Cheryl Klein and the Continuity of Harry Potter


Jul 17, 2007

Posted by SueTLC

Yesterday Cheryl Klein, an editor with Arthur A. Levine Books and Scholastic, appeared on the fine NPR program “Talk of the Nation,” and discussed her work as continuity editor of the Harry Potter novels. Cheryl described her work which involves such things as keeping track of various events in the books (ie ‘does Harry have the invisibility cloak in his pocket or backback, and are their u turns in the plumbing for the bathrooms’), as well as a range of questions from a few listeners. To hear this brief conversation (it runs about eight minutes) about the process of editing the beloved series of Harry Potter books , click this link, then the red button that says “Listen.” Enjoy!

9 Responses to Cheryl Klein and the Continuity of Harry Potter

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Yay, Cheryl!

I’d just like to point out that the caller Jeff is wrong when he says that Venus cannot be seen at midnight. It certainly can, especially when sunset up in Scotland in the summer doesn’t happen until nearly 10 PM BST.

However, there is an astronomical mistake in that scene: Harry sees Orion during the Astronomy exam. That is not possible, because in June the stars of Orion are behind the Sun as seen from the Earth.

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I think Venus and Orion were allusions to Minerva and Hagrid. So the fact that Orion was impossible to see at this time of year was not really important to the story. The reference occurs on the page before they are both attacked by the toad.

Orion is sometimes called “Orion the Hunter” and it is very easy to see why he presents the half giant who goes into the woods with a crossbow. Venus alludes to Minerva as both are Roman goddesses. Minerva the goddess of wisdom and Venus is the goddess of love. It took me a number of readings of OotP to figure that out.

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How does Harry get his invisibility cloak back from the tallest tower at the end of the 6th book? He even references leaving it up there, but does not go back for it

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Im sure he went up to get it eventually…we dont know what Harry does every second

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Yeah I was about to say that it even prooves it on the Lexicon that Venus is visible at midnight depending on the time of the year in question.

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There’a also a continuity error in OOTP page 151 where Hermione leaves Harry’s room (‘Harry heard the door close…), then immediately below, we are told that ‘Harry hurried across the room, closed then door….’.

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Jules, maybe he opened it before, and closed it again. :/

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Jeff’s comment that Harry should have seen the Thestrals beginning from PS because he witnessed his mother’s death was answered by Jo. She said Harry was too young to fully understand what had occurred and in fact he still does not have a memory of the event (other than a flash of green light).

Also, during the Astronomy class in OotP, I think the biggest error was not whether a particular star could be seen, but whether any stars should have been visible. Jo writes that the grounds were bathed in “silvery moonlight” which would mean a lot of stars would not be visible.


Avatar ImageWON_TWO says: How very lovely

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