Monthly Archives: August 2009

Enter Evil…and we’re not even talkin’ Voldy!

Danielle Tumminio’s guest-posting continues! Danielle is a contributor to Hog’s Head Conversations: Essays on Harry Potter. Her book, God and Harry at Yale will be available from Zossima Press later this year.

Hello, Harry Potter enthusiasts! Before we talk about evil (dum dum dum), I’m going to engage in the deadly sin of pride (can you name the other 6?) and say that God and Harry at Yale is now in to Zossima Press! Woohoo!

Okay, pride indulged. Now onto evil. Evil is a big thorn in the theologian’s side because it + God’s existence = logically impossible. Let me explain: Christians believe that God is all-knowing (omniscient), all-powerful (omnipotent) and all-good (omnibenevolent). If God is all these things, then evil shouldn’t exist: if God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then God should know evil is going to occur and then take steps to stop it. If God is all-good, then God would want to.

And yet, evil exists.
Hmm…..

So what’s a theologian to do? Continue reading

PotterCasts’s Potter Pundits

PotterCast

Update: John has the extended announcement.

If you’re not already listening to The Leaky Cauldron’s PotterCast, it’s time to start.

Melissa Anelli announces:

In the next PotterCast, our Harry Potter podcast, we will be introducing a new segment and several new voices to the show. The Potter Pundits will be providing a scholarly, yet entertaining, look at the themes and symbolism in Harry Potter. We’re excited to share it with you! Please join us in welcoming them!

I’ll be looking forward to thoughts and reactions from the pub on the newest segment on PotterCast! Make sure you subscribe to the podcast, as we’ll be a semi-regular segment on the show.

I should also extend a warm welcome to new Hog’s Head visitors who have just found us by linking from Leaky. We’re glad you’re here, and hope you stick around. This post gives you an intro to The Hog’s Head.

Currently, we’re reading through Deathly Hallows together, after a very successful pre-movie Half-Blood Prince Read-Through. We hope you’ll join the discussion!

My New Name, and Other News

Update: None of my audio editing softwares are playing nice right now, so there will be a delay in the release of the HP Progs interview. I’ll hopefully get it posted by the beginning of this week.

I’ve decided to fashion myself a new name. From now on, you may call me “The Half-Blood Prinzi.”

Actually, I’m writing just to let you know that there are a couple of exciting podcasts on the way: Episode #69, which will be posted this weekend, is an interview with HP Progs, and Episode #70, released later this week, is an interview with Dean O’Carroll, author of the hilarious and insightful play, Sally Cotter and the Censored Stone.

Chapter 5: Fallen Warrior

Chapter Five keeps up the feeling established in Chapter Four.  For six books, Harry’s journey away from the Dursleys has involved a bit of whimsy and adventure.  Yet, Chapter Four is an all out firefight, and Chapter Five shows us an intense aftermath as everyone comes down from their stress-induced combat high.  We see brutal wounds that are not easily healed.  Fear.  Paranoia.  Lupin argues with Harry that “the time for Disarming is past!”  And, of course, we learn of Mad-Eye’s death.

Three things strike me most from “Fallen Warrior”:  1) the pervasive paranoia, 2) Harry’s assertion that killing is “Voldemort’s job” and not his own, and 3) the loss of Mad-Eye.  Everyone is suspicious of nearly everyone else.  Harry is questioned.  Kingsley questions Lupin.  Arthur threatens his interrogators as he tries to check on George.  This moment, combined with his argument with Lupin, shows us a side of Harry that is emerging, but still needs to come out.  Harry’s leadership is apparent.  As suspicions mount and a palpable feeling of accusations mounts, Harry disarms the situation: Continue reading

Hermione as a Third Wave Feminist

Now that we’ve all had a week to cool down after the heated conversation about Ginny, I say we forge ahead in the gender discussion and talk about my favorite character, Hermione Granger.

At Prophecy (and later at LeakyCon) I did a presentation  in which I contend that Hermione subverts many common expectations of femininity. What are these expectations? Let’s take a look at some of her classmates: Lavender and Parvati constantly giggle, gossip, and gussy themselves up. They dedicate their time to the “woolly” and “imprecise branch of magic,” Divination. Lavender is nothing if not melodramatic in her relationship with Ron. Parvati curls her eyelashes around her wand to impress the new “dreamy” Divination teacher Firenze. In many ways these two girls represent some of the most pervasive stereotypes of teenage girls: superficial and focused more on boys than their studies.

One of the most apt ways to describe Hermione, on the other hand, is logical and studious. She prefers Arithmancy and Ancient Rune; she almost always raises her hand in class and never apologizes for knowing the answer. She’s also able to express her emotions openly, if not always productively when it comes to Ron. Hermione is not a perfect character, nor does she attempt to be (outside of class anyway). And she’s not a stereotype; she is complex and refuses to be pigeon-holed by fellow characters and readers.

So where does the feminist part come into play? And what the heck does “third wave” mean? Continue reading