It is hard to avoid Beadle the Bard when the email inbox is filled with announcements from every Amazon shop I ever signed up with. I cannot help liking the idea that J.K. Rowling decided the best gift she could give to the six people, who helped her was to write and illustrate a handmade book. Obviously she made them potentially rich by doing so, as the auction of the seventh book brought apparently brought $4 Million, but nevertheless there is something lovely and romantic about a handcrafted and illustrated book as a gift, especially when design, writing and illustration are carried out by one person, something that will be still treasured and valued for many years to come, surrounded by that ‘aura’ that Walter Benjamin talked about in his book about art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Maybe it is just nostalgia for feelings evoked by the mystery of such a very special book, a book given to real people in the real world, and a the same time referring to the special bequest from Dumbledore to Hermione in the fictional world of Harry Potter, feelings which reach back to my own childhood reading experiences. But then again Rowling has always been very, very clever at merging myth and fairy tale, childhood fantasies, adult fantasies about childhood, and giving it all a contemporary and imaginative twist; that is what made her so successful in the first place.
beedle the bard