Seven Guesses of What ‘The Last Cries of Men’ Could Mean as a Title for Strike6

Yesterday Nick Jeffery discovered a potential title for the sixth Cormoran Strike novel, hereafter ‘Strike6,’ by following the trail of trademarks made by an agent of Rowling, Inc. Patricio Tarantino had found the agent’s name when he searched for the trademarking of The Christmas Pig and Nick traced all the agent’s trademarks, two of which were the Christmas Pig and The Ickabog. The most likely of the remaining trademarks for a Strike book title was The Last Cries of Men. See ‘Is Strike6’s Title ‘The Last Cries of Men’?‘ for the details of the discovery.

Nick explains there, too, that the line and possible title is from the 17th Century divine John Donne and his Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions. Friend of this weblog Beatrice Groves, Research Fellow at Oxford University, is hard at work writing up what we need to know about Donne the Metaphysical Poet — please let her be discussing the alchemy — as well as this specific book, most famous today, alas, because it provided an epigraph for For Whom the Bell Tolls. While we wait for the proper and rigorous treatment, though, join me after the jump for a hasty grabbing at some low hanging fruit. [Read more…]

Is Strike6’s Title ‘The Last Cries of Men’?

Patricio Tarantino of The Rowling Library shared with me last night his discovery of the trademark for The Christmas Pig being registered in 2012. I was delighted to have this information because it supports my theory that this story was in long development, and was the novel described in the Q&A on her website.

The company that registered the trademark is Shastan Ltd, and after checking with Companies House in the UK it appears it’s sole purpose was to register this trademark with no obvious link to Rowling. This is the same tactic used for registering the trademark for The Ickabog, using in that case Portree Regent Ltd. Both Shastan and Portree Regent share a director, and Professor Granger suggested looking at the other companies this director is listed for.

Then things started getting really exciting. Join me after the jump to learn about a possible title for the next Cormoran Strike novel, one trademarked in 2015: The Last Cries of Men.

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A Mythological Key to Cormoran Strike? The Myth of Eros, Psyche, and Venus

Tuesday I discussed seven points in Troubled Blood that suggest a Jungian reading of Strike5 and perhaps the entire Cormoran Strike series is what Rowling-Galbraith wants her readers to attempt. As I concluded in that post, I do not think Rowling is necessarily a Jungian herself but her mentioning the Swiss psychologist in the text by name, her repeated references to Jungian signatures in the story-line, most notably archetypes and symbolism, synchronicity-coincidences, and persona-identity, and the embedded ‘True Book’ that seems a story-cipher for Jung’s mysterious ‘New Book,’ individually and taken together are a big push towards interpreting Strike through a Jungian lens.

Today I want to take the second and follow-up step in that effort in the hope that I have succeeded via yesterday’s post in justifying a Jungian approach. In the post that follows, I will review Rowling’s soul-focused artistry and then argue that her Strike novels are in large part her retelling of the myth of Psyche and Eros as the Jungian school understands it, that is, as an allegory of, as Erich Neumann puts it, “the development of feminine psychology.” This post is preface to the third step in my Jung argument, namely, that the Strike series is an “externalization” or allegory of the integration of anima and animus in its male and female character leads.

This second step-post will have four parts: 

  • a discussion of Rowling’s stated beliefs about the soul and how it is the focus of her story-telling,
  • a review of her psychological artistry in Potter and the post Potter novels and screenplays,
  • a synopsis of the Eros and Psyche myth, and
  • a point to point look at the parallels in the story thus far with speculation about novels to come.

See you after the jump! Forty illustrations taken from traditional paintings and statues of Eros and Psyche…

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Strike’s SIB 1: Hatherill of the Yard

At the start of The Cuckoo’s Calling, as Cormoran and Robin are still recovering from their collision of a meeting, Strike gives Robin the password to the office computer: Hatherill23. Any password needs to be memorable, so who or what is Hatherill? were the first (I think) to identify Detective Chief Inspector George Hatherill of Scotland Yard, so join me after the jump to find out more of his remarkable career, and why he may be so important to Strike.

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Troubled Blood: A Jungian Reading

Before we begin any involved job, be it one of building a yurt or considering the work of a given author, we make sure we have the right tools for the job. As we continue our efforts to come to terms with Rowling-Galbraith’s longest and most involved work to date, Troubled Blood, it’s worth the time to ask ourselves if we are using the right tools, the appropriate methods for examining any of her work. In this post I want both to review the evidence within Troubled Blood and Rowling’s interviews that she wants us to be thinking about the interpretative perspective of Carl Jung, legendary psychologist and to suggest the value and limitations of this approach.

I have resisted believing or saying that this a valuable approach in the past for reasons I will discuss in my conclusion. It certainly is an approach others have used before with greater and lesser success.

Gail Grynbaum’s ‘The Secrets of Harry Potter,’ published in 2000 and revised in 2013 was the first, and, though incomplete, remains the best of the truly Jungian readings of the Hogwarts Saga.  Jordan Peterson, perhaps the most famous Jungian today, perhaps even the most influential psychologist, spoke about the archetypal qualities of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in one of his most popular videos. Fandom critics have tried to link Jung’s ideas on alchemy and the Shadow with elements of Rowling’s work (see here and here) and there are a slew of readers who have posted about the Hero’s Journey — Jungian elements via disciple Joseph Campbell — and archetypal characters in her work.

After the jump I offer seven reasons evident in the text of Strike5 for believing that Rowling-Galbraith is highlighting Jung, his signature tools, and suggesting that they are appropriate for a close reading of Troubled Blood. I’ll conclude with three take-home ideas about what this means for Serious Strikers and Potter Pundits, both more and les than you might think.

First, though, the seven reasons to believe Rowling has read Jung or at least wants her serious readers to think of him on their revisits to Troubled Blood. [Read more…]