Surprise! Lev Grossman loves Philip Pullman

Time Magazine as a run-up to their selection of 2007’s Person of the Year and the upcoming release of The Golden Compass in theatres near you has published an article by irrepressible Lev Grossman about the author of Compass, Philip Pullman. The article, Sympathy for the Devil, is vintage Grossman, whose name as a cryptonym for journalists posing as literary critics is Dickensian, with the necessary blow against C. S. Lewis and the pom-poms working for atheism. Readers of his 2005 interview with Ms. Rowling will remember his calling Lewis a Death Eater and this summer he celebrated Harry Potter (pre-Deathly Hallows) as a God-free book in an article explaining that God’s death was the only sure death we would have in the series finale.

No, he didn’t mean in the sense of Harry being a Christ figure.

I haven’t read any of the Philip Pullman books so let me bow out of this discussion lest I commit the sin of non-readers who know the books better than those who have. Here are some comments from thoughtful readers about this book and movie, several of whom have read Harry Potter. Contrast their views with those expressed by Grossman and the hesitant-atheist Pullman: [Read more…]

Dumbledore is Gay? Interview at Icon New Media

I was interviewed by Steve McMeans of the Icon New Media network two weeks ago about my thoughts on Ms. Rowling’s October revelation that she “always thought of Dumbledore as gay.” All I remember of this exchange was thought I didn’t want to do the interview right then because I was preparing a talk on another subject and I was feeling rather grumpy and distracted. Just the attitude and mental posture you don’t want to have… If you have a moment, please listen to it and let me know what you think. The online essay I posted here that sparked Mr. McMeans’ interest is “I Always Thought of Dumbledore as Gay [Applause],” if you want to check the longer, more coherent original against these comments made a few weeks later.

Interpreting Oz, Narnia, and Hogwarts: Four Historical Notes

Saturday’s discussion touched on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Frank Baum’s sub-creation. Later that day I received a sneak-peek of the first chapter of Michael Ward’s Planet Narnia. Both reminded me of the perils and possibilities implicit to “detective” interpretation of fiction. Let me lay out these four historical events, the insights and failed interpretations, with this question: what are the hazards of looking for the “hidden keys” to Harry Potter? the benefits? [Read more…]

Wrocking and Rowling: The First Harry Potter Themed Cruise, EVER!

I kid you not. “Wrock the Boat” will be sailing from New Orleans next Halloween as the first Harry Potter themed cruise, ever.

This cruise, unfortunately, is really just for Wizard Rock fans. Would anyone out there be interested in a Hogwarts Professor cruise? [Read more…]

The Best Books of 2007! (New York Times)

But the Entertainer of the Year didn’t make the cut.

Huh. Wonder why?