Thursday, December 20, 2007

Harry Potter

Like zillion others, I love the Harry Potter series. I think J K Rowling has created such a beautiful world that it tempts me to be a part of it every time I read any of the books.
I recently finished re-reading all the seven books back to back and I fell in love with the series all over again. I've always been a sucker for fantasy. However, it's an irony that I hadn't read a single book pertaining to the genre of fantasy before Harry Potter. Of course I was a great fan of magic series that used to be broadcasted everyday in Sony Entertainment Television almost a decade ago. I dream of Genie, Bewitched were my favourites. I was also a big fan of Alice in Wonderland too. Such was my craze that whenever I was at a receiving end of a punishment from a teacher, I would pray hard that I possess powers enough to turn the teacher into a donkey. Alas, that never happened. Sigh!

Ok, I digress. One of the main reasons for writing this post was this article. I wanted to blog about it couple of months back, but couldn't, thanks to my laziness. Suffice to say Dumbledore is one of my favourite characters of the book. When I read that he was gay, the first thought that stuck me was why did JKR announce it after the launch of the 7th book and not include it in the story. It kind of angered me because as a ardent reader of the series, I kind of felt cheated. Why add details after the launch of the book when you haven't bothered to include it in the story. I know, many of you will think that Dumbledore being gay has got nothing to do with the story and that it doesn't make any difference. However, I disagree. The whole last half of Book-7 talks about Dumbledore's intense friendship with Grindelwald. The intense friendship going horribly wrong lead to many things including Dumbledore's refusal to inform Harry about the Deathly Hallows and many other plot twists. Rather than mentioning intense friendship, she might as well could have said passionate love affair. I wonder what's the big deal about it. Personally I think, it would have made the series so honest and human. What is the point in shying away from such stuff?

However, this incident did irritate me because I think its hypocritical when authors push issues like homosexuality under carpet or camoflage it by using euphemisms. There are umpteen number of fan sites related to Harry Potter. It just shows the kind of fan following the Harry Potter,series has. People share intimate relationships with several characters, Dumbledore being one of the main ones. It is funny that when she has gone ahead and mentioned love stories of Harry-Ginny, Snape, Ron-Hermione, Tonks-Lupin, and various other characters, why did she not talk about Dumbledore's relationship openly? Did she think that by mentioning Dumbledore's sexuality, the fan following would have been affected?

But, all said and done, I love the series and can't thank JK Rowling enough for the delightful read. Sometimes I think, how can we ever repay some musicians, authors, cartoonists and other artistes who give so much happiness through their work. I sometimes envy them for their ability to make people happy. It truly is an enviable gift :)

15 comments:

Manan said...

I think she might have been afraid of an uproar by parents. Children love these books and there are enough parents in the world who wouldn't like their children being exposed to such things, I suppose.

sumedha said...

You know, I never thought of it this way.. I read the article, I was surprised, I laughed and forgot all about it. But I think you're right. It is cheating. She was probably afraid of the response.

I've noticed this.. bias?... on TV too. All girl-girl kissing scenes in Friends are cut out on Zee Cafe, while all the girl-guy scenes are there. Though that maybe okay...I don't think India is ready for lesbianism on TV yet.

kpowerinfinity said...

Well, what I actually felt was that the whole story about Dumbledore being gay was an afterthought which JK Rowling probably had after watching Brokeback Mountain, and figured out that nowhere in the story she has said anything which can refute this so decided to add this angle to get additional publicity :P

Did you mention how you read those books?

sumedha said...

Hey, you don't know me, but I like your blog. And I'd like to put a link to it on my blog. Is that okay with you?

Pallavi said...

NO big deal re.. thats his personal life.. I love Dumbledore. Stuff like this still deserve cautious handling.. when you are relating to the mass.. sigh... but heck harry potter is always a good read.. :)

I am mental said...

I'd written a longish comment about how it isn't hypocritical (foolish and unnecessary maybe) but Blogger ate it up. Your blog doesn't get enough good food so it gobbles up my comments. :)

And now I'm too lazy to rewrite all of it.

Shobha said...

Manan: Waise dekha jayee toh, there was already an uproar in many sections of the world. Many catholic churches had banned the book saying its against Christianity n stuff. Maybe you are right, but then why did she add the fact after the book release? It was page one news in many newspapers. Do you think they wouldn't know now? I'm sure kids would be asking many parents about what being 'gay' means....I don't really get the point of talking about it after the release...

Sumedha: Well, who decides what we are ready for or whether we are actually ready or not? and go ahead and add me

KK: You and your theories :p well, what is the point in talking about that :p

Pallavi: Hiieeeee :D How be you? Long long time :)

Mental: Why do I have a feeling that I know who you are despite you not bothering to reveal your identity... well, next time se, whenever you write a longish comment save it in a notepad so that you don't loose it when blogger eats it up :) I know you are mental, but it doesn't take much effort to execute borrowed ideas :D :D

Lyandra D'souza said...

I just stumbled across your blog and I really like the way you write. Honest, incisive and to the point.

I must disagree with you though on the subject of Grindelwald and Dumbledore having a passionate love affair. It's mentioned in the book that they had similair ideas and would even send owls to each other in the night. The whole idea of a love affair seems a little far fetched if you ask me.

I do agree with you though on why exactly did J.K Rowling have to reveal Dumbledore's sexuality. It seems pretty irrelevant.

Just my opinions. No offence meant.

Shobha said...

Lyandra: Welcome to my blog :)
Well, to each his/her own....and its perfectly alright to have varied opinions. Its not offensive in any way. Glad you liked my blog...Keep visiting :)

Lyandra D'souza said...

Oh n btw, I'm going to link you if you dont mind.

Shobha said...

Lyandra: Go ahead and link me :) No permissions needed...hehe...

Anonymous said...

Yep. harry potter rocks! :D. Having started out with ignoring and mocking at the first 3 books when they released more than a decade back... to purchasing and finishing the last 3 books the day they were released, I have had quite a ride with the Harry Potter books. Kudos to JKR for bringing fun and fantasy back to reading.

Regarding the Dumbledore thing..I dont quite agree with you. Any writer has the independence to limit the extent to which she shares her motivation. If thinking of Dumbledore as gay was the way she built and developed his character, she wasnt in any way obliged to reveal it. Several books and movies leave us with some ambiguity on certain characters or aspects of the story and this was just something like it. And I dont think it was neccessary for him to be in a "passionate love affair" to be gay. I think sometimes our views of homosexuality are quite cliched.
Ashwin

Shobha said...

Ashwin: The reason I'm pissed off is J K Rowling mentioned this in one of her interviews. She clearly mentioned that Dumbledore was in love with Grindelwald and that he as betrayed and hurt while in the relationship. I'm just going by hat she says. Now what irks me is, why did she have to mention it after the book release? She could not have revealed it at all or she could have added it in the book itself. If u want I will mail u the link where she talks about this.

arshat.chaudhary said...

nice blog u got there..was running thru some posts.. great content
Cheers

Malesh Ponnusamy said...

1. I am not into harry potter series though i am a fan of JRR's LOTR and Robert Jordan's Wheel of time series.

2. I agree with the last para - any form of talent is an enviable gift ;-)

The world created by JK Rowling is like the garden of eden. The forbidden fruit is also thrown in but no clear reason is given as to what would happen if we were to bite it. The fruit in this case, is the issue of your post : )