J. K. Rowling Discusses Inspiration for Minister of Magic and More in New Interview

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Feb 04, 2008

Posted by EdwardTLC
Uncategorized

Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling is the subject of an interview which ran this past weekend in a number of Spanish language publications as part of the XLSemanal section. This interview first took place a number of months ago and features Jo speaking of her inspirations for events and characters which played heavily in the Harry Potter series, a little about her past, and candidly about her husband, Dr. Neil Murray. We are still awaiting the entire interview and will provide more here when we can. In the meantime, here are some rough excerpts from the interview which appeared over the weekend:

About the relationship between September 11, 2001 and Harry Potter, Rowling denied any influence and recognizes the true inspiration for Minister Cornelius Fudge: “My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain during the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.”

She also spoke about her two marriages, saying: “I had decided not to marry again. In seven years I hadn’t met anyone who liked me so much. And I remember that I thought: I have a daughter who I adore, I have success, and deep down, I am happy. My sister introduced us and I thought he was a very solid person. He’s an excellent doctor in his profession, and he works in a world that is far away from mine. What I most adore about him is that, everyday, Neil knows more people that want to know if he can help them, without having to ask who he is married to.”

She didn’t avoid talking about her first husband, Jorge Arantes, who Jo was married to for nearly two years: “None of the characters of my books are based on my ex. Whatever happened in our marriage, the truth is that my ex-husband contributed fifty percent to one of the most beautiful things that has happened in my life, which is my eldest daughter. So, I’d never used him in a fairy tale. He’s her father.”

Readers able to get their hands on a copy, and can translate the interview, please do send them in!

Thanks to Alejandro and Harry Latino for mailing.





88 Responses to J. K. Rowling Discusses Inspiration for Minister of Magic and More in New Interview

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oh, that’s so nice to talk this way about exhusband, she is so great!

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That was a nice thing to say about her Ex. Awesome Lady!

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wow. i cant believe it. nice goin j.k.r.

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With all of the money and acolades, it is so gratifying to know that she is “grounded” and above all modest. I would be so easy for someone in similar circumstances to get to full of themselves. The fact that she is still a kind, compassionate, and considerate person makes me admire her even more!

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i luv Jo….!!!! she is amazing!!!

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“My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain during the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.” Tthe girl knows her history too. If only country leaders and their administration could also take a keen interest in learning lesson from history. Alas.

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One word, “classy.”

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didnt she say in the past that part of her idea of Voldemort was from Hitler and the Death Eaters were an inspiration from KKK? I could almost swear I have heard that from her more than once. she doesnt say it here but she has said it before.

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no, i heard grindewald was based off of hitler…

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I think you’d find that both were possibly based on Hitler.

A lot of Voldemort’s policies and actions that he takes through the ministry were very similar to Hiltler’s policies and the actions of the Nazi party

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Classy, graceful, and a historian! More than that, modest and forthright! My kind of “hero”...someone not only I and my children, but my children’s children and their children, can really look up to and emulate!

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Well said confederate Lady! this series like critics have said for along time now will indeed go up on the classic shelf with LOTR, Wizard of Oz, Narnia, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer and on and on…., I was right in saying that the Death Eaters were inspired by the KKK, if not the 4th movie really hyped that assumuption up by their costumes! And how can she have said that Gellert was inspired by Hitler, I agree with Slayer they both probably were but we dont even read hardly anything about Grindlewald.

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well in DH they said that Grindlewald showed remorse in later years ( not saying that what he did in the first place wasn’t terrible and he deserved having to live in his own prison) and Voldemort showed no remorse AT ALL for what he did and from what I’ve heard Hitler didnt show even a teensy little bit of remorse either so I’m guessing that Voldemort was mainly based on Hitler. he’s “purebloods first” and “magic is might” and “prune to keep your family ‘healthy’” resembles Hitlers beliefs

but this is getting so off topic, i love you Jo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ur so amazing we all love u =]

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Yay, Jo! I so love how she is so considerate about her ex because of her daughter. That Hitler thing is interesting. I’m a writer, myself (no books published yet), and her books are my absolute BEST reference point. I love Jo!

