J. K. Rowling’s Stories – a New Website Launched part 1

 

J.K. Rowling has just released her first new website since the current one launched on 20th December 2016. The new site is aimed at children so doesn’t cover any of the Robert Galbraith novels or A Casual Vacancy and can be found at https://stories.jkrowling.com/.  The new location holds a few secrets (with possibly more to come). So join me after the jump to take a look at a few of them.

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Rowling Interview: The Christmas Pig

Another great find and capture by our friends at TheRowlingLibrary.com!

About the elephant in the room heretofore unmentioned, the HogwartsProfessor faculty and friends are studying the new Rowling website, Stories.JKRowling.com, and will be posting about it sooner than later. Thank you for your patience.

1999 Rowling Interview with a Reading

From our friends at The RowlingLibrary.com, here is an archived 1999 interview with The Presence that includes a reading from Philosopher’s Stone. Enjoy!

Paint and Memory, or Should That Be Pixels? Chatting with the Dead Via Magic and Technology.

One of the more fascinating, and mysterious, constructs in the Harry Potter series is the moving, talking painting, and what that means for the possibility of communicating with loved ones after death.

On the one hand, Cursed Child reminds us that the portraits are “paint and memory” …  somethind far different and far less than actually speaking with the portrait subject. This view seems consistent with one that Rowling herself opined in 2004. 

Q: All the paintings we have seen at Hogwarts are of dead people. They seem to be living through their portraits. How is this so? If there was a painting of Harry’s parents, would he be able to obtain advice from them?

JKR: That is a very good question. They are all of dead people; they are not as fully realised as ghosts, as you have probably noticed. The place where you see them really talk is in Dumbledore’s office, primarily; the idea is that the previous headmasters and headmistresses leave behind a faint imprint of themselves. They leave their aura, almost, in the office and they can give some counsel to the present occupant, but it is not like being a ghost. They repeat catchphrases, almost. The portrait of Sirius’ mother is not a very 3D personality; she is not very fully realised. She repeats catchphrases that she had when she was alive. If Harry had a portrait of his parents it would not help him a great deal. If he could meet them as ghosts, that would be a much more meaningful interaction, but as Nick explained at the end of Phoenix—I am straying into dangerous territory, but I think you probably know what he explained—there are some people who would not come back as ghosts because they are unafraid, or less afraid, of death.

source from Accio quote, Edinburgh Book Festival, 2004

On the other hand, there are certainly times when the portraits seem to do far more than repeat catchphrases. Dumbledore’s painting, for instance, was able to generate original ideas for Order members in the fight against Voldemort. For instance, he seems to have come up with the idea of the Seven Potters, which, according to Mad-Eye, was a response to the Ministry outlawing apparition from Privet Drive. He suggested to Snape that he implant the idea of the plan by confounding Mundungus Fletcher. Later, he advises Snape to give Harry the Sword of Gryffindor, reminding him that the sword must be recovered under conditions of bravery.  This seems to be more original thinking than a “faint imprint” could impart.

I was reminded of this curiosity after reading this story about a grief-stricken man who created an AI version of his deceased girlfriend, with whom he could converse by text chat. It is a fascinating read, and delves into both the potential for healing, and the dangers, of clinging to a created “imprint” as a way of coping with loss.  Reading the article made me think of Dumbledore’s advice to Harry regarding the Mirror of Erised:

“However, this mirror will give us neither knowledge or truth. Men have wasted away before it, entranced by what they have seen, or been driven mad, not knowing if what it shows is real or even possible…It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that. “

I hope our Hogpro readers will look into the AI story, and comment here on the similarities to magical paintings. 

Lumos Foundation – 2021 Virtual Gala

J. K. Rowling’s signature charity that supports the deinstitutionalisation of children: the Lumos Foundation will shortly be holding it’s annual charity gala. This year it will be a virtual event scheduled for Saturday October 2nd 3:30 – 4:30 PM EST (8:30 – 9:30 PM GMT). You may remember some past events such as the 2018 event with Whoopi Goldberg, but this year with Covid precautions, it will be an on line activity allowing even more people to become involved.

The Gala will be hosted by Alec Baldwin and will feature J. K. Rowling reading excepts from The Tales of Beadle the Bard and with ticket prices starting from $25 this could be a great way to donate to this charity.

Join me after the jump to find out more.

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