Oct 24, 2007

the magic of the written word

I haven't blogged about JK Rowling's revelation that Dumbledore is gay, simply because

1. It doesn't matter.
2. I don't care.

But now, after reading John Mark Reynolds' take on the controversy, I note an exegetical curiosity. Reynolds claims that the Harry Potter Canon is fixed, and since there is no positive evidence anywhere within it that Dumbledore is gay, he is therefore not gay--nor, in Reynolds' estimation, is he straight. Readers must forever remain agnostic.

I don't know if Reynolds is right; I haven't read the books, nor are they on my to-read list. Assume he is--Dumbledore is asexual, as far as the reader knows. Still, as Reynolds notes:
A story is crafted and then it enters the public. We read it as a whole and accept the world in which it was created. Unless Rowling writes a new book (a prequel?) and changes the canon, then she is stuck with the world she created. In it Dumbledore has no particular sexuality at all.
Apparently it takes another book to magically secure Dumbledore's status--the mere words of the author aren't enough.

Why is it that we should privilege a published text over the words of the author? And, as I've asked before, why should we presume that a text is forever "fixed"--especially while the author is still alive to make changes if she wishes?


[via Mark Olson]

3 comments:

Melissa said...

She doesn't really have to make corrections. The hints regarding his sexuality, though subtle, are present in the books.

Matthew Anderson said...

You may be interested in this link:
http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20071022.html

I'm not sure it answers your questions, but it looked interesting!

TheTachyix said...

Is it okay if I still don't care?