I was doing some bibliographical research on Harry Potter (for the very first time, for reasons which I might disclose later) and stumbled across these two articles:
Langford, David. "Hogwarts Proctology Class: Probing the End of Harry Potter". New York Review of Science Fiction: 20.2  (2007 Oct.), pp. 1, 8-11.
Cummins, June. "Hermione in the Bathroom: The Gothic, Menarche, and Female Development in the Harry Potter Series", pp. 177-193. Jackson, Anna (ed. and introd.); Coats, Karen (ed. and introd.) and McGillis, Roderick (ed. and introd.) The Gothic in Children's Literature: Haunting the Borders. Children's Literature and Culture (ChiLC) 43. New York, NY: Routledge, 2008. 254 pp.
I haven't read either of these, but the titles are - intriguing? Not sure whether that's the right word.
But I have to say this: Bathrooms DO play a major part in the series - it's where important stuff happens!
Wank alert. A self-identified "disgruntled fan" wants J.K. Rowling to rewrite all seven Harry Potter books according to his wishes. In an 80 000 word essay, he discusses several flaws of the novels, apparently from a creative writing student's perspective. I was curious (and though his project is preposterous, he might have some interesting points), so I scrolled through his critique of Half-Blood Prince, only to find this:
"While it could be that Ron or someone else is in need of a book, why bother? Snape's old book becomes a distraction. The world is now at war and people are dropping left and right. To be concerned with "I wonder who the Half-Blood Prince is" trivializes the situation. That is the sort of information that we prefer to see in the Potter Encyclopedia or as a minor aside here, rather than as a major conundrum that spans the entirety of Book 6."
Congratulations! You just dismissed the psychologically (and structurally) most interesting part as irrelevant! Please stop pestering people.
*has flashbacks to Stephen King's Misery, shudder*
Fandom Wank discussion here.
ETA: According to Disgruntled Fan, Harry is whiny, ungrateful, unheroic; he should behave like a proper protagonist - by getting naked!! HAHAHAHA!!!
"As for Myrtle's help with the golden egg, Harry could earn even that. One possibility is to have Harry begin visiting Myrtle regularly following his second year. Another possibility is that, rather than unilaterally telling Harry how to decipher the clue inside the golden egg, Myrtle could play hard to get. Harry has to make some sort of bargain with her. His promise to come visit her (i.e., the idea being his not hers) might be sufficient, but perhaps Myrtle is too cynical to trust such a promise. As a result, Myrtle counters with a bargain of her own. Given Myrtle's obvious curiosity in the matter, she might agree to help Harry in exchange for getting to look at him naked. While this is perhaps a bit racy for the series, this is Book 4, after all. But either way, at least let Harry earn the second bit of help from Myrtle, if not the first as well."
Yay, JKR! Here's the thing: Just imagine somebody had asked her, "OK, about Dumbledore and Grindelwald - am I correct in assuming that there was some love/desire/lust involved?" and she would have said, "OMG, no, please, this is a children's book! They were just friends (until it all fell apart)!" THAT would have pissed me off. So, after mulling things over a bit, I think it was honest of her to finally make AD 'officially' gay, because it's so there in the text. This seems to be not another superfluous afterthought that she made up on the spot as so many of the other tidbits she's revealed in recent interviews seem to be, but it has probably influenced her writing of the character. (Another topic for discussion would be: How important IS a character's sexual identity, love life etc. anyway? Do we NEED to be know/be sure, how can one ever be sure?) I still stand by my opinion that it would have been odd to have Dumbledore's sexuality explicitly discussed in book 7. If at all, it should have been made clear earlier and not as another 'nasty secret' being revealed about his past. And let's be honest, Harry had trouble figuring out his own feelings, let alone making sense of other people's true motivations, loyalties etc. - he would never have picked up on that.
So, yes, for many readers, it may not be that surprising, but bless her anyway for admitting that there is at least one gay character in the Potterverse and it's not Gilderoy Lockhart or some other outrageous minor character, but one of the greatest wizards evah.
And now that's settled, let's return to talking about Snape.
BTW, where did that "unrequited" thing come from? This is not what JKR said in the Q&A. The "tragic" part is that Grindelwald turned out to be a power-hungry maniac (which is bad enough). Don't trust the news reports, read the transcripts.
Let the discussions begin: Dumbledore/Grindelwald = canon.
Personally, I'm a little conflicted about what to make of JKR's stream of new information about Deathly Hallows and beyond (especially her, frankly, quite bizarre statements about Snape) and I prefer to accept as canon what's actually in the books (death of the author and all of that). Yet in this case, Dumbledore's (erotic) fascination with Grindelwald is clearly hinted at in the text itself. Which in turn makes me wonder if this kind of 'official' statement is even necessary. It might also be worth pointing out that the only case of same-sex desire explicitly described in the books has such awful consequences - love is clouding Dumbledore's judgement and it's not the redeeming power it is presented as elsewhere. (Granted, JKR compares it to Bellatrix Lestrange's obsession with Voldemort, so there's a 'het' parallel.)
Still, overall, I think the 'revelation' is a good thing. After alll, Dumbledore is one of the most famous and best-liked (at least before DH, ahem) literary characters. It will be interesting to see how non-fandom readers and the media will react to this news.
Just on my way out - will post more later on before I start rambling.
ETA: She also said: "Just imagine the fan fiction now." Again: fan fiction doesn't really need the author's imprimatur when it comes to 'shipping', but I'm glad that she's acknowledging that there is fan fiction - and fan fiction dealing with m/m relationships. Soooo, yes, the more I think about it, the more I like her for publicly confirming what many fans have believed for a long time anyway. Food for thought, definitely.