Tuesday, July 5, 2011

a bit of lit: veela edition

(Warning: potential Harry Potter spoiler. Not a topic from the books, but something that was later revealed about a character. I don't know if I should warn y'all about that, so there we have it.)

Cardo and I are on Goblet of Fire and, of course, we reached (and passed) the part with the veela at the World Cup. I've always (okay, since 2000) wondered how the veela work. Do they only affect people with Y chromosomes? Do they also affect anyone attracted women? Do they affect adolescents more? What do you think?

On the topic of sexual attraction, we also had an extended discussion about Dumbledore's being gay. What exactly was Rowling doing with this decision? Why did she choose to complete the series and then announce that Dumbledore is gay?

We don't often talk about sexuality (except our own), but this was an interesting conversation.


Although I love the books, I don't do much outside reading and keeping up. I've never been much of a fan of anything in that sense. I did a bit of poking around the Harry Potter website (um, I can't even remember what exactly that is/was) and Muggle Net and I plan to check out Pottermore, but I'm not too good at keeping up with what's going down. Rowling might well have had an extended discussion/line of reasoning behind announcing that Dumbledore is gay and I could have missed that whole conversation.


(Warning: this time it is a spoiler)

Same book: When Harry's name comes out of the goblet, Moody suggests that perhaps someone entered Harry's name under another school so he'd be guaranteed to become a competitor. The other students wrote their names and their schools on their slips of paper. Was it only Harry's name on his slip?


Anonymous said...

I'm catching up on your blog...

I have to comment on this. I am so irked that Rowling insists that people read Dumbledore as gay. If she believes he is, fine. However, once a book leaves the shelves, it is (literally and figuratively) out of the author's hands. The audience intreprets it as they will, and if the author did not present a character in such a way as to indicate a character's sexuality, then, sorry, the audience most certainly does not have to perceive him that way. Frankly, I don't really care if Dumbledore is gay. Ultimately, it does not make a difference to my reading of the book. However, what I do care about is her insistance that we DO read him as such. It's not up to her to tell us how to read it. Her book is out on the shelves, and as such, out of her hands. If she wanted us to read him a certain way, then she should have made it obvious, or she should have made it matter in some element of the book. And, really, what does it matter? His sexuality does not affect any matter of the book. Her attitude toward this is really ridiculous. I did read (or see, I forget; it's been a looooong time) her interview in which she discusses this, and it annoyed me so much that she was saying that a reader who did not read him as gay is wrong. Um, no, silly author. Your audience is not wrong. They can interpret your book however they may, and you just have to accept that.

(Sorry for the rant, but her attitude bothered me.)

v said...

I only ever heard that she announced he was gay. I never saw/read interviews on the subject. Even now, rereading the books for the umpteenth time, I never think about his sexuality. It's strange to me that she was (is?) so insistent about it.