Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Private Life of Albus Dumbedore

Okay, so this whole Dumbledore thing. Middlebrow suggests this is an example of the intentional fallacy, which I suppose it could be, though I'm not sure Rowling was suggesting that there's only one reading of the text. In fact, it may help to review what she actually said during a Q&A following a recent reading, according to David Smith of The Observer:

After reading briefly from her mega-selling book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, on Friday night, Rowling took questions from an audience of 1,600 students. A 19-year-old from Colorado asked about the avuncular headmaster of Hogwarts School: 'Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?'

The author replied: 'My truthful answer to you...I always thought of Dumbledore as gay.' The audience reportedly fell silent - then erupted into prolonged applause.

Note her emphasis, "I always thought..." In the past she's talked about the huge amount of background writing she's done, creating an entire universe for the novels, and most of that material has never ended up in the books. So, yeah, she's probably thought about a lot of things I'd really rather not know about. (Oops...I just started thinking about it...darn.) So, while my first response was, "Too Much Information!" I also have to think, what the hell. I don't think this exactly puts her in the same camp as Samuel Beckett's lawsuit against a reinterpretation of one of his plays.

In the meantime, you might enjoy this NPR essay by Marc Acito reflecting on the whole Dumbledore thing.

2 comments:

middlebrow said...

I'm too tired now to think, but I must come back to this. Just wanted to let you know I'm reading.

Marco said...

i'm delighted that my piece prompted so much thought and discussion. When you have a chance, look at my website (MarcAcito.com) for more. Happy new year.