Followup: More on JK Rowling Honor from City of Edinburgh


Jun 28, 2008

Posted by SueTLC

Last August we reported that the city of Edinburgh, Scotland was seeking to honor J.K. Rowling for her contributions to literature. Tonight the Scotsman has more on this, as they report the Harry Potter author will be “immortalised in a Hollywood-style “walk of fame” in the quadrangle outside the City Chambers, where she will leave her handprints.” J.K. Rowling is also due to receive a new award to honour those “whose outstanding achievements have brought honour to Edinburgh”.

The paper continues to note hopes are high this will bring more visitors to Scotland, and to the city of Edinburgh. A spokesperson for VisitScotland said “The Harry Potter books were started and finished in Edinburgh, and naturally the city attracts a lot of interest from fans around the world.” Ms Rowling was one of several Edinburgh-based writers to front the capital’s bid to become the first World City of Literature, which promotes Edinburgh as an inspirational city for writers.”

Many leading figures in the Scottish literary world are expected to attend a gala dinner, with a source from the local city council stating “It should be a fantastic occasion. We’re trying to ensure as many other Edinburgh people who have won major awards over the year will be there so they can share in the occasion.” You can read more about Edinburgh as the City of Literature via this link. We do not yet know what date this honor will take place, and will of course update with more on this as we can.

20 Responses to Followup: More on JK Rowling Honor from City of Edinburgh

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Congratulations Jo, you deserve it!

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Deserve it, they owe it to her. She’s a genius.

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It sounds like a marvelous way to honor Jo, Edinburgh and the City’s literary tradition. We were able to travel there a few summers ago and it is one of the neatest places I’ve had the privlidge to visit.

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How awesome! Jo certaintly deserves it. I’ve always wanted to go to the U.K., and now I have an even bigger desire. And it’s funny, the trio got to put there handprints in Hollywood, and now Jo gets to in Edinburgh. :)

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Congratulations, Jo!* Going to Edinburgh, Scotland is one of my goals in life!*

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Cool! Well done Jo! If anyone puts our Capital in a good light, it’s Jo Rowling!

I’ll go and take some pictures when her hand prints are out!

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it´s all about tourist-business. Not Jo´s work is honored but the potential to attract some brain-washed girlies who will drag their families along ” oh,pleeeeaaase , daddy I have to go to edinburgh to stare at Jo´s meaningful handprint!”

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Scotland… I wanna go to Scotland!!! sniff

Not Edinburgh especially, but sniff

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Be good.

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I’ve always wanted to visit Scotland, even without the handprints. Alas, maybe I should enter more sweepstakes. : (

But JKR is so nice, she is always game to make an appearance and be the center of attention, even though she does not like it. Some people don’t appreciate how hard it is to force yourself to be the center of attention when you don’t like it. I myself wouldn’t like it, so I think it is so nice that she’s always game to do it because she knows it gives us a thrill.

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Edinburgh is a wonderful city. The first thing that will strike you the moment you come out of Edinburgh train station is this grand castle perched on a hill to your left. And on the right in stark contrast of a shopping high street! But it is a lovely city with extremely friendly folks. Outside of Edinburgh, you’ll find Scotland has beautiful landscapes, lochs, and mountains to explore if you give yourself a few days or so. I used to travel up to Edinburgh and Glasgow regulary in an old job of mine and used to always look forward to it! Its been many years ago now, so I must visit it again soon. I can see why Jo loves it there.

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Aaah! Aaaah! No! Stay away! there are too many people here anyway, especially in the summer! Aaaargh! flees to Highlands

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But JKR is so nice, she is always game to make an appearance and be the center of attention, even though she does not like it. Some people don’t appreciate how hard it is to force yourself to be the center of attention when you don’t like it. I myself wouldn’t like it, so I think it is so nice that she’s always game to do it because she knows it gives us a thrill

how clever of her that she makes her greed for attention look like a sacrifice

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SAY NO FOR ONCE, come to think of it. I don’t want anyone walking on your hands in any form. I don’t like the idea at all. I think there are better ways to show you respect and honor in Edinburgh.

In Holland they have these wonderful Stones with Carved Pictures they put into the walls of their brick houses. Why doesn’t Edinburgh come up with something like that – a wall of Story Bricks instead? That would be more worthy of you then people stepping on your hands all day.

The whole thing feels wrong. Please don’t do it. Please.

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I have already wrote several letters of protest to try to get the City of Edinburgh to RETHINK the idea. Last thing I want to see in the World is people stepping on J.K.Rowlings hands. Horrible concept for a writer. JO SAY NO PLEASE!

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Helyx Helyx- I really don’t think many people would step on it though, most would have the courtesy of stepping around it and would admire it rather than ignore it by walking on it. Plus, how cool would it be to have your hands immortalized for all eternity, after all, as you pointed out, Jo’s hands were vital for her success:)

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I will tell you a story. When I moved to Amsterdam I used to go running in Vondelpark with my downstairs neighbor. We would pass this statue that she referred to her “goddess”. She touched it then continued to run with me. One day I went to get her, and she was very sick. Her family took her to the hospital – and she had a serious viral infection she couldn’t get rid of.

