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Author Topic: What We Like About OSC
Synesthesia
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In one of the Bean series books.
Anton goes on and on about how he's gay, but he's marrying a woman anyway to be a part of the web of life.
There's a book I didn't read yet where a character is gay and stays celebate for the good of his society.
Those are the only two i can think of right now.

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MrSquicky
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LD,
Are saying that you are upset that JKR released any of the extraneous information in dribs and drabs as she has, or just the bit with Dumbledore being gay?

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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Possibly, I had better find the word for that
"outside the novels" perhaps. "Post-mortem" certainly isn't it.

As a sidenote - has OSC created any characters that were only incidentally gay, whose homosexuality didn't have a large role to play in their role in the story? I remember gay characters in e.g. "Songmaster" but in that one the homosexuality/bisexuality of those characters played a major role. Any other examples?

There are lots of characters whose sexuality isn't discussed at all. Perhaps we can choose to believe which of those might be gay. I think it's possible OSC only brings it up if he thinks it's important to the story.
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LadyDove
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Squick,
To me, it seems silly to add any info to the story, off-the-cuff. The Dumbledore thing is irritating because he is such a major character, but I'd be just as irritated if she decided to announce tomorrow that abortions were common among the death eaters.

What does it add to the story? Who cares? These are fictional characters and if you're going to add to their story, then write it down.

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LadyDove
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Syn,

Yes she's the author and lived with the characters, but it's a HUGE story with many overlapping layers. Because of the scope of her work, she can't KNOW everything well enough to add to the story without researching her own work. She has said this herself.

Doesn't she owe it to the story and the fans of her story to check her own facts before making revelations that change the flavor or the story?

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Synesthesia
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*sigh*
She's not suddenly turning Dumbledore into a gay man.
She says she's ALWAYS since she first created him thought of him as that way.
That means long before she wrote 1-7 she had that in mind.
It doesn't change the flavor of the story because unless Dumbledore was making out with Nick Flammel and Harry walked in, it doesn't need to be added to the story itself, but she has the right to reveal stuf about characters she's had in her head for ages.

Besides. How is him being gay that big a deal?
Gay people exist.
What does it matter?
It's nothing to get angry abour or make a big deal about. It's not PC, it's just there.

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scholarette
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The problem is that Dumbledore being gay does effect the story. His involvement with Grimmy and his motivation for that are very different from those stated in the book. In her statement, she even says that perhaps this info makes Dumbledore's time with the dark side more understandable. Leaving out a major motivation and adding it in later in an interview is not appropriate. If she had just said, he's gay and him and Spouts have been lovers for 30 years, that would have been insignificant.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The problem is that Dumbledore being gay does effect the story.
More precisely, it affects the backstory. It affects the main plot not one whit.
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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
What does it add to the story? Who cares?
It adds context to a relationship. And isn't it ridiculous to ask "who cares" at this point, when some people are clapping and some other people are going foamy in the mouth over it?

OSC is obviously one of the people who cares - the people who clapped when she made the announcement obviously are also people that care, except in a different way.

quote:
How is him being gay that big a deal?
Gay people exist. What does it matter?

The reason it matters is because some people would prefer to pretend gay people do not exist.

That's why some people care so much about this revelation one way or another: There's few other minorities in the world where mere affirmation of their existence becomes a point of controversy.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
[QB]Leaving out a major motivation and adding it in later in an interview is not appropriate.

That's kinda what I feel about "Ender's Shadow" and the prequels about Ender's parents, and the revelations in Xenocide/Children of the Mind regarding Jane's creation.

Except not. My exact problem with those revelations are that they tend to be either emotionally or even factually inconsistent with the original stories, but the revelation about Dumbledore is perfectly consistent.

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LadyDove
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Aris,

quote:
It adds context to a relationship. And isn't it ridiculous to ask "who cares" at this point, when some people are clapping and some other people are going foamy in the mouth over it?
And because it has changed the flavor of the story, it should have either been written in or added, not off-the-cuff, but in an additional book that makes it official rather than convenient to sales.


quote:
That's kinda what I feel about "Ender's Shadow" and the prequels about Ender's parents, and the revelations in Xenocide/Children of the Mind regarding Jane's creation.
Card is doing EXACTLY what is the author's perogative and duty, imo, when adding to an existing story. He WROTE it down! He didn't just throw off a few tidbits to tantalize his audience, he created a complete story to keep the additional information in context and yet, you're claiming, that after research, he still couldn't keep the facts straight. lol, "Ender's Game" is the prequel to "Speaker for the Dead". He wrote it because he wanted to put "Speaker" into context.

You believe that the Dumbledore revelation is consistent, so it's okay with you. That's fine. I believe that the revelation is convenient and that makes it extraneous and annoying to me.

