Christian apologist John Mark Reynolds answers no:

Recently, J.K. Rowling announced to the world that one of her characters, the heroic mentor of Harry Potter, Dumbledore was gay.

Nonsense. There is no evidence of it in the books and the books (at this point) are all that matter. I have always thought the books deeply Christian not because Rowling told me so (which she recently confirmed), but because the text is full of Christian images and ideas. She had a chance to give Dumbledore a boyfriend, but she muffed it. I refuse to denigrate friendship by reading every close one as sexual . . . and she gave us nothing else.

No offense to an excellent author, but Dumbledore no longer belongs only to Rowling. He also belongs to her readers who have been given a series of books in which Rowling was free to say what she wanted to say. She wrote about Christianity openly by Book Seven, but if Dumbledore was gay, she decided to hide it. She hid it so well that there is no evidence of it.

I must say, I hadn’t noticed any explicitly Christian images and ideas in the books. Anyone know what Reynolds is talking about? I suspect we are seeing here the annoying tendency of many Christians to describe any sort of decent behavior by a fictional character as a Christian theme.

But how about the part about Dumbledore? There actually is an interesting philosophical question here. In what sense can we talk about fictional characters having various attributes, beliefs or characteristics? Do fictional characters have any existence outside the minds of their creators?

Fascinating questions, but not ones I care to explore just now. Instead I would like to roll my eyes at the antics of someone trying desperately to persuade us that his passion on this question has nothing to do with his disgust for homosexuality:

Rowling, after all, did not say that Dumbledore was gay. She said merely that she had always thought of Dumbledore as gay, a different thing. If Reynolds had written a short, humorous piece suggesting that Rowling was thinking about him wrong, then he could be found not guilty on the charge of making a fool of himself. Instead he writes things like this:

Lest one think that I say this only because homosexuality bothers me, then let me compare it to another situation. Suppose that Rowling now claimed that Dumbledore and Mcgonigal had a passionate relationship. Since there is no reason in the text to know this is true, or to find it relevant to the story arc as we have it, Rowling’s opinions of the headmaster’s heterosexual affairs matter very little in terms of understanding the books as they are. There is as much evidence of this (after all) as of Dumbledore’s homosexuality.

That Reynolds has laughably misspelled Professor McGonagall‘s last name does not help his credibility. But just in case you missed the point, Reynolds later wrties this:

I do not react this way because Rowling has said something I find personally distasteful. I do find homosexual behavior contrary to nature and the laws of God. However, I do not find the tendency to homosexual behavior shocking or particularly distasteful. We live in an imperfect world and if Dumbledore lived a celibate life giving himself to his work, then he is a perfect (fictional) model of how to deal with disordered affections.

Right. No doubt Reynolds would have written the same surly, truculent, humorless essay if Rowling had revealed that Dumbledore liked to play chess, even though there is no mention of that in the books either.

When someone says it’s not about the money, you can be sure that in reality it is, indeed, about the money. And when someone says it’s not about the gay, then, my friends, it’s totally about the gay.

After reading this essay, my boundless admiration for J.K. Rowling has gone up even higher.

Comments

  1. #1 Chad Brooks
    October 23, 2007

    Not sure about the first six books but in Deathly Hallows the tombstones for both Harry’s parents and Dumbledore’s family have quotes from the New Testament.

    Certainly the sacrificial “death” (did Harry actually die?) of Harry and his return echo Christian imagery.

  2. #2 Adam
    October 23, 2007

    “No offense to an excellent author, but Dumbledore no longer belongs only to Rowling.”

    False. Rowling still owns Dumbledore because he is not yet complete; Rowling continues to create him by her participation in the making of the movies.

    I believe Dumbledor’s homosexuality came up because a scriptwriter wanted to make reference to a long-ago girlfriend, which Rowling vetoed, saying he was gay. As long as Dumbledor continues to be interpreted and refined, i.e., created, by the author, he is hers, and he is what she says he is.

  3. #3 Michael Kremer
    October 23, 2007

    There’s a lot of Christian symbolism in HP. Rowling herself is a Christian and has said earlier on that she didn’t want to talk too much about her faith or she’d give away the ending of the series. I suspect you don’t notice the Christian imagery, Jason, because you’re not a Christian. For example I suspect that in reading the last book you didn’t even notice the New Testament quotes, because they’re not burned into your memory as they are in mine from frequent repetition in church services.

