Articles

They DIDN’T Kill Harry. Bastards.

In Culture, Media on July 22, 2007 by Petr Bokuvka

I understand why you have to stand in line for four hours before opening: when you are a Czech student waiting to get U.S. visa and the office hours at the U.S. embassy in Prague are totally inconsistent with the numbers of applicants.

I don’t understand why you have to stand in line twenty hours before opening just to get a book. Apparently, this is exactly what was happening all over the world with HP7, the new Harry Potter book. Notice how a work of art from the category of literature got promotional abbreviation, just like pure-commerce pieces like MI2.

Let’s not be mistaken, HP7 IS pure commerce. It was written and published to make millions of pounds, dollars, yens, euros… J.K. Rowling used to be a single mom with not-so-good income who got an idea for a book and decided to turn this idea into a money making venue. The children’s souls were not the motor. Especially since the books are not really children’s literature (fairytale-wise).

In this regard J.K. Rowling acts as a total hypocrite when she urges all true fans not to pay attention to spoilers and not to spoil the ending for anyone. Once the book becomes a piece of mass culture, as an author you no longer have it under your control as you’d wish. And as for the endings, movie viewers and readers know how to treat endings: in South Park Kenny is always killed. All but one episode of Yes Minister ends with the same phrase. And for the better part of the eighth season of Friends you could be pretty much sure Ross would not kiss Rachel.

Harry Potter deserves all the things people do to books. Parodies, spoilers, bad press. Aside from that, hats off to chef, she cooked it fine. And yes, she has definitely made some children get off their asses and computers and grab a book. But considering how crazy the fans behaved in front of bookstores in the middle of the night, she should admit once for all that she has become a mass culture author. Can’t do both: can’t write like that to make money AND talk about children’s souls. Public domain things are for kids’ souls, like songs, lullabies, etc. Harry Potter is for the kids’ parents’ wallets.

And by the way, Emma Watson looks good naked. How long can this last, with all the role model and favorite hero thing?

Google key words test: HP7, Harry, Potter, Rowling, Deathly, Hallows, premiere  

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