Ya know, if she had decided to write a book that told about the exploits of Dumbledore and Grim. Their plans, Dumbledore's mixed feelings about muggles. How Dumbledore fell in love with Grim, the pain he suffered when his sister died and what changed his view on muggles and his adoration of Grim, I'd buy that book. I'd be REALLY interested in hearing that whole story. That is a story worth telling. But to tell that story would take work, and I don't think she's ready to "work" like that again. Not yet. Still, the allure of the spotlight is intoxicating. Making comments, especially emotionally charged comments about main characters is a convenient way to hold the spotlight without investing much work.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Aris Katsaris:
quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
[QB]Leaving out a major motivation and adding it in later in an interview is not appropriate.

That's kinda what I feel about "Ender's Shadow" and the prequels about Ender's parents, and the revelations in Xenocide/Children of the Mind regarding Jane's creation.

Except not. My exact problem with those revelations are that they tend to be either emotionally or even factually inconsistent with the original stories, but the revelation about Dumbledore is perfectly consistent.

I see where you're coming from. I'm bothered by Ender's parents knowing about Valentine and Peter's actions on the web, but not knowing about Peter bullying two of their children.
How could they have NOT known?


quote:
Making comments, especially emotionally charged comments about main characters is a convenient way to hold the spotlight without investing much work.
Bull. She wasn't making the statement for attention, or having some interview in Newsweek. She was just answering someone's question.
If Dumbledore had been revealed to be, I don't know, Russian instead of Gay would folks be making this big a deal out of it or are people really that bothered by an awesome cool character who just so happens to have been gay because again, that's what the author had in mind.
Remember, Dumbledore and Grindelwald's story is only in the background. NMot in the forfront. The real story is Harry trying to rid the world of Voldermort.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
And because it has changed the flavor of the story, it should have either been written in or added, not off-the-cuff, but in an additional book that makes it official rather than convenient to sales.
Two questions:

1) Why? Clearly she didn't think it mattered one way or another, except as it provided interesting context to the backstory of a character. You go on to say "Card is doing EXACTLY what is the author's perogative and duty..." Why is this an author's duty? Where is it written?

2) Do you actually think sales were affected by Dumbledore's sexuality?

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by LadyDove:
And because it has changed the flavor of the story, it should have either been written in or added, not off-the-cuff, but in an additional book that makes it official rather than convenient to sales.

I'd think that selling it in an additional book would be even more convenient to sales, because of the selling part.

---

Edited to add: I didn't mean that to be snarky or snide. I honestly meant that I don't get why answering a question posed by a fan is more mercenary (this is what you mean? not sure) than writing up de novo more of a tell-all story and selling it would be.

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Aris Katsaris
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quote:
and yet, you're claiming, that after research, he still couldn't keep the facts straight.
Um, yes, there are many facts that are factually inconsistent between his early books and later ones. I'm not just claiming that. Want me to mention a few such inconsistencies?

Some of the factual inconsistencies are: The role of Netherlands in the political make-up of the world. (Ender's Game calls it under Russian control for example). Whether it was Peter or Valentine that wanted Ender off the planet. Whether Demosthenes is believed to have left with the first colony ships or not. The extent to which religion is banned.

Emotional inconsistencies include the treatment of Ender's parents (Ender's game wants to present them as neglectful and clueless - the Bean series wants to present them as brilliant and caring), and the different justifications for Bean's words in the one scene in 'Ender's Game' where we actually enter his head.

quote:
And because it has changed the flavor of the story, it should have either been written in or added, not off-the-cuff, but in an additional book that makes it official rather than convenient to sales
So... instead of simply answering a fan's question, she should have said "You'll need to buy my next book for that".

And you somehow think that forcing people to buy an additional book would be worse for her sales and be less greedy on her part than the free offer of information.

Either my own sanity or yours is starting to fail here.

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pooka
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I hope this would be a good place to mention I really enjoyed OSC's column on Hillary's no-lose strategy. Maybe I'm biased.
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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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I think he is more or less right about Hillary's strategy. He's doing more reporting and analysis than reflection and laying out opinions in that column. I had suspected that this was Hillary's goal since around the Pennsylvania primary, but I hadn't heard it from anyone else. So maybe I'm biased too, but what OSC said in his column makes the most sense for a challenger who is losing in the primaries, but not by a margin wide enough to kill her, and really REALLY wants to be president (== Hillary).
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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by LadyDove:
Squick,
To me, it seems silly to add any info to the story, off-the-cuff. The Dumbledore thing is irritating because he is such a major character, but I'd be just as irritated if she decided to announce tomorrow that abortions were common among the death eaters.

What does it add to the story? Who cares? These are fictional characters and if you're going to add to their story, then write it down.

Although I do have a tendency to rib my online friends who get into two-page debates over Harry Potter canon, I have to say that I do agree with this point.

I fully understand that a writer has a whole world in her head and that there are details of that world which may be important to her, but which just don't add to the story, so she edits her world when she writes her books. I get that. But it still seems silly to let out tidbits of the world when letting out said tidbits will not enhance anybody's understanding of the books. It's just kind of an odd move, and it seems unnecessary.