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i always thought the HP series and especially Deathly Hallows reflected the gradual Nazi occupation and eventual horrors that followed. The whole atmosphere of Deathly hallows was actually terrifying, reminiscent of reading memoirs of people in hiding during the rise of Nazi and the diary of Anne Frank also spring to mind. JK has of seasoned her wonderful series with a lot of mirroring of real world history, prejudism, politics, religion which makes the books so much richer.

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Jo is an avid reader of all things Mitford and over the past few years has written a forward for the recent edited diaries of the six sisters and is also featured on the blurb for the recently published letters. The strangest of the six (and of course Jessica and Deborah were/are wonderfully normal) wa, of course, Unity who literally fell in love with Hitler just before WW2. I have no doubt that the character “Bellatrix” who is also obsessed with Voldemort, was based on the mad Unity.

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yeah, I know I posted two seconds ago, but, just if J.K. Rowling is cool enough to read these, WE LOVE YOU. Your books are my absolute favorite and have helped me through a lot of hard times. Thank you for your inspiration and imagination. And I’m speaking for a lot of other people here, too.

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“My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain during the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.” Joanne

Which means you indirectly criticize all governments especially those in the EU which are not in the “Coalition against Terrorism. And you think Iran, Iraq and North Korea belong to the “Axis of Evil”. Marianne

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Nice words about her ex, there…I must say, though, that it remains a source of great and pleasant surprise to me that we’ve never actually heard anything from this Jorge Arantes guy. I can just imagine that a lot of people, when faced with the unusual situation of an ex-spouse suddenly becoming one of the world’s biggest celebrities, would go running straight to the tabloids to dish dirty “insider” secrets and pocket a huge wodge of cash for the trouble; Jo would seem a textbook target for that kind of rubbish, so that’s why I’m surprised and very relieved that it hasn’t happened to her. I guess common decency does prevail sometimes, after all… :)

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@Marianne: What in the world are you talking about? Crazy nutter.

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I’m not a fan of Harry Potter, please don’t bury me alive. One of my close relations is, though. The Hitler thing is weird.

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@ Peter, then why bother coming here, I dont get it , some people come on these fan sites just to spoil the happieness of others- you didnt thank you but others have in the past. Oh yah, when have people who like star wars or harry potter suddenly been considered freaks or geeks? I find that rude- it was on The power of 10 game show and the host said ” ok all you star wars and harry potter fans get your geek glasses on?” then he asked what percentage of americans think Darth Vadar is more evil than Lord Voldemort? go ahead and answer if you like- pretty close call both are bad. sorry I know that was off topic, just thought I would share.

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Don’t criticize me:( I was just browzing. I’ve read some of hte books, but I don’t LUV them like some of you do. That’s kind of biased. The inntelectuall challeges of a slowed bianary mind lead to personal and uninquisative circulaion of self-consciousness. Purrrleeeze. I’m just not into fantasy.

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I know Harry Potter, but not Star Wars. I prefer Lord Voldemort, though.

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Love the interview! It’s always making my day hearing from Jo. :)

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Yes, Peter. You are so true. I am a huge fan of Harry Potter, but I appreiciate people who stand up for their beliefs. I should know(inside joke, snicker). Oh, and the circulation of some self consciences are actually orbited around the beings of Immediette concern.

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Thank, you, Jean.

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@Peter, don´t worry. I´m not either. “Jason” called me a crazy nutter because I realized that Mrs. Rowling had made a clear political statement. To me Mrs. Rowling´s words about Hitler and Chamberlain are not weird. It´s just very typically to make “clever” statements when times has past and learned us what happen if we act in the wrong way. Mrs. Rowling always speaks about choices. She makes it herself very easy to condemn Chamberlain. Well, his decision was probably wrong, but it´s too easy to judge afterwards. If she really was a courageous woman she would have told us her opinion about modern policy. I simply think: if she condemns Chamberlain´s decision she is pro war in case “The End justifies the Means” . By the way “Deathly Hallows” supports the ideology of “The End justifies the Means”.

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@ Marianne

I don’t think you’re nutter.

I agree with you on the whole Chamberlain thing. (and that’s all I’ll say here about politics)

“By the way “Deathly Hallows” supports the ideology of “The End justifies the Means”

...but I cannot agree with you on this. DD’s plan went wrong to some extent and don’t forget, that he felt remorse for his wrongdoings.

