Search Results for: hanged man

George MacDonald: The Mirrors of the Lord

Robert Trexler, editor of CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C. S. Lewis Society and at Zossima Press, a George MacDonald scholar, and HogPro All-Pro to boot, sent me this essay from George MacDonald’s Unspoken Sermons. I run it in full here not to proselytize or make theological points (be fore-warned, it is a sermon not a literary criticism essay) but because I think it demonstrates something I have asserted about Ms. Rowling’s use of eyes, mirrors, and Harry being a symbol of Christ, namely, that this usage is Coleridgean natural theology and, as such, the heart and light, if you will, of the English fantasy tradition from Coleridge, Carroll, and MacDonald right through to the Inklings and the author of the Hogwarts Saga. I look forward to reading what you think. [Read more…]

Muggletonians: Whence Potterverse’s ‘Muggles’?

The word ‘Muggle’ has become, like the words ‘Deathly Hallows’ and ‘Horcruxes’ and names like ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Voldemort,’ so much a part of our vocabularies that it doesn’t seem to have a meaning apart from the Hogwarts Saga or one greater than non-words like ‘Kodak’ or ‘Xerox.’ But I’m learning from reading I’m doing as research for my book on Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight, oddly enough, that ‘Muggle’ has an extraordinary meaning and one that touches on the heart and soul of Mrs. Rowling’s artistry. [Read more…]

Christian Controversy/Conversation Continues

Last Friday, I did an interview on the ‘This is the Day!’ Moody Bible radio show that I assumed was going to be about How Harry Cast His Spell (that book’s publisher set it up) and the movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I had my notes about the Christian content of this film, especially Dumbledore as Christ figure and the ‘I am with you’ line that was cut from the film, in anticipation of questions from the host on this subject and others.


What I got instead was a reminder that the “Harry as a Gateway to the Occult” meme is still very much alive. The program’s hostess was kind, and, even if she hadn’t read one of the books, my book, or seen a Potter movie, she was very diplomatic in giving me plenty of time to answer the proof-text assertions and angry questions from her audience.

In brief, the experience was a flash-back to the first years of the century.

Reflecting on that interview/tribunal, I realized times really have changed — but a lot of folks are just waking up from the Imperius curse cast over them years ago. Here are a few examples: [Read more…]

Dumbledore a Christ Figure in Half-Blood Prince?

I argued that point back in 2005, believe it or not, and I suppose it’s worth re-visiting during the great kerfuffle about the Warner Brother’s film. Here is the relevant portion of a very long essay, even by HogPro standards, (see the original, if you must confirm I haven’t changed anything): [Read more…]

The Personal Heresy: A Case Study

Last weekend I attended Book Expo America (BEA) at New York City’s Javits Center. One of the more interesting panel discussions I went to was on Book Clubs. I went to it, embarrassing full disclosure here, because I hoped I might learn how to get Zossima Press titles picked up by Book of the Month Club or Quality Paperback Book Club.

Whoops! The discussion was about neighborhood reading clubs, which proved to my delight to be much more interesting than what I expected to be hearing.

The relevant and disturbing thing I picked up that I’d like to offer here for your reflection and comments was the consensus of the five women on the panel and the moderator that what Book Club members really want to know — and what book club leaders are obliged to provide — is information about the author of the work the club is reading. Knowing that s/he lives in Long Island, is married with two children, graduated from Kalamazoo U, and has a dachshund and pet tortoise is not enough; a discussion leader is obliged to search and find personal data well beyond book cover blurbs. The home run is scheduling an appearance by the author at the club date — so members can ask him or her how much of the story reflects their personal lives.

These Book Club pundits weren’t uneducated women or desperate housewives, believe me. When an author in the audience pointed out, though, that better writers weren’t writing autobiographies in story they wanted readers to pick apart to discover the ‘real world’ referents, the panel seemed non-plussed. They weren’t endorsing or arguing that interpreting the books readers gathered to discuss in the light of an author’s personal history was good or bad; they were just saying it was certainly what members wanted to do, would do, and it was the business of the Book Club sponsor to foster this sort of literary gossip if s/he wanted a successful Book Club.

We see a lot of this in Potter Fandom, alas. [Read more…]