July 18th, 2005

A Pocket Full of Murder

*scratches head*

So back in 1998, Jo Rowling claims that as a child she would read and re-read the Narnia books and that "even now, if I was in a room with one of the Narnia books I would pick it up like a shot and re-read it." There are numerous other interviews from the early years of HP in which Rowling claims to be a fan of Lewis and makes specific references to things like the Wardrobe and Eustace as having inspired her for ideas in the HP books.

Now, within the space of two days, we have the Time interview and the interview with the cub reporters, both of which claim (and in the latter, it's said as a direct quote from JKR) that she wasn't that taken by Narnia and in fact never even finished the last book (though that apparently doesn't keep her from talking nonsense about it in Time, but I shall reserve my rant about the whole "poor Susan was banished from Narnia because she grew up and discovered sex" rubbish for another opportunity).
Dear Jo: I'm not sure I quite get this concept. Were you lying back in 1998 (and 1999, and 2001) to make antsy readers and critics feel better about your inspirations, or did Philip Pullman just hit you with Obliviate? Yours in bewilderment, RJA.
But to continue on a happier note, in the CBBC Newsround cub reporter interview Jo says this:
Another very good question. [Petunia] overheard a conversation, that is all I am going to say. She overheard conversation. The answer is in the beginning of Phoenix, she said she overheard Lily being told about them basically. ... [but] there is more to it than that. As I think you suspect. Correctly, but I don't want to say what else there is because it relates to book 7.
I KNEW IT!!! "That dreadful boy" Petunia overheard warning Lily about the Dementors etc. wasn't James, it was Snape. Ha ha! *dances*
A Pocket Full of Murder

Of basins and lockets, Dumbledore and Snape

Or, in other words, the refined version of the theories I've been expounding on for the past week or so, in one handy linkable place (for those of you who've been asking if they could link). Thanks to everyone who contributed suggestions, objections, and questions for me to answer -- the idea has been much improved and refined in the process.

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