Updated: JKR Discusses the Role of Death in the Series, Religion, the US Presidential Election and More in New Interview (Complete Translation Now Online)

110

Feb 09, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling has given a new interview to Spanish language newspaper El Pais in which she openly discusses many subjects including her series, inspirations, real-life heroes, and even the upcoming United States Presidential election. Thanks to TLC Reader Rosianna, we now have for you a complete translation online. A slight caution for younger readers, however, as the interview contains one instance of mild adult language. In this interview, topics range from themes of death, religion, privacy and even the current US political elections are all covered, and much more. You can read the full interview which took place in Edinburgh during early February below:



“To be invisible… that would be the best…”

J. K. Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965) or “Jo” to her friends, has the same look: frightened and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed it, and she continued writing until the seventh which is now released (on the 21st of February in Spain; as everywhere, in Salamandra), without looking the other way, without realizing the gigantic number of, children, youths, adults, who have become addicts from this enormous book of magic and reality which is perhaps the biggest seller in history.

Harry Potter is her hero: he saved her and as a consequence has left her emotional: she has abandoned him but cannot live without him. She told us this last Tuesday morning in Edinburgh, where she has lived for years, in the only interview she has given to Spanish media.

We brought her cheese from Asturias, to remind her of her prize from the “Príncipe de Asturias de la Concordia” and greetings from the foundation that decides those awards.

Occasionally she has spoken, in her interviews, of another great solitary person like herself, of Francis Scott Fitzgerald. It stroke us as an opportunity to start to talk to her in the same vein, of solitude and death, and of melancholy, which are the themes which dominate the last part of Harry Potter, perhaps her alter ego.

Q: You usually talk of Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholy man.

A: Yes, I have spoken of him to make a distinction between a writer that due to nature and talent had the impulse to write and could not share this need to write with his social life. I mentioned him because these days with so much emphasis on the media, it seems as though there is some sort of obligation, which says that a writer must be a public person. In my case, people think that because I am a well-known author, I should be good giving interviews and appearing in photographs. People expect to see you enjoying yourself on television programmes and expect that you like to be a public person, a performer. But I’m not. I like the life of the writer. I enjoy the solitude.

Q: It’s interesting, sometimes in Harry Potter, above all the most recent installments, there has been a certain amount of sadness and solitude, which is reminiscent of Fitzgerald.

A: Undoubtedly. It’s sadness, which is born from grief. And Scott Fitzgerald had two afflictions: that of his talent and his need to create and the affliction of his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two afflictions are enough to lead anyone to alcoholism.

Q: Those afflictions can come in that time between childhood and adolescence, when the phantoms arrive and they stay with you forever.

A: Yes, I think adolescents are very aware of death. They feel as though they are so pressured that, for them, death is only a step away. They are very fragile people. In Great Britain there is a culture of fear towards teenagers, towards young people in general. And it shouldn’t be that way. We need to be protecting them instead of protecting ourselves from them.

Q: Talk a bit about death. In the sixth and seventh Harry Potter books, death appears no just as a word or thought but as a possibility, something obvious and a reality.

A: That was always the plan, that death should appear in that way. Since he was young until Chapter 34 of the seventh book, Harry is required to be a better man in that he is obligated to accept the inevitability of his own death. The plan of the books was that he should have contact with death and with the experience of death. And it was always Harry alone who had to have that experience. It all came down to conscience, because the hero had to live these things, do things, see things on his count. It’s part of that isolation and sadness that comes with being a hero.

Q: That 34th chapter [quotation ’ re: Harry realizing he won't survive] sounds like the beginning of 100 Years of Solitude by García Márquez.

A: That’s very flattering.

Q: It’s a book about death and obviously solitude, like yours… the character of 100 Years of Solitude accompanies his grandfather to see the ice and you take Harry to visit death.

A: For me, that chapter is the key of all the books. Everything, everything I have written, was thought of for that precise moment when Harry goes into the forest. That is the chapter that I had planned for 17 years. That moment is the heart of all of the books. And for me it is the last truth of the story. Even though Harry survives, of that there was no doubt, he reaches that unique and very rare state which is to accept his own death. How many people have the possibility of accepting their death before they die?

Q: It’s an experience close to everyone. When one has seen death in someone close to them, one asks themselves how that look that we will no longer see will be, what will happen next.

A: Definitely. It strikes me as extraordinary that regardless of the fact that we all know we are going to die, death remains a mystery. We feel as though death is like something secret which happens to very few people. And all of a sudden, someone close to you dies and the bomb drops. Harry has a premature understanding of death, long before Chapter 34. And that has an evident parallel with my life. If someone close to you in your life dies, as my mother did, the fact that death reaches us all returns to you more explicitly. And that is something that you should live with always.

Q: We live in dark and sad times; you say it in your books, especially in this one. How do you live in these times?

A: I have to believe in the kindness of the people. I think people are in nature, good. But actually, I continue watching American politics very closely. I am obsessed with the US elections. Because it will have profound effects on the rest of the world. The political situation in the US in recent years has badly affected your country as mine.

Q: And if you had a magic wand, what would you do?

A: I want a Democrat in the White House. And it seems a shame to me that Clinton and Obama are rivals because they are both extraordinary people.

Q: This morning, upon entering the hotel I saw that you carried The Times in one hand and on the front there was a photo of Hillary crying.

A: Well, it was one small tear. And she is allowed a tear on occasion. A life in politics is very hard on a woman. If you don’t cry, you’re a bitch. And if you do cry, you’re weak. It’s difficult. On the other hand, it’s acceptable for a man to cry.

Q: Solitude, death. We speak of dark things. At its best, literature comes from that.

A: Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all the important books are about death. And there’s some truth in that because death is our destiny and we should face up to it. All that we have done in life had the intention of avoiding death.

Q: You said that you saw your soul as something undeniable.

A: Yes, that’s true. But I also have said that I have many doubts regarding religion. I feel very attracted by religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in a permanent soul. And that is reflected in the last book.

Q: What makes you happy?

A: Family and work, obviously. I consider myself so lucky to have a family… my children are, above all other things, the most important. Even though it’s difficult to make being a mother compatible with writing.

Q: Before coming to see you, I asked the Spanish scriptwriter, Rafael Azcona, for a question to ask you, and he responded that I should ask his niece Sara, six years old, who is a Harry Potter addict.

A: That’s fantastic.

Q: But you say that you should read your books from the age of seven years or older.

A: Well, my eldest daughter was six when she started to read them. I have always known where I was going to go with the books. So yes, I think that a six-year-old child can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone] even though the last one is quite dark. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of anticipation and an oppressive atmosphere. I think because of that, people didn’t like it as much. Even though there are readers who prefer this book to the others, they are a strange minority. The fifth, the sixth and this last one I don’t think are suitable for a child of six years.

Q: And when you wrote the first one, did you think of a designated reader?

A: That’s the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character was a child. But it was always a child who I wanted to be older. And at the end he’s a man, a young man but a man. That is something unusual in children’s books: that the protagonist grows. And it makes me enormously happy that people continue reading and enjoying the books. They grew older with Harry Potter. But I never thought adults were potential readers.

Q: Peter Mayer, the editor, who was the first I heard talk of Harry Potter in Spain, said that the key of this success is that the series has become reading material for adults.

A: Yes, it’s incredible. Only now am I capable of looking back and realizing everything. For 10 years I didn’t allow myself to think about it. I think I did it to protect myself. It’s very difficult to live with that pressure, but I lived constantly denying the facts. After each publication I made a point to not read any reviews.

Q: Literature saves people, or helps to save them. How did writing affect you?

A: Let me tell you one thing. Simply the fact of writing the first book saved my life. I’m always told that the world I created is unreal; it was that which allowed me to escape. Yes, it’s true; it’s unreal up to a point. But not because my world was magical but because all writers evade themselves. Additionally, I did not write only to escape but because I searched to understand ideas which concerned me. Ideas such as love, loss, separation, death… and all that is reflected in the first book.

Q: What else did that first book give you?

A: A place in a prosaic level, writing that book gave me the discipline, the focus and the ambition, which back then was reduced to simply seeing the book published.

Q: How was the day of publication?

A: I saw my dream become reality. It was an extraordinary moment. I couldn’t believe it, I was entranced. And in some way almost immediately I felt as though a train was pushing me from behind at full speed, as in a cartoon. I thought: “What’s happened to me?” Three months later I received an incredible advance, according to my standards back then. In that time, I was renting a flat, I didn” have security or savings. I wore second-hand clothes. Then, money was scarce and to have that money all of a sudden was extraordinary. That night I couldn’t sleep. The next day, journalists started to appear, they gave me an important prize, The Sun called me to buy the rights for the story of my life and the journalists began to patrol in front of my house. And let me tell you something: it scared me a lot.

Q: Is that why you’re scared of journalists even now?

A: No, I’m not scared of them. I remember a pair of journalists in particular who noticed my incredulity and vulnerability and helped me. One of them told me that I had every right to keep my daughter away from the press because I refused to take her with me to interviews and have them take photos of her. I’m talking of the press of this country, of the United Kingdom. That’s how it works.

Q: Your books appear to be full of personal details.

A: I tend to use significant dates. When I need a date or a number, I use something related to my personal life. I don’t know why I do it, it’s a tic. Harry’s birthday is the same date as mine, for example. The numbers that appear or dates that are in the books are related to my life.

Q: Writing your first book entranced you. And the pressure of the success, knowing that millions of people waited for your work?

A: I made a serious decision not to think about it. Obviously there were moments when some news items filtered through, above all during books four and five. There you can notice the pressure and I think that’s evident in the writing.

Q: How did that happen?

A: When I arrived at the fourth book I was very burnt out. I had produced a book a year for four years at the same time as raising my only child without a nanny or help of any kind. I was exhausted. And in reality I thought: “I can’t do it anymore, I have to stop”. I told this to my editor, that if I continued like this I wouldn’t be able to continue writing. And so I met the man who is now my second husband.

Q: You are Harry Potter. And you say it yourself: “Harry is mine”. Have you always known how you were going to finish? Did you always know there were going to be seven books?

A: I always knew what was going to happen. From the start I had the whole plot outlined, without the detail but I always knew that the story was going to finish. And it has finished, even though many fans are disgusted, There isn’t a way of reviving Harry’s story. His story has finished. But finishing it was very hard. It was devastating.

Q: The ending is moving: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years.”

A: It’s symbolic. We all repeat the lie again and again: that time cures everything. And it’s not true. There are things that aren’t cured, such as when someone you love dies.