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as always, thanks to the Leaky staff and the other fans who brought these interviews to our attention; really looking forward to the full translations

and with that, I’ll place the bowl full of chocolate frogs and other Honeyduke sweets on the counter so everyone can help themselves

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@ailinne,

thank you. That´s really kind of you. When I spoke about “The End justifies the Means” I meant the use of Unforgivable Curses by the “Goodies” who had not to face any consequences for this. I was really upset about Hermione´s behavior towards her parents.

Take care.

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How FACINATING! This really proves so many theories correct HOW COOL! What a brilliant woman!

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Thank’s. The Hitler thing isn’t that weird… It’s actually quite igenious.

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Marianne, what the heck are you talking about?

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@ Peter, and anyone else who may have misunderstood me, cause clearly you have. I by no means did not say you shouldnt stick up for what you believe in I simply asked why bother coming here if you dont like it – that was retorical by the way. If you didnt notice I thanked you for coming here and saying it politely. That last bit I wrote about star wars and HP was just something I heard- I dont know why Im worried ,stupied really. WERE not geeks! whos with me? By the way Peter I was the one that reminded you guys about Jo comparing Hitler to Voldy- glad you think shes clever, I quite agree.

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I couldntt have abetter role model!! I mean HELLO?? shes the greatest.

However it played out, Jo definitly put a llittle spritz of Hitler into moldy Voldy (en lieu to Peeves) and Gellert, so however she did it, “she did good”

I <3 JO!!

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“If she really was a courageous woman she would have told us her opinion about modern policy. “

Gag! Get off you high horse

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I tried to get a hand on this interview to translate it , but no maginzine or newspaper mentioned in Harry Latino gave the chance to read it on-line. A pity I dont live in Spain myself. I see forward to a friendly soul who will share it soon in Leaky.

It´s easy to say nice things from an ex as you don´t have him near you any more and the years have gone by. She has a lovely new husband, three lovely kids and enjoys writing and her well earned money. Why should Jo bother speaking ill of him ? Anyway, he will feel very sorry indeed for the break up, and this is justice.

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Narcissa is Diana Mitford

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@Marianne: Why would Jo talk about her take on modern politics when answering a question about her inspiration for Fudge and his decisions? Fudge was created most probably in the early 90s. Also, with the fact that Voldemort and his Death Eaters so closely resemble Hitler and the Nazis, it is fitting that she uses a WWII figure as inspiration for the head of the wizarding government as well to make a more whole allusion. If she were to model Fudge after Marget Thatcher or Tony Blair, he would be a lot different and wouldn’t be the character we know him as. How is it “not brave” for Jo to not talk about her views on modern politics in this instance when the point of the interview is to talk about her books and their influences? Jo has spoken about her views on modern politics in other interviews before, though. And I don’t see how speaking her views would make her brave. Forthright? yes, but brave? no. Not unless if she does she will be punished in some fashion, which I don’t see being the case in England.

To address your other point: yes, hindsight is 20/20, but that does not mean we cannot judge the past and learn from it. You know how the cliche goes.

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“Jo is an avid reader of all things Mitford and over the past few years has written a forward for the recent edited diaries of the six sisters and is also featured on the blurb for the recently published letters.” M Jones

Please tell me what is the exact title of the book of edited Mitford diaries which Rowling wrote a forward to. I would like to read it very much. Thanks in advance to whoever knows the answer.

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I sent in a translation, so hopefully they’ll post it soon – it’s a really interesting article! I just hope I submitted it correctly because I used the “Contact Us” form.

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she’s a great lady just like her series…:)

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@ sevvy , what have you been drinkin- Narcissa is played by Helen McCrory. end of discussion.

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Bella i think Sevy was speaking of who she was modeled after – her historical person

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I just read the Spanish announcement that JKR is coming to libraries in Spain, and I was in tears, they wrote it so nicely.

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@Marianne I don’t want to be rude…so don’t take this the wrong way…cause everyone is intitled to there own opinions, and one must respect other peoples opinions even if one doesn’t agree…

I don’t get it?

