Saturday, October 20, 2007

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Rowling outs Dumbledore??!!

Can we forget the the world's troubles for a second and talk about the fact that an author just outed her fictional character's sexual persuasion?

Tina Jordan explains for Entertainment Weekly's PopWatch blog:

At last night's talk at New York City's Carnegie Hall an event for thousands of young Harry Potter fans and their parents J.K. Rowling outed the kindly headmaster.

Responding to a question from a child about Dumbledore's love life, Rowling hesitated and then revealed, "I always saw Dumbledore as gay." Filling in a few more details, she said, "Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald.... Don't forget, falling in love can blind us. [He] was very drawn to this brilliant person. This was Dumbledore's tragedy." She added that in a recent meeting about the sixth movie, she spied a line in the script where Dumbledore waxed poetic about a girl, so she was forced to scribble director David Yates a note to correct the situation.

Now this raises all kinds of interesting questions.
1) Does what Rowling think matters?

2) Does an author have a responsibility to keep aspects of a fictional character's life private? What if the character is in a children's book? What are the ethics, if any, of fictional outings?

3) Am I just procrastinating on deeper thoughts?

Blog reactions at Red State and Andrew Sullivan.

posted by Dan on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM




Comments:

4) Doeth Red State protest too much?

posted by: mac on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



1.) Only to those who wish to delve deeper into the "lives" of the characters she's created by asking her directly about the world she's created instead of choosing to make assumptions themselves.

2.) Responsibility to whom? If authors had to keep characters' private lives private then we'd have very few books to enjoy. This outing wasn't in the book, and the question was in response to someone who asked about Dumbledore's love life. If children can ask such questions, with the blessings of their parents, then they and their parents should be prepared for honest answers.

3.) Yes.

posted by: James on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



1.) Only to those who wish to delve deeper into the "lives" of the characters she's created by asking her directly about the world she's created instead of choosing to make assumptions themselves.

2.) Responsibility to whom? If authors had to keep characters' private lives private then we'd have very few books to enjoy. This outing wasn't in the book, and the question was in response to someone who asked about Dumbledore's love life. If children can ask such questions, with the blessings of their parents, then they and their parents should be prepared for honest answers.

3.) Yes.

posted by: James on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



Wait, how can you say she *outed* him when we don't even know that he was in the closet? Maybe the whole wizarding community knew his orientation but was enlightened enough that there was never any reason to call attention to it.

posted by: kenB on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



This is clear proof that we don't need to freak out at the idea of gays teaching our children --- our kids will be just fine!

posted by: A on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



Wait, how can you say she *outed* him when we don't even know that he was in the closet? Maybe the whole wizarding community knew his orientation but was enlightened enough that there was never any reason to call attention to it.

Pretty clearly not the whole wizarding community, given that Harry, Ron, and Hermione spent a fair amount of time in the last book looking closely at Dumbledore's connection to Grindelwald without the subject coming up. And while Harry is famously dense, so that everyone has to continually explain widely-known facts to him (and incidentally the reader) Hermione isn't.

posted by: Mike S. on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



I defer to people who actually went to British public schools, but from what I've heard about 'em the surprise is that anyone *doesn't* come out gay.

posted by: greeneyeshade on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



She had ten years and thousands of pages to reveal this bit. That she chose to conduct character development at a press conference months after the books ended is fat proof that she didn't have the ovarios to let Dumbledore come out when her paycheck was on the line.

posted by: edgar on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]



Not with the story finished.
No.
Yes.

posted by: MNpundit on 10.20.07 at 04:38 PM [permalink]






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