    For all you ever may need to know about Christian imagery in HP (also alchemical symbolism in HP), check out http://www.hogwartsprofessor.com (also the books Looking for God in Harry Potter and Unlocking Harry Potter by the host of that site, John Granger).

    Granger’s website has two relevant posts up right now: one on Rowling herself discussing Christian symbolism in the novels and the other a good one on the Dumbledore revelation, the context in which Rowling made the statement, and the way the media has played it.

  4. #4 The Ridger
    October 23, 2007

    The whole point is that some people want “the children” to be protected from that eye-opening moment that comes when someone you know and love turns out to be (gasp!) gay.

    Kudos to Rowling for doing it this way.

  5. #5 nick
    October 23, 2007

    Personally I believe that Rowling is having a bit of a go with her audience. But the movie bit made by Adam is seems very plausible. She vetoed a girlfriend for Dumbledore and to make sure the producers in Hollywood don’t pull a fast one on her she said he was gay.

  6. #6 Zachary Moore
    October 23, 2007

    It’s not terribly surprising that a Christian is concerned with promoting ‘what made it into the canon’ over all the other options that were (and continue to be) viable.

  7. #7 Anne-Marie
    October 23, 2007

    I must say, I hadn’t noticed any explicitly Christian images and ideas in the books. Anyone know what Reynolds is talking about?

    I noticed many examples, one that stuck out the most to me was that Harry’s self-sacrifice at the end of the 7th book, giving his life to save his loved ones, seemed to be a thinly veiled nod to the myth of the crucifixion/resurrection.

  8. #8 El Christador
    October 23, 2007

    My sources with ties to the sordid underworld of literary theory tell me it is a pretty respectable and conventional view that extratextual statements by the author carry no weight at all. That is, any statements made by the author outside the text as to their intent or what they had in made, including presumably whether they thought of a character as gay or not, are completely irrelevant. Basically, the author is nobody, the text is everything.

  9. #9 El Christador
    October 23, 2007

    Erratum:

    what they had in made

    should be “what they had in mind”.

  10. #10 Michael Kremer
    October 23, 2007

    Zachary Moore,
    It’s JKR who’s said there’s Christian symbolism in HP. See http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1572107/20071017/index.jhtml. And she’s a Christian herself, at least by her own accounting, even though her faith is marked by doubt (like many).

    For myself I don’t see a conflict between that and the revelation of Dumbledore’s sexual orientation.

  11. #11 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 23, 2007

    I hadn’t noticed the New Testament quotations on the tombstones. I guess I was turning the pages so fast at that point that I didn’t have time for such details. But I don’t think that merely sacrificing your life to save others should really count as a Christian theme. I think there would have to be some implication that Harry was paying the price for the sins of others before I would consider it specifically Christian.

  12. #12 Jason Rosenhouse
    October 23, 2007

    Michael-

    Thanks for the link. Guess I should read more carefully, though I still think some of the things the article describes as Christian themes don’t have to be thought of that way.

  13. #13 Scott Belyea
    October 23, 2007

    An elderly “confirmed bachelor” who wears long purple robes is gay??

    Now there’s a shock …

  14. #14 Michael Kremer
    October 23, 2007

    Jason: that makes sense only if Harry is supposed to be a figure of Christ like Aslan in the Narnia books. But he’s not. He’s more of a figure of the Christian who is willing, in the end, to “take up his cross,” and to “turn the other cheek” (note that even in the end he defeats Voldemort with “expelliarmus,” not the killing curse). But of course he’s not a Christian either — clearly he doesn’t accept the message given on the second tombstone about resurrection and immortality and he doesn’t recognize either of the Biblical passages. So there is no simple identification of Harry with Christ or with Christianity.

    Nonetheless, there’s lots of Christian symbolism, including the sword of Gryffindor looking like a cross in the pool of water, Fawkes the phoenix (a traditional symbol of Christ’s resurrection), Harry’s white stag Patronus (another traditional Christ symbol), the “horcrux” (which is a play on “crux” or cross — an inversion — “hor”rible — of the idea of the cross, through which one man gives up his life to save others, into the idea of killing others to save your own life), and I could go on. But take a look at Granger’s site and/or books if you have the time. There’s lots more there.

  15. #15 Adam
    October 23, 2007

    El Christador, the point is that Rowling’s statements are not extratextual because the text is not yet complete. When she edits a movie script Rowling is not making a statement about her intent regarding a character created in the past, she is still creating him.