Q: You also wrote: “Harry Potter, the Boy who lived”. The teacher says it and you say that he lived because he had faith in his convictions, thanks to that he conquered Voldemort. Are you like that?

A: I would like to say yes because I believe in a hero with heroic attributes. I read on a site: “A hero is not braver than everyone else. He is only brave for five minutes longer…” Harry is like that.

Q: In all the books there is the moral that one can save themselves if they have friends, but Harry’s story is also one of solitude.

A: I agree entirely. I have given Harry my fault, which is a tendency to shut myself in, to isolate myself when I am under pressure, sad or happy. I tend to isolate myself. But I know it’s not good, that it’s not healthy. And I gave that to Harry. Even though that is what also makes him heroic, it is what prepares him to act on his own.

Q: Is Harry your hero?

A: Yes, well, in real life, my hero is Robert F. Kennedy. I created a boy who tries to act with morality, whom even though he is attacked and hurt physically and emotionally nevertheless continues to be attracted by the good side of things. And he is genuine and loyal and I find heroism in all these things.

Q: People are aware of the figures of your life, of how wealthy you are, but less so that you are human; it is as though they see you with a magic wand like Harry Potter.

A: Sadly, it is like that. When I see my name in lists of powerful people, something I don’t do much, I think about it. Power isn’t something I want and additionally, I don’t have it. Yes, I am rich.

Q: Imagine that for a moment you had the ability to make yourself invisible.

A: To be invisible? That would be the best…


Many, many thanks to Rosianna for providing us this excellent translation in such a short period of time. Also, thanks to HarryLatino and all who mailed.

Update: Additional quotes from this interview are now online thanks to reader Kamyll who was kind enough to translate part of an additional document found on the left side of web article. You can find the selected translated quotes that did not make it into the web article below:

On F. Scott Fitzgerald:

Q: He drank to find himself, to be alone?

A: Yes, but his chosen partner says a lot. The people we are attracted to say plenty about who we are. He couldn’t have a peaceful life with his wife Zelda. He chose to be with someone who sometimes made it impossible to write. He didn’t have that peace so necessary when it comes to create something.

On the Time Magazine photo of Senator Clinton:

Q: Crying can be a way of laughing?

A: Could be, and in this case, after reading the article, that tear was indeed a happy tear.

Q: Our souls floating around, looking for what?

A: That’s the big question, but I hope we don’t have to come back! I don’t want to come back!

After stating she does need read reviews:

Q: And could you really do that?

A: Yes, is very good not to be aware of the reviewers or what they’re saying about you. I wrote what I wanted. When I finished the seventh book I though it was the best I’d written. It was the book I wanted to write. I was more satisfied with that book that any other. If I’d read any review what good it would have made? It was written, there was nothing else I could do, but now I can allow myself to look back and what happens is what you just said: adults started to read the books to their children and then they continued to read on their own. There’s nothing more gratifying than to listen to people saying that entire families read the books together. I’ve heard that a lot. They read one chapter together and then they gathered again to read the next one. Is unbelievable isn’t? A lot of families told me they did that and is gratifying in so many levels. The books have become a social act.

Q: Have you done that with Jessica? Are you going to do it with the rest of your children?

A: Jessica is fourteen and she is a fervent admirer of Harry.

Q: What did she tell you after she read the books?

A: She asked me why I did this thing or another, and I my answer was that that’s the way it had to be. Yes, sometimes you can give an automatic answer, like some things were made up as literary mechanisms, elements that helped the plot. In other cases, is harder to explain the process of writing. I wrote it because it came up that way. Sometimes I wrote as if something or somebody was saying it to me.

Q: Could you describe what that something was?

A: There are so many answers to that question. I could say: “It was me, it was my subconscious.” Yes, it was my subconscious, so what I’ve written comes from everything that I’ve done and all the people I’ve known because everything and everyone are somewhere in my head. Or I could say it was the muse, and I like to think it was the muse, because that means the writer is not aware of the origin of what they’re writing, or at least is not fully aware of it, and I know it’s a clichéd word about the Harry Potter books, but they’re magical.

Q: That means that you went through the same thing that happened to Juan Rulfo when he wrote “Pedro Páramo” because he couldn’t find it in his bookshelf.

A: I love that story and it’s true, in my case it’s exactly like that, although I didn’t write what I wanted, but what I needed to write at that moment.

On celebrity and life in the public eye:

Q: People often notice the figures in your life, how wealthy you are but few times they say that you are also a human; it’s like they see you with a magic wand, like Harry Potter.

A: Yes, unfortunately they do. The thing about power is interesting because really what kind of power do I have? When I see my name in lists of powerful people, something I don’t do often, I think about it. Power isn’t something I want and additionally, I don’t have it. Yes, I am rich. I’ve made a lot of Money, for which I’m grateful, but that’s the way it is. When people approach me and ask about the amount of money I have… the other day I was on the street and a woman came up to me and asked if I was J. K. Rowling, I said yes. She then said: “You deserve everything you have.” I don’t think she was talking about the money, and when someone says that to you it’s wonderful; but I think that the obsession with money is global, here in the UK we have lists, millions of lists, rich people over 40, under 40 for which I no longer qualify because I’m 42… wealth is an obsession I don’t know if it’s the same way in Spain.

Q: Are you happy?

A: Much more than I was before.

Q: What have you managed to get rid of?

A: I’m very relieved to be older and accepting who I am and knowing who I am. When I was twenty and during all that decade I had a very bad time, I think it happens to loads of people, they just don’t say it. I made a lot of mistakes; some of them were very bad. Now I feel much more confident.

Q: The fantasy in literature completes people.

A: Yes, that’s right. Humans need fantasy and magic. We have a need for mystery. Sir Frank Frasier (in The Golden Bow) says that in religion the man depends on God, but in magic the man depends on himself, which allows us to measure the capacity of man and magic becomes an ideal existence. Magic carries a human existence, in Book 6 the Prime Minister says to the Minister of Magic “You can do magic! Surely you can sort out anything!” and the minister answers: “Yes, the trouble is, the other side can do magic too.” We need magic and I defend it at all cause. Magic is a very important part of literature and that’s why it’s always going to be there.

Q: There’s this dialogue between Harry and Professor Dumbledore: “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”

A: And Dumbledore says: “Of course it is happening inside your head, but why on earth would that mean that is not real?” That dialogue is the key; I’ve waited seventeen years to use those lines. Yes, that’s right. All this time I’ve worked to be able to write those two phrases; writing Harry entering the forest and Harry having that dialog.

Q: And sometimes, Harry is in the real world.

A: Of course. It’s important to have light and darkness, it’s a very conventional mechanism, but to be able to create a transition between a mundane universe and the cruel and oppressive existence adds shadows. As the story moves forward what I was hoping to reach was that what used to be going to the Dursleys became something comical. As Harry gets older and keeps gaining power and confidence he find himself better with the Dursleys, and the place of darkness and evil is exactly what used to be the world of light and magic. This family goes from being cruel to be funny and in book seven it even becomes pathetic when we found out that his Aunt was a jealous woman and even, form Harry’s point of view, a broken one.

Q: Your Spanish editor wanted me to ask you about the faith of the non-magical Dursley family.

A: Very well, I’ll have to write an eight book. (laughs) Really, I thought it wasn’t necessary to write about the Dursleys. I thought the reader would know that they had been protected and they were out of hiding. When fans ask me this I tell them that thanks to the final encounter between Harry and Dudley they can try to have a friendly relationship, that they send Christmas cards and visit each other every once in a while. It would be awkward but they’d try, because it’s all about staying in touch. They could never be good friends, put they’d try to have a friendship… Dudley knows that Harry saved his life. Well, he thinks he saved his life when actually he was saving his soul.

Q: There are more scars left in your life, in Harry’s life?

A: If you’re asking me if I’m going to write more books, if I have unfinished business, the answer is yes… But with Harry, I took him to work at the Ministry, I have to believe that there’s a possibility to get rid of corruption, and I see it in that battle, but he’s become a middle-age father worrying about if his kid is going to do well in school.

Q: In the real world. No magic wand?

A: No, always with a wand.

Q: Do you have that magic wand?

A: Isn’t that the muse?

Q: You still write with a pen?

A: Always.

Q: Maybe that’s the magic wand?

A: Yeah, maybe it is… and look: the magic wand has ruined my finger for using it so much.

Q: You said in the past you would have chosen the resurrection stone like Harry.

A: And I would’ve been wrong… I think that when something dies it belongs somewhere else, every person has a responsibility towards another. I have it with my children and if I were trying to rescue somebody from death it wouldn’t be good for them. My duty is to my children and their future. Resurrection is a huge temptation but it’s dangerous.

Q: Maybe writing is some kind of Resurrection Stone.

A: Yes, of course, but I think you realize that once you’re writing to make a dream come true. If it’s just like that then, for me, writing loses its worth. Describing your fantasy is not the same as creating a world.





233 Responses to Updated: JKR Discusses the Role of Death in the Series, Religion, the US Presidential Election and More in New Interview (Complete Translation Now Online)

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Jo – Obama/Clinton ‘08! I had the hardest time deciding which of them to vote for in the primaries.

Avatar Image says:

Well, Andalucía isnt a city and its almost as big as ireland. im sorry im totally unable to translate this to you.

Avatar Image says:

waves little Obama flag Nicely said, Jo!

Avatar Image says:

oh goodness, politics…..

Avatar Image says:

This sounds like a really interesting interview – I can’t wait to read the rest of it!

also waves Obama flag :]

Avatar Image says:

Hooray, Jo! I’m for Obama all the way, but I wouldn’t be too heartbroken if Clinton won. Any others, however…

Avatar Image says:

My one and only political comment on this:

I am not an American, nor do I live in the states. While I understand the support some of you may have towards the democrats, my little country is in the odd position where a Republic president would be so much better for us. (trade relationship, development cooperation, security issues, etc).

Both Obama and Clinton have taken stances on certain issues regarding Latin America that worry me and many others.

Avatar Image says:

On a complimentary note, I have a t-shirt that proclaims “Republicans for Voldemort”! Sadly, the current administration does seem to represent a litany of “easy” rather than “right” choices: it is hardly surprising that Rowling dislikes it.

Avatar Image says:

You should find some sort of official Leaky Translator. I’m surprised she was so interested. I can’t vote (yet), but heck, I’ve been following it obsessively. I have a widget counting delegates for each candidate. Interestingly the person who questioned Clinton about “how she did it” (resluting in the tear) decided it was too calculated and voted for Obama.

