On the Periphery

Things change. Life throws us curves and changeups. It's good to have a place to vent.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ok, so I'm finally getting to the whole latest Harry Potter thing--Rowling's sudden and unexpected declaration that Dumbledore is gay.

Huh? I can't help but wonder what brought this on? There are no clues throughout the series, and the statement after the fact seems somewhat suspect. Had there been some reference to the fact in the books, it would have made perfect sense, but there really aren't. Dumbledore's friendship with Harry appeared to be just that, and any suggestion otherwise would have been pedophilic. His relationships with other wizards or even muggles offered no clues to this claim.

So why now, after the series is over? And why insert any sexuality into a children's book anyway? It appeared to me to be a desperate bid by the esteemed J.K. to grab the spotlight one last time. Chances are she will never again hit it as big as she has with Harry Potter. (If she does, well and good, but I feel that this is a phenomenon that will not be repeated.) Frankly, as a writer, I feel it's embarrassing and unnecessary. Well, it worked. People are talking about her again. But I am disappointed that she would suddenly spring this simply as a way of extending her time in the media spotlight. This does not lend any credence or dignity to gays, but is simply a Deux ex machina of sorts, to resuscitate her fame.
What a shame.

Why would she make that statement? And is there really a place for sexuality in a children's book? Part of the charm of the Harry Potter books is Harry's and his friends' innocence in the face of evil, the idea that they can battle evil with good. It's an innocent, some may say naive, idea, but it's right for children. They grow up fast today anyway. Let them be children a little longer.

What do you think? Should writers verbally add character traits after their work is finished? When should a writer let the story end?

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