  16. #16 David D.G.
    October 23, 2007

    Dumbledore is Rowling’s creation, period. This Mark Reynolds person has got unmitigated cheek to claim that she cannot determine the nature of her own characters, that she doesn’t have the right to do so. What gall, what impudence!

    I have a friend who insisted for decades that the name “Frodo” was pronounced to rhyme with “grotto,” and only the eventual discovery of a comment penned by J.R.R. Tolkien himself, alluding to the pronunciation of the character’s name, was able to convince her otherwise. But as bad as that was, Reynolds is worse by far than this: He gets this information straight from the author, unequivocally, and he wants to not only deny it, but to deny the author her OWN control of her OWN character! It would be as bad for my friend to have claimed that Tolkien was wrong about the correct pronunciation of his own character’s name! It is an attempt at piracy, of forcibly attempting to wrest control of the character from the one person in the world who lawfully and properly deserves to claim it.

    I am no fan of the Harry Potter books, frankly, but even I can see that Reynolds is a fool and a knave.

    ~David D.G.

  17. #17 wrpd
    October 23, 2007

    Not all objects that look like a “t” represent a cross. A phoenix started out as a pagan symbol. Stories about someone sacrificing his/her life for another abound. If you want to see Jeebus in them, they are there.
    The gravestones in England often have words from the Bible enscribed on them. That could be the reason this occurs in a Harry Potter book based in England.

  18. #18 Michael Kremer
    October 23, 2007

    wrpd: on the gravestones, you might want to take into account what JK Rowling has to say about them. I give the link above. (Unless of course you think that the author has no authority over her text. In which case you agree with the man Jason is criticizing.) On the sword, I believe (don’t have the book with me) it is explicitly described as like a shining silver cross, not like a “t”. On the phoenix, many Christian symbols started out as pagan ones. But when a lot of them occur together you might begin to see a pattern.

    Anyway, enough of this for one day.

  19. #19 Dale Husband
    October 23, 2007

    Boy, I’ve read a lot of arrogant things from Christians in my life, but that statement by Reynolds takes the cake!

  20. #20 jedipunk
    October 23, 2007

    Good thing the Christian imagery was pointed out or Christians would continue to boycott HP.

  21. #21 Joshua Zelinsky
    October 23, 2007

    Harry especially in the final book has a strong resemblance to Jesus- willing sacrifice and then comes back from the dead to defeat his enemies. It might however be more accurate to say that he fits the Jungian hero archetype with some of the standard Western variations.

  22. #22 El Christador
    October 23, 2007

    El Christador, the point is that Rowling’s statements are not extratextual because the text is not yet complete. When she edits a movie script Rowling is not making a statement about her intent regarding a character created in the past, she is still creating him.

    Sure, if she were to write a short story or somehow put something into the canon to the effect that he’s gay, it would count. If it were to appear in a movie, it would arguably count, at least within the movie canon. But if I understand correctly, she merely had the director omit a memory, which still means it hasn’t appeared in the canon. That is, such omission does not constitute a positive statement of Dumbledore’s gayness: it constitutes an omission. The fact that she says the omission was because he’s gay doesn’t count, because that is extra-textual. And her statements at question and answer sessions also don’t count at all, any more than yours or mine would. The author is not in a privileged position, outside of the text, to pronounce on the work.

    Anyhow, the point is that “if it’s not in the canon, it doesn’t count” isn’t a crazy, fringe idea. It’s firmly in the middle of mainstream literary criticism. I would agree that that may not however be the reasoning which led the Christian fundamentalists to come up with the “if it’s not in the canon it doesn’t count” argument in this case.

  23. #23 Mark P
    October 23, 2007

    “My sources with ties to the sordid underworld of literary theory tell me it is a pretty respectable and conventional view that extratextual statements by the author carry no weight at all.”

    Big surprise there. Otherwise they would all be out of a job.

  24. #24 CS
    October 23, 2007

    I don’t see what the fuss is. Assuming the laws aren’t changed, Reynolds simply has to wait 100 years for the copyright to expire and then he can rewrite the stories as he sees fit.

  25. #25 KeithB
    October 23, 2007

    What if Rowling had put it in the book but an editor had her take it out? (I have no knowledge of this, but it is an interesting thought experiment…)

    C. S. Lewis said that in his experience any time he heard someone speculate as to what Lewis’s intent was in a passage, that person was always wrong.

