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Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Jan 31 13:41:11 EST 2004

> I'm certainly not a JKR apologist,  and I'd obviously much prefer to
> be on the other side of this debate, but I can imagine her finding
> DWJ's comments quite upsetting, especially after she'd already had
> one stupid plagiarism court case. (Or is it more than one?)  Far
> safer to say you've hardly read anything except for a few older
> classics!

I agree she might be sensitive about that, though I don't think DWJ comes
anywhere near accusing her of plagiarism in the *Times* interview (the
sub-editor's headline didn't exactly help). But JKR denies having read much
more than DWJ: she claims never to have read Roald Dahl, for example, whom
I'm sure many people have seen as a presence behind some of the Dursley
scenes. And in fact, according to one interviewer: "she told me that she did
not read children's books. She also mentioned that she does not read fantasy
fiction at all." Now that just strikes me as bizarre. It's not just a
question of seeing resemblances between certain scenes, characters, devices,
etc in Rowling and those in other authors. These could be coincidence, as
I'm well aware! It's the fact that so much of what she does seems to work
*through* allusion to and variations on existing conventions, so that for
her to deny all knowledge would be a bit like Philip Pullman denying he'd
read Blake and Milton. What would be the point of that?

Having said all that, I'm hardly the local Rowling expert - I've skim-read
half the first book and seen the second film - so if I've got it all wrong,
I apologize!


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