How do you get this: “Which means you indirectly criticize all governments especially those in the EU which are not in the “Coalition against Terrorism. And you think Iran, Iraq and North Korea belong to the “Axis of Evil”.”Marianne

out of this: “My model of the world after Voldemort’s return was, directly, the government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain during the Second World War, when he tried to minimize the menace of the Nazi regime for political convenience.” Joanne

I don’t believe she supported for the Greater Good in the 7th book, she continuely showed how people were flawed throuhout the entire series, Dumbledore starting in book 5 (correct me if I am wrong) with him not telling Harry about Voldemorts plans and the prophecy, and even more so in book seven she shows he had had realization in them…he was a teacher and not a governor (in the politcal game of power sense not in the title sense) he rejected power so he wouldn’t abuse it. Fudge in his earmst efforts to show that nothing was going on nothing was wrong and in his blindness toward Dumbledore he created a hostile government that was weak and easily corrupted (Umbridge) He took over the newspaper and tried to decieve people. He didn’t want to face adversity and he dug himself in a hole, trying to make people believe he was a good leader.

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Hello to everybody who is not willing or can´t understand what I said. I do not think Mrs Rowling is such a naive person who is just talking about the past. I do not know if you guys care about political realities. But it´s a matter of fact we have got some similar situations today. Germany is not willing to send more troops to Afganistan just because the US administration wants it. And judging after what Mrs. Rowling said about Chamberlains decision to try a more decent policy towards the Nazi regime is the very same as saying th NATO members who are not willing to send their military forces to fight dictatorships and terror groups like Al Kaida are too cowardly to fight. Don´t get me wrong. Mrs. Rowling used a historical person as archetype for Fudge, indeed. But it shows very clear which position she has got in terms of the of idea as war as a righteous instrument to fight “evil”. Nothing more or less. Rowling talks about choices. Chamberlain probably made the wrong decision. Alright. But what would have been the right decision for Mrs. Rowling instead? She really should tell. And now calm down guys. No reason to get angry.

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How interesting that it was based on Neville Chamberlain’s government.

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Current governments over the world are sticking their head in the sand over climate change and could be compared to Fudge.

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She loves her daughter. Her daughter is really lucky. She is the first daughter in human history who is loved by her mother. When will Jo get an award for loving her daughter?

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Not so crazy. In the English speaking world, Hitler is just the symbol for overall evil. In fact, he was real, the Nazi-phenmenon had a past, has apresent and even a possible future; so JKR isn`t doing as such a great favour by simplifying things again. It won`t be enough to be just good, we “have to know” (B. Crouch jun. as Mad Eye) to do good. I liked Jo`s idea of the “abandonned boys”, a pity she didn´t specificate Bye the way, wich one is Harry more similar to in DH, the Flaw…,p.596, Jesus or the rising Hitler…saviour, leader..?

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@Uli, in my opinion Mrs. Rowling clearly supports (not just through her statements but especially by Deathly Hallows) the idea of “War on Terror”. “War on Terror” is not just a political idea, but a religious one, too. When the Alliance against Hitler fought the terror regime in Germany it had nothing to do with goodhearted intentions. It was a question about power, vengeance and retaliation. When Japan´s Kamikaze pilots bombarded Pearl Harbor (which was a coward and brutal act) the Americans simply wanted revenge. The idea of freeing the world from a brutal Japanese war power was not the intention, when Hiroshima and Nagasaki got destroyed.

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Marianne, You are making a huge leap of inference, connecting an author’s comments about the inspiration behind a character to the author’s private political belies! JKR’s reference to the 1938 Munich Accords is simply conjuring up a well-embedded image or platitude in British (and to lesser extent US) popular culture: “If only we had stopped Hitler in 1938, then…” or at most “if only the British PM had firmness of convictions”. To read more into that reference might be fun, and we could create and invent meanings for the HP series and claim those are ‘really’ JKR’s beliefs…but that would be false logic and a projection onto her of our spinning fantasies….

IF JKR had said, “they should have stopped fascism in 1936 by defending the Spanish Republic”, then you would have a clear political statement that would indicate her views…sorry, 1938 and Chamberlain aren’t as definitive as you seem to think.

So, this might be a fun conversation to have in a coffee shop or pub. But, only as long as we recognize that whatever meanings we invent aren’t JKR’s but our own.

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@budb, well. Some people think about Quidditch other people think about the message behind the message. That´s life.

