29 votes

Who did JK Rowling become? Deciphering the most beloved, most reviled children’s book author in history

19 comments

  1. rkcr
    Link
    This article digs into the history of JK Rowling and trans rights; if you want to learn more about the philosophy driving JK Rowling and other Brits, I suggest checking out this long read by...

    This article digs into the history of JK Rowling and trans rights; if you want to learn more about the philosophy driving JK Rowling and other Brits, I suggest checking out this long read by Laurie Penny:

    Whenever I’m sharing war stories with American progressives, one of the first things they tend to ask is why there are so many prominent British transphobes, and why respectable left-wing publications like the Guardian publish their writing on the subject so often. They ask me why the only Western leaders speaking the same language on trans rights as these British liberals are right-wing despots.

    18 votes
    1. Removed by admin: 3 comments by 2 users
      Link Parent
  2. [4]
    DanBC
    Link
    For people who'd like a simple easy to read debunking of the transphobic garbage in JKR's essay I recommend Katy Montgomerie's work:...

    For people who'd like a simple easy to read debunking of the transphobic garbage in JKR's essay I recommend Katy Montgomerie's work: https://katymontgomerie.medium.com/addressing-the-claims-in-jk-rowlings-justification-for-transphobia-7b6f761e8f8f

    14 votes
    1. cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      And for a more direct, almost line-by-line debunking, I would also highly recommend Eevee's counter-essay, Rowling is dangerously wrong.

      And for a more direct, almost line-by-line debunking, I would also highly recommend Eevee's counter-essay, Rowling is dangerously wrong.

      19 votes
    2. [2]
      moocow1452
      Link Parent
      That link for me led to a paywall, but if you use a Twitter link, (https://t.co/WhBwkj9lac) it goes to the full article.

      That link for me led to a paywall, but if you use a Twitter link, (https://t.co/WhBwkj9lac) it goes to the full article.

      7 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Still needs a (free) medium account.

        Still needs a (free) medium account.

        1 vote
    3. Removed by admin: 3 comments by 2 users
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  3. [9]
    Grzmot
    (edited )
    Link
    Great article! I was sort of up to date with Rowling's views, so while that didn't give me much info, it's great to hear how she's slowly eroding any sense in her world because she just absolutely...

    Great article! I was sort of up to date with Rowling's views, so while that didn't give me much info, it's great to hear how she's slowly eroding any sense in her world because she just absolutely refuses to do any kind of research when writing in foreign cultures. I mean, what the fuck:

    According to “Magic in North America,” the Magical Congress of the United States of America was founded in 1693, or 83 years before there was a United States. In 1777, wizard president Elizabeth McGilliguddy worked out of Washington, D.C., a city that did not then exist.

    The only way to write this is to conjure the idea up in your mind, going "sounds about right" and then just writing it down and for some reason everyone in the UK editing those books thought that she must've done her due diligence because somewhere around that the time the US got founded. A singular internet search would've solved this! A SINGLE ONE.

    I understand the draconian grip she keeps on the wizarding world, but at the same time, the fact that she then refuses to commit to any lore, a timeline, anything is shocking. It would make collabs way better if she set up a wiki, it wouldn't even have to be public, and gave authors a line to her for any further questions. But the fac that she doesn't even want to publish an enclycopedia tells you everything that you need to know. Which is fine! Harry Potter is a great example of just how little worldbuilding you need to tell a great story, which is kind of strange that the article decribes the world as deep and vast, when it's really not. Only the bare necessities are set up, and most of the concepts introduced follow Chekhov's gun to a Trans rights.ARE YA PROUD OF ME YET

    But that JKR then insists on doing world-building via Twitter is what really irks me. Like pick one. Leave the story as is, which is fine, or do proper world-building (also fine) in a structured way. Create timelines, explain the details like how spells are created, the magical attitude towards date-rape drugs love potions, you know all the shit that makes up the fantastic little thing named lore.

    14 votes
    1. [6]
      DanBC
      Link Parent
      Yes. And when she does a cursory bit of research she fucks it up. https://twitter.com/arthur_affect/status/1310777365207773190?s=20

      Yes. And when she does a cursory bit of research she fucks it up.

      https://twitter.com/arthur_affect/status/1310777365207773190?s=20

      9 votes
      1. mrbig
        Link Parent
        Good research is preferable but I’m not inclined to hold that against a series of novels about kid wizards flying around England in magical brooms.

        Good research is preferable but I’m not inclined to hold that against a series of novels about kid wizards flying around England in magical brooms.

