Thursday, July 14, 2005

Harry Potter and the Order of the Blogosphere

Amy Welborn has several HP-related posts today, though the most insightful is this essay by Catholic author and mother Regina Doman. She refutes a number of charges against the HP books and then offers this thesis:
Perhaps the jaded and beauty-starved and morally-adrift children of the world are devouring Harry Potter because the books are full of truth, goodness, and beauty – although disguised with unfortunate terms like ‘wizard’, ‘witch,’ and ‘magic.’ If so, then Rowling has pulled the biggest literary coup in modern history, similar only to Tolkien’s success in becoming the greatest author of the twentieth century.

I do, however, disgree with her on one point: I don't believe, and have found no evidence in the books, that members of the wizarding community - witches and wizards - are a species separate from that of humans, as Ms. Doman says. They are, I think, regular human beings who happen to have magical powers. They are not like Tolkien's Elves, to whom she compares them. Proof? A witch and a wizard can marry and have children, but the children are not guaranteed to have magical powers (these people who have magical parents but are not magical themselves are called squibs). Additionally, two Muggles (people without magical powers) can marry and have children with magical powers (mudbloods). It is scientifically impossible for two members of one species to mate and produce offspring of a separate species.

Jimmy Akin also has more on HP and B16, including evidence that a secretary to the then Cardinal Ratzinger actually wrote the note that has been discussed so often the last few days.