  26. #26 Occam's Trowel
    October 23, 2007

    Putting aside Teh Gay for a moment, we can recognize that lots of things aren’t described in the stories that we know are happening — Rowling doesn’t describe characters using the toilet, but we don’t assume that witches and wizards somehow don’t have to attend to that business. But by Reynolds’ reasoning, if it’s not explicitly part of the story, we have to assume it doesn’t happen. Reductio ad absurdum.

    And there is indeed lots of imagery in the stories that Rowling admits is explicitly Christian, but of course those images also have a pre-Christian history. As someone mentioned earlier, self-sacrifice is a theme that’s central to Christianity, but we don’t assume that Jesus was the first to practice it. This is part of Rowling’s abundant use of mythic imagery in general… part of what makes the books so powerful, in my opinion.

  27. #27 Confluence
    October 23, 2007

    @CS: He doesn’t even have to wait that long. He can just write fanfiction, like everyone else — and join that small but vocal group of fanfiction writers who rant about Rowling destroying the books by [making Hermione get together with Ron instead of Harry / killing Snape / killing Sirius / making Lupin marry Tonks / insert personal canon hate here].

    But then he’d have to share online space with all the people writing Dumbledore/Grindelwald slash (who are feeling very smug and vindicated right about now).

  28. #28 Rasputin
    October 23, 2007

    The whole sacrifice for redemption thing is Christian theme not because it doesn’t occur elsewhere but because it’s so damn central to their belief system.

    What I found interesting was the differences between the sacrifice of Harry Potter and the sacrifice of the Jesus character.

    Jesus says he knew he was going to be resurrected. Harry did not. To me, that makes Harry’s sacrifice much more significant. But that’s fairly trivial.

    More importantly, Harry doesn’t make his sacrifice to redeem anyone, not even himself. He does it to protect those that he cares about. Christians say that Jesus died for their sins, your sins, and my sins. Harry Potter didn’t die for anyones sins. Harry Potter died not to guilt trip people into behaving a certain way but to allow them to be who they are in a world as free from evil as Harry can make it.

    While there is plenty of Christian imagery, it’s imagery that also predates Christianity and the actual themes of the book are much more Humanistic than anything else and are positively anti-FundamentalistWhackjobChristianity.

    The level of cognitive dissonance required for someone to continue to hate on gays while maintaining the books have Christian themes when one of the dominant themes of the books is to treat people as people…well it boggles my mind.

    Okay, that was a really crappy sentence but I’m sure y’all understand.

  29. #29 Boronx
    October 23, 2007

    Dumbledore is a fictional character and therefore neither gay nor straight. Anyone, including Rowling, is allowed to read whatever they want into him, of course.

  30. #30 Winnebago
    October 23, 2007

    Is It Any Wonder Why Dumbledore Kept Closeted?

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15528724

  31. #31 Ian Paul Freeley
    October 23, 2007

    In the most trivial quibble of all time: Rowling has in fact laid the groundwork for claiming that Dumbledore likes playing chess. One of the protective measures Dumbledore places to guard the sorcerer’s stone is a giant magical chess board, and he awards points to Ron for playing an excellent chess game.

  32. #32 Ex-drone
    October 23, 2007

    Jason writes:

    I hadn’t noticed any explicitly Christian images and ideas in the books.

    An elderly white male of high status who is suddenly caught up in the media glare of a homosexual controversy. That sounds pretty characteristic of fundamentalist christianity to me.

  33. #33 Boo
    October 23, 2007

    Right. No doubt Reynolds would have written the same surly, truculent, humorless essay if Rowling had revealed that Dumbledore liked to play chess, even though there is no mention of that in the books either.

    Actually, she’s already been doing things like this. She had stated earlier that Harry had become an Auror and Ginny played professional quidditch before becoming a sportswriter, but none of that’s in the epilogue. Funny how Reynolds didn’t even mention any of her other extratextual tweaks…

  34. #34 Tom Buckner
    October 23, 2007

    I always heard that an author should know more about the story and characters than they are telling the reader. “I always thought of Dumbledore as gay” fits readily into that practice. She never saw fit to add this information to the story; it never really mattered to the story. Me, I always assumed Dumbledore had something going with McGonagall. That wouldn’t really have mattered to the story either.

