What I make of that is that Jo Rowling has a wonderful talent for tapping into Biblical and literary symbolism. From the very beginning, I've believed that Hogwarts is the literary representation of the Christian Church. Towered over by stone spires, filled with living icons of great men and women from the past, Hogwarts is a place where ancient books are studied to relearn great wisdom from the past. Hogwarts was founded by four great wizards over a thousand years ago who were united in the belief that their knowledge should be passed on. Like the four evangelists in early church literature, each has its own seals and symbol and its own special focus of virtue. Many of those wonderful names, such as Godric Gryffindor, Rowling revealed in a recent interview were, taken from medieval Christian saints.And he closes with:
Rowling made a bet which, if it had been stated explicitly, would have been rejected by every large publisher in the Western world: She wagered her labor and reputation on the proposition that children were hungry for the good stuff. That they had eaten their fill of literary junk food, and wanted the stories, the words and phrases, the atmosphere and the 'feel' of the greatest stories every told. Happily for us, Rowling kept her mouth shut and walked her manuscript past the sleeping dragons of political correctness and 'realistic' (meaning sexual) teen lit. It worked. It's just like they say at Hogwarts, "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus," that is, "Never tickle a sleeping dragon."It's an interesting column. Mr. Bowyer talks about the curiosity about many things that the Harry Potter books have stirred in his children. Do you think he's on to something? I do. Whether or not you agree with some or all of his interpretations and ideas, the books can awaken a desire to know more about classic studies, such as Latin, and about literature, Christian history, and world history.
I hadn't really thought about the Harry Potter books in this light, but I know that when I read them, besides enjoying a good story, I wanted to study all kinds of subjects--they awakened a curiosity in me.
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