Pointers to Dante in Harry Potter (B): Green Eyed Lily and Beatrice, Dante’s Griffin, and the Death of Severus Snape

Pointers to Dante in Harry Potter (C): The White Rose and Trinitarian Architecture of Harry Potter and the Commedia

Green-Eyed Beatrice and Lily: Gauging the Depth of the Dante Influence in the Harry Potter Novels (A, B, & C)

Photos Never Lie? Ms. Rowling’s Seeming ‘Literary Alchemical’ Transformation

When I was a much younger man, I studied the alchemy of food and traditional cosmology with a man named Michio Kushi. One of Kushi sensei’s remarkable abilities was the ability to diagnose physical health and illness in an individual by looking at his or her face, as unbelievable as that may sound. My experience studying and working with him for two years and my reading in traditionalist literature since has convinced me that this is anything but hokum. The adage that “the face never lies” reflects a reality, though, certainly, when practiced by dilettantes or the uncharitable, facial diagnosis can be and often is abused. Mr. Kushi, as a rule (to which I saw only one exception in kindness), never shared what he saw in a person’s face unless asked in a private or public consultation. The legend of Socrates’ meeting with the “face reader” Zopyrus is instructive in understanding the value and the limits of this traditional art.

All that is only to explain my being simultaneously intrigued and skeptical when a post here suggested that a review of photographs taken of Ms. Rowling since the beginning of her success with Harry Potter ten years ago reflect an internal transformation of some kind. Here is that post and, with this person’s permission, the photographs she had posted on another Harry Potter site: [Read more…]

Harry Potter Maven on Strike: Writers Guild HogPro All-Pro Janet Batchler

I finally met Janet Batchler early last summer after a few years of correspondence and almost daily exchanges on the old HogPro boards. New Wave Entertainment had asked the two of us and Lexicon Steve to come to Burbank, CA, to be interviewed for an A&E Special, “The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter.” I thought Janet, because of her beauty, clarity of expression, and command of canon (I hope you bought and read her What Will Harry Do? Payoffs and Possibilities in Book 7 before Deathly Hallows), was the best part of that show. In June, we met again at Sonorus 2007 in the desert above Los Angeles, where she, Steve, and I did a group Q&A with some of the most thoughtful and insightful members of Fandom I spoke with before Deathly Hallows made the scene. Janet was a hit there, too, and I looked forward to seeing her in Toronto at Prophecy 2007.

But there seems to have been a curse on the folks who were interviewed for “The Hidden Secrets of Harry Potter.” Steve Vander Ark’s drama is being played out on the world stage as his efforts to publish the Lexicon have been challenged by Ms. Rowling in court. I have moved twice in four months, if, by your prayers, that has been the extent of the curse’s touch on me. Janet Batchler has not been so lucky. [Read more…]