JK Rowling’s 2008 Commencement Address at Harvard

18 May

J.K. Rowling Speaks at Harvard Commencement from Harvard Magazine on Vimeo.

Happy Graduation season to the class of 2010! This is an excellent address given at Hogwarts… I mean Harvard in 2008 by JK Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books and a personal hero of mine. Her thoughts on the unforeseen benefits of failure and the importance of imagination really struck a chord with me. I have always been a self-labeled “believer in the power imagination”- thinking of imagination quite conventionally as a means to create fantastic worlds and wild stories. Rowling suggests that imagination is much broader than that, and while she defends a good bedtime story to her last breath (huzzah!!) she also includes in the catagory of imagination, the human ability to empathize with people and situations which we have never personally experienced. From where I stand this is an excellent expansion of the verb “to imagine”- giving it even more potent power, the power I have always felt in the stories I love, namely the power of creation. In the same way Rowling imagined a world of Quidditch matches and baby dragons, we can use our own brand of magic to create the world we imagine.


One Response to “JK Rowling’s 2008 Commencement Address at Harvard”

  1. Charles May 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm #


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