Modern English literature
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record-shattering $90. 3 million in its first weekend. As Richard Bernstein said in The New York Times, the Harry Potter stories are fairly conventional, and "not nearly as brilliant or literary as, say, The Hobbit or the Alice in Wonderland books.
" The explanation for their popularity, he suggests, can be found in Bruno Bettelheim's classic study of children's literature, The Uses of Enchantment. The essence of Bettelheim's theory is that children live with greater terrors than most adults can understand, and that the classic fairy tales help express that terror while showing a way to a better future. In effect, J.
K. Rowling's novels fill a basic need for children everywhere and for the child in every adult. That seems quite sound.
But there is also the fact that Rowling has a degree of whimsicality not to be found in Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, or her other antecedents.
She is much closer to L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz series in that regard. And she has a sense of humor tuned to her era.
Thus, Harry's school supplies include "one plain pointed hat (black) for day wear. " Mail at the school is delivered by owls of different sizes, including "tiny scops owls (‘Local Deliveries Only'). " And exams at Hogwarts include practical tests, like making a pineapple tap-dance across a desk and turning a mouse into a snuffbox, "with points given for how pretty the snuffbox was, but taken away if it had whiskers.
" As if the books weren't enough, the success of the first two Harry Potter movies has created an instant and undoubtedly quite durable "franchise. " One can only hope that the sly wit, the charm, and the childlike wonder of Rowling's books won't get lost to the evils of commercialism. On the other hand, with Coca-Cola alone paying $150 million for the exclusive global marketing rights to the first movie, one might as well go wish upon a star.Скачать