Thursday, August 2, 2007

Interviews with J.K. Rowling

Earlier this week Harry Potter fans enjoyed a early Christmas present as J.K. Rowling gave two interviews, one with Meredith Vieira of the Today Show and the other a webchat courtesy of Bloomsbury Publishing, answering some questions regarding the last novel. Both interviews are a treat and I suggest any fan to check them out, provided of course that you read Deathly Hallows as there are spoilers. Here are some excerpts from each interview that I found interesting:
Young voice: Harry's also referred to as the chosen one. So are there religious--
J.K. Rowling: Well, there-- there clearly is a religious-- undertone. And-- it's always been difficult to talk about that because until we reached Book Seven, views of what happens after death and so on, it would give away a lot of what was coming. So … yes, my belief and my struggling with religious belief and so on I think is quite apparent in this book.

Meredith Vieira: And what is the struggle?
J.K. Rowling: Well my struggle really is to keep believing.
Meredith Vieira: To keep believing?
J.K. Rowling: Yes.

And the other:

Jessie: Were the Deathly Hallows based on any realworld myth or faerie tale?

J.K. Rowling: Perhaps ‘the Pardoner’s Tale’, by Chaucer.

The above excerpts from JKR's interviews were probably the most blatant in regards to her religious beliefs. JKR is very honest with the young viewer and with Meredith Vieira when she says that she struggles with her religious beliefs and faith. She has said in the past that she is a Christian and she is a member of the Church of Scotland. This struggle probably has something to do with the death of her mother over a decade ago, which profoundly affected JKR. She hinted at this in an interview in the summer of 2000 with Evan Solomon. We see in Deathly Hallows, Harry struggling with his belief of Albus Dumbledore and probably serves as an echo to JKR's own internal struggle. This makes her a very human and of course honest Christian. Of course JKR's usage of 'the Pardoner's Tale' shows that she is familiar with The Canterbury Tales and the obvious Christian references found within. Being that she is a classics major from Exeter University, JKR mostly read Chaucer's work in its entirety.

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