Space Ramblings

The Cult of Harry Potter

When J.K. Rowling penned the Harry Potter books, she did not create an original work of children’s literature, what she created was a massive publicity machine based around highly derivative but heavily marketed children literature that at their peak created the kind of mass hype that all but suppresses criticism and common sense. With the last Harry Potter book shoveled out on a dim reading public that actually believes that a weak fusion of The Books of Magic and a hundred British boarding school novels along with possible chunks of Sabrina the Teenage Witch is some kind of literary achievement and Harry Potter devolving to the backlist and to a bunch of amusement park rides, even as Warner Brothers works to milk the last book of the series for as many movies as possible, the cult of Harry Potter is in trouble.

From the Brothers Grim to Walt Disney it seems that almost every fantasy kingdom has a dark and ugly underside to it. The Brothers Grim were refreshingly open about that dark side, Walt Disney just threw cute and cuddly at the screen, while robbing and abusing his animators, supporting fascism and lying compulsively about everything. That really isn’t anything new. Look at an adult who successfully creates a magical fantasy kingdom and half the time you wind up with a hack who takes credit for other people’s work, maximizes his own profits and wages war on anyone who gets in his way. Or you could just call him Georgie Lucas.

J.K. Rowling has become notorious for her lawsuits, for the ruthless way her marketing behemoth has gone after readers who bought the book a day early or authors who wrote something she considered derivative, this coming from a woman whose own work is rather derivative to say the least. But for too long claims like that could not get a hearing for the Cult of Harry Potter, the use of Muggles a typical cult positioning of outsiders and true believers is a dead giveaway, but the JK Rowling lawsuit that shut down Steven Van der Ark’s lexicon may mark a turning point.

As Orson Scott Card put it in his ultimate takedown of Rowling

People who hear about this suit will have a sour taste in their mouth about Rowling from now on. Her Cinderella story once charmed us. Her greedy evil-witch behavior now disgusts us. And her next book will be perceived as the work of that evil witch.

Anyone got any water?

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  • Sharon E. Dreyer July 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    “Help! I’m shrinking!” — Sorry about that! I tripped and the bucket of water soaked me. Great article! Glad I found it today. Someone count to ten and we’ll see if Orson Scott Card can keep J.K. Rowling pinned to the mat! Check out my first and recently released novel, Long Journey to Rneadal. This exciting tale is a romantic action adventure in space and is more about the characters than the technology.

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