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J.K.'s surprising revelation about Dumbledore
by David Haber
Just a little over a year ago, on August 2, 2006, J.K. Rowling made a statement at her reading in New York City, at Radio City Music hall, that was big news and related directly to what we talk about on this web site. Well, tonight she's done it again. This evening, again in New York City, this time at Carnegie Hall, J.K. Rowling dropped a bombshell on the Harry Potter fan community.
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Reader Comments: (Page 16)
I think that any author has the right to include whatever content they want in a book. I think we can all agree to that.
I think that in books read widely by children, the author's intent needs to be clear upfront so that parents can then decide whether they want their kids to read those books. For example, suppose that I am Jewish and I chose, for whatever reason, to not have Christian media in my house. This doesn't mean that I'm spewing anti-Christian hatred to my kids, nor does it mean that I'm discriminatory or prejudiced against Christians. I likely would have many Christians in my life that I admire and love. But for whatever reason, I choose to not let my kids read books such as the Chronicles of Naria because of its strong Christian theme, and maybe I just don't want any Christian references in my home. This doesn't make me a bad person, maybe I'm actually quite a lovely person in many other ways.
So continuing with the analogy, along comes an amazing series of secular books that gets great raves among adults and kids alike. What a great opportunity to read and share with my kids, we could have our own little book discussion. It's all good.
Suddenly, after the series of books ends, the author declares that the central figure represents Christ. Even though religion is never mentioned, and the concept has no relevance to the book, there it is, out there. Even if my kids don't hear about the announcement, I would feel really upset. I would feel "duped" or "tricked". It may not be rational, but that's how I'd feel. Tolerance is a 2-way street, I'd think, and despite my own tolerance toward others, many people are not being tolerant or respectful of my own beliefs.
I think this is why so many people feel that the Dumbledore announcement has diminished their views and enjoyment of the books. Personally I feel that the series is terrific, regardless of the sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc of the characters, but I do think that in keeping with the tone and spirit of the books, we need to be sympathetic with and tolerant of those who are upset with the announcement.
I think that if Dumbledore's was relevant, it should have been part of the book. If it turned people off, so be it. Otherwise, on this topic and others that JKR may be thinking of revealing, she needs to just keep it to herself and allow her readers to make their own inferences.
Posted by Michelle on October 28, 2007 08:04 AM
Does it really matter if he was or not? To be honest it doesnt really make a difference, because he never spoke of himself having any realationships, so why do we need to worry? Anyway, it was kind of obvious seeing how flamboyant he was!
Posted by Kaylee from England on October 28, 2007 08:13 AM
I would have never thought Dumbledore was if Jo hadn't said it! For me it does make a change in how I see Dumbledore, but it is a positive change. Because I used to not really like him, he was a kind of father Christmassy figure to me. But now I see him as a victim of a romantic tragedy (Grindelwald turning out to be evil) and that makes him so much more human! I am really looking forward to the encyclopedia Jo says she make, about everything Harry Potter. What more she reveal?
Posted by Femke from Amsterdam, Holland on October 28, 2007 10:15 AM
I am very disappointed in J.K. This was so unnecessary.
Posted by Hank Thompson from Atlanta, GA on October 28, 2007 10:31 AM
Even though the possibility that Albus Wulfric Perceval Brian Dumbledore was had never crossed my mind I have to say I wasn't shocked or dissapointed at all. Dumbledore always seemed to me something beyond just a human being (if we can say so for the greatest wizard of all times) thus I never thought of his and I didn't imagine him neither as straight nor . To all those who were dissapointed I have to say just one thing: Why should you care about what other people do in their bedroom as long as they're not in yours? And I have to say I don't believe Albus had an active sexual life so no harm done.
Posted by Prongs from Athens,Greece on October 28, 2007 12:57 PM
Just a quick reply to Siena.
Yes, the books are sometimes violent and explore many issues, including the issues of Nazi Germany and the Holocast, and that is certainly NOT a reason to shield them from children. I do not keep my children ignorant of real things that changed history just because they are unpleasant. We dishonor those who perished or suffered in the holocaust if we pretend it didn't happen. The real world, more than Hogwarts, is often violent and unpleasant place where nasty things happen, and we cannot shield our children from that fact. We can only teach them to be tolerant, brave, and true to themselves, which I feel the books do.
Posted by Angel from Nevada on October 28, 2007 3:02 PM
im not saying that it changed dumbloredore, it changed the whole mind frame of the stories because you add a different depth when you introduce something like relationships.
Posted by Dvin from glenalde, CA on October 28, 2007 5:22 PM
The announcement by JK about Dumbledore being has not affected my feelings towards the character, he is still the same wise, witty and wonderful Albus. Being doesn't change the way you are. You are what you are.
I do agree with some others though, and wish that JK would stop with the post-ly Hallows revelations. The series is over (painful I know) and it's time for all of us, including JK, to let it go...
Posted by Meredith from Sydney, Australia on October 28, 2007 9:39 PM
Dumbledore being is cool. I have already come up with my own Dumbledore/Grindelwald fan fiction.
I have always wondered how Dumbledore knew Merope Gaunt's secret "burning passion" for Tom Riddle Sr. He couldn't have done Legilimency on a person. Where would he have gotten that kind of insight if not from his own past experience?
Him talking about "Harry, I was 'inflamed' by his ideas." Dumbledore INFLAMED as in secret BURNING PASSION for Grindelwald and his ideas.
No wizard or Muggle can seduce Albus Dumbledore without first seducing his mind/ideas. It is no wonder Albus never hooked up with any other after Grindelwald. Albus has been doing inappropriate charms on himself.
I have to give Gellert Grindelwald his credit. He alone managed to break down Albus's intellectual wall (guard). It is no wonder Albus was more afraid of Grindelwald than Grindelwald was afraid of him. Only an intelligent person like Albus can see this, and be afraid for hisself.
Grindelwald was more of an equal to Dumbledore. Albus might have been "a shade more sfull" than Gellert in wand-wiving and waving but Gellert was definately more powerfull in spell-casting. And all this happened when Albus was 18 and Gellert was 16! It continues to show that had Dumstrang not expelled him, Gellert would have acquired ss far superior to those of Albus.
The only thing Albus had that neither Gellert nor Voldermort had was knowledge, and he used it agains them.
Posted by Rehema from Richmond, Virginia USA on October 29, 2007 10:27 AM
I was disappointed in the announcement. Oh, don't get me wrong. I couldn't care if he was or straight.
I was disappointed because it didn't add to the story. Conversely, it didn't subtract from it either. The announcement served no purpose, from my perspective. Maybe it'll give future readers something new to experience that the current readers of Harry Potter can never have. Because, let's face it....when we all read it, Dumbledore's never crossed any of our minds (I hope).
If anybody knows somebody who hasn't read the series yet...try to get them to read it now. Just to see if they have any different reactions to it.
Posted by Michael Zack from DeKalb, Illinois on October 29, 2007 1:28 PM
I had no idea that this was coming, and I still don't believe that Dumbledore is . My theory (though it's obviously not true) is that it wasn't J.K. Rowling. It was an imposter taking Polyjuice Potion.
Posted by Ginny P. from Fulham, London on October 29, 2007 2:54 PM
Yay! I personally love the fact that he's ! Yes, it wasn't necessary. I dont remember that J.K. said that it was a childrens story. She didn't mention it in the book, directly, in any case.
Posted by Sasha Rings from Racine, WI on October 29, 2007 3:31 PM
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