What does the German Title for Ink Black Heart Mean?

Yesterday, twitter user ChrisMarple shared that the German translation title has been released, and it is Das tiefschwarze Herz. This struck me as a bit odd, as I couldn’t see the German word ‘tinte’ for ink.

As beautiful as the English language is, it can be somewhat imprecise. Depending upon which word is stressed The Ink Black Heart can mean:

A black heart made of ink.

Ink in the shape of a black heart.

An inky-black heart.

The heart may be the bodily organ, or may refer to the centre or core of a thing. All of this of course will be great fun for an author such as Rowling to create multiple reflections and resonances of the title. So what of the German title?

Das tiefschwarze Herz means ‘The deep-black [or jet-black] heart’, with no mention of ink. Another possible translation could have been Das tintenschwarze Herz, the lack of capitalisation making clear that ink-black / tintenschwarze is an adjective, and not to be confused with the noun druckerschwärze meaning printer’s ink.

So what does this mean for the new instalment? For German readers at least, this book is about an inky-black heart, and less likely about a tattoo. As a cautionary note, my German is at schoolboy level at best, any comments and corrections are welcome.

Fantastic Beatrice – and Where to Find Them

In the run up to the cinematic release of Fantastic Beasts 3: The Secrets of Dumbledore Dr. Beatrice Groves, Research Lecturer and tutor at Trinity College, Oxford, and author of  Literary Allusion in Harry Potter, has written five articles exploring the influences and allusions J. K. Rowling may have woven into the new film. The first two of these were hosted on Hogwarts Professor and the final three in Bathilda’s Notebook hosted by Mugglenet.

In anticipation and celebration of the upcoming release, now is the time brush up on all things Beasts, collected for your reference below:

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The Strike and Ellacott Files Podcast

I have for a long time been a fan of podcasts. My own version of working in a Café as J. K. Rowling did is to work while listening to the spoken word. As a student this meant talk radio (which in the UK in the 80s and 90s meant BBC Radio4) and for the last eight years or so this has meant podcasts, or the BBC’s own Sounds application. The pleasure of podcasts is being able to tailor your listening by both content and schedule and one of my current favourites is a podcast hosted by Lindsay, Pools and Kenz called The Strike and Ellacott Files. This podcast debuted in 2021 and covered a read through of Troubled Blood. The show is currently part way through a re-read of Cuckoo’s Calling.

At the start of this month I was lucky enough to feature in an extra episode with Dr Beatrice Groves to discuss the epigraphs, past and future, in the Strike novels. The episode was recorded over a Zoom connection, linking the hosts in the US to Beatrice and myself in the UK. As a rank newbie, I was delighted to find the hosts just as friendly and engaging as I had imagined from listening. You can find out how I fared via the link below:

Episode 5.5

It was a strange (but thoroughly fun!) experience talking directly to people I had already grown used to listening to as an audience member. I have corresponded with Beatrice for some years but this was my first opportunity to talk (albeit at a distance) face to face. I hope in the near future to gain some more podcasting experience, but other than The Strike and Ellacott Files and the similarly excellent (but on hiatus) Denmark Street Deep Dive, I know of no others. If you have any comments or recommendations, please let me know down below:

Rowling Speaks at London Premiere of Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore

Yesterday was the World Premier for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore in London. The event was ‘live streamed’ for fans worldwide here, and like many adoring fans I tuned in at 17:30 British Summer Time, wondering if J. K. Rowling would make an appearance.

No appearance on the live stream, but twitter was awash with photographs of her there and it quickly became apparent that she was interviewed (briefly) and entered the theatre before the official live stream started. Fortunately enough, ODE entertainment managed to capture the interview, which I have included below.

Two key take outs for me: Covid forced a change in location, which may explain the move from the intended Brazil setting, and Rowling is excited to show the manticores.


The Rowling Headers – in Context

I’m very please with the list of headers to J. K. Rowling’s twitter account we have assembled, but there are still many that haven’t yet been identified. There are also many that while we have identified them, we haven’t yet got a good explanation of the meaning of the image. In an attempt to foster further investigation and comment, I present an analysis of what Rowling has admitted to be currently working on when the headers were live.


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