Literary Alchemy: The Pillar Post Project

I was invited out of the blue last week, as something of an afterthought it seems, by the editor of a book soon to be published on the subject of the literary alchemy in Harry Potter to make a contribution of some kind. It turns out the well-meaning editor had not read anything I’d written on the subject other than the chapters in Unlocking Harry Potter, written and published before Deathly Hallows was in hand.

This struck me as bizarre, frankly. I’ve written several books with chapters on literary alchemy since 2007, most notably Deathly Hallows Lectures, How Harry Cast His SpellHarry Potter’s Bookshelfand Spotlight: The Artistry and Meaning of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga (don’t sniff at that last, please, especially if you’re serious about hermetic writing in popular culture). Not to mention all I have written here on the subject in addition to the important alchemical Guest Posts we’ve published. 

This seemingly inexplicable ignorance on the part of a very smart person reminded me that I had been advised two years ago to create what are known as ‘Pillar Posts’ for the sidebar of HogwartsProfessor. The purpose of these posts on a weblog is to create easy access in one spot to the material on a specific topic of special interest that is otherwise just spread throughout the archives of a long-lived site in no particular order. If I am obliged to note, Gilderoy mask in place, that the editor of the upcoming book on alchemy and the Hogwarts Saga is at fault in not doing such work herself, I must take some part of the blame because I have too long neglected the duties of HogwartsProfessor weblog archivist.

I hope eventually to write a proper ‘Pillar Post’ for literary alchemy or at least an annotated version of the sorted link list that follows. I will try in the coming weeks, though, to put together similar Round-Ups for Ring Composition, Cormoran Strike, the Fantastic Beasts screenplays, Hunger Games, and other books we have discussed here at some length. Please let me know if there is a subject for which you would appreciate a one-click access to a cataloge of HogwartsProfessor posts made about it through the years and I will do my best to oblige you.

Below, then, a beginning on this Pillar Post project with a listing of Literary Alchemy posts on Thank you in advance for sharing your thoughts, corrections and questions by clicking on ‘Leave a Comment’ up by the post header.

Literary Alchemy (2012) (2007) (2013) (2010) (2008) (2007) (Casual Vacancy, 2013)

Crimes of Grindelwald Group Portrait: Is It a Meaningful Picture of the Story? (2018) Crimes of Grindelwald, 2018) (2015)

Rowling Comments (2007) (2013)

Alchemy in Authors Other than Rowling (2007) (2017) (2017) (2018) (2013) (2008) (2011) (2011) (2013) (2018)

Hunger Games

‘Unlocking Mockingjay: The Spiritual Allegory’ On Katniss as a Soul Seeking Perfection and Iconological Reading

‘Unlocking Mockingjay: ‘The Literary Alchemy’ On Literary Alchemy and Peeta as Postmodern Christ

‘Unlocking Mockingjay: Katniss’ Apotheosis’ On the Alchemical Arena and Katniss’ Perfection in the Inner Sanctuary

Guest Posts (Willis, 2018) (Sprague, 2011) (2009) (Sipal, 2007) (Sipal, 2018) (2018)

Harry Potter (2007-2008)

Literary Alchemy in Deathly Hallows
–(A) Alchemy in Deathly Hallows
–(B) Jung, Burckhardt, or McLean?
–(C) The New Age Alchemy wing in Fandom
–(D) Alchemy and the Tarot
–(E) Dragon’s Blood and Wand Cores

The Dante Posts
— (A) Florence and Hermetic Artistry
— (B) Lily and Beatrice: Snape’s Green-Eyed Deliverance
— (C) The Epilogue’s White Rose

Q&A (2008) (2010) (2013)

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