Waves Obama banner

Avatar Image says:

I totally agree JK! I have recently become obsessed (since South Carolina) with the campaign. I’m sad to see the Democrats become more and more split. As much as I would love to see a Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton ticket (they’re very different, i hope people see this) i highly doubt that either would pick one or the other for their vice president. Both people demand the limelight, and both would like to keep control… i’m afraid that they’d be fighting each other in the white house if they won. I personally hope Obama succeeds, i think that he would bring the country together in ways that we haven’t seen in years.

I’d also like to see the rest of the article. I’m especially curious about the Dursleys. :) I can’t wait to see the rest of it!

Avatar Image says:

“Republicans for Voldemort” is about the snottiest thing I ever heard. Whether you agree with various aspects of the Bush administration or not, I’d love to know what’s easy about doing something the majority of the country hates you for.

Avatar Image says:

I agree with Marauder!

Avatar Image says:

I personally think Republicans for Voldemort is Hilarious! I completely agree with Jo we definetely need a Democratic pres in the white house, they get overlooked to much .. I am still undecided myself but I will be happy with either Obama or Clinton as President – I know it will happen – Im optimistic.

Avatar Image says:

The grammar nut in me is really bugged by the “affect” in this article. It should be “effect!” Sorry, my OCD is showing.

Avatar Image says:

Haha, I was going to post on the ‘effect’ mistake just now, but it seems you beat me to it, Liz!

Avatar Image says:

Go JO! Obama is gonna take it all the way! God bless Jo for being so sensible.

Avatar Image says:

Obama has the charisma—he definitely has a way of charming young voters and though I wouldn’t mind him being president I need someone I know has experience and can get through the nitty gritty to get things done. It’s one thing to to “unify” the country by charm and really fantastic speeches (he would make a great Pastor!) but it’s another to have the experience and know what it takes to get there. Obama will be a great leader no doubt, but I do not think this is his time.

Go Hillary girl!

Avatar Image says:

That was a nice interview but I am sorry to say that I hate both Obama and Clinton. Especially Clinton!!!

Avatar Image says:

I don’t pretend this is a brilliant translation, but here’s the first part.


J. K Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965), Jo to her friends, has the same look, both terrified and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed to, and continued until the seventh, which will release on the 21st in Spain, as everyone knows, from Salamandra, without thought to the huge volume of addicts, children, youth and adults who have made this enormous book of both magic and reality perhaps the biggest bestseller in history. Harry Potter is her hero; her savior. He has led us on an emotional rollercoaster, and we cannot live without it. We met this last Tuesday in Edinburgh, where Rowling has lived for years, in the only interview she has granted to the Spanish media. ... Ever spoken in his interviews, another great writer as she is, was Francis Scot Fitzgerald. We felt it appropriate to start from there to talk with her about loneliness, death, and melancoly, topics which dominate the last period of the life of Harry Potter, perhaps her alter ego. QUESTION. Usually you talk about Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholic. REPLY. Yes, I spoke of him to make a distinction between a writer who, by nature and talent was the impetus to write and who could not reconcile the need to write their social life. I mentioned these days because such media seems that there is an obligation, the writer becomes a public figure. In my case, people think that since I am a famous writer, I should be superb at giving interviews. People expect to see you enjoy beging part of these television shows and that you enjoy beinga public figure – a performer. But I am not – I love the life of the writer. I enjoy the solitude. QUESTION. It’s funny, often in Harry Potter, most especially in the more recent novels, there is a degree of melancholy and loneliness, which reminded us of Fitzgerald. REPLY. Undoubtedly. It is the melacholy that comes from a heavy heart – and Soctt Fitzgerald had two burdens: the sorrow of his talent and his need to recreate the sorrow in his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two burdens are enough to bring anyone to alcoholism. QUESTION. Those burdens may come from the time between childhood and adolescence, when the ghost come to haunt you forever. REPLY. Yes, I believe that adolescents are very close to the idea of death. The feel the pressure for so long that, for them, death is just a step. They’re very fragile. In Britain, there is a culture of fear toward adolescents and toward youth in general, this should not be so. We should be protecting them rather than protecting ourselves from them. QUESTION. Speaking of death, in books six and seven, Harry Potter’s death appears not only as a simple word or thought, but as an opportunity, an evidence, and reality. REPLY. The plan was always to have that death there. From his childhood all the way till chapter thirty-four of the seventh book, Harry is forced to be an older man and is compelled to accept the inevitability of his death. The plan [ of the series of novels] was that he should ‘meet’ death, experience death, and that he would be alone when he had that experience. I planned it that way because the hero has to live through things, do things, and see things on their own. This isolation and melancholy is what is entailed with being a hero.

Avatar Image says:

I SOOOOO agree with Jo’s comments about Clinton and Obama. My heart hopes they can get past their current rivalry and become running mates, but my head tells me that may not be realistic. I also think her comment about how the public reacts to women politicians crying is right on the mark.

I’m with you Tory – “God bless Jo for being so sensible”!

Avatar Image says:

Its fantastic every time our Jo gives hew views. But guys dont get too politically aggressive on this comment board – so far so good :-)

Avatar Image says:

TML, is that a chunk (first installment?) of the interview which you translated for us? if so, many thanks!

“Democrats for Dumbledore”? ;-)

Avatar Image says:

Did Jo give this interview in Spanish?

Avatar Image says:

Cordelia, I just wondered about the same thing. Much as I admire the great effort of voluntary translations – obviousy most interviews with Jo would be in English, so the best way would be to try to obtain the original. “Original” is always better!

btw, I think it sholud be “Voldemort for Republicans” gg

Avatar Image says:

A bit more; it’ll be a while for the rest. Again, this is definitely not the best translation, but it should get you the gist of the interview.

QUESTION. From chapter 34, “Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once thought he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive”, has much the same feel as One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Garcia Marquez.

REPLY. That’s very flattering.

QUESTION. It is a book about death, and obviously on lonelieness, like yours is… The character in One Hundred Years… accompanies his grandfather to see the ice, and you take Harry to visit death.

REPLY. For me, this chapter is the key to all the books. Everything, everything I wrote was thought to the very moment when Harry enters the Forbidden Forest. This is the chapter that I had planned for seventeen years. This moment is the heart of the series, and is, for me, the real end to the story. Although Harry survives, there was never a doubt in his mind that he was going to die – he accepted his own death. How many people have the opportunity to accept death before dying?

QUESTION. It has been my experience, that when one has seen the death of someone close to them, it will change their outlook, how they view death from that point on.

REPLY. Defintely. I find it extraordinary that, despite the fact that we all know that we are going to die, how we will die remains a mystery. We think that death is something secret that happens to very few people. Then, suddenly, someone close to us dies and it drops the bomb of reality. Harry has an understanding of early death, long before chapter thirty-four. And that has some obvious parallels with my life. When someone in your life is near death, like the death of my mother, it becomes clear that death comes to us all. And that is something that has to live forever.

Avatar Image says:

TML, thank you for undertaking this translation, and for sharing it with us!

Intersting, this segment is suggestive (to me) of Malraux’s novels Man’s Fate and Man’s Hope…

Avatar Image says:

TML, you rock for translating this bit by bit!!!

I really enjoy this interview so far… I love seeing her perspective looking back on the books and knowing what has been and is so important to her in that process.

Avatar Image says:

Thats a shame she had to say something about American politics. Now she will be villified for yet another thing….

Avatar Image says:

All politicians are liars.

Harry Potter for president!

- M

Avatar Image says:

Wow, she’s a Dem and she’s religious. That’s rare.

Come on book 8.

Avatar Image says:

“All politicians are liars.”

Ditto

Avatar Image says:

TML, thank you so much!

Jeff, it’s not that rare at all.

Avatar Image says:

I totally agree with her comment on women and politics. Just another reason why I love Jo.

Avatar Image says:

I think it’s a shame she thinks the world will suddenly be a better place if a Dem is in the White House. That’s spreading false hope. I expect a Democratic president, but I don’t expect a noticeable change of behavior of people in the world. Bad stuff will still happen just the same.

BUT ...  I love a new interview! :D
Avatar Image says:

@TML, I love hearing from JKR. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the translations!

Avatar Image says:

I would like to point out that JK doesn’t seem to have a preference for either Obama or Clinton – so for all the people in here who think this is her official support for Obama (I on the other hand wave a Clinton “banner”), just because she mentioned is name first, are wrong. Obama is great and I am going to vote for him, of course, if he gets the ticket, but I won’t get into why Clinton is better for the nation right here.

Actually, on CNN the other day, they were reporting that most of Europe supports Hillary in the campaign because of how great the Bill Clinton years were the relations between Europe and the U.S. Hillary is a little more liberal than her husband, but her diplomancy opinions line up very well.

Avatar Image says:

okay, another comment:

I very much agree with CarloynJ.

Think back to the 2000 election of Bush vs Gore. For all the arguments and couterarguments about policy, ideology, etc etc, the defining issue of the first president of the 21st century was not something either of them predicted or expected.

Whatever has happened in the past, and the present, one must also keep in mind as to how a president will react to sudden and unexpected events. All president’s face various crisis, some of them truly monumental.

And the world will definitely not suddenly become a better place because a Democrat is in the white house. Just having someone knew in charge may provide a breath of fresh air and some momentum for their policies, but their will still be individuals and groups which will continue to pose huge, and sometimes dangerous, challenges.

Avatar Image says:

Oh no. She wants Obama or Hillary!? Why do all my heroes turn out to be democrats!?

Avatar Image says:

Part three of the ‘gist’ translation.

QUESTION. We live in sad and dark times, as you say in your book, and Harry does especially, how is your life?

REPLY. I have to believe in the goodness of people. I think that people are, by nature, good. But now I am very closely following American politics. I am obsessed with the elections in the United States – because it will take a profound effect on the rest of the world. The U.S. foreign policy in recent years has affected, for the worse, both their country and mine.

QUESTION. And if you had a magic wand, what would you do?

REPLY. I want a Democrat in the White House – it seems to me a shame that Clinton and Obama have to be rivals because bother are extraordinary.

QUESTION. This morning, when we entered the hotel, we had a copy of The Times in head, and on the cover was a picture of Hillary crying.

REPLY. Well, there was a little bit of crying. She can afford to cry from time to time. The political life is very difficult for a woman. If you don’t cry, you’re a bitch, and if you do, you’re weak. It’s difficult. And for men it’s just fine to mourn.

QUESTION. Loneliness, Death. We speak of dark things. Maybe literature is all about these things.

REPLY. Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all the major books deal with death, and there is some truth in that because death is our destiny and we must face it. Everything we do in life is an attempt to deny death.

QUESTION. You’ve said that you see the soul as everlasting?

