Hogwarts Professor Christmas Pig Posts

It’s  time to begin assembling a Pillar Post about J. K. Rowling’s latest work, The Christmas Pig, with all the work we have done here pre- and post publication to draw out its artistry and meaning.

There are three sections: the work we did from the announcement of the story last April (to include Nick Jeffery’s prediction the book existed) until its publication, the work we have done since its availability in October (special shout-outs to Evan Willis’ brilliant ‘First Notes,’ Elizabeth Baird-Hardy’s work with Spenser, and Bea Groves’ essay in The Rowling Library about Dickens and The Velveteen Rabbit), and my series in progress about reading this Christmas story as a spiritual allegory.

The listing of what I’ve found is after the jump, and, if I say so myself, it’s quite an impressive collection. Let me know what I’ve missed!

Pre-publication Christmas Pig Posts:

4/13The Christmas Pig: New Rowling Story

4/15: Nick Jeffery: Beginning at the Beginning A History of ‘Ickabog’ and Christmas Pig

7/1: New Cover Reveal for the Christmas Pig

8/12: J.K. Rowling with Simon Armitage the Poet Laureate – The Interview This is a long transcript so here is where Rowling talks about Christmas Pig near the end of their chat in his shed.

SA: What are you working on at the moment?
JK: I’ve just finished editing the Christmas Pig which is my children’s book that will be coming out before Christmas.

SA: It doesn’t turn out to be the Christmas pork?
JK: Oh, God, can you imagine? No it’s a toy pig. I’ve had this idea kicking around inside me since 2012. I do know that because it was the Olympics and I had the idea and I was working on the idea on the holiday just before the opening Olympic ceremony which was literally the most terrifying… because I was in it, and it was the most terrifying thing I’ve ever done. So I can remember the work on the book, and every time I put down the book, my heart did palpitations.
SA: Is it a short story?
JK: It’s a short book, it’s for younger children, I would say, and I really love it.
SA: Does the pig speak?
JK: He does speak, and other things speak that you might not expect to speak.

9/13: Rowling Interview: The Christmas Pig

9/13: Beatrice Groves: Easter Eggs on J.K. Rowling’s New Website – Part 1

9/14: J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 2

9/15: J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 3

Post Publication Chritmas Pig HogwartsProfessor Pieces:

10/4: The Christmas Pig – The First Reviews

10/10: Beatrice Groves: Unlocking Clues to The Christmas Pig

10/13: “For the Straightforward Path Was Lost”: A Few Starting Notes on The Christmas Pig

10/13: The Christmas Pig and Old Rabbit

10/17: Alexandra Palace, JKR, Christmas Pig

10/18: J. K. Rowling’s Christmas Pig Interviews

12/14: Rowling Talks About ‘Christmas Pig’

12/17: The Original Christmas Pig was Blind Pig

12/26: The Faerie Queene and The Christmas Pig

12/27: The Christmas Pig: Amateur AudioBook

12/28: Christmas Pig’s Chapter Thirteen

1/2: Does Anyone “Really” Die in Stories?

The Perennialist Reading of Christmas Pig Series:

12/22: Whence Holly’s Hatred in Christmas Pig? The Symbolism of the ‘Broken Angel’

1/5: Rowling on Love, Hope, Happiness 2018

1/15 Rowling, Ring Writing, and Maternal Love

  • Part 6: The Ring Composition
  • Part 7: The Dream Debate
  • Part 8: The Embedded Message about Art and Story

A good friend in Dallas sent me this encouraging note about my series of Pig posts:

I’m enjoying your series on The Christmas Pig, and was also reading George MacDonald’s little essay “The Fantastic Imagination” at the same time. I’m sure you’re aware of this essay, but it goes along so well with your Traditionalist literary interpretation: 

“But a man may then imagine in your work what he pleases, what you never meant!”

Not what he pleases, but what he can. If he be not a true man, he will draw evil out of the best; we need not mind how he treats any work of art! If he be a true man, he will imagine true things; what matter whether I meant them or not? They are there none the less that I cannot claim putting them there!

One difference between God’s work and man’s is, that, while God’s work cannot mean more than he meant, man’s must mean more than he meant.

For in everything that God has made, there is layer upon layer of ascending significance; also he expresses the same thought in higher and higher kinds of that thought: it is God’s things, his embodied thoughts, which alone a man has to use, modified and adapted to his own purposes, for the expression of his thoughts; therefore he cannot help his words and figures falling into such combinations in the mind of another as he had himself not foreseen, so many are the thoughts allied to every other thought, so many are the relations involved in every figure, so many the facts hinted in every symbol.

A man may well himself discover truth in what he wrote; for he was dealing all the time with things that came from thoughts beyond his own.

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