Robyn Gomillion – Sonnet Theory and Robert Galbraith

I am very proud to present for the very first time on Hogwarts Professor – a brand new Rowling scholar – Robyn Gomillion.

Then felt I like some watcher of the skies
When a new planet swims into his ken;
On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer- John Keats
Robyn is an education consultant and technologist and avid reader working in programming, technology integration, curriculum and professional development in K12 schools, and will be familiar to readers here for her profound and erudite contributions in the comments section. On the 5th September Robyn presented in the comments to Prof Grangers post about the potential structure of a 10 book series the theory of “Sonnet Corona”. We are all fortunate to have Robyn write up this up as a new post, which you can read after the jump, and which we hope will be the first of many. 

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Mercury Markers, History and Theory

In my last post I went over the story of my read-through of Ink Black Heart. I focused on my claim that each of the Strike books has had its primary villain secretly indicated by a hidden reference to various Hermes-related figures, what may alliteratively be called “Mercury Markers”. This, aside from its predictive value, seems to be, on the face of it, a very strange thing to expect an author to do. I wish to make the claim that a move of this type is common for any author like Rowling who writes within Hermetic or Alchemical traditions. The central motif of the Hermetic tradition is this: a hidden word or sign, that will make itself readily apparent only to the “initiated” who have been informed to expect the word or sign, brightly highlights a Deeply Important Something that is going on “behind the scenes.” Below, I plan to track the main places I see similar effects being used and provide a more detailed account of where I see this being used in the Strike novels.

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Beatrice Groves – Ink Black Heart: Hits and Misses

Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written a Hogwarts Professor Guest Post: Ink Black Heart: Hits and Misses.

Prof. Groves has posted three prediction posts on the run up to publication:

Ink Bottles, Anodos and Anomie

Ink Black Corvids: Magpies, Alchemy and Ink Black Heart

Ink Black Heart Predictions

And a post publication look at the parallels with Half Blood Prince in the Rowling Library Magazine:

The Ink Black Prince

Join me after the jump to read Prof. Groves round up of her prediction hits, misses and expectations yet to come!

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Ink Black Heart: Intro to Epigraphs 101

It’s been a week or two since Ink Black Heart was published and the grunt work is beginning to appear. Louise Freeman had sent me her first notes about names in Strike6 a day or two post publication and I wrote her tonight, if a true cryptonym guide was weeks away, to ask just for a character list that included their various identities on the moderator channels and the various social media platforms. I checked my twitter feed an hour later and discovered that had already posted one. Cheers for that!

We’re probably still a month or two away from Beatrice Groves’ analysis of the Part and Chapter epigraphs Rowling-Galbraith used in Ink Black Heart, but, while we wait for that, let me share some numbers, percentages, and Wikipedia links to introduce the subject of the epigraph artistry and meaning beyond the asides in various posts that discuss them already (see here and here for that).

Having just read through the epigraphs and taken notes on a table-sized chart of the book’s structure, I think it fair to say that, as disappointed as I was that Strike6 was not a one-epigraph-source novel as were Lethal White and Troubled Blood, the author’s choices made in Ink Black Heart for epigraphs are at least as rich in meaning and as reflective of the story being told as Rosmersholm and Fairie Queene were to those mysteries.

To get at that, though, means learning the basics about Gray’s Anatomy, identifying the poets whose poems are used for 108 epigraphs, especially the poets cited repeatedly and the poem that is quoted most often, and last but not least, noting the predominant elements in the epigraphs, namely, the heart and vision. Join me after the jump for this ‘Introduction to Ink Black Heart Epigraphs, Strike Studies 107.’ [Read more…]

Ink Black Heart: Anomie and the Veil – A Question of Connection and Isolation

‘Anomie and the Veil: A Question of Connection and Isolation’ is by Shakespeare scholar Kurt Schreyer. Professor Schreyer’s last post at HogwartsProfessor was one he co-wrote with Beatrice Groves,The Mystery of the Ink Black Heart.‘ His twitter posts about the Cormoran Strike novels at @Kasstl1 have been admired by Rowling-Galbraith on her twitter platform, albeit obliquely, and his contributions here on comment threads in addition to his posts and on the HogwartsProfessor moderator channels have made him a valued member of our community. What follows are his first thoughts about the mammoth Ink Black Heart, a brief essay that attempts to draw out the through line of Rowling’s ideas about death and life worse than death that runs through her Potter novels and Strike mysteries. Enjoy!

‘Anomie and the Veil: A Question of Connection and Isolation’

L’enfer, c’est les autres.” – Sartre

“Evil, defiantly chosen, can no longer imagine anything but itself.” – W. H. Auden

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers for The Ink Black Heart.

Since finishing The Ink Black Heart, I’ve been trying to put into words why the figure of Anomie is so ominous to me apart from his obviously hateful, violent misogyny. I find Anomie perhaps more disturbing than any of the criminals, dark wizards and witches, monsters or all-around baddies that J. K. Rowling has created, and I think I have – partially – figured out why that is: the answer lies, of all places, in the Department of Mysteries. Anomie’s radical sociopathy extends beyond the grave and should remind Harry Potter readers of the opposing views of death held by Voldemort and Dumbledore. [Read more…]