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Preview: Comments on: Harry Potter and the Shifting Paradigm

Comments on: Harry Potter and the Shifting Paradigm

On pop culture and feelings

Last Build Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2010 02:16:33 +0000


By: brenda

Mon, 23 Jul 2007 01:34:41 +0000

Dickens is a great comparison point; not necessarily in terms of world-building, but he was the same kind of story-teller, in terms of intricacy and detail. He had more of an excuse than Rowling, too -- his stuff was all serialized, he was getting paid by the word.

I do agree with you re: how hard the books are for a kids' audience. I don't think she's always done a great job at balancing the fact that she knows a large number of adults read the books with the fact that they are supposed to be for kids still.

By: Kevan

Sat, 21 Jul 2007 02:38:28 +0000

Great call on this, and I definitely agree. I had also never heard "World-building" applied to literature, and it totally spells out a lot of my literary preferences.

Also, I'd like to point out that there has been a lot of really mundane, chess-game type of writing in heaps of great literature - Dickens in particular comes to mind.

I think we should keep in mind that critics tend to profit from scathing attacks, and especially voicing an opinion contrary to large bodies of the population. I suspect that we have all been 'Trolled'.

My main issue with Rowling's writing is that she totally got lost in her narrative voice as her audience demographic expanded. The vocabulary in some of the later books could get really really tricky relative to a children's audience, and not functionally tricky either, but her structure and pacing and such were still very basic. And of course, the tone and subject matter of the books grew up somewhat.

On a side note, I saw someone dressed as a wizard on the TTC tonight, and another had a very long paragraph printed on a T-Shirt which definitely included the word "Patronus".

By: Marcos

Fri, 20 Jul 2007 23:12:34 +0000

I agree with your position. It's amusing to read some academic's position on popular culture. Nobody seriously is holding up Harry Potter and demanding that it should be in the same ranks as the Classics. So why try and poopoo adults who enjoy it? It's like fashion designers blasting you for wearing that big wool sweater. It doesn't matter, I'm not trying to enter a fashion show and the sweater is comfortable anyway. These critics are attempting to engage an audience which don't care.

I read the same type of thing in the Skeptical Inquirer all the time, scientists look down on people who read and enjoy the Bible. I see nothing wrong with studying the Bible, as long as you don't try and compare it to science. Same type of thing with Harry Potter (I'm also a fan, so maybe biased).

If a book brings a smile to your face, read it. If the sweater is comfy, wear it.