Friday, October 19, 2007

Professor Dumbledore is a great man

So J.K. Rowling is evidently doing a fancy U.S. tour and reading to huge groups of children, which she really seems to be enjoying now that they can no longer try to squeeze her for spoilers. Instead, they can receive refreshingly direct answers to their questions, as happened to some kid from Colorado who asked about Professor Dumbledore's love life. According to Bloomberg News, Rowling replied that "she always thought of Dumbledore 'as gay.' ... But things didn't turn out with Grindelwald, his mental equal, who died in 1945." What a nice validation for the fanfiction community! Although that community is young and hip and has completely moved on from Harry Potter by now.

(In an earlier chat on the Leaky Cauldron, she was asked if Dumbledore and McGonagall were in love, and she replied with an exasperated, "No. Really, everyone isn't in love with everyone else." Apparently she has mellowed.)

She is also dismissive of Draco fans: "No! No! Please don't pass for Draco. I've given you an array of pleasant characters.'' If you ask me, this reveals the woman's fundamental cluelessness about books. Pleasant characters do not make great fiction. People don't want to read books with titles like "The Pony Party!" Harry Potter is all well and good, but the resolution of the series bothered me immensely because it revealed its fundamental toothlessness. The books are nice yarns but are designed to be as inoffensive as possible (except to a few fundamentalist Christians, and most people enjoy offending those guys). Anyway, I haven't got time to rant about this right now, so will simply conclude that Draco is the best character in the series & his creator hasn't got the sense to see it. Still, it's nice that children are reading books instead of playing those awful video games.

Update: Slate, reminded of Tinky Winky by the whole affair, dredges up its favorite essay from those days "on the outing of fictional characters." I popped online here in order to look up and share my own favorite Tinky Winky essay, but cannot find it just now. Sorry!


Kelly said...

Also, she seems to have gotten confused about Grindelwald's fate.

I kind of love the idea of Dumbledore, sitting up in his headmaster's office pining away for his lost love whom he had to send to prison. It's so Buffy-kills-Angel-at-the-end-of-season-2, and it makes the parallels between him and Snape stronger.

I have biiiig problems with Book 7. We should have a Google chat about it sometime. I decided at the end that I would have rather read a book about what Neville did all year.

Kelly said...

P.S. I actually think Snape is the most interesting character. But your point about unpleasantness still stands.

And I see that the Grindelwald mistake was Bloomberg's, not Rowling's. Silly news service!

AE said...

Ooh, I would love to have a Google chat! How do those work? These newfangled devices...

Nice point about the Dumbledore-Snape parallels. I love me some Snape too. He's certainly more fleshed out, at least in the end, than Draco. But Draco coulda been a second-generation Snape, you know?

Mike_R said...

I think Goblin #2 at Gringotts was the best character.