Harry Potter world: what he said

Tony Felich says some dismissive things about Harry Potter in light of the recent Dumbledore outing, but in the process says all that a Christian appreciator of the story needs to say.

I understand the age we live in, such “outings” of people are considered progressive and en vogue, but come on already. Can you imagine, In Lewis’ day, readers wondering about the sexuality of the professor because he’s single, living alone? How about the readers of Tolkein wondering about the sexuality of Gandalf (OK…never mind that one..)? But you get my drift. Such a decision by Rowlings is so boring and typical of our pop culture.

Pretty much it. Rowling goes into my Susan Howatch category of worthwhile liberal Christian authors, except that Howatch’s problems are actually in the stories. Rowling’s story is untainted. As far as I’m concerned, her opinion on Dumbledore right now is no more important than anyone else’s. It is like Ray Bradbury insisting that Fahrenheit 451 is not about censorship.

Sadly, for the movies, I think all bets are off.

5 thoughts on “Harry Potter world: what he said

  1. mark Post author

    No (if there is anything serious to your smiley suggestion) emphatically not pomo. If I am taking a test and write in “1965” by mistake to answer the question, “What year did the Civil War end?”, then my answer is objectively wrong. My intent changes nothing about the meaning of what I wrote.

    The only way Rowling’s story gets tainted is if all bachelors are homsex and all intense friendships between persons of the same sex are homosex. I don’t buy that.

    The point is that words have objective consequences. Authors may have meant to say more or less, or they may wish they had said more or less, but they don’t get to redefine what they said or wrote.

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  2. pentamom

    Bingo. It escapes me why an author can not write something and then say it’s just as if she wrote it. And by all accounts, she didn’t merely overlook writing it — she made a deliberate choice not to write it. So the most you can say about what the books actually say is that it was written in a way to make Dumbledore sexually ambiguous. Since she deliberately chose to eschew writing that Dumbledore is gay, then the Dumbledore of the book is most emphatically NOT positively gay. The Dumbledore of Rowling’s imagination is what he is, but she presumably imagined a LOT of things that she didn’t include in the book. Why would this be different?

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