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Fudgian politics inspired by Chamberlain’s appeasement politic? then clearly from the post-war perspective of it, because the maiority of the English public thought it a very reasonable politic at it’s time. Except criticts form the Conservative corner as Winston Churchill. Chamberlain never went in denial about the power of Germany, as Fudge does. He knew very well that England was far from ready to oppose Germany , nor were the Dominions prepaired to go to war and as most Western politicians Chamberlain thought the Sowjet Union a greater thread to worldpeace then Germany. Had Germany declaired war on Russia in 1938/39, the alliance would looked completely different.

For racial ideology one doesn’t have to leave England, because the one that inspired the Nazi was the 19th century writer Houston Stewart Chamberlain ( not clear how he was related to the prime minister).

Girls in love with Hitler, calling mad? mmmmm, 50 years after the act maybe, but in it’s time not that abnormal, there seemed to have been quite a few women who would throw themselves at this icon of power who inspired a whole nation.

What I however like to hear from Rowling about the Grindelwald item is a parallel with ” The Other Minister ” where she paints in her world a link between the Wizard and the Muggle World. Did she think about such a link at the time of Grindelwald too? There is a perfect candidate for such a connection, not Hitler but the mystic of the Nazi’s and head of the SS, Heinrich Himmler.

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I don’t get what’s the big deal about Jo knowing a former prime president of her own country, especially one like Chamberlain. (I’m just pointing to all the posts saying she’s a ‘historian’. Who doesn’t know about Chamberlain? I’m from Finland and I, of course, know were the leaders in Europe at the time of WW2 and before it.)

Anyway. She seems like a very nice person.

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I don’t think what Jo has said about Fudge being based on Chamberlain, is stating her personal opinion on the current situation. It’s merely Jo, using a piece of history, to help shape a character within the HP series.

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budb—well said! : )

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Marianne, JK Rowling is a FICTION AUTHOR, not a politician. She is not obliged to take a stance on “The war on terror”. Peter and Jean, I think you should get together and form a spelling support group.

Thanks to whoever posted on the Mitford sisters – Bellatrix, Narcissa connection. Fascinating! Does anyone know if she has directly been asked a question relating to this in an interview?

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who are the Mitford sisters? sorry sevvy I thought you were just posting some random person and saying thats Narcissa.

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the ministry always reminded me of communist russia

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She’s my idol..after everything, the success,the fame, the adulation, she’s still one of the most humble,grounded people you’ll find. I love you Jo!!!

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Actually, Chamberlain reminds me more of Scrimgeour – aware, but ultimately helpless and Fudge reminds me of his predecessor, Stanley Baldwin.

Marianne, I respect your beliefs about the ‘War on Terror’, but there are plenty of people in the world who do not view Al Quaeda in the same way you or President Bush does. Iraq had patently nothing to do with the September 11 attack (they were mostly from Saudi Arabia) and Saddam Hussein was a sworn enemy of Osama bin Laden. To lots of people around the world, this makes the US (and British) invasion and occupation of Iraq nothing more than an imperialist grab for oil (and in Afghanistan’s case, natural gas pipelines).

That way, Germany refusing to send more troops is not appeasing Al Quaeda (if they could find Saddam Hussein, they could find Bin Laden if they really wanted to). It’s just they don’t look at Al Quaeda with the same eyes as the Bush administration.

Anyway – back on topic – the idea of basing the three Black sisters – Andromeda, Narcissa and Bellatrix – on the Mitford sisters is fascinating. In the same analogy, Andromeda would be Jessica Mitford.

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With all this talk of Fudge being based on Chamberlain. Does anyone else think certain bits of Dumbledore are based on Churchill? I know Churchill repeatedly spoke out against the appeasement of Hitler, which is rather like Dumbledore in OotP. When he is trying to tell the whole wizarding world that Voldy is back.

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Neil, that would be one of the implications…tho it would be hard to imagine Churchill starting a secret society dedicated to fighting fascism and preserving the British parliamentary system (and Empire!)

