Tag Archives: J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Gothic Tradition

At The Leaky Cauldron, Elizabeth Murray talks about Harry Potter and the Gothic Novel:

 For as long as J.K. Rowling’s novels have been on best-seller lists and up for literary awards, reviewers, critics, and scholars have been attacking the novels and especially the adults who freely acknowledge their love of these “children’s books”. In a New York Times article published in 2000, William Safire clearly states his opinion on Harry Potter: “These are not, however, books for adults.”  Safire argues, “the Potter series is not written on two levels” and therefore is not worthy of consideration as literary or even proper reading for adults. The well-respected scholar Harold Bloom claims, “one can reasonably doubt that ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ is going to prove a classic of children’s literature.”  After reading comments like these, I wonder if either of these Harry Potter skeptics have actually taken the time to read through the books or examine some of the scholarly essays that have been published about the series in a number of books, journals, and websites. Their dismissal of the Harry Potter books is reminiscent of the initial reactions scholars have had to other books that we now consider classics and are being taught in many university classrooms.

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