        8 votes
      2. [4]
        Grzmot
        Link Parent
        thanks for this twitter thread, it was a glorious read.

        thanks for this twitter thread, it was a glorious read.

        5 votes
        1. [3]
          Adys
          Link Parent
          idk, it makes a decent case that she's a lazy writer, but calling her a "bad writer" is just ... denying reality because you don't like the person. Harry Potter might not be on the same level as...

          idk, it makes a decent case that she's a lazy writer, but calling her a "bad writer" is just ... denying reality because you don't like the person. Harry Potter might not be on the same level as ASOIAF (for example) but it inspired far more and i am ready to bet will have a much longer legacy than grrm's books.

          9 votes
          1. [2]
            Grzmot
            Link Parent
            I think lazy fits best. However her work after the main HP series has been pretty lackluster, including approving Cursed Child. A lot of creators out there create something akin to a one-hit...

            I think lazy fits best. However her work after the main HP series has been pretty lackluster, including approving Cursed Child. A lot of creators out there create something akin to a one-hit wonder, and maybe HP was that for JKR, and she managed to stretch it out to 7 books.

            4 votes
            1. crdpa
              Link Parent
              I don't care for Harry Potter, watched 2 or 3 movies because my SO is a huge fan, but didn't do anything for me. But i read The Casual Vacancy. My ex SO was a huge Harry Potter fan (wtf i only...

              I don't care for Harry Potter, watched 2 or 3 movies because my SO is a huge fan, but didn't do anything for me.

              But i read The Casual Vacancy. My ex SO was a huge Harry Potter fan (wtf i only date HP fans) and wanted me to read something from her. It was a really good book.

              3 votes
    2. [2]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I spent a while puzzling over what’s supposed to be wrong with that quote because I assumed it was an intentional paradox, perhaps involving magical time travel or prophecy.

      I spent a while puzzling over what’s supposed to be wrong with that quote because I assumed it was an intentional paradox, perhaps involving magical time travel or prophecy.

      2 votes
      1. Grzmot
        Link Parent
        Probably not, considering JKR swore off time travel shenanigans after the 3rd HP book made things really complicated until she solved it by having a shelve fall over in the 5th book.

        Probably not, considering JKR swore off time travel shenanigans after the 3rd HP book made things really complicated until she solved it by having a shelve fall over in the 5th book.

        4 votes
  4. [4]
    Eabryt
    Link
    I haven't read the article yet but I figured here is as good a spot to place my general JK thoughts as anywhere. It seems so wild to me that someone who's basically whole theme of the HP series...

    I haven't read the article yet but I figured here is as good a spot to place my general JK thoughts as anywhere.

    It seems so wild to me that someone who's basically whole theme of the HP series (especially books 6 & 7) is that maybe we force people in to certain categories too early doesn't seem to understand that some people are trans.

    9 votes
    1. [3]
      Grzmot
      Link Parent
      Do you really think that's the point of those books? I mean the hogwarts houses, the "chosen one" theme, the fact that basically everyone squarely falls on either good or bad side (the sole...

      Do you really think that's the point of those books? I mean the hogwarts houses, the "chosen one" theme, the fact that basically everyone squarely falls on either good or bad side (the sole exception being Snape, and he's for this reason the most discussed character in the series)? I don't think that's what you can take away from the books.

      10 votes
      1. Eabryt
        Link Parent
        Maybe not the whole point, but it's definitely a theme, especially in regards to Snape. Dumbledore even says maybe we sort too early.

        Maybe not the whole point, but it's definitely a theme, especially in regards to Snape. Dumbledore even says maybe we sort too early.

        9 votes
      2. JXM
        Link Parent
        I can easily see that as a major point in the books though. Your points are also valid and obvious things to take away from the books, but the fact that we put people into neat boxes (houses) and...

        I can easily see that as a major point in the books though. Your points are also valid and obvious things to take away from the books, but the fact that we put people into neat boxes (houses) and then expect them to conform to the stereotypes of those houses is a strong through line in the books. It's somewhat ironic that those house stereotypes are constantly broken and yet, as you said, all of the characters are very squarely good or evil. There is no inbetween. It's like she doesn't even see the obvious contrasts in her own work.

        7 votes
  5. vegai
    Link
    Seems to me that in this case as well, not having Twitter (or similar) would have prevented a huge amount of grief.

    Seems to me that in this case as well, not having Twitter (or similar) would have prevented a huge amount of grief.

    6 votes