I went jogging back alone in the park and saw that someone had trashed the sculpture she identified with – right where she had her infection. It stayed like that for several months – with my friends condition not improving. One day I went out to go jog, and found her joining me. I was surprised but we took it slow through the park. We made it to the place where the statue was – and it had been restored.

I thought about that, and it’s haunted me. A Writer needs to feel free to work with their hands – which I am discovering now writing my own short stories. The whole idea of people touching imprints, or walking on her hands feels wrong. Her mother has had serious health issues. Last strange thing I want to have happen to J.K.Rowlings is something that affects her ability to write in any shape, form or manner.

Put it this way, how would you feel knowing that people you never met, nor would ever meet would touch your hand prints? When you shake a persons hand – you make personal contact with them but YOU have the choice to shake or not shake. In Cement J.K.Rowlings loses this right, in her life that is constantly invaded. She has done enough interviews, put on the face for the fans, but she does mention in most interviews she doesn’t like doing them because it makes her feel like she has to put on a face and act.

Respect and Honor does not mean removing even a part of your essence for it – real Respect means people appreciate to let you create what you enjoy, and not put on fake smile, lean into cement, smile again, push your hands in cement, smile again, get back up with tabloids trying to get shots of Jo having dirty cement hands. I can’t think of anything more degrading for a woman.

So, no it’s not cool, it never was cool, I will be sick that day that she does it, crying that here is this woman who has to compromise herself – for what? A cement hand print?

This is a woman who put books into our hands, got millions of youth and people of all ages to start reading again. I can’t think of anything more disgusting to do to her than to make her a puppet in the public. Jo can make mud pies with her children, but I hope she says NO to cement..

I might have caused a stir coming up this week with the letters I sent .I don’t care if people hate me for doing it, but some of this fan stuff is downright stupid and degrading and most people know it but won’t admit it.

I have a friend who is a Cultural Treasure of Belgium who worries about the day they make a statue of him. I told him to design one that lights up. He laughed. No one likes the pedestal bit. What was cool about him is when the Prince gave him the honor, he came to a small reception with his partner, and just was himself with a medal stuck to his tux.

The Prince did not make him stick his hands in cement – but the people who were there did not need to see any marks or monuments. – just his smile. That was not fake. He goes to Japan and cannot have one minute alone without people taking pictures of him, but he is friendly enough to do it.

I prefer to hear that him and his partner finally got a chance to go have a vacation, or work on their house. His work speaks for itself, and people love him for it, just like people care about Jo.

I think the coolest thing Jo could ever do is if she can’t stop it – that when it comes time to do it – she just chucks in some of her candy wrappers and a few dry ink pens into the cement.- taking a plastic sandbox shovel and smoothing it out and say, “There, That is what fame is – empty wrappers and pens without ink – while Hearts are what you feel inside by what I created, and respect needs no monuments – in cement!.”

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@Helyx Helyx

I never thought of it that way before. I really respect your passion for the subject and can tell by your words this really means a lot to you. If you haven’t already, you should write what you just wrote in your post in one of your letters. Maybe it will cause the Edinburgh people to rethink the hands thing and do something else (such as the carved pictures you mentioned.) Whatever happens, I just hope it’s something Jo appreciates that doesn’t make her feel like a walking advertisement, which the handprints could turn into.

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Even though I respect the fact that you feel that way, I think it’s just a coincidence and that you’re blowing it entirely out of proportion.

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Dear Helyx,

Thank you for your email. The hand prints are a part of the celebrations for the Edinburgh Award – this is bestowed by the City of Edinburgh Council on an individual who has played a significant role in the development of the city, and is not a literary award. As a result, it is not administered by the City of Literature Trust, but by our local Council, and is only awarded if the person selected accepts the honour – JK Rowling has done so, and so her hand prints will be set in stone at the City Chambers, alongside previous recipients of the Award.

Thank you for the information about the Sculpted Stones. There are many similar initiatives in Edinburgh which we at the Trust are helping to develop – quotes from famous writers are celebrated in Makar’s Court, a space dedicated to writers of the past, our Parliament has quotes set into the building and we are working with other agencies in Edinburgh to develop our Poetry Garden – a space for spoken and written poetry to be celebrated in the heart of the city – see our Poetry Garden web page.

Dear Mr. Helyx,

Edinburgh City of Literature 30.01.08

Thank you for your suggestion. Your suggestion has been forward to Corporate Services for their consideration.

You can get more information on the Council and its services on our website

If I can be of any further assistance, please contact me using any of the details below.

Yours Sincerely

Edinburgh Government Offices. 30.01.08.

I don’t care if people dislike me protesting it – because there are better and more creative ways to Honor people.


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