Shared Text: ‘Hogwarts and All’

The Economist magazine published an article earlier this month on ‘School Voucher Schemes’ in the United States (they are profoundly skeptical, whence “schemes”). They titled it, ‘Hogwarts and All.’

There was not a single allusion to the famous school of witchcraft and wizardry in it, but the reference was meant to tease the Harry Potter fan into reading the piece and share its ‘warty’ conclusion.

Fifteen years after the publication of the last novel in the series, Deathly Hallows, in a world of ever-decreasing attention spans and cultural memory, the Hogwarts Saga — its characters, scenes, and events — remain a shared text across generations and all geography. No doubt the new teevee show will reinforce this social fact.

‘We Hymn Thy Resurrection, O Christ’

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

Between services this Holy Week at St Philaret’s in Anderson, South Carolina, I had a discussion with a thoughtful young man, one who has studied Tolkien sufficiently, I think, to be able to read runes, about the parallelism of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. I sent him the work done by Kelly Kerr and myself on this subject and he confessed to being astonished about the ring aspects of his favorite books.

That conversation reminded me during the celebration of Pascha of how this traditional story scaffolding permeates everything Orthodox Christian, holy scripture to services of the Church.

Several years ago I wrote a post here,The Hymn of the Resurrection: Orthodox Hymnography and Ring Composition,‘ in which I parsed, in English and in Greek, the chiastic structure of a Paschaltide hymn sung by the Orthodox on the Feast of Feasts, during Bright Week, and on Sundays throughout the year. It’s worth a re-reading, I think, on this Bright Tuesday.

Enjoy, or, better, Rejoice!

Wizard Rock – For Jo by RiddleTM

I was listening the latest episode of The Three Broomsticks podcast this weekend, where talk turned to Potter inspired music and Wizard Rock. As a latecomer to the fandom I was aware that Wizard Rock existed but otherwise entirely ignorant. One of the first bands mentioned was a duo called RiddleTM. Judging from their website they haven’t been active for more than ten years, but the music is still available on Sound Cloud

One of their songs has encapsulated to me how it must have felt to grow up with the Harry Potter stories and the growth of both the fandom and the author. For Jo by RiddleTM is a profoundly moving gratitude in ballad form, and because it moved me to tears, I’m sharing it with you here:

For Jo Lyrics
July 21st 1997 and no one had heard of you.
But one decade later there’s queues at the door
People placing their order and shouting for more.
How far you have come
How far you have come.
Enchanted the world with a story you wrote
Of a boy who was ordinary
And now parents read to children who have long been asleep
‘Cause they want to know more about wizard Harry.
How far you have come
How far you have come.

So Ms Rowling
Here is a song I wrote for you
‘Cause I’m grateful for all that you’ve taught me
And inspired me to do.
You showed me good triumphs over evil
And you taught the whole world how to read
So thank you Ms JK Rowling
Thank you so much for Harry.

Though all 7 books have been finished and read
The magic is still burning strong.
And we who were there will never forget
The anticipation we felt for so long.
How far you have come
How far you have come.
And we grow up with Harry, the Boy Who Lived,
Who has helped us through all the bad times.
And the theories and mysteries, the questions and clues
Were the talk of the forums and in our hearts too.
How far you have come
How far you have come


So we’ll raise our pumpkin juice and our butterbeer
And we’ll sing about the great things you’ve done.
And we’ll be happy now Voldemort’s defeated
And we’ll cheer for Harry who won.


So Ms Rowling
This is the song I wrote for you.
Here’s to you now and to your future
And I just wanted to say thank you.

For Jo Lyrics by RiddleTM

Ink Black Horcruxes

Much work has been done tracing the parallels between The Ink Black Heart and The Half Blood Prince. One of more intriguing ones is the plot point of horcruxes and the search for them. Anomie’s sock puppet Twitter accounts were first identified (I think) by Sandy, here in the comments, just a few weeks after the book was published:

– The sock puppet accounts seem to parallel horcruxes, especially when both are designed to bully and torture perceived enemies

Sandy in the Hogwarts Professor Comments

Is this a viable parallel or a reach to far? Find out what the top parallel-pundits think after the jump!

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Chris Calderon – J. K. Rowling, the Beatles and the Counterculture Revolution

Yesterday, long time friend of Hogwarts Professor, Chris Calderon shared his insights into the shared 1960’s heritage of both Dylan Thomas and the popularisation of The I Ching. For me the most remarkable part of this find is the existence of a documentary, filmed in 2000 as J. K. Rowling was approaching a similar level of fame, about the Beatles featuring Rowling herself. Today, Chris will take us through this film and her appearances – enjoy!
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