REPLY. Yes. It’s true. I’ve also said, though, that I have many doubts about religion. I feel very attracted to it, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a spiritual state of flux. I belive in the permanence of the soul and that is reflected in the latest book.

QUESTION. What makes you happy?

REPLY. The family and writing, obviously. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have a family. My children are, above anything else, the most important thing. Although it is often very difficult to write and be a mother.

Avatar Image says:

just a quick not to say THANK YOU to TML

Avatar Image says:

“That was a nice interview but I am sorry to say that I hate both Obama and Clinton. Especially Clinton!!!”

I’m sorry but I had to Respond to this! Even if you don’t agree with the politics of Obama or Clinton there is no reason to hate them. You don’t even know them! As a Harry Potter fan, I would think you would pick up on Jo’s obvious theme of tolerating people who have differentt oppinions.

Avatar Image says:

I’ve just spent the last hour and a half doing a thorough translation and have emailed it to the staff address; it’s a brilliant article, from a brilliant interview with a brilliant woman :)

Avatar Image says:

Thanks Rosianna. In that case I’ll step down with my rough translations. I’ll post the rest of what I’ve completed, though.

QUESTION. Before coming to see you, I was asked by Spanish screenwriter Rafael Azcona to relay to you that his six-year-old granddaughter, Sara, is completely hooked on Harry Potter.

REPLY. That’s wonderful!

QUESTION. But you’ve said we ought to start the books at age seven?

REPLY. Well, my eldest daughter was six when she started to read it. And she always understood where it was going when she read, so yes, I think a child of six can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone], but the end is quiet gloomy. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of hope and to add to that, an oppressive atmosphere – I think that is why so many people were not very fond of it. While there are many readers who say that the fifth is their favourite, they’re in a minority. I don’t believe the final three books are suitable for six-year-olds.

QUESTION. When you wrote the first, what kind of reader did you think would identify with the story?

REPLY. That’s the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character is just a boy. But he was always a boy I wanted to do more with – at the end, he is a man. A young man, but a man. That’s what’s unique about children’s books – the protagonist grows. I am extremely glad that people continue to read and enjoy the books. I never thought that adults would be potential readers.

QUESTION. Peter Mayer, the publisher, which was the first I’d heard of Harry Potter in Spain, said that the key to the books’ success was that the series had become reading for adults.

REPLY. Yes, it’s incredible. Only now can I look back and realise everything. For ten years I wasn’t allowed to think about that. I think I did that to protect myself. It’s very difficult to live with the pressure, having to deny readers facts all the time. I had to make an effort not to read any criticism after each publication.

Avatar Image says:

TML – your translations have been very much appreciated! Thank you!!!

Avatar Image says:

I actually like the Malfoys so what does that tell you. LOL, Draco is kind of a brat but he got better.

Avatar Image says:

Could we refrain from the political bashing, please? I think the mods would prefer that.

Avatar Image says:

TML, and now Rosianna…thanks!!

Avatar Image says:

Must we start name calling? Really? And people were being so respectful. Sigh.

There’s a lot of things I would like to say here, but I will use good judgement and merely say – GO JO, thanks for proving yet again why you’re my hero. :]

Avatar Image says:

Right, i did my best to translate the interview, with my mediocre Spanish skills involved. Please ignore anything that might pop up in spanish or any grammatical errors.

JK Rowling (Bristol, England, 1965), Jo to her friends, has the same look, terrified and happy, as Harry Potter, her fictional character. She wrote the first book because she needed to, and continued writing until number seven, (which appears now on 21 February in Spain, as the others, in Salamandra), without looking at the sides, without thought to the huge volume of addicts, children, youth, adults, who have made this huge book of magic and reality, perhaps the biggest bestseller in history.

Harry Potter is her hero, he saved her, and he has left an exciting trail: it is abandoned, but she cannot live without it. We met this last Tuesday morning in Edinburgh, where she has lived for years, in the only interview she has granted the Spanish media.

We bring Spanish cheese, as a reminder of the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, and greetings from the foundation which convenes these awards.

She has mentioned once, in her interviews, another great writer akin to her, Francis Scott Fitzgerald. We felt it appropriate to start from there to talk with her of loneliness and death, and the melancholy, which are the topics that dominate the last period of Harry Potter, perhaps his alter ego.

Q. You usually talk of Scott Fitzgerald, a melancholic. A. Yes, I spoke about him to make a distinction between a writer who by nature and talent had the impulse to write and who could not reconcile the need to write about their social life. I mentioned this because these days such media seems that there is an obligation that the writer is a public figure. In my case, people think that since I am a recognized writer, I should be good at giving interviews and leaving the camera. People expect to see you enjoy TV shows and that you like to be a public figure, a performer. But I’m not. I love the life of a writer. I enjoy the solitude.

Q. It’s funny, sometimes in Harry Potter, especially in recent deliveries; there is a degree of melancholy and loneliness, which reminds of Fitzgerald. A. Undoubtedly. It is the melancholy that comes from a heavy heart. And Scott Fitzgerald had two sorrows: the sorrow of his talent and his need to create and the sorrow of his private life, which was catastrophic. Those two sorrows are enough to bring anyone to alcoholism.

Q. Those sorrows may come from the time between childhood and adolescence, when the ghosts come and stay with you forever. A. Yes, I believe that adolescents are very close to the idea of death. They feel pressure so much that, for them, death is just a step. They are very fragile people. In Britain there is a culture of fear towards adolescents, towards youth in general. And it should not be so. We should be protecting them rather than protecting ourselves from them.

Q. Speaking of death. In books six and seven Harry Potter’s death appears not only as a word or thought, but as an opportunity, evidence and reality. A. That was always the plan, that death appeared there. Since he was a child until Chapter 34 of the seventh book, Harry is required to be an older man in that he is obligated to embrace the inevitability of his own death. The plan [of the series of novels] was that he should have contact with death, and with the experience of death. And Harry was always alone, the one that should have that experience. Everything I presented to conscience, because the hero has to live things, do things, see things on his own. It is part of this isolation and melancholy that is entailed to be a hero.

Q. Chapter 34 [ “Lying with his face pressed into the dusty carpet of the office where he had once though he was learning the secrets of victory, Harry understood at last that he was not supposed to survive. Knocked upside down, with their faces on the dusty carpet in the office where once believed to be learning the secrets of victory, Harry realized that was not going to survive”] sounds like the principle of One Hundred Years of Solitude, Garcia Marquez. A. It’s very flattering.

Q. It is a book about death, and obviously on loneliness, like yours … The character of One Hundred Years … accompanies his grandfather to see the ice, and you take Harry to visit death… A. To me, that chapter is the key to all books. Everything, everything I wrote was thought to the very moment when Harry enters the woods. This is the chapter that I had planned for 17 years. That moment is the heart of every book. And for me is the real end of history… Although Harry survives, he goes so far as to reach this only and very rare state that is to accept his own death. How many people have the opportunity to accept his death before dying?

Q. This is an experience near to all. When one has seen death in a close person he asks himself how this look will be that we will never see, what will happen afterwards. A. Definitely. And I find it extraordinary that despite the fact that we all know we are going to die, death remains a mystery. We think that death is something secret that happens to very few people. And suddenly someone close dies, and then drops the bomb. Harry has an early understanding of death, long before chapter 34. And that has obvious parallels with my life. If someone in your life is near death, as my mother died, it becomes clear that death comes to us all. And it is something that you will have to live with forever.

Q. We live in dark and sad times, as you say in your book, and especially he. How do you live through this time? A. I have to believe in the goodness of people. I think that people are good by nature. But now I am very close to American politics. I am obsessed with the elections in the United States. Because it will have a profound effect on the rest of the world. The U.S. foreign policy in recent years has been affected, for worse, both to its country and to mine.

Q. And if you had a magic wand, what would you do? A. I want a Democrat in the White House. And it seems to me a shame that Clinton and Obama have to be rivals because both are extraordinary.

Q. This morning, when entering the hotel you carried The Times in hand, and on the cover was a picture of Hillary crying. A. Well, there was a tiny tear. And she can afford a tear from time to time. Political life is very tough for a woman. If you do not cry, you are a bitch. And if you do cry, you’re weak. It’s difficult. Instead, it is acceptable for men to cry.

Q. Loneliness, death. We speak of dark things. Maybe literature goes with that. A. Well, I think it was Tolkien who said that all major books deal with death. And there is some truth in that, because death is our destiny and we must face it. Everything we do in life is an attempt to avoid death.

Q. You said that he saw his soul as something enduring. A. Yes, it’s true. But I also said that I have many doubts about religion. I feel very attracted to religion, but at the same time I feel a lot of uncertainty. I live in a state of spiritual flow. I believe in the permanence of the soul. And that is reflected in the latest book.

Q. What makes you happy? A. Family and work, obviously. I consider myself very fortunate to have a family … My children are, above anything, the most important thing. Although it is very difficult to harmonize writing with being a mother.

Q. Before coming to see you I asked the Spanish screenwriter Rafael Azcona a question to ask, and he told me to ask his six year old granddaughter Sara, who is addicted to Harry Potter.

Q. That’s great. A. But you say we have to read books from the age of seven.

Q. Well, my eldest daughter was six when he began to read it. I always knew where it was going with the books. So yes, I think that a six year old can understand the first book [Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone] but the end is quite gloomy. The fifth book is the darkest of all because there is an absence of hope, there is an oppressive atmosphere. And I think that is why people did not like it so much. While there are readers who prefer that book to everyone else, it is a strange minority. The fifth, sixth and the latter I do not believe that the fifth, sixth and the latter are suitable for a six year old child.

Q. And when you wrote the first book, did you think of a specific reader? A. That is the problem. I called it a children’s story because the main character was a boy. But he was always a child that wanted to do more. And at the end he is a man, a young man, but a man. That is unusual in children’s books: that the protagonist grows. And I am extremely glad that people keep reading and enjoying books. They were greater with Harry Potter. But I never thought of adults as potential readers.

Q. Peter Mayer, the publisher, who was the first one to whom I listened to speak about Harry Potter in Spain, says that the key of the success is that the series has turned into reading for adults. A. Yes, it’s incredible. Only now I can look back and realize everything. For 10 years I could not allowed to think about that. I think that I did to protect myself. It is very difficult to live with such pressure, but I lived to deny the facts, all the time. After each publication I made an effort not to read any criticism.

Q. The literature saves people, or help to save them. How did writing affect you? A. I’ll tell you one thing. I saved lives simply by writing the first book. They always say to me that the world that I invented is unreal; it was what I used to escape. Yes, it is unrealistic to some point. But not because my world was magical, but because all writers escape. Also, I was not doing it only to escape but because I was thinking about how to clear up with matters that were worrying me. Issues such as love, loss, separation, death … And all this is reflected in the first book.

