Monday, 15 July 2013

The dishonesty of JK Rowling - the fake biography of Robert Galbraith


One of my major ethical concerns in reading the Harry Potter series was Harry's habitual lying - up to the point in the Deathly Hallows when he is sanctified, after which he becomes completely truthful.

My problem was not so much that Harry lied, but that I did not sense any authorial disapproval of the lying - it was as if the author went-along with Harry's dishonesty, such that almost anything served to justify Harry's lies (even to Dumbledore).

I had the feeling that this flaw was a consequence of Rowling's own moral stance - that she was herself the kind of person who lied easily, and who easily excused her own lying.

Seems I was correct.

It has emerged that JKR has published a crime novel under a male pseudonym

I don't have any disagreement with publishing under a pseudonym, nor even under a male pseudonym - but the fake-biography of the pseudonymous 'Robert Galbraith' is a self-serving lie:

“After several years with the Royal Military Police, Robert Galbraith was attached to the SIB (Special Investigative Branch), the plain-clothes branch of the RMP. He left the military in 2003 and has been working since then in the civilian security industry. The idea for Cormoran Strike grew directly out of his own experiences and those of his military friends who returned to the civilian world. ‘Robert Galbraith’ is a pseudonym.”

There is no doubt that the specific but lying claim of the novel to have a basis in direct personal experience lends fake authority to a crime novel in a way which is expedient and financially rewarding to the real author - as much as if the author of a scientific novel falsely-claimed to have a PhD in the subject, or if the author of a self-help book on money making pretended to be a multi-millionare.

I find this very disappointing, and indeed shocking - it goes far beyond even the most extreme exaggeration, hype or spin.

And it confirms my perception that JK Rowling, despite having written one of the most profoundly moral of popular novel series, has become corrupted, a turncoat and traitor, and is now working undercover for the Death Eaters.