  35. #35 Michael Kremer
    October 23, 2007

    wrpd: You say “not all objects that look like a ‘t’ represent a cross.”

    But now I have the book with me, and I read in it “The ice reflected his distorted shadow and the beam of wandlight, but deep below the thick, misty gray carapace, something else glinted. A great silver cross…” (HP and the Deathly Hallows, p. 367). So, I didn’t put that there.

  36. #36 Caledonian
    October 23, 2007

    Rowling doesn’t describe characters using the toilet, but we don’t assume that witches and wizards somehow don’t have to attend to that business. But by Reynolds’ reasoning, if it’s not explicitly part of the story, we have to assume it doesn’t happen. Reductio ad absurdum.

    We can presume that the wizards and witches need to use the toilet because they’re human beings. But imagine that Rowling declared that Harry never actually had to use the toilet, and that she’s passed notes to screenwriters stating that they cannot suggest he does.

  37. #37 wrpd
    October 24, 2007

    Having never read a Harry Potter book, although the whole set is sitting downstairs somewhere–I’ll get around to it–I bow to Michael Kremer’s sagacity.

  38. #38 David D.G.
    October 24, 2007

    El Christador wrote:

    The author is not in a privileged position, outside of the text, to pronounce on the work.

    Baloney! Who the frell ELSE can possibly comment on the material in the book with any more AUTHORity than the author? NOBODY! To maintain that the author has no special standing in interpreting the products of her own mind is simply breathtaking arrogance.

    You are claiming that anyone else has an equal claim to hers in explaining the thinking that underpins every nuance in those works, when ONLY she can possibly know what was in her mind to have the stories’ developments occur as they did. Nobody else has a copy of her mental processes in writing those books. Just as a play has things happening offstage that we don’t see (and, for that matter, happening *backstage* just to make the stuff we see onstage happen for us), there is material behind the story to which ONLY the author is privileged, for the simple reason that minds cannot yet be downloaded directly.

    Isaac Asimov once attended a lecture by some pundit who was speaking about a story of Asimov’s and reading all sorts of psychological claptrap into it. After the lecture, Asimov introduced himself, and the lecturer asked what he thought of the presentation. Asimov told the man he was completely wrong on several counts. His response was, “Just because you’re the author, what makes you think you know what the story was about?” Talk about hubris!

    You, that imbecile pundit of Asimov’s, and Reynolds are all possessed of the absurd notion that what you think somehow matters. The author is not just the final authority on the interpretation of her works — she is the ONLY true authority on the interpretation of her works. Whatever anyone else wants to claim is detective work at best, guesswork more likely, or just worthless secondhand projection otherwise. Reynolds clearly belongs in that third category. If he doesn’t like the fact that his impressions did not match Rowling’s, that’s too bad. It’s not up for debate: The Author Has Spoken, and that is final.

    ~David D.G.

  39. #39 Dave S.
    October 24, 2007

    I think that Dumbledore, in her mind as she wrote him, was gay as she says. But that doesn’t mean I would have that in my my mind as I read what she wrote. I’d have my own mental image, which may or may not coincide hers. When I read fiction, which is not often I confess, I get a mental picture in my mind that fills in wherever the author doesn’t explicitly or at least implicitly describe. To me, a character might have brown hair and be of average height. Is that “wrong” if the author were later to say that that character was based on an old school chum who had red hair and was taller than average? If these facts otherwise had nothing to do with the story, what does it matter?

    It’s one thing to say that in his mind as he reads the books, the fictional character of Dumbledore was not gay. Its another thing to flately state that Dumbledore wasn’t gay, period. He doesn’t get to decide that for anyone but himself. The only one who can decide that finally is Rowling, the author of the character.

  40. #40 Caledonian
    October 24, 2007

    The author is not just the final authority on the interpretation of her works — she is the ONLY true authority on the interpretation of her works.

    No, she’s the only reliable authority as to what SHE meant. What they books say is an objective question of fact – and the interpretation of those facts is a subjective question open to anyone.

  41. #41 Ginger Yellow
    October 24, 2007

    “You are claiming that anyone else has an equal claim to hers in explaining the thinking that underpins every nuance in those works”

    No, he ‘s not. He’s claiming that anyone else has an equal claim to hers in explaining the meaning of every nuance in those works. Now I wouldn’t go so far as to say that her opinion has no weight. Most trivially, if there were a typo in the text that changed the sense of a sentence, then her comment that it was a typo would have to affect your interpretation. Less trivially, this particular case of authorial intent would (I imagine, not having read the books) make you reevaluate various events/descriptions/passages of dialogue, potentially enriching your experience of the novels.

