Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Byatt v. Rowling

A.S. Byatt takes a clear eyed look at Harry Potter's literary merit, which is minimal. (New York Times)
Ms. Rowling's magic world has no place for the numinous. It is written for people whose imaginative lives are confined to TV cartoons, and the exaggerated (more exciting, not threatening) mirror-worlds of soaps, reality TV and celebrity gossip. Its values, and everything in it, are, as Gatsby said of his own world when the light had gone out of his dream, "only personal." Nobody is trying to save or destroy anything beyond Harry Potter and his friends and family.
She sees the appeal for children, and doesn't fault the books for that... but takes to task adults who should know better. Read the whole piece here.

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