Monday, October 29, 2007

Queer wizardry

Wizardry itself is queer! No not the type you are thinking in your head, but the type that a dictionary would explain. It means, odd, unconventional, curious, unexpected, remarkable, astonishing, perplexing, odd…the list goes on. Have you ever read a page of a Harry Potter book, or caught a movie clip and not found it astonishing? Come on, the stairs keep moving, characters in paintings sing (albeit, not so well), and the law of gravity takes a huge hit.

In any case, I am not sure what to make of Dumbledore’s (DD from now on) outing. I mean, if you think about it, there seems to be SO much more in JK Rowlings mind that none of us know. Firstly unfair! But then, when you read books like Life of Pi, and from what I hear Kafka on the Shore (its on my book rack at home), the whole purpose of unanswered questions is to keep them that way - answered. This gets the reader thinking, allows them to make decisions for themselves! As you will see in one of my previous posts on Life of Pi, I probably wanted answers too, but then I would have laid the book to rest and not absorbed it into my life consciously. We prefer to have that circle closed than leaving it open ended, but maybe open ended if done intentionally, might have more of an impact.

As you all know by now, dear DD is gay. J.K. Rowling recently implied that if it meant so much to readers to know about DD’s sexual preference, she would have shared it earlier!! Here’s where I have some questions.

- If it doesn’t make a difference to his character, why share now?

- Then again, if it does make a difference to the character and his actions, then why not include it in the

- Finally, if you go with option 3 and want the readers to decide for themselves, then let them decide for themselves, why out it? I guess what I am trying to figure out is WHY this information was shared much later…

To tell you the truth, I would love to know so much more about Wang Lang (Good Earth), and August & Lily Melissa (Secret Life of Bees). But the book ended and I was left wanting more. Maybe I should have gone for their book reading and gotten them to spill more details that weren’t covered in the book. But them, what the sequels, would I know something I should not be privy to? In terms of DD, it could be that while Rowling pieced her book together in a faraway cabin, DD the character was gay, but not knowing the potential success of the book or the social acceptance homosexuals, she decided to integrate hints in DD’s character, but decided to let society dictate when she spills the beans.

Timing is also a consideration, the book has been out for a while, so now this could generate more interest. It even targets a new niche market which are good pros. But, these past few years, the Vatican scandals and other perverse news have made us paranoid. Unfortunately, we live in a time when seeing older men with young children can be viewed perversely. Sad to say that nothing may be going on, but our minds may think otherwise. Do you see DD as a sleazy pervert? I don’t, coz I really love DD’s character, but I think it does bring up so many other questions, or hypothetical situations and analysis.

In terms of outing someone, I am totally fine with that even though I didn’t really think about it. It’s just an assumption made by youth – a person with silver hair was probably never young and never experienced love…or much rather love towards the same sex. Or rather the youth do not really want to picture it any other way! DD is a authoritative, grandfatherly type figure, how can he be anything else? I know I felt this way with many teachers growing up. I couldn’t see them as having families, children etc, especially the so called ‘mean teachers’. Come on, tell me you didn’t expect the mean one to go back home and yell at her kids the entire day? They were not moms, wives or daughters…they didn’t live a life like I did, they were teachers! Yet, my mom came home and was a mother, wife, daughter and clearly not the teacher.

I feel like my thoughts are all over the place on this one. So, just to conclude, I want say in case it came out otherwise, I am actually happy that varying sexual preferences are included in books. I am not so sure why this was highlighted though, and I think this is the issue. Also, are we doing it to prepare kids for the outside world, considering kids are a huge audience for this book (and adults), or are there other reasons? I think this opens a world of thoughts, views and ideas..but hopefully asking the right questions trigger some progress.

1 comment:

  1. I feel this may be Jks attempts on staying in news, see if you know me, you know that I look for sinister reasoning everywhere. I feel now that the last book has been released, the mass adulation addiction is hard to let go.