Marianne, I’m sorry, but you are imposing an impossible meaning onto JKR’s writings and public statements. The novels were conceived (pun intended) and the writing begun before 9/11, before the invasion of Afghanistan, and before the second Iraq War. If you are seeking a political meaning beneath HP, why not think in terms of the IRA Provos, the extreme Scots nationalists of the 70s, the Lockerbee bombing, and the occasional home-grown terrorist actions by extreme groups in Britain during the 80s and 90s….for example, the National Front. Those events would have been current and part of JKR’s life as she began the HP series….conversely, the events you are trying to link her work to lie in the future when she began her project. I’ll agree they occured roughly half-way through the process of writing the novels, and could have influenced her—tho I cannot find a specific statement by her, nor any spcific scene in the novels, that would prove the point. Unless of course you want to make the argument that she had classes with Trelawney and could See?

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Doesn’t this seem like one of those times when Harry would turn to the arguing Hermione and Ron and say “Shut up, the two of you!” LOL Everyone is entitled to their own political opinion, and yes, you are entitled to state it, even here. But it will PROBABLY NOT convince anyone else to change their political opinion. Jo wrote this story because it was one she had in her mind and soul. She probably did not sit down and outline it to correspond to the history of Nazi occupation, and I bet she didn’t think the book needed to be prefaced with “Any similarities between fictional characters and real people is purely coincidental” I think she did draw many comparisons on real people, but it is all up to the reader to interpret…and interpretation is but an OPINION, unless it comes straight from the authors MOUTH! I love to read the comment sections unless it gets so uptight and criticizing. There’s enough drama on TV.

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I dont know who the Mitford sisters are PLEASE someone excuse my american iggnorance and explain so I know what the bloody hell your talkin about! Yes after reading HP I find myself talking like a brit. Then explain who Bellatrix would be if Narcissa is Diana and Andromeda is Jessica.

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Haha, it’s a basic pillar of fiction-writing that characters or narrators’ expressed views do not equate to the author’s! It is a very useful tool to play characters off each other in order to create irony. In other words, Marianne and others, stop translating JKR’s words in an interview into literal terms – you’re leaving massive gaps in what you infer. I’d like to think you’re just winding us up to take us off topic, but sadly you are probably being genuine.

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BellaSnape, might I suggest either Google or Wiki for information about the Mitford sisters? There’s a wealth of info about them online and not really on-topic in this discussion.

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Roni, you have me chuckling…perhaps in part because I always envisioned the Muggle Prime Minister as looking just like Tony Blair! ;-)

Only a few more months (9 months and about two weeks) and we’ll have the HBP film to talk about….

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Ha! I figured it out with your advice JOJOJO. Unity is Bellatrix, Deborah is Narcissa, and Jessica is Andromeda. Their descriptions sound like she took them into consideration when creating the black sisters.

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Bellasnape here’s info on the Mitford sisters http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitford_sisters

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Thanks Neil, I already went there, thus read my post above yours . But like I said thank you and thanks again JoJoJo. I dont know why I didnt try there to begin with slipped my mind I guess.

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if anyone can scan and email me a copy, i’d be happy to translate!

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I read the interview in XL Semanal and I’m truly horrified. It had been translated from an italian interview and they didn’t even bother to correct the names of the characters. Albus Dumbledore is referred as “Albus Silente” (some translation to spanish of “Albus Silenzio”, the italian name of Dumbledore, and Lockhart is named “Allock”. What were they thinking?

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I, personally, am also a fan of Eragon as much as Harry Potter. I love Jo, though. She is my role model. One of her character’s b’days is on mine. HaHaHa!

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Lupinette, can you lead us to the original interview then, which is hopefully available online?

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I’ve read the excerpts in Spanish, and here are some corrections to the English translation:

- ...Voldemort’s return was, indirectly,... - ... government of Neville Chamberlain in Great Britain in the dawning of Second World War… - ... in seven years I didn’t meet anyone who I would have liked to have close to me… - ...So, I’d never punish him on the page.

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I have just read some of the comments and I would like to say this: I believe it’s safe to say the JKR is against war, doesn’t like war, anymore than any of us. However, IMHO, what she does say is that it’s no use denying the evidences of something going wrong, because that will not prevent disaster, on the contrary. Very much like what happended before the WW II, in fact. If the countries (namely Britain) had reacted when there were signs of something going wrong in Germany, maybe the war could have been prevented. But they didn’t react, they just “gave” Hitler a free reign. And the rest is history… Mind, when I say react, I don’t mean invading a sovereign country, because, good or bad, Hitler was elected democratically…

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You can read it here: http://blog.panorama.it/libri/2007/12/17/harry-potter-sono-io-jk-rowling-si-racconta-a-tutto-campo/

