Thursday, October 25, 2007

Potter's World

Who knew that Dumbledore's sexual orientation would make headline news one day. It is certainly a curious thing. The fact that J.K Rowling broke the news is somewhat disappointing. I count myself among her devoted fans even if I am too old to have my innocence outraged by this piece of information about one of the key characters. Since some of her readers are young as eight, she might have spared them the gratuitous adultification.

Like the author of the Salon article, I would have preferred to have something left to the imagination - there is an abundance material and detail to use.

Given the ample -- somewhere north of 5,000 pages -- text that Rowling has already provided, from which her diligent and enthusiastic readers can mine theories and opinions of their own, her pronouncements are robbing us of the chance to let our imagination take over where she left off, one of the great treats of engaging with fictional narrative.

Whether or not her fans appreciate the closure she has and may continue to offer to end the tantalizing ambiguities in the stories, this is the universe she has created and reigns over. By revealing her real intent, she fleshes out Harry Potter's magical world paring away at fantasy. To do so is her prerogative, just as choosing to destroy the world her imagination gave birth to is. Us fans will just have to mourn our loss.

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