Edmund Kern: Ms. Rowling speaks about Voldemort’s Soul Fragment at King’s Cross

Prof. Edmund Kern, History Department Chair at Lawrence University (my wife’s alma mater) and author of ‘The Wisdom of Harry Potter: What Our Favorite Hero Teaches Us About Moral Choices’ (Prometheus, 2003), sent me a note this morning about the crying baby that cannot be helped in Harry’s NDE/after-life experience at King’s Cross. With his permission, I post it here for your comments and correction. Thank you, Prof. Kern!

Hi John,

I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but JKR appears to have confirmed my reading of Voldemort’s soul in the “King’s Cross” chapter that you so kindly posted on HogPro. It’s in the FAQ section of her site: [Read more…]

Sayers and Lewis Productions to Enjoy and Anticipate

I know next-to-nothing about stage drama or film artistry but I do know that I enjoy a good play or movie. Productions of two works by authors that influenced Ms. Rowling mightily, Dorothy Sayers and C. S. Lewis, are making news — and one is “running” now on your computer via the Internet!

The Man Born to Be King is being presented in twelve parts on BBC7 which you can listen to via the Internet. Anyone savvy enough to explain how to do so in real time (vs GMT) please explain in the comment boxes. [Thank you, Robert Trexler, for this link!]

Trusty Johnny at Sword of Gryffindor supplies not only with a link to the just released Prince Caspian movie trailer from Disney/Walden Media, but also two or three of Ms. Rowling’s interview comments about her admiration for Lewis and especially his Narnia work.

Please share below what you think of the BBC production of King and the Walden Caspian trailer.

Prisoner of Azkaban: Whole Book O. W. L.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Whole Book O.W.L.

A. Mark True statements with a “T” and False statements with an “F.” (50 points)

1. _____ Ron and Harry treat Hermione as a traitor when she tells Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt Harry receives for Christmas and even after Hagrid tells them off for being more concerned for things than friends.

2. _____ Snape assigns an essay about recognizing werewolves – and Lupin cancels this assignment and asks his class to write a paper about vampires. [Read more…]

Surprise! Lev Grossman loves Philip Pullman

Time Magazine as a run-up to their selection of 2007’s Person of the Year and the upcoming release of The Golden Compass in theatres near you has published an article by irrepressible Lev Grossman about the author of Compass, Philip Pullman. The article, Sympathy for the Devil, is vintage Grossman, whose name as a cryptonym for journalists posing as literary critics is Dickensian, with the necessary blow against C. S. Lewis and the pom-poms working for atheism. Readers of his 2005 interview with Ms. Rowling will remember his calling Lewis a Death Eater and this summer he celebrated Harry Potter (pre-Deathly Hallows) as a God-free book in an article explaining that God’s death was the only sure death we would have in the series finale.

No, he didn’t mean in the sense of Harry being a Christ figure.

I haven’t read any of the Philip Pullman books so let me bow out of this discussion lest I commit the sin of non-readers who know the books better than those who have. Here are some comments from thoughtful readers about this book and movie, several of whom have read Harry Potter. Contrast their views with those expressed by Grossman and the hesitant-atheist Pullman: [Read more…]

Dumbledore is Gay? Interview at Icon New Media

I was interviewed by Steve McMeans of the Icon New Media network two weeks ago about my thoughts on Ms. Rowling’s October revelation that she “always thought of Dumbledore as gay.” All I remember of this exchange was thought I didn’t want to do the interview right then because I was preparing a talk on another subject and I was feeling rather grumpy and distracted. Just the attitude and mental posture you don’t want to have… If you have a moment, please listen to it and let me know what you think. The online essay I posted here that sparked Mr. McMeans’ interest is “I Always Thought of Dumbledore as Gay [Applause],” if you want to check the longer, more coherent original against these comments made a few weeks later.