Q. What else gave this first volume? A. Post in a prosaic level, to write this book gave me the discipline, focus and ambition, which at that time was reduced simply to see the book published.

Q. How was the day of publication! A. I saw my dream come true. It was an extraordinary moment. I didn’t believe it, it was captivating. And almost immediately I felt as if a train was pushing me at full speed from behind, like in a cartoon. I thought: “What has happened to me?” Three months later I received an astronomical advance, according to my standards then. At that time, I was renting an apartment, and had no insurance or savings. Wearing second-hand clothes. You know, money was scarce, and having that money all of a sudden was extraordinary. That night I couldn’t sleep. The next day journalists began to appear, I got an important award, I was called by The Sun to buy the rights to the story of my life, and journalists began to hang out in front of my house. And I will tell you one thing: that made me very scared.

Q. Still afraid of journalists even now? A. No, not afraid. I remember a couple of journalists in particular that sensed my disbelief and my vulnerability and helped me. One of them told me that I had every right to keep my daughter isolated from the press, because I always refused to take her to interviews where they took photos. I am speaking of the press in this country, the United Kingdom. This is how it works.

Q. Your books seem to be filled with personal keys. A. I tend to use significant dates. When I need a date or number, I use something that relates to my personal life. I do not know why I do this, it’s a tic. For instance, Harry’s birthday is mine. The numbers or dates, which are in the books, relate to me.

Q. Writing the first book was entrancing. ¿Y la presionó el éxito, saber que millones de personas esperaban sus textos? And was the success pressures, knowing that millions of people were expecting their books? A. I took it very seriously, and did not think about it. Obviously, there were times when some news was filtered, especially during books four and five. There I certainly noticed the pressure, and I think that is evident in the writing.

Q. How was it? A. When I arrived at the fourth book I was heavily burned. I had produced a book a year for four years while raising my daughter alone, without a babysitter or support of any kind. I felt exhausted. And I actually thought, “I can’t do this anymore, I have to stop.” And I said this to my editor, that if this continued I would not be able to continue writing. And then I met who is now my second husband.

Q. You are Harry Potter. And as you said yourself: “Harry is mine”. Did you always know how it would end? Did you always know there were going to be seven books? A. always knew what was going to happen to him. From the beginning I had the entire plot outlined, without details, but I always knew that the story was going to end. And it has ended, but many fans are very upset. No hay forma de hacer resurgir la historia de Harry. There is no way to revive the story of Harry. Its history has ended. But ending it was very hard. It was devastating.

Q. The end is touching: “The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.” A. It’s symbolic. All repeat the line over and over again: that time heals. And it’s not true… There are things that do not heal, like when someone whom you love dies.

Q. You also wrote: “Harry Potter, the boy who lived.” The professor said it, and said that he survived because he was faithful to his convictions, and as a result defeated Voldemort. Are you like that? A. I wish I could say yes because I created a hero with heroic attributes… I read somewhere: “A hero is no more courageous than others. He is only courageous for five more minutes” Harry is like that.

Q. In all the books there is the awareness that you can save if you have friends, but the story of Harry is also a story of loneliness. A. I completely agree. I have given to Harry my fault, which is a tendency to shut myself up, to isolate myself when I am under pressure, sad or happy. I tend to isolate. But I know that it’s not good, that it’s not healthy. And that is what I gave Harry. While this is also what makes it heroic, preparing to act alone.

Q. Is Harry your hero? A. Yes, well, in real life my hero is Robert F. Kennedy. I created a child who tries to act with morality, which despite having been assaulted and injured physically and mentally is still attracted by the bright side of things. And it is true and fair, and I find all these heroic things.

Q. People fixate on the figures in their lives, as rich that is rarely in humans, it seems that they see them with a magic wand, like Harry Potter. A. Unfortunately this is the case. When I see my name on lists of powerful people, which I do little, I think about it. Power is not something I wanted, and also I have no power. Rich, yes, I am.

Q. Imagine for a moment that you have the ability to become invisible. A. To become invisible? That would be the best thing…

Avatar Image says:

I partially agree with what she says about women in politics, however it’s untrue that it’s always okay for a man to cry – Edmund Muskie did exactly that in 1972, and promptly lost the New Hampshire primary because voters thought he was weak.

For the most part, crying actually helped Hillary – she was considered more human, not weak.

But ita with the bitch comment. I don’t like Hillary, but I still hate how she’s villified.

That said, OBAMA ‘08!

And I have no problem with her expressing political views. As long as she doesn’t try to force them on anyone, it’s all good.

Avatar Image says:

That’s right, we really shouldn’t be focusing on politics at all. Why not instead enjoy the literary aspect of this interview, which is far more interesting and so different from the usual “How is it like to be insanely rich” line of questioning?

- I agree with her political view, by the way :P -

Avatar Image says:

Obama/Clinton or vice versa would be a bad idea to me. I’d love Obama/Edwards though! Nice to see her interested though.

Anyway, I wish JKR could talk about Petunia specifically sometime soon. Petunia is really interesting to me…

Avatar Image says:

LOVED the interview, it was very deep. about symbolism, religion, and death. She is a truly magnificent woman.

Avatar Image says:

Well said Values – and why every once and a while do you guys have a post with different font that goes all the way across the page- just wondering?

Avatar Image says:

Thanks very much to the two people that translated the interview!! And no, she didn’t do the interview in Spanish because as far as I’m aware she speaks French, Portugese and a little German, but not Spanish.

To the idiot saying that Jo has stuck her nose into American politics- why should she have “stuck her nose in”? Do you see the elections as something private that only Americans can have an opinion on? The results will have an effect all over the world. Not that I give a stuff about who wins, but there are a lot of non-Americans who do, and they have just as much right as any American to talk about it!

Avatar Image says:

Well said. free speech and all that. everyone’s entitled to say whatever the hell they want about the election and have an opinion on it..

Avatar Image says:

“If I had a magic wand I’d put a Democrat in the White House.”

(lol) I am SO with you there, Jo! But we probably don’t need a magic wand to get a Democrat in the White House at this point. Most people are really mad at the Republicans. I just hope its Obama.

Avatar Image says:

Interesting interview. Thanks for the translations.

I will have disagree with her political view, I’m quite a right-winger myself. It’s nice to see her political opinions, and she stated it in a very nice way.

Avatar Image says:

“And the world will definitely not suddenly become a better place because a Democrat is in the white house. Just having someone knew in charge may provide a breath of fresh air and some momentum for their policies, but their will still be individuals and groups which will continue to pose huge, and sometimes dangerous, challenges. Posted by J on February 09, 2008 @ 05:51 PM”

Well said. I would add:

Of course she wants a democrat, all Europeans seem to. That is what our liberal left aspires to, to turn us into Europeans. I like Europeans. I like Jo. But I do not want to BE a European. Despite what a lot of the world seems to think of us, I am proud of being an American.

Also, if there is not supposed to be “name calling” on these forums and we are all supposed to keep it “civil” then I would call on everyone to stop bashing the republicans. It IS offensive.

Avatar Image says:

Indeed, American politics effect people around the world, and everyone has a right to an opinion.

Avatar Image says:

sigh. Actually, I’ve always thought Italian politics were much more fun…. Rosianne, TML….thank you for doing such a great job, so quickly, and for your thoughtfulness to all of us Chocolate bowl is filled and on the counter for all to share….

Avatar Image says:

Yay for the democrat comment! Kisses to Jo.

Was anyone else freaked out that she sort of implied that the scar not hurting for 19 years was Harry deluding himself?

Avatar Image says:

Thanks to the two very awesome people who translated this!

What I thought about the interview was how deeply she talks about the messages and themes of the last book, but also gets into books five and six also. I think, knowing that, it helps to understand the character of Harry a little more.

I also thought it was interesting that she mentioned her desire for seclusion coincides with Harry’s and that the dates/numbers in the books all have meaning to her. It’s true that all authors put a little bit of themselves into certain characters or other aspects of the story, but I just thought it was interesting for her to talk about that.

Avatar Image says:

LemonFaerie-

How is having a Democrat president going to turn us into Europe? Not that I’de mind, since I’ve no patriotist at all and would LOVE to be in Euro.

Avatar Image says:

Hey guys. Everyone is right in saying bashing is something no one here should have to deal with. Let’s remember the TOU and keep comments to the topic at hand. Thanks! :)

Avatar Image says:

Well, I hope Obama gets the Presidency (since so many candidates dropped out)- I think he could handle it and would do alright. I’ve got nothing against a female President, but I just don’t like Clinton at all. Anyway, politics tend to give me a bitter taste in my mouth (especially American politics, being an apathetic native).

Sooo yeah… how bout them Harry Potter novels, eh??

Avatar Image says:

Rachel – I wasn’t sure what to make of that quote actually! It does sound like that’s what she’s saying though, doesn’t it. “It’s symbolic. We all repeat the lie again and again: that time cures everything. And it’s not true. There are things that aren’t cured, such as when someone you love dies.” ...I will be working over this one for a while I think.

Avatar Image says:

We’re trying Jo! We’ve tried desperately hard to get a Dem. back in the White House and we’re about to try desperately hard again. I loved Edwards as well, but the best thing about all of the Democratic candidates this time around is that I don’t feel like I’m just voting against someone. I actually get to choose between great people who will do good, if different jobs and who CARE about the people more than the Oil Industry, Corporations and Stockholders.

You guys, even if you’re not old enough to vote, you’re old enough to get involved with the campaigns. So, my advice is call your local campaign headquarters and volunteer. This is your future at stake. Don’t just sit back and let us adults muck it up. We need your help.

Avatar Image says:

Am I the only one who doesn’t see the word “bitch” as a reason for caution? I mean, anyone who has read book 7 is familiar with that word…

Anyway, a huge thank you for the people who translated the interwiew before Leaky posted the transcription.

Avatar Image says:

I support Clinton, but Obama would be an acceptable substitute, I would love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket, as long as the Clinton name is first.

Avatar Image says:

Hey Amy-Thanks for responding! Good to know I’m not the only one confused. Please post if enlightenment strikes (i.e. you have a “come to Jesus” moment.

Luiz-I feel the same way. It’s not as if Jo is saying a cold woman is a “bitch,” she’s just showing her frustration that non-emotional women are so easily labled such. And of course, if a woman chokes up a little as Hilary did it’s all over the news that she broke down, is an emotional wreck, and, in Cinton’s case, can’t take the stress of a presidential campaign. Just more proof how society always seems to assume that women are inherently weaker than men and shouldn’t hold positions of power due to their “fragile states.” OK, rant over.

