return from Hogwarts

In case you’ve been wondering where I’ve got to, I’ve been doing this, viz., co-organizing the UK’s first academic conference on Harry Potter: A Brand of Fictional Magic: Reading Harry Potter as Literature. There is professional footage. There will be a book.*

There will be lots of books about things, in fact, and I’ll make announcement and explanations, and–oh, maybe interviews. What doesn’t happen here at Paradoxes will be linked to from here.

There’s also been a blogalectic on, which I hope you’ve been enjoying not here. This week Masha asks whether “we who deal in fairy tales ought to believe in them.” I’m not entirely sure how to answer that–belief in fairies is certainly not the comforting thing J.M. Barrie pretended it was. And I’ve always felt that there are more things in heaven and on earth than are dreamt of etc.

So perhaps the best thing I can do is point you to this. I only found it this morning. It is the true account of a real historical personage. It coincides in very many alarming particulars with my short story “Ragabone.”

I am absolutely, entirely sure I have never seen that picture or heard of this historical person before today. Yet that is almost exactly how I pictured Ragabone when I began to write his story several years ago.

I do not know what this means, but suspect it means something.

*I’ve been asked to make sure everyone knows none of this has the imprimatur of J.K. Rowling, her agents, or Warner Bros. Well, none of it does. Now you know.

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