Interpreting Oz, Narnia, and Hogwarts: Four Historical Notes

Saturday’s discussion touched on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Frank Baum’s sub-creation. Later that day I received a sneak-peek of the first chapter of Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia. Both reminded me of the perils and possibilities implicit to “detective” interpretation of fiction. Let me lay out these four historical events, the insights and failed interpretations, with this question: what are the hazards of looking for the “hidden keys” to Harry Potter? the benefits? [Read more…]

Wrocking and Rowling: The First Harry Potter Themed Cruise, EVER!

I kid you not. “Wrock the Boat” will be sailing from New Orleans next Halloween as the first Harry Potter themed cruise, ever.

This cruise, unfortunately, is really just for Wizard Rock fans. Would anyone out there be interested in a Hogwarts Professor cruise? [Read more…]

The Best Books of 2007! (New York Times)

But the Entertainer of the Year didn’t make the cut.

Huh. Wonder why?

Sword of Gryffindor: On Entertainment, Shared Texts, and Postmodern Literature

I love reading the interpretations of Ms. Rowling’s books and Potter mania as a cultural phenomenon that are posted at Travis Prinzi’s Sword of Gryffindor website. I always learn something new about postmodernism, for example, and thinking about thinking, even when I disagree with Travis or one of his stable of writers. Their latest essay, Sharing Our Entertainer: Rowling, Shared Books, and Pop Culture,’ is another winner. Dave, the author, closes with a Dante-esque suggestion that we need a guide to get us through the dark forest Ms. Rowling has chosen to leave us in about the specific meanings of her books. I nominate Travis Prinzi’s troop as the guides I’d follow, if only for sentences like this: [Read more…]

Once Again, The Vigilant Christians (TM) Denounce Harry Potter

In the November-December 2007 of the American Life League’s Celebrate Life magazine, there is an article by David Haddon called, The Deadly Agenda of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.’ Those of you who have read Michael O’Brien’s post Deathly Hallows ramble, ‘Harry Potter and the Death of God,’ may recall David Haddon. Mr. O’Brien quoted him, approvingly, as a critic who understand the relativism and dangers implicit in Ms. Rowling’s dangerous stories: [Read more…]