J. K. Rowling on The Daily Show (2012)

TheRowlingLibrary strikes again! The good folks at TRL have posted an interview Rowling did with Jon Stewart in 2012 as part of the promotion tour for the then just published Casual Vacancy. Enjoy!

Shepherd and Biddle: Rowling’s Favorite A-Level Teachers (1998 Interview)

Just when you think that nothing new will be found in the Rowling Archives, a new-old-interview pops up. Here is a 1998 interview with new literary sensation, ‘Joanne’ Rowling rather than ‘J. K.,’ in which she discusses her favorite teachers, the one who prepared her for A-Levels in English and the other who helped with her French. The only reason it is called an “interview” is because Rowling answers the question, “Who were your favorite teachers?” It is, in other words, a testimonial from the Pre-Potter Mania author, not yet hesitant to share personal information with Rita Skeeter, rather than a questions-and-answers back-and-forth. Enjoy!

Lucy Shepherd was one of my English teachers at Wyedean comprehensive, near the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. I became head girl there – possibly the only head girl to be warned about smoking behind the bike sheds.

She was quite young – in her twenties and didn’t look authoritarian, but she had no problems with discipline because she had an aura around her that inspired respect. I had a great relationship with her, but she did not try to be friends or court being liked. In fact, she was rather abrasive, but also dry and funny. Yet she was the only teacher I ever went to with a boyfriend problem, although she would not have been most people’s first choice for a friendly chat.

I still remember the books I did with her for A-level English literature – Tender is the Night [Fitzgerald], Decline and Fall [Waugh]. She gave me a sharp appreciation of what’s good in writing and what makes a book good. [Read more…]

Harry Potter Book Collector Challenge: Start Your Cormoran Strike Library Now

Watch the first seven minutes if you want to experience bibliophiliac collector madness without the books.

Really, though, is this supposed to be satire? I certainly experienced it as a hilarious warning against the conjugal conceits of collection and display (says the man who just spent a weekend moving and reorganizing on new shelves his LP library of 7,000 plus albums…).

I wonder how much the re-sale value of this collection has dropped since Harry Potter Fandom, Inc., has collectively cancelled J. K. Rowling. The collector, even if he is a real person rather than an actor as I want to believe, may have felt the need to burn his cache in a bonfire statement of solidarity with those the author has oppressed.

Does anyone out there have the full shelf of Cormoran Strike novels in their various hard and soft cover editions? I wonder how long it will be until Lethal White can be found in Macedonian or Bombyx Mori in Latin… Best to get started now, before Strike Mania captures the world’s imagination and the attention of investor collectors. Please send photos of your collection today for posting here at HogwartsProfessor!

Rowling Interview Transcript and Notes

Rowling-Galbraith has given one interview about Troubled Blood in the first month of its publication history, a softball session (Tee-ball?) I complained about the day after its release. “So many more important questions she could have been asked!” et cetera.

I asked my wife to type up a transcript of the interview for ease in reference, and, Serious Striker that she is, it can be found below the jump. Reading through it, I confess my first response to the interview was both understandable in its disappointment — think of the work posted here on the Spenser epigraphs and Tarot card spreads alone, neither of which gets more than a head nod — and lamentable. The interview is much better and more revealing than I thought.

I have numbered the fourteen questions, provided a comment for each, and hope that you will use those numbers and add your own thoughts in the comment thread below. Corrections of the transcript are welcome, of course, as are alternative questions you would have asked The Presence, even if she was only virtually Present. Enjoy! [Read more…]

The Virtual Harry Potter Conference 2020

Chestnut Hill College is hosting its annual Harry Potter Conference online this year due to Pennsylvania’s draconian Covid measures and the nigh on universal conformity to state demands in this regard by university officials everywhere. The Conference begins today, you can register here, and all the talks can be watched at your at-home leisure via Zoom. The Featured Speakers and panels will present ‘live’ and answer questions; the great majority of presentations have been recorded to facilitate surety in broadcasting.

Three quick notes: [Read more…]