The Defining Center of Harry Potter: November 22nd?

22 November 1963 was the day an extraordinary trio of men died: US President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, philosopher and apologist C. S. Lewis died of kidney disease at the Kilns, and novelist Aldous Huxley expired high on LSD at the end of his battle with laryngeal cancer. Peter Kreeft‘s novel Between Heaven and Hell: A Dialog Somewhere Beyond Death with John F. Kennedy, C. S. Lewis, & Aldous Huxley is the story of their meeting in Purgatory to discuss issues of faith.

So what? Well, if you’re a C. S. Lewis fan, it was announced today that he will be honored on this date next year, the 50th anniversary of his death, with a stone in the Poet’s Corner of Westminster Abbey. With Chaucer, Spencer, Shakespeare, Browning, Eliot, Tennyson, and a few other pikers.

Today is also the day that Harry is out of bounds late at night under the Invisibility Cloak seeing the dragons the Champions will face in the first TriWizard Task and meeting with Sirius Black between midnight and 1 am via the Flew Network in the Gryffindor Common Room. The chapter is ‘The Hungarian Horntail’ which is the center chapter of the fourth and central novel of the seven book series. I discuss this at greater length in my Goblet of Fire lecture (which you can see anytime you like!), but the fun part of it is just noting that, at the half way point in the series, Ms. Rowling sets the date and time as 11/22 (or 22/11, UK fashion) between 12 and 1 (12-1).

If you don’t see the pivot picture there in the numbers, ask a friend or, better, watch the ‘Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Goblet of Fire’ talk.

Happy Thanksgiving, All Pros!

Comments

  1. C. S. Lewis went for his famous late-night walk with J. R. R. Tolkien and Hugo Dyson on September 19, 1931. This was the night of their discussion of myth and the truth of Christianity–the night that the brilliant skeptic C. S. Lewis made his “choice to believe.” Please note that John Ronald Reuel Tolkien went by his second name, Ronald. That’s right: Lewis went for a walk with Ronald and Hugo on September 19th, and he became a Christian convert as a result. According to JKR’s website, our brilliant Hermione’s birthday is September 19th. Coincidence?

  2. Denise – That is really interesting! I’m a die-hard Lewis fan, and love Hermione, Ron, Hugo, etc., too. As John Granger provides us with an explanation for Rose’s name, with Albus ii and Rose creating the white rose of alchemical fame, Ronald and Hugo’s explanations make sense here for rounding out the family. IMHO, I think this makes more sense than Hugo being a nod to Victor Hugo, although I still think the Hg ties in nicely with alchemy.

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