DWJ's answers: Harry Potter
hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Aug 30 12:33:08 EDT 2001
>DWJ's comments about Harry Potter plus a programme yesterday on the
>television about J K Rowling have made me think again about the HP
>books (of wch I am not a fan). I'm a bit baffled about why DWJ
>explicitly says JKR was influenced by her:
>DWJ: "I enjoyed the Harry Potter books, but I did find some parts of
>them strangely familiar."
Not only that, but she actually used the word plagarism in this
context - while saying she didn't know whether it was unconscious or
>Apart from the magical milieu, I can't see many similarities. Yes,
>in Witch Week DWJ uses a boarding school setting, but it's not a
>school to teach magic, and there are other much more striking
>examples - the Worst Witch books, for instance. The book DWJ refers
>to is Charmed Life, but the basic proposition of the hero developing
>magic talents has been used in many other books (Susan Cooper's, for
>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".
Oh yes, I definitely like DWJ's approach much better too! No
question. But I still agree with Georgia that while similarities may
exist, a lot of similarities exist between a lot of books, without
necessarily leading to the use of terms like plagarism, or even a
statement that the influence ought to be acknowledged. IMO anyway.
I get as frustrated as any other DWJ fan with all the HP mega-hype,
but it still seems less than fair to blame JK Rowlings for the
idiotic statements made by critics about her books.
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