Bigots Howling over Rowling?

If religionist bigots were not already howling over JK Rowling's magical Harry Potter characters before, they are sure to be now.

At a promotional tour for Deathly Hallows, Rowling responded to a question asking whether Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts had found “true love”, with“Dumbledore is gay.”

View a video.

Religionist bigots have long been opposed to the Harry Potter books, which admit to depicting fictional magic, presumably because Rowling's novels compete with that other Book about Fictional Magic.

Why might Rowling have depicted Albus as holding a candle for Gellert Grindewald? Publicity obviously, and probably giving the finger to bigotry.

Says one commentator: "In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Rowling intended this revelation to be a final "fuck you" to all the zealots who tried to ban her books from libraries and schools."

Does it matter whether Dumbledore is gay? Of course not. On the other hand, since religionist anti-gay bigotry is one more symptom of a pervasive "bad thing", then I'd say that Dumbledore's donning the purple and coming out of the magical closet is great news for anti-bigotry.

One of the best comments that I found on this topic can be found here.

The Flatulent Finking Award for the most stupid response to Rowling's revelation that her fictional character is gay goes to "Akbar M from Regina, Canada" who wrote:

"Unless [Rowling] has some good evidence from the books how does she know that? Unless she writes something else that confirms this its just one more opinion. She's no more an authority than anyone else if its not in the books. Any of the characters could be gay using her logic...that is, she's just making it up with no evidence."

Not only is that Akbar clearly not 'great', but appears to qualify for the Little Moron on the Prairie award.

The Booby Prize goes to "stand up mimi from Canada" who writes:

"Just to clarify, I think it's always interesting to hear an author's
perspective on her own book. But in this case she is adding details that she
didn't bother including in the first place. And she is not the One True
Authority. The reader is. A story happens between the reader and the book, not
the reader, the book, and any additional details the author may choose to add
after the book is complete."

I think that "mimi" is missing the point that there are, of course, many more readers who relate to a book than the, usually, one writer responsible for creation of the book. However, it appears that most readers, including mimi, appear to have overlooked the extant clues. Thus popular exegesis is more likely to generate false negatives (missing the clues) rather than false positives (overinterpreting that which was never intended by the writer).

Why, having apparently included some hints that she had conceptualized the Dumbledore character as being gay, did Rowling not choose to make this more explicit within the books themselves?

I have not read the Harry Potter books, though I did enjoy the first movie, yet I wonder now whether it might be worth my while merely to examine the actual clues. This may have been Rowling's intention in her late revelation – to interest adult readers who might otherwise have permanently ignored books intended for children. However, she may merely have considered Dumbledore's unrequited love life an irrelevance to the plot line of the actual books, or perhaps too mature for her childish readers (the children too).

Only Rowlings, and not Akbar, nor mimi, nor I can know for sure unless JK decides to reveal her actual intentions. I'd be willing to bet, that even if JK were to edify us, there would be some, such as Akbar and mimi, who would say that JK did not even know her own intentions, just as Mark Vernon claimed about Richard Dawkins.

Articles: Magical day for gays as Dumbledore is outed .

Sites Elsewhere: J K Rowling is Brilliantly Subversive . Albus Dumbledore, headmaster of Hogwarts, is gay . mutating and Dumbledore - what?? . Brokeback Hogwarts . As if the fundies didn't have enough reason to hate the Harry Potter books . Poor baby has issues . The right to face the truth .

Secularism in Harry Potter: J. K. Rowling's modern world .


Dumbledore, Harry Potter, JK Rowling,


Arthur_Vandelay said...

In other news, Frodo and Sam were gay . . .

salient said...

You know, I wondered about Sam's devotion to the Ringbearer.

Still farther back in childrens' literature were Noddy and Big Ears.