Anniversary and Birthday Plans?

This week last year HogPro and Hog’s Head were counting down the days to the release of Deathly Hallows with predictions and spoiler alerts. Do any of you have plans to commemorate the first anniversary of the closing of the InterLibrum and the Harry Potter saga? I know the PotterDelphians are planning a MeetUp on Saturday,2 August, for a belated Birthday bash. I think the Grangers may watch a movie or two with some popcorn after dad talks at dinner about the eyes in Deathly Hallows (the Mirror, the Symbol, Mad-Eye’s funeral, and, of course, Snape’s “Look at me!”).

What are your plans?

My parents think Harry Potter is evil! Please help!

I received an email note last week from a 15 year old Harry Potter reader. I have responded already but wondered what you All-Pros would have said if this had landed in your inbox. I promise to pass on your comments if she writes back.

Subject: My parents think Harry Potter is evil! Please help!
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From: Melody
Date: Thursday, Jul 17, 2008 at 2:39 PM
To: john@hogwartsprofessor.com

Mr. Granger,

I am a teenage christian who LOVES Harry Potter! I completely understand the christian values in the books and grow in my faith because of it. I have read your book “Looking for God in Harry Potter” and agreed with you throughout the whole thing. I do have one problem though, my parents who are also christians are convinced that the books are evil and horrible and will refuse to be told otherwise. I don’t know how to start a conversation with them explaining how Harry Potter benifits my walk with God because I know that no matter what I say they won’t listen. Please tell me how I can get my parents to have an open mind so I can convince them Harry Potter is not evil indeed the oposite of evil!

– Melody, 15

Rowling Joins Pullman Contra Ministry Act

No age limits or qualifiers on books, “rival fantasy writers” (?) argue.

Ms. Rowling, of course, is in a better situation because her books are not only on the A-Level exams, they’re also being used in Edinburgh government schools for literature, music, and art classes.

Guest Post: On Harry and Hamlet

One of the frustrating things about writing a weblog is that, as often as not, the things I think are brilliant get little feedback or response (cough-Dante-cough) and filler-posts about a Potter movie star’s alchemical aside fuel exciting discussion from all quarters. The reward, of course, is when a reader catches hold of an idea and takes it in a direction I hadn’t thought of and takes it to some altitude as well.

That happened this morning when I received the following comment from Tinuvielas in Germany in response to my post on literary influence, Austen, Shakespeare, and Rowling, a post that very few others thought worthy of comment. Needless to say, the shared insights were a double delight for me. I hope you enjoy them even half as much as I did — and that you’ll respond to the invitation for comment and correction at post’s end. Thank you, Tinuvielas!

Hi John,

Thanks a lot for that truly great post, including the fantastic Leavis-quote. Your comments are always inspirational… and [in response] to Arabella Figg’s [question]: There actually is a course (by Monica Arellano-Espizia, entitled “similarities between Harry Potter and Hamlet”), that tries to do just what you said, “use the series as an introduction (…) to read Shakespeare”. Only, it’s not high-school-level, but fourth-grade…

As to how Shakespeare influenced JKR, in addition to the Macbeth-stuff above, there’s another, perhaps less obvious point, i.e. the similarities between those international superstars of the literary universum, Harry and Hamlet. There’s quite a list of them, actually (and not only the fact that both names begin with an “H”…): [Read more…]

Portus 2008 Reports: Jim Dale Q&A

Reporting from Dallas, Toni Gras, longtime friend of HogPro and Harry Potter Fan Zone Reporter. Take it away, Toni!

Portus 2008: Day One and Two
Toni Gras, HPFZ Reporter

Harry Potter Educational Fanon (HPEF) has produced another FAN-tastic conference for Harry Potter adult fans! At the Hilton Anatole which overlooks the commanding Dallas, Texas skyline, Harry Potter fans from both U.S. and foreign destinations have converged for fun, frolic, fantasy and fandom for four days, July 10-13. I was amazed at the organization and the massiveness of the conference – guest speakers, panelists, keynote lecturers, vendor tables, an art gallery, banquets, Quidditch games, Wizard Rock bands, Potter movies, banquets, teas, dessert minglers and even a podcast. [Read more…]