Sunday, 8 July 2007

Potter Madness #2

Some of you may recall the article I reprinted here, back in May, by one John Walsh of The Independent, who connected the fortunes of Tony Blair with those of boy wizard Harry Potter. Let me refresh your ailing memories:

'Is there a connection between the rise and fall of Tony Blair and the rise and apotheosis of Harry Potter? The first Potter book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, was published in 1997, two months after the Labour landslide ushsred Tony/Harry to Downing Street/Hogwarts. On 21 July, the series will end with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, just weeks after Blair is expected to step down. And throughout there have been obvious correspondences: the main character's on/off relationship with his best friend (Ron Weasley/Peter Mandelson), the sinister figures that surround him (Mr Snape, Master of the Dark Arts, aka Michael Howard), attempts to win friends by dabbling in hitherto little-known sports (Quidditch/fox-hunting) and terror of being destroyed by a scary nemesis Lord Voldemort (Gordon Brown). Has it all been (ooh-er) some kind of code?'

In serious journalist mode, Walsh repeats a similar line in a lengthy profile of the writer, in today's Independent On Sunday. 'For 10 year- closely, even spookily, shadowing the ministerial career of Tony Blair- she has been feted, lionised, showered with praise.' Notice that it's now JKR herself, rather than her famous creation, who doubles for Tony; which rather lessens the impact, Blair's final years hardly matching the rise and rise of Rowling's astonishing career.

Other mysterious facts noted by Walsh include Rowling's 'spooky' conviction that she was working on an early draft of Philosopher's Stone, the first in the HP series, at the precise moment of her mother's death (from multiple sclerosis, on New Year's Day, 1991.) Interestingly, Rowling had never told her mother about her 'scrawny, black-haired, bespectacled' hero.

This echoed something I had read, and never forgotten, about the similar stellar rise of Bob Dylan; whose explosive trajectory provoked several suicides within the New York folk scene from which his mighty star was plucked. ('The apotheosis of Bob Dylan had begun,' wrote Howard Sounes in his biograpy, Down The Highway.) Is it an unacknowledged rule that giant, epochal phenomena of the Dylan and Rowling variety require the occasional sacrifice to sustain their energetic momentum? (Isn't that what lies at the very heart of so much occultism, both ancient and modern?) Dylan, to his credit, seemed to understand something of this; and has repeatedly sought to shield himself and others from the divine madness that envelops him- and those in his path; with counter-intuitive moves calculated to deflate the mythic imagination.

And now, writes Walsh, 'the Potter saga is about to end'- with the release of Deathly Hallows on July 21: weirdly timed to coincide with the thirteenth anniversary of Tony Blair's elevation to the leadership of the Labour Party, following the convenient death of John Smith in 1994. About her literary future, Walsh- via Wikipedia- lifts the fact that 'a political fairy story, about a monster', has been mooted; a fact which bodes not well. Neither does her close friendship with Gordon Brown- who, between the two of them, helped secure more press coverage for Madeleine McCann than any other missing girl in history. And what does it tell us about the corridors her wealth permits her access to, that- along with Nelson Mandela, Al Gore and Alan Greenspan- Rowling wrote an introduction to a collection of Gordon Brown's speeches, the proceeds of which were diverted to the Jennifer Brown Research Company?

For more visit http://arts.independent.co.uk/books/


3 comments:

martin said...

I was listening to Vyzygoth interviewing Dr. John Coleman yesterday, when Coleman remarked that the Potter books were written by a wealthy benefactor of the Webbs(Beatrice and Sydney) and that J.K. is simply an editor of his material.

BTB said...

Martin, I would be very interested in learning more about this quote and anything else Coleman has to say on the subject.

Thanks for the lead- any additional information gratefully received...

Cheers

Ben

martin said...

Hi Ben. The mp3 file with Coleman is at http://vyzygoth.com/

The interview is new. I think he's released the 4th edition of The Committee of 300. The bit I refer to is at approx. 35:25. Coleman refers to a wealthy railroad magnate called Potter, part of the early Fabian movement, who Coleman claims is the original author.

Then he jumps to Ramsay McDonald, touring America and declaring that unless the state and national constitutions were destroyed, America would never be Socialized.

Alan Watt also speaks much of 'authors' who are 'authorised' to publish books, although I have never heard him mention J.K. in his talks.

Kind Regards :-)