Sunday, October 21, 2007

Books: Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Children's books (or perhaps children) have obviously become far more sophisticated since my curtain-climbing days. For example, I never wondered for whom Gandalf had the hots, and although it was readily apparent that Mowgli was straight, it was in a fairly chaste and Victorian manner for someone who grew up in a cave and ate raw meat with his fingers.

Thanks, Ms. Rowling; I'm sure Dumbledore's sexuality was a burning question in the minds of every twelve-year-old on the planet.

12 comments:

Oleg said...

Seems like a very reasonable plot development to me. Plenty of GLBTetc. around us, and the manifestations of their orientation don't have to be obvious...could be a household with two men and their cats, could be a household of two men, a woman and a wookie...all perfectly normal, especially compared to Ted Kennedy. Why not mention it in passing instead of either avoiding the topic of non-hetero romance or making a big deal of it? Just because hetero romance is THE BIG DEAL of so many fairy tales?

global village idiot said...

Egad, who cares?!

Wait a minute. I know the answer to that question (depressingly large legions of people who lack the gumption for more productive pursuits). Let me start over...

Egad, why should anyone care?!

Anonymous said...

Huh. Stirring up controversy is usually the last resort of a desperate author. You wouldn't think Rowling would fit in that category...

Anybody have the latest sales figures on the Harry Potter novels? Perhaps Rowling is just trying to squeeze a last few drops of blood out of the magical turnip.

--Wes S.

Don Gwinn said...

Makes sense. Actually, his infatuation with Grindelwald doesn't really make sense otherwise.

Why does she have to be trying to stir up controversy? Why is homosexuality insulting and controversial?

Village Idiot, a lot of people like fiction and come to care about the characters in it. You're probably old enough to have noticed this on your own.

Ninth Stage said...

I think that's what killed Richard Harris.

treefroggy said...

As a devoted fan of the series, I'm not sure why the author chose to make this revelation, since it offers no insights to any of the unanswered issues of the series.

I assume Dumbledore rode a broom in the STANDARD fashion.

pax said...

Wes, Rowling was probably disappointed that no one else was talking about this (subtle, but obvious if you're looking for it) plot point. Not a desperate author, just a woman who worked really hard to make something in her writing subtle-but-obvious and was disappointed that apparently no one had gotten it yet.

LabRat said...

I'm with Don Gwinn and Pax- probably not an attempt to create controversy.

Most if not all of the writers I know have far more complete character "biographies" in their heads than appear in their stories- they decide which facts are relevant and which would just take up space or be useless distractions from the narrative. The more epic and sprawling a universe gets, the more true this gets.

And trust me, the Harry Potter fandom cares. Those guys have made careers out of finding literary "easter eggs" and Rowling has been more than happy to play along- because of the aforementioned phenomenon, it's probably as much fun for her as it is for them.

pdb said...

Oh come on. Isn't the head of a private British school required to be homogay?

TBeck said...

If Ms. Rowling isn't careful she may offend some radicalized Christians. Ooops, too late.

Mauser*Girl said...

Ah... see, that's where you made your mistake. You're assuming the Harry Potter books are children's books! ;)

And really ... why does it matter whether Dumbledore is gay or not? There's no reference to his sexual orientation anywhere in his books. I guess for true fans, it's interesting as part of the back story, but it's immaterial in the overall picture.

BryanP said...

If you read the books again (or just think about it for a minute) it does explain a few plot points. It's not a major issue, and I see why she didn't write it into the books directly, but yeah.