Wild ‘Secrets of Dumbledore’ Theory: Rowling Puts Pro-Trump Message in Script that Kloves Didn’t See or Remove

This is a wild, which is perhaps to say “wildly irresponsible,” post of rank speculation based on exactly zero actual, y’know, factual evidence and direct testimony. It does include, however, (a) a valuable survey of Rowling’s recent work with respect to the elections and politics shared therein and its conclusions, (b) a pair of contrary allegorical readings of the latest Fantastic Beasts film, Secrets of Dumbledore, and (c) it does factor in both Rowling’s Peter-John Distinction and, the Seventh Crisis, her trials as an opponent of the trend that turns a mental disorder into a civil rights movement.

I have written it up, though, I have to admit, only because I love the idea of Rowling, pushed to the sidelines by Warner Brothers to protect their Wizarding World cash cow, inserting an IED-esque covert message in her “original script” that Kloves couldn’t scrub out and which the Hollywood Screenwriters Guild would find anathema, namely, that there was massive fraud in the 2020 US Presidential election. 

And I have to admit, too, of course, that I have not seen Secrets of Grindelwald yet. This isn’t even my theory and I certainly have little right to comment on its validity or vapidness. ‘Let the reader beware.’

Having noted those several necessary caveats, let me begin. This post has three parts: a review of Rowling’s “obsession” with US Presidential elections and politics (her word), a fixation that includes her acute case of Trump Derangement Syndrome and Obama-philia, a survey of the elections featured and politic notes sounded in her most recent work, Ickabog to Christmas Pig, and then allegorical readings of the election for Supreme Mugwump in Secrets of Dumbledore. I’ll lay all that out for you folks who have seen the film to discuss — after the jump! [Read more…]

Rowling Writes Trans Views Tell All Post; Fandom Divides ‘Team Jo,’ ‘Team Trans’

On 6 June, J. K. Rowling tweeted nine separate times on the issue of transgender people and their rights. I think the most important thread is this one:

Though only a reiteration of her #IStandWithMaya Tweet Heard Round the World from last December, one with special emphasis in each part of the thread that the accusation that she hates transgender people is untrue and unfair, the world that believes with former Vice President Joe Biden that transgender rights “are the civil rights issue of our time” have doxxed her thoroughly. Celebrities as closely tied with her as Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Eddie Redmayne, and Evanna Lynch have all gone public to affirm that “transgender women are women.” [To my knowledge, Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger have not yet checked in on this issue.]

On 10 June Rowling responded with an essay which was posted on her website, ‘J.K. Rowling Writes about Her Reasons for Speaking out on Sex and Gender Issues,’ and she has pinned a link to this post to the top of her twitter page (she has been silent on twitter since 6 June). In this essay she reviews the history of her involvement with the transgender issue, the story of her several fat-finger mistakes at the keyboard that led to her being identified as “transphobic” by trans activists online, and of her decision to return to twitter in December after a long hiatus to support Maya Foraster. She details, too, the fallout thereafter, not only the verbal abuse and threats she endured and expected, but also the unanticipated “avalanche of emails and letters” “the overwhelming majority of which were positive, grateful and supportive.” These notes, she writes, [Read more…]

Casual Vacancy

Welcome Guests from the 18 December 2013 Diane Rehm Show about Casual Vacancy!

Round Up Url

If you’re looking for a place to start in the posts below, Post #3 details how much cursing there actually was in the book , Post #4 how very autobiographical this book is (and why that shouldn’t matter), and Post #5 is an exegesis of the not very subtle political allegory of John Bull and his wife the Queen vs. the Empire’s legacy and promise in its outliers. After that? 6, 8, 11, and 12 will help you see the anagogical meaning that reviewers and first time readers miss in haste and because the social message is so loud.


