Off to LeakyCon 3: Harry Potter Chicago, Here We Come!

My son Timothy and I are on our way to Chicago for LeakyCon3 at the Downtown Hilton on Michigan Avenue! I have given talks at the first two LeakyCon extravaganzas and am delighted to be headed back — this time to do four talks, something of a HogwartsProfessor Greatest Hits collection. The lecture titles and descriptions are below the jump for those interested; here’s hoping that I have time before and after these two-a-day sessions Friday and Saturday morning and afternoon that I’ll have a chance to sit down and catch up with any All Pros that are coming. See you there!

Ten Things You Didn’t know About Harry Potter: The Medley Edition

John Granger, whom TIME magazine’s Lev Grossman has dubbed “the Dean of Harry Potter Scholars,” celebrated the tenth anniversary of his first book’s publication (The Hidden Key to Harry Potter) with a series of seven lectures at Oklahoma City’s famous Full Circle bookstore. In each talk John focused on one Harry Potter novel and spoke about ten points even very serious fans and attentive readers almost certainly missed. [The talks were filmed and are available online!] John was invited to speak at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in July and gave a medley, tour de force version of these seven talks at The Three Broomsticks. Touching on one facet of each book that almost every one misses, John reveals the structures, symbolism, and story scaffolding ‘behind the curtain’ of the surface story that give the Hogwarts saga its remarkable power. Like all of John’s talks, the profound is explained simply and there are plenty of laughs. Join him in the mad medley of this remarkable series for his challenging take on the artristry and meaning of the world’s favorite books!

Writing in Circles: Harry Potter and the Magic of Ring Composition

Put on a pair of Harry’s round glasses and experience the Hogwarts Saga as you never have before. We know that the magic of Harry Potter is the remarkable artistry and story-scaffolding of Ms. Rowling’s writing. But who knew that ‘Rowling’ meant ‘rolling’ as in ‘moving in circles’? John Granger explains that the seven book series as a whole is an integrated Ring Composition and that each individual novel, too, is built on a strict Ring of chapters that are, as Dumbledore puts it, “reverse echoes” of chapters reflecting their meaning on opposite sides of that book. Granger charts the series architecture and the lay-out of every book  so this structure is unmistakable and then he links this traditional artistry to Ms. Rowling’s postmodern and Christian meaning. For the serious reader who needs to know the how and why of Harry’s popularity, ‘Writing in Circles’ delivers amazing insights about and a fresh appreciation of the genius and magic of Ms. Rowling’s work.

Harry Potter Unlocked: The Seven Synergistic Keys to the Hogwarts Saga

Just like Mad-Eye Moody’s magical trunk, no single ‘hidden key’ opens up or literary lens reveals every aspect and depth of Joanne Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. John Granger tells us in a wild tour of the specific choices the author made in putting together the series — from the basics of genre and narratological voice to the eye and circle symbolism and literary alchemy — that it is the combination and synergy of the artistry and meaning that makes reading the Hogwarts Saga the transformative and engaging experience it is. The Hogwarts Professor promises to offer a credible ‘Theory of Everything’ on a roller coaster ride revealing why we love reading in general and how Harry’s adventures deliver the goods we are looking for like no other books.

The Eyes of Deathly Hallows: Harry Potter’s Corrected and Transforming Vision

Joanne Rowling told a reporter in 2007 that the “key” to her seven book series, the lines she waited 17 years to write, were Dumbledore’s farewell to Harry at what Harry thinks of as King’s Cross station in Deathly Hallows. John Granger uses the predominant eye symbolism of the series finale to explain this “is it real or just in my head?” conversation and why it opens up both the “power beyond any magic” of children’s tales and the meaning of the world’s best selling books. Granger describes the Symbolist or Inkling stream of English literature in which Rowling writes and how Coleridge’s idea of imagination and Christian images of of eyes, light, and mirrors inform this work.

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