Saturday, October 20, 2007

Accio Controversy

Probably everyone has heard this already, right? I'm always behind those dang times. On the off chance that you haven’t, there’s a story on Newsweek’s website that talks about an appearance Jo Rowling made at Carnegie Hall in New York last night. After reading from the seventh Harry Potter book, she took some questions.

One of the questions was whether Dumbledore had ever loved anyone. She smiled and said, “Dumbledore is gay, actually.” The article goes on to say that the crowd for several minutes shouted and clapped and that Rowling said, “I would have told you earlier if I knew it would make you so happy.”

The ABC News website has its own story on the revelation, one that mentions a few of the other things that Rowling said in New York on Friday. Apparently she let David Yates, the director of the sixth film, know the little tidbit about Dumbledore when she “spotted a reference in the script to a girl who was once of interest to Dumbledore.”

She is also quoted as having encouraged her readers and fans to “question authority.” Sweet action! Not only is she the greatest writer of fantasy fiction not named Tolkien (and the greatest writer of children’s fiction period), she’s also a bit of a rabble rouser. I’m all for that. I’m all for people’s eyes being opened a little bit wider so that they can see some of the things in the world that they would never have seen for themselves if they had not been helped to those sights by someone else.

Like Tolkien, Jo Rowling has written more than just a book (actually in her case, seven books - yeah, whatever!) - she has created a world and brought forth from it stories to share with the real world. I don’t imagine that the world she created is quite as rich and detailed as Tolkien’s - in producing the most perfectly written novel in English, Tolkien told but a tiny bit of the history of the world that he had created - but there is a similarity between the two with respect to the fact that all which was created has not been told.

I suppose you could be narrow-minded enough to argue that this revelation is little more than sensational tabloid-style hype - you would be wrong, of course, but you could attempt to make the argument; but the truth is that by smashing taboos and prejudices and fears, revelations like this make the world a better place.

But that’s just me. What do I know?

1 comment:

Michael Maier said...

If she had the courage of her convictions she would have mentioned this BEFORE she published her last book.

This comes off as contrived so far after the fact. And rather cowardly.