Eight Days of Luke and Harry Potter
ven at vvcrane.junglelink.co.uk
Mon Aug 7 20:02:45 EDT 2000
> Someone on a Harry Potter message board I'm involved
> with posted a comparison between "Luke" and JK Rowling's "HP & The
> Philosopher's Stone". A magazine had claimed that JKR had plagiarised much
> of DWJ's work and cited this as a particularly blatant example.
I agree there's not enough of Luke in HP to make this stick.
Allegations of plagiarism are notoriously difficult to prove in any
case, particularly so in fields like SF and Fantasy where so much
depends on the use of imaginary common references like faster
than light drives, spellbooks or time travel. I think what galls about
Rowling is that her books are so clearly derivative of others in the
field yet there is no acknowledgement of this in the publicity, the
interviews or in the texts themselves. HP is presented as a
miraculous flower emerging full grown from Rowling's head when it
is in reality one bloom among many on the tree. I suspect the pr
people and the media are more to blame for this.
Since I wrote the above there have been quite a few good posts on
this preempting most of what I was going to say next! So I'll just
add that F&H both contains some good discussion about invention,
originality and the wrong way to imitate (the story Polly writes after
reading Lord of the Rings) and is itself quite a good example of how
a writer can acknowledge her sources by referencing them in the
text. I should think the books Polly is sent pretty much constitute
a bibliography. Writers can also pay tribute to their inspirations by
using names of character and places or by allusion.
For the record and IMHO of course the I think the HP 3 time travel
denoument remarkably similar to the one in Black Maria.I'm also
sure there's precedents for both.............
It seems to me that one way for a writer to retain an originality of
approach is to go back to the original sources in mythology and
history. This avoids the fiftth generation xerox feel of (for example)
the Tough Guide kind of fantasy world, So if you like " X's Viking
book" and want to write something like it read Norse mythology
and Icelandic saga not more fiction in the same vein. A common
fantasy cliche is the love potion, which usually causes trouble for
the spellcaster, in a book on "real" medieval magic I found that
hate spells were far more common -- and they make great plot
Back to Rowling I often frustrated reading her books because they
don'yt seem to fulfill their full potential. She doesn't get enoufgh use
out of her ideas. For example the magical sweets which are
described but don't make it into the main plot. I would have filled
that stupid fortunetellers room with bluebell coloured bubbles for a
My monitor has been going on the blink intermittently recently, so
if I don't post for a while it will be because it has gone completley
You are trapped in that bright moment where you learned your doom.
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