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And this is the original quote that worries you. Maybe someone can translate it…

L’11 settembre ha cambiato qualcosa nella sua visione? Gli ultimi libri sono più bui e violenti. Ho pianificato i sette libri di Harry Potter fin dall’inizio, e Voldemort è riapparso nei miei libri prima dell’11 settembre: è questo il punto di svolta. Il mio modello del mondo dopo il ritorno di Voldemort era indirettamente il governo di Neville Chamberlain in Gran Bretagna, alla vigilia della Seconda guerra mondiale, quando cercò di minimizzare la minaccia del regime nazista, per convenienza politica. Molte cose che avevo in programma di scrivere le ho poi viste accadere.

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Thanks for the URL, Lupinette! My Italian is rusty, but I’ll give it a shot and…if it makes sense…post it later

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Yeah, I heard Voldemort was based off Hitler. And JKR said that there were a bunch of parallels between hitler’s rule and Voldemort’s. She also said that her books were a ongoing argument (or something like that) against bigotry and injustice. I did an essay about JKR and I researched her, and i totally agree, she’s amazing. My freinds say that tshe says that stuff for publicity, but even beforeshe was famous, she worked for a charity association as a job. She’s amazing, not only because she’s an awesome writer, but because she’s so compassionate and kind. JKR Rox!!!!!!!!

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Thank you Jo!. The Fudge is Blair analogy never fit and I was despairing of the education system. However Chamberlain does fit . Our favorite author knows her history!

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@ Marianne I realize you are getting shall I say “ripped a new one” with your recent post, however, I take it you are American- as am I- because your POV is completely that of what was filtrated through our television sets and especially FOX news, the reference to this being the Second Gulf War equating to WWII- has been publicized on their channels more times than I care to remember. I will give a run down of what really happened, quick synapse, and than you can do the research yourself on the issue- perhaps sticking to the same belief you are now.

1) Bush went into Iraq and broke peace treaties and international agreements set forth by the UN and other of our ally countries. 2) When Bush’s regime in Iraq didn’t work, because he dismantled the entire Iraqi civillian army, therefore, creating no protection against the outside influences of various fundamentalist Islamic groups- the media calls terrorists. Yes, Al Quida is one of them but perhaps you should do some research on Bai’th group in Iraq. 3) Al Quida was not a strong hold in Iraq until we infiltrated. 4) Al Quida was a strong hold in Afghanistan and Pakistan—remnants of we still see today, note the Pakistani PM. 5) The attack Sadam waged against Iran was American paid for, protected our oil rigs that were moving out from that area, because the Iranian government was allowing radicals to blow up our oil tankers. 6) Iraq and Iran were not against women’s rights until the fundamentalist came into power. Check out Saudi Arabia and the Bush connection on that one. 7) Osama Bin Laden was hired by the CIA, along with some of his followers, to help fight in the Eastern European conflicts. There is no proven association between Bin Laden and Hussein. 8) Hussein attempted to assassinate Bush Snr. 9) If notice in an atlas were it lists all the natural minerals certain geographical locations generate you will notice that there is two pipelines of natural oil running from Iran, the other from Afghanistan through Iraq into Kuwait- we infilitrated Kuwait, Afghanistan, set up military bases which enabled us for an easy striking point against Iraq. If notice in the first accounts of the war the main goal was to protect the oil fields, which the Iraqi soliders set fire to. 10) The American Occupation in Iraq has been highly critized for its biases, because it protects most Sunni areas, most of the voting took place in these areas, and Hussein was assassinated on the first day of Eid for some of the the other Islamic followers, which showed them that the government was making a religious statment their only recognizing what day they celebrate Eid. 11) More civillians were killed in Sudan, Sierre Leone, Haiti, and Putin’s Russia than because of Hussein.
  • I am not defending Hussein he was a tyrannical leader that was highly dangerous to his people of which he was suppose to protect, however, he ruled with an iron fist and to believe that terrorist groups were allowed to run wild during his reign is ignorance. The various Islamic fundamentalists are fighting to seize control over Iraq because we have left it in such disarray. *

The only reason I posted this is because as Marianne said we shouldn’t ignore our current political climate. However, I hope that this post shows drastic differences from the political climate of WWII in Europe and today’s war in America. And I don’t think anything should be thrusted into JKR’s mouth, because she enlightened us with some of her political beliefs. JKR is in a sticky enough situation as it is, because the media circus can spin anything she says. I just don’t think we should highlight our biases into someone else’s frame of mind. Please don’t be offended American reporting is far different than European, over 20% of our media is filtrated through the FCC, which reviews every press and news clip aired before allowing Time Warner or such companies to broadcast it.

