The Serpentine Perspective: Bellatrix Lestrange

Witch Sign outside window

Happy St Andrew’s Day. There’s no 31st in November so I contemplated posting on the last Saturday and then I was like, nah. I had Voltage stories to read to my long-suffering husband, who has now taken a liking to Dr Hosho because he wears “proper clothes” (cit.) On a side note, the English Language really needs an option to specify you are quoting even when it’s not trying to show there’s an error and it was quoted verbatim. Of course, as a Takado fangirl, I am having none of it, and I will eventually prevail on him to love the (MTV remake) Patrick Verona of Semei University Hospital. Alas, the topic today is a fictional character, but not an otome one. We’re here to talk about how Helena Bonham Carter has saved the only villainess of the Harry Potter Universe from oblivion.

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The Serpentine Perspective: Halloween traditions

Jack o lantern

It’s Halloween, or the Eve of All Hallows, which is the old word for souls, and the topic that falls on me today is to explore this holiday that is key to the world of Harry Potter but is far less pagan than you’d think. I mean, it’s not like J.K. Rowlings didn’t have a pagan name for the holiday she could have used to separate it from the Christian heritage of Bonnie Scotland where the school is based, or anything. At the time of writing, I have forgotten what Rory is going to write about, so just head to and find out for yourself.

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Italian Literature You Should Read Pt 2


Last week I left the list half-way through because I was already way past 1000 words with the suggestions between the Middle Ages and the start of the 20th century. If you missed it, you can find it here.

Primo Novecento 
In terms of themes, the big watershed moment for Italian literature is the Second World War rather than the 1st, which has had an impact on the country but not to the same extent that it had on bigger players in the conflict. The usual array of -isms from the rest of Europe is present, even though not always welcomed by critics for obvious reasons.

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Italian Literature You Should Read Pt 1


This post has been inspired by the Fountains of Carrots episode on expanding the Catholic Literary Imagination. The list is a non-conclusive and highly biased compilation by me and my father, and it includes both Catholic and non-Catholic authors because in many ways even non-religious or other-religion-religious people have to navigate a cultural identity that is somewhat inseparable from the Roman Catholic Church. It also includes anything from children’s literature and folk tales to high literature. 

Medieval and Renaissance
Some of this stuff I mentioned in passing on my podcast because it’s contemporaries or near-contemporaries of Dante.

  • Boccaccio, “Decameron”: it’s a collection of short stories held together by a situation in which a group of young nobles are stuck together for 10 days to escape the Plague in Florence. It’s a very humorous book that has fallen on the wrong side of religious censorship a few times because of its treatment of the noble ideal of liberality as not just about generosity and magnanimity (if you get what I mean…). It brings to light the intellectual context in which the Renaissance happened, and how the laity related to their religion, which can seem surprising from our standards. 

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The Serpentine Perspective: Why I still love Harry Potter

Harry Potter and cauldron

July 31st is the feast day of St Ignatius of Loyola, the birthday of my late friend Liam and the birthday of Harry Potter, so it seemed fitting that we would keep July’s installment of The Serpentine Perspective for today. As usual, you can read Rory’s view on the same question at According to Rory

This month’s topic has a number of ways in which it can be seen. We’re both in our 30s, so you might think we are beyond the age of enjoying children’s literature, but also, in the past few months, J.K. Rowlings herself has come to be seen by many fans as pretty much Voldemort because of her political opinions. In a funny twist of events, the very people who were once burning her books for being about wizards with bad Latin spells, are now flocking to her defense. In my post, I will mostly focus on the first part of the question, but the second one is also relevant regardless of my opinion of her opinions. She created a world that has grown beyond her own imagination into something of which fans took ownership, and not just because of how much ink has been wasted on fanfiction over the years. 

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