The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles

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Wiley/Blackwell finally has a page for The Ultimate Harry Potter and Philosophy: Hogwarts for Muggles, to which I'm one of the contributors. (Why do I want to say "of which" there instead of "to which"? That doesn't seem grammatical, but it sounds better.) Amazon also has a page for it now.

There's still no picture, and I have no idea what this is going to look like. I wasn't all that impressed with the X-Men one's cover, but I guess they couldn't get copyright permission to depict anyone from the X-Men on the cover, and without that what can you do but have a cool way of writing the title and trying to do something interesting with the cover scheme? The Open Court volume on Harry Potter had a picture of a castle with a snow owl, and I'm guessing Wiley/Blackwell will come up with something else generic that doesn't violate copyright.

It says it won't be out until September, but the editor tells me they're actually shooting for July. Either way, it will be out in advance of the seventh movie, which I'm much happier about than I was about their original plan, which was to put it out concurrent with the eighth movie in 2011. This thing has been done for quite a while already and has just been sitting around waiting for the publisher to find it appropriate to release it. It could have been done in time for the sixth movie if they'd wanted to do that.

I'm looking forward to reading the other pieces in this one even more than I was with the X-Men one that also included a piece by me. I read the whole Open Court volume, and there were only a few duds there. I've gotten most of the way through the Narnia one, and the same is true of that one. I was disappointed in a lot more of the X-Men ones, for different reasons in different cases. I haven't read anything in this one but mine (and one that got pulled for legal reasons that I can't say anything else about here), but I've seen the email addresses of the other contributors, and I've been able to deduce who quite a few of them are, several of them very good philosophers who undoubtedly have interesting things to say.

My piece has been retitled "Destiny in the Wizarding World", which I think is superior to my own title, which was "Destiny in Harry Potter". I'm much more satisfied with the final state of this chapter than I was with the X-Men one, which I thought had been worsened by the removal of the most interesting discussions of race and even in one place the weakening of my argument due to crucial bits taken out (it even reads as fallacious to me now). There was a whole section I'd added at the editors' insistence that the series editor removed without discussion. This one, on the other hand, was, I think, noticeably improved at every stage of editing. So I'm looking forward to holding it in my hands and reading all the pieces.

1 Comments

Just wanted to say that I am the production editor on this book and a huge HP fan, and I can assure you that the manuscript is being handled with the utmost care and attention. The essays are all very well written and compelling, and this is a must-read for all HP fans. It will be worth the wait.

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