Great Expectations: What Sort of Ending Can We Expect?

Today is my daughter Sarah’s 17th birthday and we celebrated it by going to the movies. Our family usually skips out on the cinema during fasts but, as it isn’t an obedience of the Orthodox Church (just a reminder for the children), Mary and I let it slide on special days. Sarah likes movies; her birthday, consequently, was three movies: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer with dad, Ocean’s 13 with mom, and Ghost Rider with a sister and two friends from church. Not especially edifying, I’m sure, but she was “wow’ed.” And dad got to enjoy the alchemical delights again of the Fantastic Four….

For the younger guys I bought a collection of Dickens and Austen novels (16!) made into movie serials by the BBC. While mom and Sarah were at the movies this afternoon, I watched two or three episodes of the 353 minute version of Great Expectations. Mary wanted to leave for my dad’s place before it got dark and started raining, though, so they left in the middle of Episode 10 (just before the arrest of Magwitch on the river).

That was too much for me! After I packed the children into the car, I ran to the computer and brought up a text version of the last six chapters of the book. What a great read…. Really, if you haven’t read it for a few years, there are few uses of an hour that I’ve enjoyed this much at the great white screen.

I bring it up here on HogPro because I want to begin the discussion today, before the Interlibrum reaches what promises to be a frenetic ending next month, about what our individual and collective expectations are for Deathly Hallows. Dickens’ ending of Great Expectations is a good place to start — for a different reason than you might think. [Read more…]

Snape as Machiavellian Prince: Sally Palmer’s Letter and Paper

The Machiavellian!Snape (M!Snape) discussion following my post is one of the best ever here at HogPro (which is spilling out into other internet sites) and I hope very much you all will join in. Severus Snape and his loyalties are the story of Deathly Hallows, as with the previous two books, like it or not, and the possibility that he is not a Dumbledore Man or Voldemort stooge (the Good!Snape/Evil!Snape dichotomy) but an M!Snape with his own agenda, either for his own power, the ultimate good of the Wizarding World, or both makes for challenging and exciting thinking. Just what we’re here for!

M!Snape was brought to my attention by Sally Palmer in late April (though TrudyK and Rumor, it turns out, had mentioned it on my private boards and I just didn’t get it back then). Ms. Palmer’s original letter and theory about Severus make for interesting reading, and, with her permission and after making several requested deletions, I present it here for your enjoyment. We obviously differ about details of Scar-O-Scope and Severus’ ultimate loyalties, but Ms. Palmer makes a cogent argument for her positions. Enjoy! [Read more…]

BNF Notes: WSJ, A&E, Sectus Reversus!, & Book Expo America

If you understand what all the abbreviations and Fandom lingo in the title above mean, you are way ahead of where I was a month ago. Here is a hurried catch-up of my May and June when HogPro was lost in CyberSpace, from BNF and A&E to BEA and BNU. [Read more…]

Bad Snape: Machiavelli’s Half-Blood Prince

HogPro is Back!

Phew! And it only took a month!

Actually, it’s something of a miracle that the site’s essays survived the crash of its server and host so I am only grateful to be back without having to start as a clean slate. Thank you, Erick, for all you have done to bring us back on line as you have. The Forums (my private boards) are in something like suspended de-animation — Stoppered Demise? — but I hope we can bring them back in some form this summer.

I leave Friday for the Sonorus Harry Potter conference outside Los Angeles where I will be talking about (surprise!) Deathly Hallows. When I return, in addition to posting about that fun event, I’ll be writing about the several things that have been happening in the HogPro world while the site was vacationing at the Zossima.com home page. The Wall Street Journal article was a big deal, being interviewed for the Warner Brothers teevee special on Phoenix to be aired on A&E July 8th was fun, and even the nasty-gram from Scholastic was interesting enough to deserve some comment, too.

And, yes, more on the heretofore unknown importance of ‘Shipping on understanding literary alchemy (who knew Harry was a point to point stand-in for Alchemical Sulphur!) and, more seriously, the essay on Snape as Machiavelli’s Prince. Thank you for your patience with me during the site’s long absence and for passing the word to shared friends that HogPro is back. Now that school is out, I hope to be posting frequently through the summer. I look forward to reading what you all have been doing this past month! Time to pack for Sonorus….