    The point, however, is that there is no one correct interpretation of a fictional text, and an author certainly doesn’t have the right to restrict all future interpretations to his/her own, even if they could. Meaning is constructed from a variety of sources, including the text, knowledge outside the text, and the mind of the interpreter. There are many, many schools of literary theory and semantic construction, which apply different weights to different sources of meaning, sometimes ignoring whole areas (authorial intent, typography, dramatic staging etc) or focusing on only one. I’m not claiming to have the definitive position, but it seems to me that differing approaches have different applications and that most forms of literary theory have some value in some field of study.

  42. #42 Blake Stacey
    October 24, 2007

    Hey, here’s a freaky thought. To me, every blogger on ScienceBlogs.com exists only in the written word (except for Revere and PZ Myers). In what way are any of you more “real” than Dumbledore?

  43. #43 Dave S.
    October 24, 2007

    We are real…

    We are real…

    We are real…

    *ERROR…TRANSMISSION TERMINATED*

  44. #44 Caledonian
    October 24, 2007

    In what way are any of you more “real” than Dumbledore?

    We are incarnated in functioning meatbodies, whereas Dumbledore is a crude simultation of a personality operating inside the mind operating inside a functioning meatabody.

  45. #45 Adam
    October 24, 2007

    El Christador, thank you for your excellent points. For the reasons you state, I was wrong to say Rowling’s statements are not extratextual.

    I hesitate to divert this thread further, so will end with this third comment. (As Jason hinted, this could be the topic of a paper in a literary criticism journal, perhaps already has been–think Dickens’s serial novels.)

    I think we are circling two different swimmers. The “if it’s not in the canon it doesn’t count” view in literary criticism, which you correctly note is respectable and conventional, devaluates the role an author’s philosophy and circumstances play in textual interpretation. It holds that in the process of conveying meaning, from conceptualization to communication (text) to interpretation, the author is, in the final stage, insignificant–unsignifying–by definition.

    What about when the process is not linear? Here, the text is not presented whole for interpretation; the communicative process allows interpretation of a partial text. I’ll have to think more about it, but for now I posit that an author’s statement of purpose is authoritative until the text is complete. (It does not matter whether the statement accompanies an assertion or omission.) Therefore, it counts.

    Because Dumbledore is not yet a completed text it is fair to credit what Rowling purposes him to be. Once the canon is complete we can determine for ourselves whether she effected her purpose.

  46. #46 RussPJ
    October 24, 2007

    Good story about Asimov. As I recall, he wrote it himself as a blurb in one of his short story collections, but I’m not sure of that provenance. In any case, the web doesn’t easily yield a definitive reproduction of the event.

    Which is a shame, since in my memory it is instructive to this discussion. When asked why he thought that being the author of the story gave him any special authoriy to speak to its meaning, Asimov’s reaction was to realize that it didn’t.

    We seem to have discovered a vein of literary fundamentalism here, where the need for an absolute truth as to the meaning of the text elevates the author to the status of absolute authority.

  47. #47 Fred
    October 31, 2007

    I think it’s funny that so many of those arguing that the author is the sole “truth” behind what he/she writes are being big hypocrites. They are interpreting what Mr. Reynolds wrote and making assumptions about it that are contrary to what the author is saying; they are saying it’s really about the gay, whereas Reynolds says it isn’t.

    Anyway, to me, what an author says after the text is publicly available may or may not be relevant or “true.” For example, if Arthur Conan Doyle said that Holmes always wore brown shoes, despite everyone thinking they were black, well, fine by me. I’ll believe Holmes always wore brown shoes. But if Doyle said that Holmes was not a man, but a tree, well, forgive me if I ignore that.

    There’s a fine line, or maybe no right or wrong, but to me it’s perfectly understandable why some people would dismiss Dumbledore’s outing as not valid.

  48. #48 k?z oyunlar?
    May 3, 2008

    El Christador, thank you for your excellent points. For the reasons you state, I was wrong to say Rowling’s statements are not extratextual.

  49. #49 assos
    May 4, 2008

    Good story about Asimov. As I recall, he wrote it himself as a blurb in one of his short story collections, but I’m not sure of that provenance.