Monday, October 22, 2007

Two on my Favorite Things

I am busy, but a quick post. I love Harry Potter and questions of gender/sexuality (though, not as much as other people, and not as much as I love HP) so I can't help commenting about the most recent HP bombshell that Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore was, before his tragic passing, queer (and maybe in death too, up for debate). [As a side discussion-isn't power enough to blind the wise? Why does Jo need to go into sexual desire to explain Dumbledore's oversight? There is power which is not sexual (contends I).]

I should have guessed this, right? But honestly (and embarrassingly) the thought never crossed my mind (cough, heteronormative, cough). It's a good thing, or at the very least, a thing, but it also signifies the shift of consciousness. I am generally quite warm to the incessant detail Rowling provides for her world, but invariably then, no aspect gets ignored. We know everyone's embarrassments, glories, failings and boredoms.

Part of characterness, even the characters in our own lives, is precisely that lack of detail. A sweet old man, who is sweet sans context (and particularly sans sexuality). In particular, literature/mythology has preserved wisdom, qua wise old man, without the need to have contextual bindings. Merlin, Eliyahu, Yishaya, Yirmiya, Sherlock Holmes never needed indulge in the social and sexual pirouettes of common folk; they just were never defined along those lines. I guess we have just gotten past that. Shame, really.

1 comment:

Josh M. said...

Yishayahu was married, and refers to his wife and children several times in the book, while Yirmiyahu explains precisely why he did not get married (at a particular time, at least). If you're citing Merlin and Sherlock Holmes, though, I would have thought that you'd instead bring down Eliyahu as an example of someone who sprang forth from the womb fully clothed, so to speak.