Sunday’s Chicago Tribune features an opinion piece by one Stephan Benzkofer ((being a blogger, i’m not constrained by usual journalistic standards to disclose that Stephan is my brother-in-law)) arguing that literary characters are canonically defined only by the published works in which they appear. He contends that a press-conference announcement by the author carries no more authority in developing a character than the criticism of a university scholar or a piece of fan fiction written by a 13 year old. His inspiration for making this point was the recent flap over the sexual orientation of a fictitious wizard. The piece attracted
dozens hundreds of comments. Most completely miss the point and many irately accuse the article’s author of homophobic bigotry.
This is of course quite amusing to those of us fortunate enough to know Stephan personally.