‘Golden Compass’ Tanks: Big Front, Big Back, Small Victory

It’s been two weeks since The Golden Compass opened in theatres around the world and I have been buried in owls about this movie. I can honestly say in the last month that I have read more about the adaptation of Philip Pullman’s first Dark Materials novel than I have about any Harry Potter movie, perhaps all the Harry Potter movies put together.

For your convenience, I have collected a host of the more interesting links for any of you that follow this sort of Culture War event, KidLit division, and some of my own thoughts about the front and back about the poor performance of the movie against expectations. [Read more…]

Ms. Rowling Time Person of the Year 2007 (Runner-Up)

Time magazine has chosen its Person of the Year 2007 and, alas, it was not Ms. Rowling, who had to settle for ‘Second Runner-up.’ The good news is that despite not taking top honors, Dobby the house-elf, one of her magical creations was chosen Person of the Year. Wasn’t he?

The article about Ms. Rowling was pretty good, too, especially as it featured excellent quotations from two friends of this weBlog, Daniel Nexon of Georgetown and James Thomas of Pepperdine. What the article got right was the “reach” Ms. Rowling’s stories have in terms of the number of readers they have and the extent to which she shapes public conversation, even political discussion. I was especially delighted that they included this paragraph on the “reach” into readers’ hearts: [Read more…]

The Tale of Charlemagne and Ralph the Collier

In all your free time, I hope you will be able to read this wonderful medieval legend. I am no fan of Charlemagne but a tale well told, especially one including both the Franks’ king being beaten by a coal gatherer and the bloodless conversion of a Saracen, is a treat I must share with my friends here. If the translator’s Becoming Charlemagne, published Tuesday, is half as much fun as this story, it must be a good purchase.

Goodbye, ‘Accio Quote!’?

In an announcement put up just before Roonwit’s helpful summary of the PotterCast interview with Ms. Rowling, Madame Pince, the librarian at Accio Quote! (and friend of this blog), announced big changes at Accio Quote!. She wrote under the headline “Changes Coming” that:

I want to let all of our readers know that my website Accio Quote! will be changing. Some of the articles will be taken offline, although when possible we will be linking out. This means that for a short time the current search index will be less thorough, so we will be re-configuring that too and moving to Google Coop for our search utility. [Read more…]

Should She or Shouldn’t She? Why Ms. Rowling Won’t Shut Up — and Why That is a Good Thing