Absolutely. There's nothing wrong with Harry Potter in and of itself. The problem is that it's become so wildly popular that a whole generation sees it as the be-all-end-all of literature. I'm 22 and most of my friends have read all the Harry Potter books but barely anything else. And those that consider themselves "readers" just read the abundant YAF garbage that it spawned.
>>7639364 I went to the Yale University bookstore and bought and read a copy of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone." I suffered a great deal in the process. The writing was dreadful; the book was terrible. As I read, I noticed that every time a character went for a walk, the author wrote instead that the character "stretched his legs." I began marking on the back of an envelope every time that phrase was repeated. I stopped only after I had marked the envelope several dozen times. I was incredulous. Rowling's mind is so governed by cliches and dead metaphors that she has no other style of writing.
But when I wrote that in a newspaper, I was denounced. I was told that children would now read only J.K. Rowling, and I was asked whether that wasn't, after all, better than reading nothing at all? If Rowling was what it took to make them pick up a book, wasn't that a good thing?
It is not. "Harry Potter" will not lead our children on to Kipling's "Just So Stories" or his "Jungle Book." It will not lead them to Thurber's "Thirteen Clocks" or Kenneth Grahame's "Wind in the Willows" or Lewis Carroll's "Alice."
Later I read a lavish, loving review of Harry Potter by the same Stephen King. He wrote something to the effect of, "If these kids are reading Harry Potter at 11 or 12, then when they get older they will go on to read Stephen King." And he was quite right. He was not being ironic. When you read "Harry Potter" you are, in fact, trained to read Stephen King.
Our society and our literature and our culture are being dumbed down, and the causes are very complex. I'm 73 years old. In a lifetime of teaching English, I've seen the study of literature debased. There's very little authentic study of the humanities remaining. My research assistant came to me two years ago saying she'd been in a seminar in which the teacher spent two hours saying that Walt Whitman was a racist. This isn't even good nonsense. It's insufferable.
>>7639468 as one anon said, "sure it's literature... that doesn't make it good literature"
this shifts the argument but simply highlights the semantic camoflauge of an inherently subjective field, that being said, Harry Potter is not a good series and is not better than YA trash because that's exactly what it is, subjectively famm
>>7639501 someone called Rowling "dickensian" in that she started the story in the uncle's house instead of hogwarts, that way, readers will sympathize with harry, just like oliver twist. that's what Rowling is, basically a reposter
>>7639401 Someday he's just not going to be here anymore. I don't think I'll even find out about it on the national news. I'll just Google his name to see if Hum's being published yet and there will be an date of death in the wikipedia article. Will this year be the year, /lit/?
I've heard it's a good starting point for learning a foreign language (after basic rules and vocab) because of the recognizable story, plentiful translations and progressive difficulty throughout the series. Is this true or should I look elsewhere while beginning to learn, say, french?
>>7639613 there's a lot of reposting going on between great expectations and Harry Potter.. the sirius black character, Havisham as Lestrange, Pip as Harry, cupboard bedroom and all. It's not like Rowling is the greatest but I would always rather see a kid reading HP than, say, comic books.
>>7639401 >As I read, I noticed that every time a character went for a walk, the author wrote instead that the character "stretched his legs." I began marking on the back of an envelope every time that phrase was repeated. I stopped only after I had marked the envelope several dozen times. I was incredulous
This is just plain not true. I don't understand what he meant
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