Search Results for: hanged man

Rowling and the Scottish Enlightenment

Three quick questions and answers about this telling tweet after the jump! [Read more…]

Ink Black Heart: Gilderoy Gleenings

Have you ever been reading a book and been surprised by notes being struck that seem like the author is teasing you, maybe even laughing at you personally? As if he or she knows you?

Me, neither. At least not until I read Ink Black Heart.

I am asked at least once at every public talk I give or long conversation I have with a Rowling reader if I have met The Presence or if she knows I exist. I have not met her, have no reasonable expectation to meet her (she has refused for twenty years all interview requests from Potter Pundits and Serious Strikers), and she has not acknowledged the books I have sent her as a courtesy (she did reply to Penguin Books, sort of, when they proposed to give her an advance copy of Harry Potter’s Bookshelf; they were sent a note from her office accepting the offered book and another six weeks later to say Rowling did not have time to read it).

She has, though, made unpleasant comments to The New York Times about writers who have detailed the Christian content of her work, criticism she said that put her off reading book-length studies of her novels. I have, consequently, little to no reason to believe what we do here at HogwartsProfessor or what I have written or said here, in books, or in other venues are ideas or discussions about which Rowling is aware.

It may strike you as a little bizarre, given the investment of my time in the ‘Rowling Artistry and Meaning’ project and how much my public identity is twined with this study, but this ‘No Contact’ status has been no small blessing. I doubt very much, given the chasm separating our religious and political beliefs, not to mention the Grand Canyon between our financial conditions, that we could be friends. The work that I do, too, in examining her novels largely depends on at least the pretense of objectivity, something even access to her office for confirmation or denial of biographical details, one motivation I have had recently for wanting to contact her, might damage or Disapparate.

This being the case here in Gilderoy Glen, more than once during my reading Ink Black Heart  the story made me — and fortunately for my sanity, made others on the moderator channels as well — think Rowling was making reference to things I’ve written or said about her work. If this is of any interest to you, you’re probably a close friend or correspondent; join me after the jump for these very personal, well, reflections. [Read more…]

Mercury Markers, History and Theory

In my last post I went over the story of my read-through of Ink Black Heart. I focused on my claim that each of the Strike books has had its primary villain secretly indicated by a hidden reference to various Hermes-related figures, what may alliteratively be called “Mercury Markers”. This, aside from its predictive value, seems to be, on the face of it, a very strange thing to expect an author to do. I wish to make the claim that a move of this type is common for any author like Rowling who writes within Hermetic or Alchemical traditions. The central motif of the Hermetic tradition is this: a hidden word or sign, that will make itself readily apparent only to the “initiated” who have been informed to expect the word or sign, brightly highlights a Deeply Important Something that is going on “behind the scenes.” Below, I plan to track the main places I see similar effects being used and provide a more detailed account of where I see this being used in the Strike novels.

[Read more…]

Ink Black Heart: The Mythic Backdrop

I originally planned this ‘Mythic Backdrop’ post as one of the ‘placeholders’ to be put up at HogwartsProfessor while everyone finishes reading the book as a place for those who are already done to share their thoughts about key subjects (see the homepage Pillar Post column’s ‘Ink Black Heart Discussion‘ on the upper left for the collection of those conversation starters and insight collectors). I think now, though, that, while welcoming feedback and insights from Serious Strikers, I will file this on that page devoted to Strike6 discussion under ‘Analysis and Theories’ rather than ‘First Impressions.’

I do this because it seems more than credible to me that the reason Rowling-Galbraith switched the places of Troubled Blood and Ink Black Heart, a move that Louise Freeman’s literary detective work has made very hard to deny (see her brilliant compilation of the Strike6 evidence for the 5-6 Flip if that is news to you), is that the mythic backdrops of the Strike series, ‘Leda and the Swan’ and ‘Cupid and Psyche,’ all but require that the action and events of Ink Black Heart follow rather than precede Troubled Blood.

Join me after the jump for a review first of Rowling’s neo-mythological backdrops to her Strike series and then exposition of the Ink Black Heart events that make it the seamless continuation of what happened in Troubled Blood from the perspective of the myths in play. [Read more…]

‘Strike Extended Play’ or ‘How a Seven Book Series Can Be Stretched into Ten’

Kathleen wrote this note on Ink Black Heart Pillar Post’s thread and I am moving it here so it isn’t lost for the ages over there. I think her idea deserves every Serious Striker’s attention.

I can’t be the only one considering whether IBH might be half of “book six” from an original plan for seven books. I propose JKR has decided to divide the sixth and seventh parts of Strike and Robin’s story into two books each, which will result in a total of 10 books.

This possibility fits with her comments about 10 books. It also could answer questions about some “missing elements,” such as the Silver Haired Man, Gigi the hanged singer, the rest of the Halvening story, Strike and Robin deciding to become romantic partners, a deliberate kiss to parallel the hand kiss, Pru, Rokeby, Leda, Switch, etc. I’m sure others can think of additional loose ends, critical steps towards resolving the mystery of Leda’s death, and missing relationship milestones.

If this theory is correct, JKR originally planned to write about the Halvening, and part of that story involved the relationship between artists and fans in the age of the internet. Her prolific imagination, spurred on by some intense experiences she’s had with her own fandom, created a story too complex and long for a single book, so she has expanded her plan and turned “book 6” into parts A and B, so now we have Strike 6 & 7 as a parallel to HP6 and an echo of Silkworm.

We will also have 3 more books to finish the story of Leda & Rokeby (I have no idea what she’ll do about Switch and all the siblings if she does finish with Strike and Robin after book 10).

What say you?

You may not be the only one to be considering this, Kathleen, but you are certainly the first to say it out loud, even if there will have to be one more book in this set to make ten, say a ‘7C.’ I love this idea and have three reasons for taking it seriously, even embracing it, which I share below the jump, sans spoilers! [Read more…]