Can You Say “Shared Text”?

Try to understand this article from The Stanford Daily, The Pensieve: Harry Potter and the Stanford Bubble, without a thorough knowledge of all seven Potter books. The title, premise, and argument of the whole piece is that you, the reader, know Harry’s adventures so well that I, the writer, have to explain absolutely nothing about it. The Hogwarts Saga is the foundation of the conversation, the cultural ‘given.’

Harry is the Shared Text of the 21st Century. I have a hard time imagining a faith community in the US discussing a topical issue with this many references to that faith’s scriptures with the kind of surety that this writer and The Stanford Daily editors have that their readers will get the allusions. (H/T to David G!)

J. K. Rowling Denied Medal of Freedom?

Must all political partisanship and culture war battles eventually involve Ms. Rowling and Harry Potter? Perhaps.

The latest proof that we live in the End Times, when everything that is possible must happen before the apocalypse (e.g., watermelon flavored ice cream, the Cubs winning a World Series, the Dalai Lama being refused an audience at the White House), is that The Daily Prophet, aka the BBC, is reporting that Joanne Rowling was denied the Presidential Medal of Freedom (PMOF) by President Bush in 2008 because her books “encouraged witchcraft.”

I kid you not. [Read more…]

While you Wait for ‘The Wizarding World…

of Harry Potter’ at Universal Theme Park in Orlando, FL, why not check out Dickens World in the UK? If you made the commitment to read even half of Dickens’ novels before hopping the pond, this trip could be a life-changing experience! (H/T to Nicholas)

Ronald MacDonald: In the Near Loss of Everything

Not the hamburger clown, but the son of George MacDonald, literary great and scion of the Inkling fraternity. Zossima Press yesterday released In the Near Loss of Everything, a biography of this Ronald MacDonald by Dale Wayne Slusser that focuses on Ronald’s time in America and the book is a ‘wow.’ Please read these blurbs from MacDonald scholars and the Zossima Press news release for why you, the Harry Potter serious reader and lover of imaginative fiction, will want to read In the Near Loss of Everything. [Read more…]

‘Welcome to Hufflepuff!’

Mitchell and Webb hilarity about the necessarily restrained speech in the Hufflepuff Common Room after Sorting… Hat tip to Lisa!

Micaela, a Potter-phile on her way to St. John’s College in 2010, told me over lunch today after church that I needed to look up Monty Python Football next time I needed a laugh. An excellent recommendation!