Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling Slut Shames Neville Longbottom


Despite its ubiquity and tyranny over every living thing, this powerful force somehow still shocks people when it… Read More

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Fathers of Fantasy: Celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis’ Friendiversary

When young fantasy readers first learn that the author of The Lord of the Rings once bro-ed down with the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, it’s as exciting as seeing two former enemies team up to fight the bad guys in our favorite adventure movie. And indeed, the relationship between J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who first met on this day in 1926, is going to be the subject of an $18 million film helmed by the director of Con Air. … Read More

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J.K. Rowling’s Furious Moral Voice Powers HBO’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’

Imagine the Dursleys from Harry Potter, locking their orphan nephew beneath the stairs and generally abusing him — but with no magical realm into which the boy can escape. That is the prevailing tone of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy, a realist tragedy laced with dark comedy. The novel, which uses a parish council election to highlight abuses, hypocrisies, and injustices in a small town, recalls the 19th-century novelists: the detailed social dissection of George Eliot, the righteous fury of Dickens, the sharp, equal-opportunity satire of Anthony Trollope, the fatalistic bleakness of Thomas Hardy. Tonight, as if in homage to its eminently adaptable forbears, The Casual Vacancy (which premiered on the BBC) begins airing as a miniseries on HBO. The adaptation, while imperfect, highlights the best aspect of the novel: Rowling’s energetic indictment of bourgeois apathy and her championing of the downtrodden. … Read More

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Make Way for Sort-of-Invisibility Cloaks and Selfie Arms: Links You Need to See

Calling all Harry Potter fans: science is coming close innovating a real invisibility cloak — well, sort of, if you count merely not being able to see yourself as being “invisible.” Fortunately, science is also compensating for the underwhelming, not-quite-invisibility cloak with this equation that will tell you how many pizzas you should order when you go out. … Read More

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Does Magic Stand for Privilege in Harry Potter?

J.K. Rowling may have been writing about Harry Potter before “privilege” (and the checking thereof) became a mainstream idea, with waves of backlash and counter-backlash to its frequent use. But that doesn’t mean the concepts embedded within “check your privilege” discussions weren’t present in her seven Harry Potter books. … Read More

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Jonathan Franzen Is Wrong: Genre Fiction Is All About Moral Complexity

Well, there’s a new Jonathan Franzen interview out with literary magazine Booth, and for someone who eschews the Internet, the man sure knows how to conquer it. The Twitter detractor is now, himself, a trending topic on Twitter. Well done, sir. Well done. … Read More

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25 Painfully Unrequited Love Stories From Literature

Great unrequited and unconsummated love affairs in literature act so powerfully on readers that we think we can change the story’s ending. Some of us will devour a book over and over again, knowing that two characters with great romantic chemistry won’t — and maybe shouldn’t — end up together but wishing against all reason that they will. Each time, we hope that the page might turn, and this time instead of a missed moment or a gaze or a goodbye, we will happen upon a kiss, or a reconciliation. … Read More

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“The Moon Is A Planet, Darling”: Links You Need to See

Every week, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi sits on the judging panel of Project Runway: All Stars and tries to be as clever as Michael Kors, but every week he just comes off sounding offensively opinionated. He also likes to use the word “darling” a lot, and not in an affectionate way, but in the best, bitchiest way, which results in the faux-affection and condescension characteristic of all the best deconstructive criticism. … Read More

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Literary T-Shirts for Last-Minute Holiday (or Treat-Yourself) Gifts

I’m obsessed with literary T-shirts because they’re my version of band T-shirts — exactly the kind of geeky, nerdy, not-quite-hipster item that fits my personality. I won’t mention how many I own. And a Jane Eyre T-shirt was my most treasured MFA graduation present. So, in the spirit of the season, I thought I’d honor night seven of Hanukkah and the penultimate eve before Christmas Eve by sharing a few perfect literary T-shirts to purchase for yourself or a loved one before the year ends. … Read More

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J.K. Rowling: There Was a Jewish Wizard at Hogwarts

Hanukkah happened at Hogwarts, according a fan Q+A on Twitter with J.K. Rowling last night. Rowling introduced us to Anthony Goldstein,… Read More

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