July 17, 2007


J K Rowling, a good author in a bad industry: The book trade was given an opportunity unlike any other - and conspired to lose money on it (Terence Blacker:, 18 July 2007, Independent)

For Rowling, the pressure of expectation as she wrote - the business of being in competition with her last successful book - was part of her life from the second Harry Potter novel onwards. As her characters and ideas became public property, not only readers but film executives and publishers from all over the world will have had their say as to what should happen in future stories. All, it seems, were ignored.

The glamour and apparent literary unworldliness which made Rowling so promotable soon posed a problem: she became a celebrity, the stuff of mad websites, and a target for stalkers and sleazebag journalism. Her private life was pored over, an ex-husband told his story in a Sunday paper. On holiday, she was given the long-lens treatment by photographers, lurking for a bikini shot. When she was snapped buying some underwear in Agent Provocateur, the photograph made the national press.

Then there were the sneerers and the nutters. Not too many nights' sleep were probably lost at the Rowling residence when A S Byatt grandly declared that "J K Rowling's magic world has no place for numinous" and that her books were "written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons and the exaggerated mirror world of soaps, reality TV and gossip".

On the other hand, the accusations of plagiarism and the increasingly nutty attacks by religious zealots must have been distressing until they became too obviously ludicrous to take seriously - a spiritually-minded Potter fan has just announced on her website that the series has been an extended religious allegory, and that in the last book Harry will die and rise again.

They're just now figuring that out?

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 17, 2007 7:34 PM

If anyone dies and rises again it will be Dumbledore, not Harry.

Posted by: Bartman at July 18, 2007 8:21 AM

As Gandalf was resurrected.

Posted by: oj at July 18, 2007 9:58 AM

I still think Dumbledore is definitely dead. But I'll hope against hope he has a trick up his sleeve.

When Snape performed the Avada Kadavra (spelling?) curse on him he should have crumpled and fallen to the ground leaving no mark. He didn't he was blown (or threw himself) off of the tower. Hmmm.

Posted by: Bartman at July 18, 2007 6:50 PM
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