Avatar Image says:

Hey, back to my 2nd post, I meant to say “patriotism.”

Avatar Image says:

My husband bought me a Republican’s for Voldemort t-shirt a couple of years ago and to me it was the most offensive thing I could imagine. You may hate Bush, you may disagree with Republicans or Conservatives or their positions, but the attitute by the left wing in this country (the USA) is pathetic. I really want to know if people expected Bush sit on his hands after 9/11/2001 and not do anything. The fanatical Islam attached our country. Things may not have been run perfectly in Iraq/Afganistan, but I blame that on the military leaders on the ground; that is who the President was listening to about what to do and what was needed. Things are going much better today since the change of leadership on the ground and the surge. In spite of it all, if you Democrats/liberals think Clinton/Obama are going to pull the troops out of Iraq you are sorely misguided. They will not do so as this country will then be seen as a coward by the Muslim World. I do not agree with Bush on everything, he is wrong about not closing the borders and granting citizenship to illegals, he failed to put a halt to outrageous spending by a Congress that was lead for most of the time by his own party. I love JKR’s books, but stay out of my country’s politics. You have your own leaders to elect.

Avatar Image says:

Rachel- I was also confused about that quote about Harry’s Scar. I hope to hear more about that. Does she mean that Harry was lying about his scar not hurting, bc that definitely changes things. Maybe I am thinking about this too much, a little over excited, but any ways.

Avatar Image says:

She’s saying that “time heals all wounds” is a lie; the scar hadn’t pained Harry in nineteen years, but time does not heal all wounds.

Avatar Image says:

About the scar comment, she herself said it was symbolic. Harry is happier now in his life, much happier: he has a family and there’s no evil dark lords chasing after him. Hence the scar comment. However, just because Harry’s life is more peaceful now, it doesn’t mean all the bad things in Harry’s past has gone away. He’ll still have an empty place in his heart for his parents, Sirius, Dumbledore and everyone else who died when Voldemort was alive. That’s what I believe she was saying here. He’ll always miss them.

Avatar Image says:

This is a rare interview because the questions were so intelligent and knowledgeable. Jo is usually asked the same banal questions over and over again, so this one must have been a relief for her. Very enjoyable to read, so thank you for bringing it to us.

Avatar Image says:

I’m so glad Jo is a Democrat! Or would be if she were a U.S. Citizen. And I also agree about Clinton and Obama, they would be the perfect Democratic dream ticket.

Avatar Image says:

Lisa, the conflicts you are referring to also involve the UK. (Thousands of UK troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorist attacks on the UK, very close military and diplomatic relationship between USA and the UK)

And the policies of the USA affect the whole world. People are entitled to their opinions. Foreigners do not, however, get to vote; and that is what will ultimately determine who the next president is.

And I say this thinking JKR is wrong on this issue.

Avatar Image says:

I love JKR’s books, but stay out of my country’s politics. You have your own leaders to elect.

That was so uncalled for. Its not a private affair, and everyone has their own opinon. Regarding this interview, it was interesting. I especially like the parts about harry’s vulnerabilities which were shown throughout the books. THe tendancy to isolate, was that a cause of the dursley’s or was it always in his inherent nature (which dumbledore nurtured perhaps)

Avatar Image says:

Lisa – I do agree that there are things that Conservatives and Liberals stand for can cause a rift and cause some people to take offense. I am a liberal supporter, and I personally don’t think the president could have turned a blind eye after 9-11. We were attacked, and therefore need to stand up for ourselves.

However, we’re in the last year of his administration, the conflict in Iraq is and has been a civil war between two different groups vying for power. It’s time to let them sort it out themselves, and people are recognizing that.

As someone else said, it’s time to elect a leader (be it Clinton, who I support 100% Obama, or McCain) who is focused on making this country better for its citizens and isn’t solely looking out for the well being of those in industries that they alone can benefit from, or causes that they continue to feel are just and right.

And both Conservatives and Liberals can benefit from a leader like that.

Avatar Image says:

Thank TML and Rosalie, that makes it a bit clearer. On another note, I really appreciate what she said about loneliness ans self-isolation. I too have felt this way, and it makes me feel a little less lonely to hear that I’m not the only one.

Avatar Image says:

Sorry Lisa, but the outcome of the US elections doesn’t just effect the US, it effects the world.

So Jo and me and everyone else around the world who is taking an interest in this election because of how it will affect Britain, Australia and other nations around the world, are going to keep on having an opinion about what happens in this election.

You are entitled to disagree with her opinion, you are not entitled to tell her not to have an opinion.

Avatar Image says:

Lisa, as others have stated, ‘our country’s’ politics affect the rest of the world. We are not an isolated void that has no impact on other nations-quite the opposite, as you know. If Jo Rowling ‘stayed out of America’s politics,’ I’m afraid I’d have far less respect for her. The implications of someone who has no opinion on issues like these-or who doesn’t speak of that opinion when prompted—would be pretty dire for that person’s character.

Avatar Image says:

WHY does my stupid text keep striking out??? Ohhhh, I just answered my own question. It’s the dashes….isn’t it. Blast and tarnation.

Avatar Image says:

Jo is certainly entitled to her opinion.

I am an American and very proud of that fact and our country. She is absolutely correct that what happens here will have a ripple effect elsewhere. That is why the thought of Obama in the White House frightens me. I can’t think of one defining act on his part that would qualify him to govern one of the most powerful and influential countries in the world. Charisma and a nice smile should not be deciding factors when choosing a candidate.

Alas, I like Rudy, who is now out of the running! I am going to have to do a lot of research on the remaining candidates!

Avatar Image says:

Really not so many people like book5? I LOVE IT! It’s my most favorite. Good interview! And i completely agree with Jo about Clinton and Obama. They shouldn’t be rivals. Anyway, i love you Jo!!!!

Avatar Image says:

Brie- Ear ear! Book five has so mush pschological drama rather than just plot (not that any of these books are just plot!) I didn’t know that it was so unpopular.

Avatar Image says:

I meant to say “much.” It’s late, enough said.

Avatar Image says:

I am saddened by the comment that Jo should stay out of “our country’s” politics.

Eh buh wha? Um, aren’t we supposed to value freedom of speech in the USA? And aren’t we supposed to believe that everyone (and yes, then even includes non-Americans gasp) is entitled to speak their mind?

What a shame that so many people seem to think that freedom of speech means: “You can say whatever you like… as long as you agree with ME!”

Ah, the sweet smell of hypocrisy.

You don’t have to like what Jo says about US politics, but please let’s not act as though she doesn’t even have the right to say it just because she’s not American.

Avatar Image says:

Woo for Rosi! I love you!!

Avatar Image says:

To Jeff, way back on the first comment page: please refrain from judging peoples’ religious views based on their political affiliations. It is quite judgmental and uncalled for. Plenty of democrats are religious, and plenty of republicans are not.

And of course US politics affect other countries. We are a globalized society.

So, yeah, the interview…. I love that quote about a hero only being braver for five minutes longer. So poignant and so true.

Avatar Image says:

P.S. – sorry, I was so caught up in all the political drama that I forgot to give a huge “thanks” to everyone who helped with the translations!

Avatar Image says:

One should travel in Europe before an American presidential election sometime – it is an eye opening experience! (I spend 3 and a half weeks in Europe in October 2004)

I also “take offense” to the idea that because I am a liberal, I am unpatriotic, and unAmerican! I am very proud of my country. I fully support my friends and neighbors in the military… and many of the people I met today at the Democratic caucus ARE ALSO proud liberals who have spent time in Iraq… a country that had NOTHING TO DO WITH SEPTEMBER 11TH. 15 out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabians… yet Saudi Arabia is still our ally and “good friends” with George Bush (he visited them recently)

Oh, and if you think that JK Rowling hasn’t been “political” in the past – you need to reread the books.

Avatar Image says:

Ah one more thing to those who support one Dem. candidate while hating the other… keep this in mind…. they are very similar in so many policies, etc. and as was said at my caucus today, all Dems need to be proud of the fact that we have an “embarrassment of riches” in that we have had such strong candidates in the Democratic party this year, including the two current candidates.

Avatar Image says:

Excuse me but may I please know what I did wrong this time, my first post is gone again, I dont think it said anything worse than what others are saying on here and I didnt swear- so please what did I do now.

Avatar Image says:

This is it I give up on discussing politics in public its like wishing to swim with JAWS. dangerous territory. DA na …..Da….. na ….Da na Da na Da na !

Avatar Image says:

I’m in the “strange minority” of people who like book five best. I read it at a time in my life when I was far from home and completely isolated. I felt just as isolated and angry as Harry, and his courage to stand up and fight helped motivate me to get out of a situation where I was miserable. It’s the utter desperation that makes the triumph of the DA’s actions so rewarding. It will always be my favorite in the series. I guess that makes me unusual!

Avatar Image says:

no it doesn’t Kimberly it is my favorite book in the series besides HBP- take guess why I like that one-LOL, I like the OOTP because it show how people can accomplish something when they use their allies. And I loved how Sirius and Harry bonded before Bella went bonkers and killed her own kin. shows that Snape wasn’t all to blame as well.

Avatar Image says:

JK Rowling says that she can’t understand why people call her powerful… she’s powerful because people try to be like her, and if she says something is true, the world’s going to believe it! Which means this article just about wraps it up for us US Republicans this year. Shame.

Avatar Image says:

Don’t get me wrong here… I absolutely LOVE JO!!!!!!!!!!! Go harry potter! wahoo! but… (don’t hate me cause i have a different oppinion) the stuff hillary is saying sound almost exactly like socialism…

Avatar Image says:

I agree with your worst nightmare!!!!!!!! I still love jo tons though! i just don’t agree with her on politics…

Avatar Image says:

Well, universal health care doesn’t equal socialism (unless you think Canada is socialist) Interesting interview though! I think it’s fine for Jo to state her political views because she isn’t trying to get everyone to agree with her. I’m sure she expects her fans to think for themselves.

Avatar Image says:

Vain cant, Mrs. Rowling.

Avatar Image says:

I’m definitely for Clinton. Obama wouldn’t be a bad president at all, but I really like Clinton’s decisiveness, the fact that she wants to make changes immediately, while Obama seems to be on tenterhooks about a lot of things and I worry that things won’t really change much under his presidency.

Avatar Image says:

I just love it when people who know little about politics, economics, or science, but happen to be well-known celebrities, choose to comment on politics, economics, or science. Celebrities should limit themselves to commenting on things they understand and do well.

