Wednesday, October 17, 2007

JKR: "hogwarts is a multi-faith school"

Do you remember back in 1999 when Jo said she couldn't answer the questions about the book's religious content until the conclusion of book seven? Well, that's what she did at yesterday's Los Angeles press conference. Congratulations to MTV writer Shawn Adler for two great articles (this one and the one I linked to on Monday).

I am going to attempt canon summaries, although in some parts it is difficult to tell what is Adler's analysis and what is Rowling:
  • Jo thought explicit references to Christianity early on in the story would make the ending too obvious.
  • JKR: "Hogwarts is a multifaith school."
  • The Matthew 6:21 and 1Corintians 15:26 quotations on his parents' gravestones were meant to symbolize "living beyond death. Living after death." They "sum up" the whole series.
  • Harry's struggle with questions about the afterlife begins when Sirius dies.
  • The two epigrams at the beginning of Book 7 ("The Libation Bearers" by Aeschylus and William Penn's "More Fruits of Solitude") had been planned since book 2 was published: "I always knew [that] if I could use them at the beginning of book seven then I'd cued up the ending perfectly.... They just say it all to me...."
  • Harry's struggle with his beliefs about the afterlife mirrors her own.
Of course, Travis Prinzi and John Granger have interesting things to say about this news.

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