Salon.com Features New Report on Phoenix Rising
Jun 01, 2007
Online publication Salon.com has a new report online, chronicling the Harry Potter conference that took place in New Orleans last month. “Potterpalooza” gives us an in depth look inside the event with interviews and insights from many who attended Phoenix Rising. Among the many things the article highlights is Wizard rock, with such bands such as the Whomping Willows, the Remus Lupins and the Parselmouths performing throughout the conference. Other things featured were the various panels at the conference.
While many facets of canon were explored, panels that debated the many types of character, shipping, and others that drew parallels between Harry Potter and other centuries or great works, came to the forefront of the academic discussions. However, it was the character of Severus Snape that brought the most fire to one of the panels. The article notes that:
The debate was fabulous. It centered on whether Severus Snape, Rowling’s ingeniously ambiguous character who concluded the sixth book by knocking off his staunchest defender, is a good guy or a bad guy. It’s the question that for me — and apparently for many of the couple hundred people filling up the ballroom — is at the crux of Rowling’s narrative.
If Snape were really a baddie, pro-Snape playwright Meg Belviso pointed out smartly, it would be something of an anticlimax, considering that at the end of the last book, he killed the series’ most benevolent protagonist. Good point! But, countered the anti-Snapist Nick Rhein, “it will be a much deeper and a much better written book if she doesn’t redeem him.”
Also, the topic of Journalism was also mentioned in the article. A panel featuring three of TLC’s editors spoke on the convergence of Potter fans and professional journalists into the fandom, and how it has evolved. Our own Melissa Anelli was interviewed on her many experiences in the article, giving insight on the background of the fandom, the plans for a hetic summer, and her plans for the future.
Finally, the Masquerade Ball, the final event of Phoenix Rising, was a convergence of most every part of the fandom. Salon.com reports on this highlight of the event noting: “There was someone carrying an inflatable goat, dressed as Hog’s Head barman Aberforth Dumbledore; a silvery mermaid was in a wheelchair; a woman who looked like Mr. Tumnus scampered around with hairy haunches and an overexposed upper body.” Wizard rockers played into the night and one attendee summed it up saying, “…this is better than prom.”
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