The Original Introduction to the Post:

I wasn’t sure I’d ever be able to throw together my first thoughts and questions on J. K. Rowling’s new novel, Casual Vacancy, but I found time today to write up some of my impressions after a hurried reading last weekend. This is only a small beginning, of course, for a thousand neglected topics. I think immediately of the Casual Vacancy title and Part captions, the propaganda quality of the work,  and how much our reading of this book because we love our Harry Potter experience colors our appreciation of the novel. None of that below, though you will find literary alchemy, the political and personal allegories, and a word by profane word count on the cussing in Vacancy among other subjects

We’ll get to the neglected topics I mentioned and others soon enough, I’m sure. I hope in the twelve threads below to jump start our conversation of the artistry and meaning and experience of Casual Vacancy, subjects I suspect have been largely lost in the fanfare and shock of the book’s publication. Thank you in advance for joining the discussion and for inviting all the serious reader friends you know to jump in, too!

1. The Harry Potter Echoes

2. MuggleMarch or A Modern Moonacre Manor

3. Potter to Potty-Mouth: The Profanity by the Numbers

4. Literary Narcissism or The Art of the Psychic Realm

5. Barry Fairbrother and the Political Parable

6. Literary Alchemy: The Conjunction of Sex and Death

7. The Seven Part Ring Composition

8. Andrew and Gaia: Fallen Man and the Natural World?

9. Andrew and Stuart: Doppelganger, Ouroboros, or Diptych?

10. The JayZ song  ‘Umbrella’

11. Religion: Christian Hypocrites and Sympathetic Sikhs

12. Authenticity and Hypocrisy:’Penetration,’ Suffering, and the Birth of Consciousness

Post First Week Round-up:

13. Christianity Today: ‘Profoundly Biblical Worldview’

14. Notable Reviews, High and Low

15.  Guest Post: A Telling Re-Take of ‘The Good Samaritan’?

Diane Rehm Show (NPR): Discussion of JKR’s Casual Vacancy

Diane Rehm features a book each month on her popular NPR talk-radio program called ‘Reader’s Review.’ This month the novel selected was Joanne Rowling’s Casual Vacancy. You can listen to the discussion which aired Wednesday here.

The producer and I spoke  for the better part of an hour about the symbolism, structure, implicit parallels, and postmodern meaning beyond the surface narrative and obvious political messaging. That conversation was all about the discussions found here, Hogwarts Professor Casual Vacancy Thread Round-Up, a link she put on the NPR Diane Rehm page for that show.

I finally listened to it myself last week and confess to scratching my head. Outside of one bizarro caller who wanted to talk about Ms. Rowling’s “metaphysics,” and whom was immediately given a brief, polite answer in dismissal, the show didn’t talk about the depth, the structure, the allegory, not to mention the alchemy and its like. Nada. The expert guests, all literary sophisticates with guild certification, agreed even when they disagreed on surface points they liked and disliked — and that was all the conversation dwelt on, in the end — that the book was only one more reading experience among many.

When the British maven felt obliged to express her disgust with Congress’ decision not to extend unemployment benefits, seemingly as a throw away comment but really entirely in keeping with the quality of her critique of Rowling’s work, I almost tuned out. Why continue listening to these evaluations of the work in question that could only see the surface and moral/political ‘realism’ of a story that is almost fairy tale like in its allegorical qualities?

I hope you will give the show a listen if you have any free time between Western Christmas and the Gregorian calendar New Year. Is this the usual level of conversation about popular literature? Or did Diane Rehm just have a bad day or poor panel? [Read more…]

J. K. Rowling Speaks Out on the Meaning of ‘Casual Vacancy’

Mind-blowing. And wonderfully refreshing. And possibly a wrong turn?

Forgive me, but Joanne Rowling is not one to let her hair down, if you will, and talk themes and meaning and artistry straight up with her readers. In the ten year roll-out of the Hogwarts Saga and beyond we got much less in many more interviews than the author revealed in one go at GoodReads.com in answer to a question about character development in Casual Vacancy.

Read the whole thing — and then read it again.

The best part, I thought, was her description of the Good Samaritan finale when three characters walk by the little boy about to die. She says flat out that the novel “was constructed” so that when this happens the reader is struck by the three characters as allegorical transparencies for specific human failings. [Read more…]