Lest anybody think that I am one of those people who is all, "EWW, DUMBLEDORE IS GAY NOW I CAN'T TAKE HIM SERIOUSLY ALSO HE MUST MOLEST ALL THE HOGWARTS KIDS BECAUSE CLEARLY HOMOSEXUALITY IS THE SAME THING AS PEDOPHILIA," you could not be further from the mark. I truly do not give a rip about a person's sexual orientation, whether they be real people or fictional wizards. I am completely unbiased on the issue of gay characters in fiction, even in kids' fiction. A character's choice in sexual partners matters to me exactly as much as the color of his skin, which is to say, not even remotely. It's his actions, dialog, and development that interest me.

Still, I think it was ridiculous for J.K. to be all HEY DUMBLEDORE IS THE GAY outside the realm of her books. It smacked of a publicity stunt, and it added zilch to the story.

I have the same feelings toward authors who do this kind of post-publishing milieu-making as I do toward fan fiction. Sorry, writers and readers of fanfics. I can't stand fan fiction; I think it's weird. Dumbledore being gay (and any additional bits of milieu that Rowling has thrown out there and which do nothing to enhance one's understanding of the books) feels exactly the same in my head as J. K. Rowling writing fanfics about her own books. Just...silly, silly, silly.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Still, I think it was ridiculous for J.K. to be all HEY DUMBLEDORE IS THE GAY outside the realm of her books.
She said it once, in response to a reader's question at a forum specifically intended for responses to reader's questions.
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LadyDove
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CT and Aris,

Yes, I think that it would have added more to her sales to have written a book, but that's why we buy books. We want the whole story.

And to all, Tom, Squick, Aris, CT,

I have been pondering why this feels so wrong. Maybe it's because a writer releasing potentially damaging (not in my eyes, but to some it may seem) info about a main character outside of the written work is so foriegn to me. Is this a common practice?

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Libbie
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
She said it once, in response to a reader's question at a forum specifically intended for responses to reader's questions.

True and not true. The question was, "Did Dumbledore, who believed in the prevailing power of love, ever fall in love himself?" The question was not "Was Dumbledore in love with Grindewald?" or "Who was Dumbledore in love with?" or even "Tell us more about the inner life of Dumbledore" or "Are there any homosexual characters in your work?" It was simply, "Was Dumbledore ever in love?"

It's the level of *extraneous detail* she went into about Dumbledore's love life (extraneous relative to the actual question that was asked) that annoys the hell out of me and makes me feel as if I had a peek into her own personal fanfic world. Gay or straight, it was goofy as heck. A simpler answer such as, "Yes, I've always envisioned Dumbledore as having had relationships in his past" would have answered the fan's question fully and honestly. It's the whole weird look into Dumbledore's past - a past which never has any impact on the story as presented in the books - that feels totally weird and just...fanfictiony.

Dumbledore's horror at Grindewald's turning to the dark side is no more or less strong because Dumbledore had romantic notions about Grindewald. The book would have played out with exactly the same feeling if Dumbledore had loved Grindewald as a friend or as a brother. Love is love, and horror at a loved one becoming evil is horror at a loved one becoming evil. The creation of a hyper-detailed backstory and then the revelation of that backstory to fans just seems so amateurish and silly to me. Even if it's in answering a fan's question. It's not the sexual orientation of the character that annoys me. It's the way it was presented.

Of course, I've never seen such obsessive and eager fanfic-writing in any fandom outside of Harry Potter. No doubt Rowling know who pays her bills, and such a fanfic-y revelation could have been a calculated move on her part to keep up a strong connection with those who buy her books. In that case, my hat's off to her. That was a smart move, even if it irritates me on a personal level.

It all comes down to the tone of the delivery, for me. It can never be over-stated how much I dislike fanfiction. Again, I apologize to those here who do like it. It's not a judgment of the people who read or write it; it's just a personal annoyance, in the same sense that I'm deeply annoyed by the misuse of apostrophes and by trendy baby names. Seeing an author reveal her devotion to a whole framework of extraneous fantasy world-building makes my hide twitch. Unless it was meant to sell more books; then I think it's brilliant.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Libbie:
Of course, I've never seen such obsessive and eager fanfic-writing in any fandom outside of Harry Potter.

You are simply unaware of it. While fanfiction based on books is less common than that based on TV series or movies, it definitely exists. Sherlock Holmes is popular; so are Jane Austen's characters. T

There is more HP fanfic because there are more HP fans.

I don't think Rowling's answer necessarily needed the detail she provided, but I don't understand your level of ire at all. Would you have a similar degree of anger if she had gone into great detail about some shop in Diagon Alley that was never mentioned in the books? Because her answers to fan questions have frequently been about that sort of thing -- just none of them made news anywhere by on HP sites. That sort of unpublished detail is EXACTLY why HP fans go to hear her speak, flock to online interviews, etc.

Ignoring anything unpublished as not "canon" is certainly not unreasonable. I think anger at her comments is.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Ignoring anything unpublished as not "canon" is certainly not unreasonable.
Is it still reasonable for me to selectively parts of the the published material to not consider canon?
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rivka
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No.

But that's just because it's you. [Wink]

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