: [Fwd: Bullying, DWJ, and Harry Potter...]

Kathryn Andersen kat_lists at katspace.com
Sat Feb 1 17:23:09 EST 2003

On Sat, Feb 01, 2003 at 10:01:00AM -0700, Jacob Proffitt wrote:
> I don't think that the difference between JKR and DWJ is as clear cut as
> we've been assuming.  It's hard to make comparisons because they are such
> different writers.  I mean, the only real relationship is that they both
> write books targeting non-adults.  That's a pretty slim similarity to make
> equivalent comparisons.  I think it's a too-easy judgment to place JKR in
> the subordinate position just because our taste is for the more maturely
> targeted DWJ.  It's like we're eager to defend DWJ when she's not really
> under attack...

I'm sorry, but I can't buy that they are *so* different!  When I read
the first Harry Potter book, the first thing I thought of was "this is
like DWJ, only not as good".  Even if you say that it's only fair to
compare the Potter books with DWJ's earlier works, such as Archer's
Goon, Wilikin's Tooth and The Ogre Downstairs, then I still say DWJ
comes off better.  I haven't read Archer's Goon or Wilikin's Tooth, but
The Ogre Downstairs is still better than Harry Potter.  The characters
are more realistic, the magic has synergy.  (Hmmm, must go and re-read
that soon)  Though of course the obvious comparison is with the
Chrestomanci books, particularly Charmed Life and Witch Week.
-- I mean, duh!  So obvious.

As for why we feel the need to "defend" DWJ, it's because Rowling has
the fame and success that DWJ ought to have had because DWJ is better!

Now, all of the worst criticisms people are making about the Potterverse
in this thread, I agree that they are worrying and possibly going too
far -- and upsetting for people who liked the Potter books, because some
of the things people are saying -- like about Slytherin -- would make me
want to throw all the Potter books against the wall!  My chief criticism
of the Potterverse is that it's superficial, and not go in worrying
about the deeper meaning of the Houses or the house-elves or whatever.

The most notable redeeming factor in the Potterverse is Snape.
Hurrah for her overturning the stereotype that only nice people are
good.  And I have a soft spot for Hagrid, too.
(Note: I have only read the first two Potter books)

Kathryn Andersen
People don't look old - their photos just get younger.
	-- Kaijen, Observations
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