I understand trucking, and I’m prepared to talk about it for hours. There’s no way I’d allow an interviewer to get me to comment on things I don’t know much about. There’s no shame in being ignorant on a topic, only in opening your mouth and proving your ignorance.

Avatar Image says:

I’m supporting Democrats too! And completely agree with her on the Obama-Clinton issue. I really loved her answers, ok, so when do I don’t? But she really is one amazing lady. Btw, I didn’t know she still prefers to write with a pen.That pen is more powerful than any wand Jo, keep going!!

Avatar Image says:

Just for information, despite what Jo says in her interview she donated money to Hilary Clinton’s campaign.

If you are going to compare Hilary to socialism look up the European, like UK’s current government, it’s not socialism in the traditional sense. Also, there is no way the US will be able to change our government infrastructure with one president, the possibility of US turning socialist is obsolete. We are not like UK, UK has had centuries to switch their various political infrastructures and they have, but US has not. US has only two terms in office UK PM doesn’t have this restriction, they are more flexible in change, than we are. Also, in the US you can’t change anything without the Congress, and after Bush’s run we have a highly Republican Congress and Senate.

To J from a Latin American country, you are mislead if you believe that Republicans are going to assist your country the Free Trade Agreements are set up to give tax breaks to corporations so they can out source to your countries, without acknowledging the labor laws upheld in the US. If you would like more information regarding this let me know or reference CAFTA and NAFTA as well. Senator Clinton, in Congress, proposed that the Free Trade Agreements just needed alterations, for instance making the corporations responsible for ensuring labor laws were upheld. Clinton never stated to rid of them, she thought they were beneficial, and could ultimately stimulate these economies but without certain protections could take advantage of their people. And it has, just reference Wal-Mart and the uprisings in the Latin America countries because of its spread. There have also been protests in many of the European and Australian countries.

I am just spreading some knowledge, not saying you could read the same information and not have a different opinion. If you want more information on any of the above, let me know and I’ll send you reference points.

Avatar Image says:

Ironic that while there are so many parallels to the wizarding worlds conflict with Voldemort and our real life conflicts in the middle east, the trend of thought here seems to lean strongly towards non intervention. It’s like this place is full of Ministry of Magic people. Will ignoring the worlds evils make them go away? Do you think debate would have worked with Voldemort? It clearly did not. Do you think it will with Osama bin Laden or other extremist leaders? Some evils in this world have to be faced and cannot be ignored.

I really shouldn’t read this website or interviews from JK anymore. The more I read, the less enamored I am with the wonderful universe she created as I become less able to separate the author from the writing.

Avatar Image says:

Tommy, my wages are already garnished to pay for universal heath care. I live in Australia.

And I’m extremely happy about it. A portion of my wages are going to help people who are less fortunate than myself, who might be unable to work because are ill, were poorly educated, or were simply unlucky. We should be pooling our resources, working together, and helping the less fortunate; not sitting back in our nice, air conditioned suburban houses while farmers shoot themselves en masse because a drought has ruined their livelihood.

Trucker, just because someone is a writer, doesn’t mean they are completely ignorant of everything else. As the United States government likes to stick their noses into the affairs of other countries, usually for personal gain, the rest of the world tends to have an opinion on whom they would like to govern the USA, even if they can’t action that change directly.

If you are ignorant of everything besides trucking, that’s fine. But there is no need to insult people who know that there is more to the world than what they themselves do for a living.

Avatar Image says:

Well sorry folks… Voldie now adays is Bin Ladin and the Dems are more like people from the ministry of magic under the Imperius curse and Bush I have to admit is a stumbling Mad eye type…. but in the end correct. But the bigger question is Why the heck on my web site where I can escape from the world do we (and Jo) need to reel us back to politics????

Avatar Image says:

What a great woman!

Avatar Image says:

While I’m personally supporting Obama, I’m a little confused as to why people are talking about it so much on this particular comments board. Yeah, it looks like Jo supports Hillary Clinton. Must we make a big deal out of it? I know nobody’s arguing, I’m not trying to say that…But I’m already a bit weary of presidential talk and would prefer we talked more about the things she revealed about Harry Potter, rather than her views on Hillary Clinton.

Avatar Image says:

I hope people who think “Republicans for Voldemort” is funny have thought about what it really means. Even if it’s tongue-in-cheek, it says that you think Republicans would support someone who murdered innocent people, practiced genocide, tortured teenagers…and the list goes on. Republicans are people too. For the most part, they’re just trying to do the right thing, even if you don’t agree with them about what the right thing is. Harry Potter should be for anyone who likes the books, and the prominance of the “Republicans for Voldemort” thing indicates that oh, never mind, it’s just for Democrats and/or anti-Republicans, because Republicans are associated with the Death Eaters. Do you really want to laugh over a slogan that would make an enormous chunk of US HP fans feel as though they didn’t belong in fandom?

Avatar Image says:

I completely agree with Marauder and others who think that famous people shouldn’t comment on politics. It’s fine for her to have her perso nal opinion but I hate how she has to connect world politics today with Harry Potter. I still love Harry Potter, but like Marauder says it just ends up alienating people.

Avatar Image says:

One has only to READ in order to familiarize oneself with politics. I do not mean reading books by ignorant corporate pundits and crackpots. I mean reading books about the middle east, reading actual bills and not the Noise Channels interpretations of bills, reading actual speeches, keeping up with who votes for what, who introduces what bills, who makes a big deal about bills they introduce only to turn around and vote against their own bill when people are no longer paying attention, reading and paying attention to who is being appointed to what positions and reading up on their past associations. Obviously, Jo READS.

Avatar Image says:

Of course famous people should comment on politics! (slams head on keyboard) They live in this world just the same as anyone else. They just have the advantage that their voices can be heard. It’s only the the most closed minded, dictatorships and zealots (and news channels) that censor the voices that can be heard, ask Salman Rushdie.

Avatar Image says:

It’s so amazing that Jo waited 17 years to use those lines by Dumbledore and for Harry to accept that he’s going to his death. It must have been one of the first things she came up with, that he was going to sacrifice himself for everyone as his mother sacrificed herself for him, and that her original sacrifice tied him to the world and he lived. Fantastic!

Avatar Image says:

Jo is perfectly entitled to express her political opinion, and the reader is perfectly entitled to ignore it. It’s as easy as that.

I thought her comments about solitude and Fitzgerald were very interesting. She seems a fascinating, intelligent, complex woman.

Avatar Image says:

A lot of people on here remind me of Rita Skeeter. Its an opinion people, not absolutle. Leave her be.

Her comments about harry were much more interesting that who is going to be the next POTUS.

By the by, the UK has the House of Lords and the Crown, before anything can become Law. And the Lords like to delay. ;)

Avatar Image says:

Go Jo!!! A woman can cry whenever she feels fit!!! =]

Avatar Image says:

How can some say Jo isn’t allowed to express her opinion. It’s her opinion, just as you have you’re own opinion, and you are allowed to express it. The moment you start talking about people shouldn’t give their opinion on certain things, you’re talking about censorship.

Avatar Image says:

Why is it wrong for anyone, WHATEVER THEY DO FOR A LIVING, to comment on ANYTHING???

To think that celebrities should keep their mouths shut on ANY SUBJECT is NONSENSE. Why should they be expected to behave differently than the rest of the world??

Come on people. Would you be as upset with JKR if her views coincided with your own??

Avatar Image says:

I laughed at the words ‘very strange minority’. I’m proud to be one of the ‘strange’ people who preferred OotP out of all the books (though DH is now my favourite) :)

I also agree with those who say JK has a right to an opinion on US politics because they do affect the rest of the world as well. Even I have an opinion on the US election, even though I’m so bored to death with UK politics (especially sick of the sleaze) that I can barely muster enthusiasm to watch our TV news and for the first time ever may not even bother voting at the next UK election!

I’m for the Democrats, probably Clinton because I get a gut feeling that Obama lacks experience at the present time.

I have got to ask people, what on earth is so wrong with being Liberal?? Why does it seem such a dirty word and ‘non-American’? I think it’s funny, because Conservative is a bit of a dirty word with me, since it brings back memories of Maggie Thatcher and the ‘I’m all right Jack’ breed of politics.

Avatar Image says:

Oh no. She wants Obama or Hillary!? Why do all my heroes turn out to be democrats!?

Political affiliation does not a good person make.

Avatar Image says:

Well, Jo, you’re my hero and all, you’ve changed my life forever…but I disagree with you on politics. If the Democrats get in control I seriously don’t know what’s going to happen to the country, or the world, really. This war, not matter how horrible it is, is what need to happen to keep the world safe. Do you not remember the attacks on our county back in 2001? I realize that the people we are fighting in Iraq are not the same people, but they are terrorists. This war is to suppress them and spread liberty and democracy in the world. We are as much protecting our county as we are the Middle East. I’m scared of what might happen if we pulled the troops out.

On top of that the Democrats are way too forgiving to illegal immigrants for my liking. They broke the rules and are taking jobs. We need a president who will protect Americans and not vote for amnesty. American jobs, including my father’s, have up and gone to other counties. These jobs are not coming back, and this is a sad time in America. He’s found another job, and we need a president who will at least keep that job here. I really was a fan of Mitt Romney, it’s too bad that he dropped out of the race.

So, Jo, even though I love you and would do anything for you, I disagree with you on politics. While I do not agree with everything Bush has done, he did choose what was right or what was easy. Isn’t that a core message of the series? Harry Potter has taught me the horrors of war, but the books have also taught me you can’t just give up. We must make the difficult choice and carry on. Yes, I will vote Republican in this year’s election.

Avatar Image says:

Jo makes me sad. I used to gush over how glad I was that unlike all the famous snobs, she let me enjoy her books instead of deciding it was time to insert her political/social views into everything. If she had done this before the books were finished, fine. But I find it interesting how she waited until afterwards to start this. Before, she barely towed the water. Now that all the books are out and the majority that will be sold has sold, suddenly she’s going full blast with political/social positions.

But as a Christian I can never vote for a Democrat. Most Democrats support the greatest holocaust in human history—abortion. I can never vote for someone who continues to support the murder of my little brothers and sisters. But I also can’t vote for any republican left, aside from MAYBE Mike Huckabee. Methinks I’ll be writing in for Jesus Christ this election.

Avatar Image says:

@Ashton, I won’t bother to respond to your comment on Jo waiting until DH to go “full blast with political/social positions”. We’ve all been down that road too many times before.

””But as a Christian I can never vote for a Democrat….Methinks I’ll be writing in for Jesus Christ this election.”

I’m a Christian and I’ve voted for Democrats as well as Republicans. Frankly, I’m sick to death of both parties. I’d love to see some new blood in American politics.

