Ink Black Heart: The Coda Latch

I am beginning to write up the notes I jotted down in Utah earlier this month about the structure of Ink Black Heart. My premise for this work, as you’d expect, is that the sixth Strike novel is a ring composition; the first task in this sort of research, because it is the easiest of the four qualities of a ring to identify, is to see if the opening and closing chapters act as a ‘latch’ for the work as a whole. Heart’s open and close are neatly separated from the rest of the novel’s parts by being names other than ‘Parts;’ the first four chapters are its ‘Epilogue’ and its last chapter, which follows Part 5, is called the ‘Coda.’

Before I begin the structural exegesis, though, something that will eventually include — in addition to the latch — explorations of the story turn in Part 3, parallels between Parts 1 and 2 with 4 and five, and each Part being a ring unto itself, I want to note something peculiar about Rowling’s structural choices in Strike6. She chooses to call the last piece, as noted, a ‘Coda,’ rather than, say, an ‘Epilogue,’ a first for this series or any of her novels and screenplays. I think there are at least three decent explanations for this change, which I’ll share after the jump. [Read more…]

Ink Black Heart: The Strike Characters with Twitter Accounts

Our last update to the Cormoran Strike characters that became active this summer, a pre-publication blitz of posts in 2022 time from ‘people’ as diverse as Pat Chauncey and Ciara Porter (not to mention Wolfgang the pet and the Office Sofa), was August 22nd. See Twitter Character Update for that, Nick Jeffery’s introduction to the phenomenon, Strike on Twitter – Sixteen Characters in Search of a Story, and Rowling’s engagement with the fun being had online before Ink Black Heart  was officially on sale.

Has anyone been following these accounts after the fact? Do we have evidence that they were given copies of Ink Black Heart before the public at large? Do you think it was a Rowling, Inc., publicity stunt for Serious Strikers to enjoy or a fandom effort by Zealot Tweeters who love the Rowling-Galbraith murder-romance-mysteries?

This post is a Placeholder for discussion to which we will add information as it becomes available. To find this conversation quickly in future, click on ‘Ink Black Heart Discussion’ in the Pillar Post column at the upper left of the home page and scroll down to the ‘Twitter Characters’ link. Cheers!

Rowling Contrasts Trans Activists in Head-Coverings with Iranian Feminists

Rowling tweeted a condemnation of Radical Gender Extremists, the ironically named ‘Be Kind Brigade,’ who marched in protest of a scheduled talk in Brighton by Kellie-Jay Keen, founder of ‘Standing For Women.’ On the thread of that post, a ‘Bogey the Bossey’ wrote, “They’re so different from these Iranian women who show real courage and don’t hide behind black masks.” This comment included a tweet-video from Masih Alinejad, an “Iranian journalist and activist,” which Rowling then re-tweeted herself:

If you’re interested in the details, there’s much more on this tweet and the event in Brighton in the online Daily Mail:  ‘JK Rowling condemns masked pro trans mob after violent clashes in Brighton at ‘Let Women Speak’ event.’ My thoughts are mostly about Rowling’s use of her twitter social media platform post-publication of Ink Black Heart and its relationship with the implicit messages of her books. [Read more…]

Rowling Asked About Parallel Series Idea

The Rowling Library earlier this week published an article by Oxford Research Fellow Beatrice Groves called ‘Harry Potter and the Ink Black Prince.’ In it she discussed Rowling’s latest novel, The Ink Black Heart, in light of the Parallel Series Idea (PSI), a theory discussed here beginning in 2014 that argues Rowling-Galbraith is writing the Strike series as deliberate echoes of her Harry Potter novels. You can read about these playful parallels and echoing between each of the first six Strike mysteries at the HogwartsProfessor Pillar Post on the subject and the page on the Heart-Prince touches.

More after the jump about PSI and the question posed to Rowling about whether it is a valid theory.

[Read more…]

‘Harry Potter and the Ink Black Prince:’ Beatrice Groves on a Parallel Series Idea

Image courtesy of ‘The Rowling Library’

The feature story in this month’s Rowling Library pdf is ‘The Ink Black Prince: Connections between The Ink Black Heart and Harry Potter‘ by Beatrice Groves. You can download the issue here or read it online using this link. Scroll to page 14 for the discussion of Ink Black Heart‘s echoes and parallels with it’s apposite number in the Hogwarts Saga, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The article has all the signature virtues of Prof Groves’ writing: a magisterial command of Rowling canon and interview material, discoveries consequent to her research into the meaning of words and names, and a tone and spirit that is simultaneously welcoming and challenging. Prepare yourself for a treat; only Prof Groves could have written such an insightful review so quickly after reading this epic-length novel (compare it to anything available from professional book-mavens in print and online for an even better appreciation of her accomplishment).

If the Parallel Series Idea, the theory that Rowling is writing the Cormoran Strike novels with heavy shading in each from her first seven book series, and Ring Composition in Harry Potter and the Strike novels, which structural points inform much of Prof Groves’ discussion, see the following pages here at [Read more…]