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Ginny, i suppose i should clarify my own motives and positions, which actually are different from what most might guess at. I’m a professional historian, so the criteria i use when evaluating arguments like those that have emerged here (intersting how far the discussion roamed, huh?) deal with how the past is assurately understood, how the present is accurately understood, and how individuals (in this case JKR) are accurately portrayed…

I’ve pretty much ignored most of the historical inaccuracies that pop up in our Leaky conversations: they might grate on my nerves, that is on my professional standards, but 99% of the time there is no reason to get into a discussion here about such things. Two minor items as examples: Rute, sorry, but Hitler wasn’t elected, he was appointed…and Ginny, I assume your point # 7 in your thorough analysis includes the fact that the US during the Reagan-Bush I years fed arms and money through Pakistan in order to create the Taliban…used in a proxy war against the Soviets who had tried to protect their oil interests and frontier by sending in the Soviet Army in December 1979?

The popular image of Chamberlin that is pretty widely shared in the anglophone world is of naive and incompetent diplomacy…the newsreels show Chamberlin returning from Munich, waving his hat, and proclaiming ‘peace in our time’. That’s what JKR is conjuring with when she notes she indirectly used Chamberlin as a model for Fudge. But its just an indirect and general model, since Chamberlin did not then try to consolidate power or to silence his critics, as the fictional Fudge does. Although Marianne did not state this point, she implies (correctly) that the refernce to Chamberlin also carries with it another meaning: look what that incompetent “liberal” got us into, and it took a hard line conservative with a history of militarism (Churchill) to get us out of it. Is that what JKR meant? NO. Can we read into it, as our own personal interpretation: yes. Can we then say “that’s JKR’s position”: NO

To leap from JKR’s one liner about the inspiration behind Fudge in an eftort to attribute to her (and to the HP series) a specific political meaning is just wrong and illogical, it ignores basic chronology of events, and frankly unfair imposes a meaning on JKR’s works and on her that is not accurate, verified or true (such an imposition would be unfair to anyone: to try to figure out my personal political position on the basis of this post, for example, could lead to the wrong conclusions about what my personal thoughts are….). To my knowledge, JKR has never made a public statement about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that would indicate her personal poltical position; to impose a meaning without having verifiable factual information to substantiate the conclusion is just wrong to do.

Incidentally, a very minor point that has to do with some reactions to my previous posts…I personally was hoping that the “Other Minister” scene would make the HBP film, and that Tony Blair would get the role. This is not because i see the Muggle PM as based on Tony Blair, far from it. I simply think it would be funny as all hell, and indicative of Blair’s sense of humor, for him to play the part. No more, no less than that, an absurd and silly situation where the fictional world of HP and our everyday life get blended together to make us smile.

I’ll end this ramble with a question: what did happen to Fudge, especially during the final year when Voldy seizes control? I’d like to think that the Muggle PM, who may or may not look like Tony Blair, kept him in safe hiding….

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Marianne, I wanted to post this on the off chance you’d go back through this discussion.

Look, I apologize if I sounded rough when disagreeing with you, please don’t see it as a personal attack. My reaction was to how you were using “facts”, historical public information, and then how you were projectting JKR’s personal beliefs. I didn’t see you as a participant in the other discussion that broke out, surrounding the Spanish magazine interview JKR gave: in that she mentioned her interest in the US political primaries and her hope that the next US president would be a democrat. While not an extensive statement on her part, I’m sure you will now agree that her statement indicates that her personal beliefs are the exact opposite of what you asserted.

You are right to imply—tho you did not make a strong point of this—that the image of Chamberlin CAN carry with it the other message I mentioned: “look what a mess that weak liberal got us into”, a meaning that does lead to Churchill and his militarism and imperialism. But most popular interpretations, including JKR’s, obviously do not make that leap….

so, keep posting!

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