Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Harry Potter news and discussions

A few links to share this morning for the Harry Potter crowd (more Tolkien on the way very soon, for those of you who’ve been twiddling your thumbs the past couple of weeks). Note that following links may expose you to SPOILERS!

Take a look at HogwartsProfessor.com for some excellent, well-trafficked, and “serious” Harry Potter discussions (including rampant spoilers). Elements explored include alchemy, postmodern elements, Christianity, Arthuriana, and much more. Definitely enough to keep anyone busy for quite some time!

On the subject of Christian interpretations, here are a couple of interesting posts I came across recently. Not being a religious person myself, I didn’t realize that the epitaph Dumbledore selected for his family’s tomb — “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” — is a direct quotation from the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, Chapter 6). This post discusses it, and related matters. And here, a Catholic priest comments on the book, including his thoughts on Rowling’s epigraph from The Libation Bearers. And for those of us who were worried, what a relief that he “do[es]n’t think you will go to hell if you read Harry Potter.” Excuse the sarcasm. :)

And finally, in translation news, Rowling’s adopted countrymen are calling aggressively for a translation of the complete Harry Potter series into Scottish Gaelic, which hardly seems an outrageous request, considering that it’s already been translated into Latin and Ancient Greek! (However, even a “dead” language such as Latin probably has more speakers than Scottish Gaelic’s 60,000 or so. Still, why not?)

And speaking of translation, have you been following this story? Eager fans in China have been organizing Wiki-like teams of amateur translators to produce an unauthorized translation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — even going so far as to post it online in its entirety, two months before the officially sanctioned translation will be available. So far as I know, this is an unprecedented organization of volunteer literary labor. Despite the obvious copyright infringement, one has to admire the divide-and-conquer approach — I mean, they translated a more than 700-page novel in just three days! Apparently, would-be volunteers were even tested to ensure some degree of quality control. How about that?!


  1. Jason - very interesting! I wish the Welsh would do the same with Lord of the Rings - I have been trying to get interest up to do a Welsh translation of Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillon. I'm half way through the first Harry Potter in Welsh - tyllun - owl - dewin - wizard)- beautiful language. Maybe in about two years I'll try LOTR in Finnish which does exist! Take care, Andy

  2. Hey Andy, thanks for the comment. I agree with you about Welsh — and so would Tolkien! As you must know, Welsh profoundly influenced Tolkien’s design for the phonology of Sindarin. (Perhaps that’s what led you to Welsh in the first place?) I’m frankly astonished that LotR hasn’t been translated into Welsh! Maybe you’re the man to do it! :)

  3. Gary Schmidt8/09/2007 3:58 PM

    Me, I think someone needs to translate the Silmarillion into Polish. :)

  4. For those who don’t know Gary, this was a sarcastic in-joke. Well played, you rogue! :)