DWJ's answers: Harry Potter

liril at gmx.net liril at gmx.net
Tue Aug 28 08:23:13 EDT 2001

Hi everybody,

The first Harry Potter book made me think of  Charmed Life, too:

The actual theme may be different, but they are similar in so far as they present a world basically like ours, with normal people (aka Muggles) but also with powerful magic users. They both deal with the consequences this has on society. In CL, there is Chrestomanci to prevent magic users from ruling the world, because "normal people have rights, too." In Harry Potter there is the Ministery of Magic (or
Muggles?), and they also protect non magic users, in this system by not letting them know that magic exists. When reading the HP books, I felt a bit unhappy about that solution, along the lines "if they can regularly make huge amounts of food appear, why do they not help starving people?" Later it was explained that the food does not come out of nowhere, but still this "no interference with Muggles policy"
seemed rather cowardly to me (concering e.g. the way they can heal injuries etc). There is at some point an explanation given, but I thought it was a bit lame.

So when reading the first HP, I thought I likeed DWJ's approach to these problems better: living together openly with (more or less) open control. Of course, part of what people seem to love about HP is that his world is "close" to ours, like: "Hey, there could be witches an we wouldn't know".

And there were - at least in the German media - people talking as if *no one* had ever thought of worlds "like ours" with magic users in them...


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