On the nineteenth anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts (which, by the way, is a fictional event that never actually happened…right?), J.K. Rowling tweeted that she was sorry for killing Severus Snape, whom Alan Rickman (still upset about his death last January, which actually did happen because he was a real person) portrayed in the films. Rowling’s prolific tweeting, not only about which of her characters she’s sorry she killed, but also about reality at large (i.e., things not related to Harry Potter), apparently prompted fellow British author Joanna Trollope to compare Rowling to Kim Kardashian, which is quite a big stretch if you ask me. According to Trollope, authors who tweet as much as Rowling does are “a threat to literature.” Alright, alright, calm the fuck down, Joanna Trollope. If anything, Rowling is an addict whose substance of choice is the fictional world she created. I remember Rowling going on record saying she was “done” after the publication of Deathly Hallows, but it’s about ten years later and we now have Pottermore, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and last summer’s Cursed Child (which has been scheduled for a portkey across the Atlantic Ocean to Broadway next April). Rowling’s inability to walk away from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is a bit quirky and, in my opinion, slightly disturbing (like most addictions are), but it’s certainly not a threat to Literature at large, which, by the way, is possibly the most pretentious thing to actively worry about.
Here’s my favorite stuff from the Internet this week. And I made it (mostly) all about me. You’re welcome.
LitHub ranked fictional drugs of literature on 4/20, which is apparently a significant date to some people who do certain drugs. I have never understood why, but maybe I was never cool enough. (Read: I never smoked enough pot to understand, or care enough about understanding, this phenomenon.) Also, glaring omission of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking-Glass…cue Grace Slick’s haunting vocals: “One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small…”
So, fun fact: life is hard. Over the course of almost three-decades on this earth, I’ve found different ways to cope with whatever angst or ennui I’m facing. I’m not necessarily talking about self-care here, because some of the ways I’ve managed stress over the years have been less than advisable. (Exhibit A: me, circa my late adolescence/early 20s).
In the first paragraph of the actual narrative of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (i.e., after the weird etymology and “extracts” bullshit), Ishmael says, “Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth…and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.”
For the record, I actually hate Moby Dick (as if that weren’t already obvious), but I like this first (run-on) sentence. Unlike Ishmael, though, when I start to grow grim around the mouth, I don’t go to sea. I dance it the fuck out.
(Another fun first line of a novel to contextualize my week: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” – Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina.)
So, this edition of My Week In Music highlights some songs that help me dance this mess around.