Over the month of July, I have noticed that the world has pretty much succumbed to “Potter-mania.” The fifth movie – “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” is now showing in the theaters, and the long awaited final installment in the book series – “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was released just a minute past midnight a few days ago.
Now it seems like all of my friends are engrossed in reading the book, and everyone is talking about it…no less than eleven different blogs on Harry Potter have made the Top Posts list over at WordPress over the past week.
So what do I think of all this insanity over the boy wizard of Hogwart’s?
Truthfully, I don’t understand it.
Just what is the big mass appeal about Harry anyway?
Okay, so they are fun, interesting, well-written books that delve into children’s fantasies. They’ve encouraged the younger generation to take an interest in reading. They’ve stirred up an interest in Witchcraft and sparked a major debate regarding the evils of such amongst the fundies. They’ve made J.K. Rowling a millionaire, and left the rest of us jealous as hell, wondering why the heck we couldn’t write books like that.
The other day a friend of mine asked me what I thought of the final book and the end to the Harry Potter saga. I assume she figured that I was one of those who stood in line for hours waiting for the clock to strike and the mad rush to begin to become one of the first proud owners of this very special publication.
It’s a legitimate question. After all, I’ve been a genuine, bona-fide, card-carrying practitioner of Witchcraft for the past 25+ years.
Yours truly has yet to even READ a single copy of Harry Potter…let alone own the book.
Perhaps it is because of that above-mentioned status that I haven’t gotten all excited about the books. When they first came out, I just shrugged my shoulders and sighed. Yet another author perpetuating that stereotypical portrayal of a witch, complete with black cape, coned hat, and broomstick. It’s not like it hasn’t been done before – just look at Hansel and Gretel or the Wizard of Oz. Even Master William got in on the act with his three witches of Macbeth gathered around the cauldron, muttering their double, double, toils and troubles.
Now, in case you’re worried that I’ve been living in a cave for the past couple of years, let me assure you that I haven’t been completely immune to the Harry Potter craze. I have seen the first four movies in the film series, and probably will watch the fifth – most likely after it comes out on DVD. Of course, everyone says that the books are much better – as is usually the case when literature meets Hollywood.
I’m not saying the books are bad…I’m sure they are quite well written. I have plenty of literary friends to attest to that fact. Some of them are even Witches themselves. But I have just never joined in the enthusiasm of reading the tomes of Ms. Rowling.
Maybe one of these days I’ll change my mind. Maybe curiosity will get the best of me and I’ll want to delve deeper into the psyches of Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and Voldemort. Maybe I will want to learn more about those horuxes.
Or maybe I’ll just want brush up on the rules for playing Quidditch.