) and I doubt very much that a transcript will capture the value of this show. [The program is still available and will be until late February; viewers need to sign in and choose the part of the UK in which they live in their transatlantic time to have access.] For those of you who have seen it, I want to begin discussion of this remarkable work, what is perhaps the best program, article, or publication I have read or seen on Ms. Rowling’s personal life and life as a writer, with four points for your discussion to start off the New Year. [Read more…]

“What Difference Has Harry Made In Your Life?”

Hans Andrea of Harry Potter for Seekers web site and the Harry Potter for Seekers Yahoo Discussion Group wrote me last week about a discussion we’ve been having about The Chemical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreuz (about which exchange there will be a separate post soon). As a throwaway afterthought he asked if I’d answer a question posted at the Yahoo group:

“What would have been different in your life had Harry Potter books never existed? It does not have to be anything monumental, I mean these ARE just books, but any change will do.”

I learned later this question had been the source of much self-reflection at the Harry Potter for Grown-Ups group and it certainly brought some thoughtful responses from the Seekers at Hans’ place.

It’s that time of year, when the end meets the beginning, when by nature we will look backward to have a better idea of how to go forward. Having just posted my look backward at HogPro posts and Harry Potter events from 2007, I will close the year with an invitation and request for your reflections about the ways, if any, Harry has changed your way of thinking or seeing things. Is it deeper, decidedly different, or have you been dumbed down by all your time reading children’s book instead of Frithjof Schuon and Fyodor Dostoevski?

My life [Read more…]

Best HogPro Posts of 2007: A Top 10 of Our Own

Here is a handy list of the Best HogPro posts of 2007. I put it up today to mark the first anniversary of this weBlog and to say “thank you” to the HogPro All-Pros whose questions and comments spurred this writing. We started out this WordPress format HogPro on Western Christmas Day 2006 and even with a six week blackout due to a crashed server and spectacularly unresponsive host (not to mention full time work and a good sized family) the blog has >300 posts and just short of 3000 comments from y’all. It’s been a very exciting and edifying year! Thank you for making the ride as enjoyable and engaging as it has been.

(1) The Dante Posts
— (A) Florence and Hermetic Artistry
— (B) Lily and Beatrice: Snape’s Green-Eyed Deliverance
— (C) The Epilogue’s White Rose

(2) Gay Dumbledore and an Author’s Control of Canon Post Publication
–(A) “Taking Stories More Seriously than the Author” [Read more…]

JKR-TLC Podcasts Texts Posted at Accio-Quote

Part One and Part Two. There is plenty of material here to comment on; your thoughts, please!

FYI: I will do a separate post on the flood of new names we learned in the preview of the interview being aired 30 December 07. Let’s focus on the TLC interview contents on this thread.

What do I want to talk about? Who cares?

Well, three things:

(1) the quasi-sentience of wands (given what we know about the most powerful cores),
(2) the “fountain or well” in the center of the Department of Mysteries room devoted to the study of love, and
(3) the discussion of how Harry is and is not a Horcrux (because a Horcrux cannot be made accidentally).

Bring that up in your thoughts and I’ll share what I’m thinking and wondering about. I look forward to it!