Ms. Rowling Interview in El Pais (2/2008)

Readers in Spain have their copies of Deathly Hallows today — and an intriguing interview with Ms. Rowling in El Pais magazine, to boot. SnitchSeeker has the first “complete transcript translation” I’ve been sent [hat-tip, Bob Trexler!], but, alas, we know it isn’t complete because in previous reports on this interview from the same source we read about her comments on Neville Chamberlain as a model for Cornelius Fudge and about her ex-husband not being in the books (I tell you, the guy in lavendar is Philip Pullman…). And those notes aren’t in the “complete transcript.” Nothing yet at our best source for JKR interviews; if you didn’t think the quiet demise of Accio Quote was going to be painful, this is your moment to reflect and reconsider.

Two quick comments on what we have in this interview and my favorite parts before opening the gates for your comments about your favorites: [Read more…]

What Alchemy Does in Harry Potter

Filit sent me a link to a livejournal posting by ‘Josef Djugashvili,’ Alchemy, What Might Have Been, in which post the writer and serious reader tries to assess the value of understanding alchemy (and specifically the stages of alchemy) in getting to the meaning of Harry Potter. The conclusion s/he comes to after examining the three stage process of black white, and red and a more involved seven stage process is that “IMVHO alchemy does not assist too much in our understanding of the Harry Potter series as it stands, whichever way one slices it.” S/He asks readers to “convince me otherwise.”

I’m pretty sure this kind of discussion doesn’t allow for premise-conclusion demonstrations that would convince any person of good will but I feel obliged to respond to the live-journalist (even if s/he has chosen Josef Stalin‘s birthname as an alias; I should confess this choice sets my teeth on edge and has made writing this an exercise). Here are three talking points for HogPro conversation today: [Read more…]

Mozart’s Zauberflote: Alchemical Text?

Thank you, JAB, for the great work you’ve done here as HogPro Web Master! I have finished the revisions and four new chapters for what was Looking for God in Harry Potter and what will be How Harry Cast His Spell: The Meaning Behind the Mania — and I have you to thank for keeping the conversation going here so I could meet my deadlines. I have to think no one missed me given the quality of your posts and commentary! I certainly enjoyed checking in here during my bancha tea breaks.

I have to return my interlibrary loan copy of M. F. M. van den Berk’s The Magic Flute: An Alchemical Allegory this afternoon so my first post here will be a short review. Let me start with the downside. [Read more…]

Order of the Phoenix: The Woes of Mrs. Weasley and Luna Lovegood (Chapters 9&10)[JAB]

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Chapters 9-10

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” Write your answers to the discussion points in the com boxes below.

1._____ Harry, Ron, and Mr. Weasley meet Lucius Malfoy in the Department of Mysteries after Harry’s Wizengamut trial. In their first meeting since the Voldemort re-birthing, Harry tells the Death Eater he is good at escaping.

2._____ Harry dumps a bag of galleons into the Fountain of Magical Brethren – and notices that the statues are anything but life-like (except for the house-elf).

3._____ Everyone is delighted that Harry “got off” except Sirius Black who seems a little moody after Harry’s return to Grimmauld Place. Harry wonders if he wasn’t hoping that he’d have someone to keep him company at Headquarters. [Read more…]

Order of the Phoenix: The Ministry of Magic and The Hearing (Chapters 7&8)[JAB]

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Chapters 7-8

Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” Write your answers to the discussion points in the com boxes below.

1._____Harry, Mr. Weasley, and Padfoot take the Underground to the Ministry of Magic, which they enter through a telephone booth after dialing 6-4-2-4-2.

2._____ Harry promises to put ten Galleons into the Fountain of Magical Brethren, if he is not expelled from Hogwarts. The Statue features a witch, a wizard, a goblin, a centaur, and a house-elf. The last three seem to be adoring the first two. [Read more…]