04 March 2005

Jack & Jo

A couple weeks ago, I commented on the hypocrisy of Christians who embrace C.S. Lewis and reject J.K. Rowling (also quoting from Lewis' essay "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to Be Said," from the collection On Stories and Other Essays on Literature).

Since then, I've discovered Quick Quotes Quill thanks to Do Thy Research (and if you haven't already, you must watch her channel Gollum in a murderous rant against footnotes!).


Anyway, I found more proof of what I already know (and love) about Ms. Rowling:

Q: Who formed you as a writer? People compare you to the greats. I mean, Jane Austin [sic] and Dickens, but also in our own century, P. L. Travers, Roald Dahl, E. Nesbitt [sic]. What did you read as a child growing up and what is the sort of pantheon in which you sort of find yourself?

JKR: Of the 3 writers you’ve just mentioned there, E. Nesbitt [sic] is the one that I’m most flattered to be compared to. I loved and I still love her books. I really love her books. I recently read, I’ve never read them before as a child, I read her fairy tales and it was just ---- I just loved them and they’re ---- in many ways I think they are close to what I do because they is a lot of sort of modern detail among these fairy tales. You have princes advertising themselves for adventures, eligible princes and stuff and it’s a kind of a quirky twist always on the more traditional form. I think there is elements of that in what I do.

She recommends The Treasure Seekers, and says, "I think [it] is an absolute masterpiece."

And regarding Tolkien and Lewis:

I've read both of them. Both of them were geniuses. I'm immensely flattered to be compared to them, but I think I'm doing something slightly different again.

What's interesting is that E. Nesbit was also one of Lewis' favorite writers, and it's been suggested that her work inspired him to create the wardrobe as the bridge between two worlds. (Personally, my favorite is The Enchanted Castle, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky.)

For the record, the "Deeper Magic from Before the Dawn of Time" and the magic that Harry's mother used to save his life from Voldemort are the same: sacrificial love.

"No one knows why you lost your powers when you attacked me," said Harry abruptly. "I don't know myself. But I know why you couldn't kill me. Because my mother died to save me."


crocodylia said...

Hey, I just wanted to point out that it looks like you forgot to include a [/a] tag on a link (to the Flannery book on Amazon) somewhere on your page and it's causing all your text to link over there!


amcorrea said...


Chelsey said...

Hmm. I'd never thought of comparing Lewis and Rowling, though it's no stretch.

I often compare Tolkien and Rowling because I think Gandalph and Dumbledore are very similar. And there are some other similarities.

I actually don't like Rowling because she seems condescending toward her readers in the Q & A on her site. I'll not deny that there's genius in the Harry Potter world, however. Great books, though I sincerely hope I'm wrong about who dies next.

Anyway, brilliant as always, AMC.

amcorrea said...


Yes, I do think there's more of an affinity for Tolkien there, but the Nesbit comparison makes the most sense.

And I don't think her tone is condescending so much as wry (tongue always firmly planted in cheek)--it'd have to be with all the hoopla and such.

Check this out:

I'm actually rereading them all now before I leave, and something that's stuck in my head is that in Chamber, Harry discovered that Dumbledore was originally the Transfiguration teacher. Hm... (I tried to read it carefully this time through.)

Yes, I hope we're all wrong about who we each think will die, but... *sigh*

molrendiel said...

If Dumbledore dies, well, we just may never forgive JKR. (And I was freakin out when I thought Ron's dad would die in Phoenix!)