dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #202

Gili Bar-Hillel abhillel at hotmail.com
Sat Aug 5 10:18:10 EDT 2000


Paul - I don't know the Ben Hur joke, please repeat it here!

Alison Lurie is an author, and teaches children's literature at Cornell 
university. She occasionally writes about children's books for the New York 
Review of Books. I particularly enjoyed a collection of essays she wrote, 
called "Don't Tell the Parents - Why Children Love the Books they Do", that 
made surprisingly good reading. Particularly the chapters about James 
Barrie, Beatrix Potter and Kate Greenaway. Anyway, I *did* know who she was, 
I've been using her essays as reference material, and I was humbled to meet 
her unexpectedly...

As for Harry Potter ripping off from whatever authors:
There's a nice response from Neil Gaiman on one of his major fan pages, I'm 
afraid all my bookmarks have recently been erased but I found it doing a 
cross search on Neil Gaiman and DWJ. He says something along the lines of "I 
never accused JKR of ripping off from my books, she isn't the first to write 
about a boy wizard, but then, neither was I" except he puts it in nicer 
words.

Still - Harry Potter is remarkably like Gaiman's Tim Hunter, from his late 
discovery of wizardry down to the thatch of black hair, glasses and owl...

For some reason I have not heard anyone else compare the Harry Potter books 
to Jill Murphy's "Worst Witch" series, which has some striking similarities: 
old drafty school, mean potions teacher, broom-flying lessons, sneaking 
around in the middle of the night...

Lets just say JKR took a little from here and a little from there. As for 8 
days of Luke - perhaps someone thought the underground snakes were liket the 
Basilisk in HP2? (Neil Gaiman had the best Basilisk though, in his Books of 
Magic series)

I don't know if any of you have heard of the law suit pending against JKR, 
from an American author, Nancy Stouffer, who claims to have orignated the 
word "Muggles" and the name "Harry Potter". I can't help but pity Stouffer, 
whose case does not seem to hold water, but has been receiving death threats 
from irate Harry Potter fans.


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