By the way, is Jesus Christ going to declare his candidacy?

Avatar Image says:

“I completely agree with Marauder and others who think that famous people shouldn’t comment on politics. It’s fine for her to have her perso nal opinion but I hate how she has to connect world politics today with Harry Potter. I still love Harry Potter, but like Marauder says it just ends up alienating people.”

I never said I thought she shouldn’t comment on politics. I will say, though, that I hope people don’t automatically adopt her opinions on politics just because she’s an influential person. Writing Harry Potter doesn’t mean she knows any more or less about politics than any other random person off the street. I also hope she doesn’t think that being a famous person (for writing children’s books, especially) gives her some sort of special political knowledge or insight.

If it was JKR saying “Republicans for Voldemort”, I’d be mad at her. She didn’t, so although I could do without hearing her political opinions, I’m not mad at her, just the people who think it’s okay to compare a large percentage of the American population to Death Eaters.

Avatar Image says:

Don’t fool yourself that the Republicans, esp. one who admits he doesn’t understand the economy but its okay because he “bought Greenspan’s book” and will read it (McCain), will stop jobs from going overseas. The Republicans voted to give those same companies sending all of thsoe jobs overseas HUGE tax breaks while forgetting the backbone of America – the middle class. It was Ronald Reagan, the idol of the Republican party, that was the one that gave amnesty to illegal immigrants. The Dems have the right idea… don’t punish the immigrants (codespeak for. the brown people) but how about going after the people HIRING someone illegally.

If jobs and the economy are of a concern, perhaps you should look at Obama. He is for giving tax breaks/incentives to those companies who will remain in the US, and provide jobs to Americans. He also has some good ideas about replacing some of those jobs that have become obsolete, etc. with developing green power (visited such a company in Washington state yesterday. That company has provided at least a 1000 “green jobs” and its is still growing)

Avatar Image says:

@ Harry’s Girl

“By the way, is Jesus Christ going to declare his candidacy?”

No. As he said in J 18:36 “My kingdom is not of this world” it’s clear he’s neither Democrat nor Republican. :)

Avatar Image says:

So, JKR should not be allowed to express her opinions because she is famous and people will hear them, but all of us nobodies are allowed to spout our political views here on this comment board? And that is fair how?

One of the privileges of living in a democratic society is that citizens are allowed to be directly involved in politics. All citizens. Not just rich citizens, not just poor citizens, not just famous citizens, not just anonymous citizens. All citizens. In our globalized society, politics of every developed nation affects people all over the world. JKR has just as much right to express her opinion on American politics as everyone else does. She was not doing a campaign ad for any candidate; she was simply expressing her opinion, as so many people on this board are. She made no offensive comments about anyone, which cannot be said for all of the posters on this board. (Ashton – please keep your judgments to yourself – if you are pro-life, that is great, but please do not insinuate that democrats cannot be Christian. That is highly offensive.)

So, everyone, can we please stop acting as though JKR is the new poster child for the US democratic party? She just expressed her opinion, just like you guys. If you want to have that right, you had better be ready to extend it to others as well, whether they agree with you or not.

Avatar Image says:

Wimsey, where did you get that awesome t-shirt?

Avatar Image says:

I am a Democrat in the states and let me clear some things up. Dick Cheney might as well be Voldemort. He has only his best interests in mind and no one elses. On rare occassions when George Bush tries to disagree with him he usually overruns George. As for Republican’s being a better party toward Latin Americans, take a look at the Mariana’s Islands and see what the Bush Administration and other Republican politicians/lobbyists want for you. Please don’t be gullible about the free-trade agreements. Dems want that too but with a moral compass as a guide and not greed. As for abortion, Democrats are always painted as pro-abortion. Nothing can be farther than the truth. We are “Pro-choice” meaning we want women to have a right to choose which is different than “Pro-Abortion”. We hope women choose to keep the baby or adopt out. What we are really saying is that government needs to stay out of personal matters like family planning. Right to choose means we want women and men to be informed about choices of birth-control to avoid unplanned pregnancies so they don’t get into the position of having to choose. The right-to-lifers believe the opposite, that birth control leads to premarital sex so let’s not educate people on these matters. Funny, I don’t see a decreased difference in unwed pregnancies statistics in the Bible Belt vs. inner city and urban poor societies. Premarital sex is running rampant everywhere in the States. The only place where unwed pregnancy statistics are down are among the educated middle- and upper-classes in urban areas of the U.S.

That is why Dems believe in the right to choose, so women are in control of their bodies and consequently reduce the number of women needing to make the decision of whether to abort or not.

Another point I want to make is that we have a large number of people in the States who listen to Rush Limbaugh. This guy might as well be Lucius Malfoy, only worse. He hates everyone that isn’t just like him, just like Lucius hates Muggles. It is so ironic to me that the Christian right are his audience as he promotes hate and are fooled just like the Ministry of Magic was. George Bush is just like Fudge, clueless and enjoying the benefits of his position as long as he doesn’t have to think too hard. The Republicans’ are busy building alliances especially with Evangelicals, but once the Republican’s get into power, they don’t care about the alliances (e.g. evangelicals, Tony Blair, Afghanistan…) anymore. Oh they may elect a few judges, do photo ops with leaders, throw money at problems and foreign governments but that is just an offering to appease their alliances that truly don’t matter to them. Their true goal is turn back the clock and impose wedges between the haves and have nots, and to implement go it alone foreign policies because they believe the U.S. is superior to the rest of the world and we don’t need you. Now they have gone too far and our economy and global peace may not survive. Please see the current U.S. csadministration for what it is and know our only real hope is if a Democrat wins. And as a Democrat, I’m even disappointed in Hillary because she has resorted some campaign games that I am not proud of. That leaves Barak if we want true genuine change. Pray for us in the states. Thanks Guys!

Avatar Image says:

For the darlings talking about the fear of socialism. What do you think our roads, police, army and schools are about? And are we supposed to let fellow Americans just collapse when disaster or illness or layoffs cuts them down? Insurance and savings is not enough these days. Good hard working people are barely making it. Frankly, I vote independent. But right now a little sensible socialism with fiscal responsiblity is much better than facism. We need balance. We need responsiblity. We need both sides to work together. And it wouldn’t hurt to have someone who can string two sentences together and will pick the brightest and best minds out there for their cabinet.

Is that a Democrat or Republican or Independent? You decide and please go vote!!!

Go Jo! I can’t believe she said that! I thought that was brave of her. I’ve been hearing a lot of opinions from people overseas and this election is very important to them.

Avatar Image says:

Edit——Sorry dolls, it’s fascism not facism. My bad. However you spell it, me no likey. And apparently Miss Jo doesn’t like it either. I think she wrote a few books about it. LOL Anyway, keep fighting and keep reading! Be informed.

Avatar Image says:

Brenda, aside from your various comments about individual people, you’re being way too generalizing about pro-life and pro-choice positions. I believe that you and a lot of other pro-choice people aren’t “pro-abortion”, but there really are pro-choice people who have some very specific ideas about which kinds of people should be aborted and why. Pro-life people have a variety of different opinions about pre-marital sex and birth control.

I don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, but I did read his first book from the early 90s because I found it at a library sale where a whole shopping bag of books only cost a dollar and I was curious. I’m not sure what he’s like today, and I didn’t agree with everything he said in his book, but I certainly didn’t get the impression that he was like Lucius Malfoy.

I’m not big about tying real-life politics to HP, but I will say that you seem to be dividing the world into, as Sirius would say, good people and Death Eaters.

Avatar Image says:

Seriously, guys, I am not a mod, and I have no authority or anything here, but could we please stop the sniping? It’s coming from both sides. Brenda, I too am an american democrat, and I would define myself as liberal, as much as that is seen as a “bad” word by some, but even I am offended by your comments. Presenting your opinions in such a manner adds no value to a discussion; it merely turns people away from you and paints your viewpoint, and others who share it, in a bad light.

This is not the first time that JKR has spoken out about politics, and I doubt it will be the last. She is politically aware and active, just like myself and many other people on this site. Instead of letting one person’s opinions create a rift between us, could we not celebrate the fact that such a diverse group of people have all been brought together through one thing? I think it’s pretty cool that we have seen in just seven pages of comments that HP can bridge the gap between people of different countries, widely differing political views, and various religious persuasions. Could we all take a step back for a second and remember that….?

Avatar Image says:

omg, jkr is my HERO she’s so awesome i worship her she has such a good heart even tho shes so famous and i sound really, really stupid but i had 2 get that out :]

Avatar Image says:

I always assumed JKR leaned towards the left because I read that she was a fan of Jessica Mitford (of whom I’d never heard) and the article described Mitford as a radical. (Not saying I know ANYTHING about Mitford, just saying the article described one of Jo’s heroes as being decidedly left-wing).

In fact, when it comes to any artists I pretty much assume they are liberals unless they say otherwise. Their political views are unrelated to the respect and admiration I have for their work and their talent.

When it comes down to it, there are good and bad examples for both ideologies. Stray too far to the left, and you have Joseph Stalin et al. Stray too far to the right, and you have Adolf Hitler et. al. But on the good side, Abraham Lincoln was a Republican and FDR was a democrat. (I only wish one of them was running for president.) : )

Avatar Image says:

Ultimately, isn’t the Harry Potter series about how personal values affect a person’s actions? There can be a big rift between what a person believes and how that person’s behavior affects those around them – or in a President’s case affects nearly everyone. Understanding that, I vote based on how a candidate’s voting records and decisions will affect the world and how well those effects match my values. A candidate’s vocalized values hold very little sway in whether they will actually enact policies that make the world better.

Christian values, including the most important one: loving and caring for those around me, most match those of the Democratic party. The Harry Potter series is a Christian one, and as such, no fan should be surprised that JK Rowling also supports the American party that most allows equality.

(And how did the Republican party become the one that protects us from terrorism? The biggest foreign attack on our soil by Islamic Extremists came during a Republican Administration, Bush’s, after he had been on vacation for a month, and nearly 4,000 American troops have died in Iraq since. Americans are still being killed by terrorists, we’ve just made it easier for them to do so. Likewise, to imagine Democrats have destroyed the economy when we’ve been under Republican rule for the better part of a decade is very strange indeed. I also urge some posters to look up the word “holocaust” in a good dictionary and consider that offending others does not help their argument.)

Avatar Image says:

Tyler, I rather agree with you. You can always find terrible extremes, on all sides.

From my own experience in Latin America, it also goes both ways. Yes, we’ve had extreme right wing military dictatorships. (heck, when I was but a baby my country’s dictator was of such extremes that entire towns were wiped off the map).