Who knows Harry Potter???>
2. Voices from the Press
The Financial Times
"Rowling is an exciting new talent, and her book is an excellent reading-pleasure; without end fantastic and funny."
"The books of the 34 years old J. K. Rowling are written for 9-11 years old childs, but they are better than 92% of the adult literature."
" Such a marriage of good writing, inventiveness and cheer child-appeal has not been since Ronald Dahl, perhaps even since Tolkien, Lewis and Ronsome. J. K. Rowling has woken a whole generation to reading."
3. Success of the book in numbers
Joanne K. Rowling, the author, is 34 years old now, got a little daughter, Jesi, 6 years. And she's one of the most successful female writers in the world.
Until now, there were published 3 volumes:
. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone
. Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets
. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban
They are about 28 million times sold in the world, about 1 million in Germany. ( E.g. Michael Reich-Ranizki 500.000)
They are translated in about 30 languages.
So, these three books of her are holding places 7, 2, 3 in the New-York-Times best seller list, in German Spiegel-list they hold places 1, 3, 6 right now.
Well, who is this amazing Harry Potter, who brought so much success into Rowlings' live?
Unkempt hair, doing what they want but not laying flat at the head
Not very big for his age
Normal at school
Not very special...
Got there a scar on his forehead
Step-parents told him, this is from a car-crash, when he was aged 1 year, and where his parents died.
Lilli and James Potter
Met at Hogwarts, kind of school
Were very talented in magic
Indeed his parents have died, but this was not a car-crash...
They were killed, by Lord Voldemort
Ones a good wizard, but power turned him to the dark side of magic; he became evil
He came there for the Potters, killed his parents and he also tried to kill Harry, but somehow he failed, and from that "try" Harry got this scar.
After that Voldemort disappeared and has not been seen since that night...
Only called "You-know-who", cause all the wizards and witches are so afraid of him
After that "accident" Harry was brought to the Dursley's;
His mothers sister Aunt Petunia and her husband Uncle Vernon
Very unpleasant people
Try to be very normal, so that the people don't speak over them, especially there neighbours
They did not tell Harry anything about his forebears
They don't want to have anything to do with this crazy wizard-world
They are so-called "Muggles"
Harry got to live in an cupboard under the stairs, wears the old clothes of Dudley, who is very fat and gets everything he wants from his parents
Dudleys favourite sport is to punish Harry; but he could not very often get him...
Not very pleasant live
At Harry's 11th Birthday Hagrid came into his life
Hard-drinking near giant man
Around 30-40 years old
Gamekeeper at Hogwarts
Has been there himself, but got expelled in his third year
Gave him a letter, that he got a place there
So, Harry went to Hogwarts
Kind of "boarding school", where you stay the whole year (learn, eat, sleep, ...)
There are 4 houses:
Because there are many students, I think about 400-500
very old building, about 1000 years old
getting there, of course, some friends.
Two very specials are
got 5 brothers and a little sister, Giny, who are all at Hogwarts
Family not rich
So he got everything second-hand, e.g. Scabbers, the fat, grey rat (always sleeping)
Stands always by Harry
Reads very much
Very good at school
Smart Muggle-born know-it-all
Her family are Muggles
Always the best student of the year
5. The Author
So, this woman writing such amazing books, who is she?
Her story sounds a bit like a PR-fairytale.
She was 31, she was divorced, got a little baby there, lost her job as a teacher; her mother died with multiple scleroses, she have had depressions. She says, it is not overdone to say that this book saved her life.
She says, the first thought of Harry came into her head while she was sitting in a train, driving from London to Manchester. The train got stuck and so she had many time to think.
That was the beginning.
After that, it took her five years to think the hole wizard world up.
By the way, the story is planned for 7 books, one for every year of Harry at Hogwarts.
Before Harry, she'd never published a book. She says, there have been two books for adults nearly ready, but she hasn't published, because they were really shit.
Rowling insists that she never consciously set out to write for children, but that working on Harry Potter taught her how easily she could tap into her childhood memories.
"I really can, with no difficulty at all, think myself back to 11 years old. You are very powerless, and kids have this whole underworld that to adults is always going to be impenetrable.
Nobody can really explain
With the logic of the market it never could have taken place:
. Books between 350 and 400 pages
. Antiquated Hardware like owls, broomsticks and potions
. Uncool topics like friendship, trust and readiness to make sacrifices
Not very up to date!!
It's like a revolt of the kids against the marketing-strategies and occupational therapies from the adult-world
You can not really plan kids!!!
Hogwarts is a kind of apart from real world. Like a world to escape from the real world with all this problems like divorced parents, punishment, nobody caring of them, computers, multimedia, crime,...
This is something we lost in our minds:
Children need this "parallel-escape-worlds"
One of the interesting things about Hogwarts in the Potter Books is that it contains no technology at all. Light is provided by torches and heat by massive fireplaces. Who needs electricity when you have many of wizards and magic wands? Who, for the matter, requires mail pickup and delivery when a squadron of trained owls flies messages to and from the school? Technology is for Muggles, who rely on contraptions because they can not imagine the conveniences of magic.
A devote Potter-fans have learned is that knowing magic is not the same thing as using it;
Harry has to handle his problems the other way, he solves them with courage, cleverness and deep attachment to his friends.
Rowling says, it is not really believable just to rob a ring, and all problems are gone.
She says furthermore, that it is really important that a fantasy-World has to be exactly-ruled and that everybody can understand that rules. In her opinion, tension and drama can only be built by passing the borders.
Harry is growing, getting one year older in every book.
So, he's not staying 11 years old every time like it takes place in many other books for children; so it doesn't offer this lie of everlasting childhood, like e. g. in Peter Pan.
There are many really funny things in the book, e. g. that people don't stay there in their photos but moving and disappearing or the "Bertie Bott' Every Flavour Beans", which offer every flavour, ranging from chocolate and peppermint to earwax and bogey or Quiddditsch
So, to come to a closure:
I can not really explain the success of this book.
Nobody can. Only reading it helps, because then you can understand...
It's not just like reading this book.
When you start reading, there happens something that is not happening in many books: you are no longer outside or in front of the book.
It's like you are at Hogwarts, and when you turn your head, you can see the corridors of the building and you can feel the magic...
No matter what age you are...