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

Jacob Proffitt Jacob at Proffitt.com
Sat Feb 1 18:41:26 EST 2003

---Original Message From: Kathryn Andersen
> 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. 
> Child-who-is-a-wizard-going-off-and-learning-magic-in-a-modern
> (ish)-world
> -- I mean, duh!  So obvious.

Again, it isn't just the beginning of career thing, it's the huge difference
in targeted age.  DWJ is writing for a 12+ audience and JKR is writing for
8-10.  When it comes to reading, that's a *huge* difference.  For one, JKR's
audience is only just out of picture-books.

> 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! 8-P

First, I'm not sure DWJ is better.  I like DWJ a lot more, personally.  But
that doesn't translate into better in an absolute sense.  As I've tried to
explain, I have a tough time comparing them, even when you compare to DWJ's
earlier works because of the age difference in their audience and the fact
that DWJ writes one-offs whereas JKR has a bunch of books in the one
universe.  And in books, there's a synergy in success.  JKR's success
actually contributes to DWJ's widening exposure.  It's something to
celebrate, particularly since JKR is preparing readers to be able to enjoy
and appreciate DWJ.

Jacob Proffitt

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