Reading, Writing, Rowling 45: Alchemical Weddings in Harry Potter and Beyond

No, I have not returned to podcasting at MuggleNet! This podcast was recorded before The Ickabog show but that one was edited and posted first before the text of the “political fairy tale” was taken offline. Enjoy!

From Laurie Beckoff’s introduction at MuggleNet.com:

Why did Ron and Hermione, Remus and Tonks, and Bill and Fleur end up paired together? Literary alchemy holds the symbolic answers. Katy and John talk this month with Elizabeth Baird Hardy (Mayland Community College) and Beatrice Groves (Oxford University) about the alchemical pairings of elements that reveal themselves in the Harry Potter series and beyond.

Reading, Writing, Rowling 44: Ickabog! John Granger’s Last MuggleNet Podcast

 

From Laurie Beckoff’s write-up at MuggleNet:

In this month’s episode, Katy and John talk with Harry Potter scholars John Pazdziora (University of Tokyo-Komaba) and Lana Whited (Ferrum College) about our first analyses of The Ickabog, which was released in installments from June to July 2020. The slow release has allowed fans of Harry Potter once again the delights of speculating about what will happen next, and we have captured that spirit in our conversation recorded after Chapter 51 was posted.

Lana Whited points out the connections with “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” while John Pazdziora shows how they fit within the French conte tradition that combined fairy tales with social criticism. Following both those traditions, The Ickabog lures the reader into a politically sharp and often violent tale. We discuss what the fairy tale theories of Bruno Bettelheim tell us about how children process gruesome stories. The third-person omniscient, even parental, voice of the narrator serves a purpose in talking readers through the difficult experiences of the Cornucopians.

And a whole lot more! This was one of my favorite conversations in my entire run as a LeakyMug podcaster, from the original ‘Potter Pundits’ segments at Leaky Cauldron with James Thomas and Travis Prinzi to the fifty plus MuggleNet Academia shows with Keith Hawk to being the guest-in-residence at Katherine McDaniel’s ‘Reading, Writing, Rowling,’ also at MuggleNet.

One of my favorite conversations — and it is also my last podcast at MuggleNet. I am leaving and will not be working with the “#1 Wizarding World Resource” until they retract both their in-house and public assertion that J. K. Rowling is a transphobe (and that as such The Presence represents a danger or is “committing harm” to fandom members) and their attempts to ‘cancel’ her. I left on good terms both with Professor McDaniel and Kat Miller, the MNet Creative and Marketing Director, no bridges burned, but it was time for us to acknowledge we disagree on essential matters and our relationship needed to change to reflect that disagreement.

The good news? Well, watch this space for an announcement of something new and exciting at HogwartsProfessor! Until then, enjoy this fascinating discussion about The Ickabog with John Patrrick Pazdziora and Lana Whited — yes, it’s dated (we didn’t know the ending!), but, believe me, this show will long be a reference point in Ickabog scholarship (and there are quite a few laughs wedged in with the “A ha!” moments).

Reading, Writing, Rowling 41: Babbity Rabbity

 

 

Reading, Writing, Rowling 40: Unpacking Petunia

 

 

Reading, Writing Rowling 39: When in Doubt, Go to the Library: The Books Within the Books