In which H. Potter is Defended (sort of)

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at
Thu Dec 2 16:30:49 EST 1999

  Mallory stepped up to the plate:

	"I have a certain degree of anger toward the harry Potter penomenon,
most of which is because DWJ does a lot of the same stuff in the
Chrestomanci books and a bazillion times better. However, try to imagine how
you'd feel about Harry Potter if it *wasn't* such a big seller. And also
remember that this is the author's *first* book."

	Yes, that's what I said to my b.f.  I mean, all this time I've been
hoping to see dwj get more attention (and I think she has had more in the
past 10 years-ish than before, anyway), but I guess I come down to feeling
like Rowling may crack open a door through which readers may, might, maybe
go on through and find many other books.  But before we go any farther, I
have to say in case I wasn't clear about it  - that I was forwarding my
boyfriend's rant - and he gets a lot more impatient than I about relative
quality in books! (Just don't mention that Hannibal book)  So, to sum up,
that's my way of verbally ducking!  I did laugh a lot when I read it though,
so I guess mea culpa. I definitely felt that he put his finger on the exact
things which made me grit my teeth.  And I liked the idea of a 3 hour
multiple choice heh heh.

	"All the points you make are valid but I just
> don't think that the book really merits quite this level of venom
> (although
> i do understand it). The media hype that has surrounded it maybe does...
> but Ms. Rowling has been relatively humble about the whole thing and
> doesn't claim to understand the hubbub any more than anyone else."
	It's true she seems really nice from what I've heard and read (there
was quite a press blitz on her when she was in my town last month).  Also,
he hadn't heard anything about the author when he wrote that so I
enlightened him about that - maybe I should have annotated the original
email a bit!

	" It is disgusting that there are all these grown-ups out there now
singing the praises of HP when they haven't picked up any other kids'
books(or reread any) in at least the last 10 years (if only they knew what
they were missing)."

	I second that motion!  I've wondered what (or whether) they read
when they were kids?? And The Worst Witch has been on t.v. in one form or
another for almost a decade where I live - wizard boarding school and all.

	"the real points are that I think people should look at HP for its
own merits/faults separate from the media drama, recognize that this is a
new author...."

	Fair enough, though I think I would only read further if I heard
there would be a rapprochement with some member or members of Slytherin
because scapegoating entire groups is anathema to me and not what I like to
see young people being taught to overlook or tacitly approve.  Not that H.P.
is the only place where that issue crops up!  But that's coming from someone
whose favorite character in Narnia was Eustace  :)  Plus, plenty of people
are reading further so I won't be missed from the ranks!


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