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October 22, 2007



Hallowe'en and homophobia sound like a reasonable hypothesis for the timing, Bill.

Bill West

Just heard on the radio that a Catholic school in Wakefield, Massachusetts has pulled all the
Harry Potter books from the school library beause the parish pastor felt that "the themes
of witchcraft and sorcery were inappropriate for a Catholic school."

Call me cyncial, but it seems more than coincidental to me that should happen now. Either
its a reaction to the recent Dumbledore revelation cloaked under a convenient excuse(they've
had the books all these years and suddenly they are inappropriate?)or a statement about
children and Halloween.


Bill and Janice, thanks for these thoughts. My reaction to Ms. Rowling's "outing" of one of her characters was not that she should have made the character of Dumbledore more explicitly homosexual, but rather that it is privileged information withheld by the author and therefore largely irrelevent to the text she produced. Backstory works if you are Tolkein and document it. Where is the documentation for the character development of Dumbledore? To me, this is not a case of heresy, but rather hearsay, and places too much emphasis on the author instead of the written word.

Janice Brown

As much as the book was written as a story for children, it was also intended to be SOLD to the parents of those children. We really do not live in an open and honest society. Some parents, libraries and schools may not have purchased the books if Dumbledore was openly gay, no matter how wonderful the story telling.

And, after all is said and done, the real purpose of the books are to SELL them.


Bill West

Being a bookseller by profession I've thought about this the past few days since I heard about it.
It might have been something the publisher or editor felt should be left out, although the topic
of homosexuality is less of a flashpoint in England or Europe than it is in certain parts of our own country.

Or it could simply be something that many authors do: a back history is created for a character
to help "flesh out" him or her in the writer's mind and often times there are parts of that
history that never make it into the actual story.

Rowling might not have mentioned it before now because the question was never asked.

One thing I have noticed is that there has not been as big a furor over the announcement as there
once might have been.

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