Harry Potter Grows Older and Darker

(From Time)

Deep into the new movie Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, our teen wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) finds the strength to face down the dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) — and the wisdom to pity him. “You can never know love or friendship,” Harry tells the noxious, noseless one. “And I feel sorry for you.”


Special Report

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The final Harry Potter book will be released July 21, and a lot of factors go into creating that “magic moment”

A creature of such magnificent maleficence, who rules less by his own considerable powers than by others’ fear of him, feeds on cunning and hatred. And that, Harry believes, should make Voldemort hungry for what he lacks: humanity. He is almost chaste in the purity of his evil, innocent of inner virtue. His genius for mischief leaves no room for the emotions and kindnesses that make Harry both more vulnerable and more formidable than the dark lord knows. That goodness, that love, is what lifts Harry above other heroes of young people’s literature; that love, and the amazing detail J.K. Rowling has poured into her imaginary universe, are what attracted readers to the Potter oeuvre. It was love at first sight.

First love is a tumbling passion, an addiction to a substance one didn’t know existed. Readers encountering the first Harry Potter books felt something like the glorious enthrallment of first love, the swooning immersion in a strange, seductive new world, without the concomitant misery and an impulse to stroll off the nearest bridge. That’s one of the perks of the best popular culture; it offers the ecstasy without the depression.

Another perk: Harrymania didn’t become epidemic in the U.S. until The Prisoner of Azkaban, the third in J.K. Rowling’s seven-book saga, hit the bookstores. So most fans gleefully consumed nearly half of the total opus in one reading orgy — shot themselves into the canon, so to speak — as they learned the lore, were introduced to the wizarding world and became familiar with its rules. Hogwarts was a secret society, a magical fraternity, that the reader heard about in the first book, joined in the second and had moved into by the third.

And though the books were officially in the 9-to-12 children’s section (and banned from the New York Times’ main best-seller list), Potterphilia was an affliction that touched adults too. I’m no kid, and I have none that I know of, but in August of 1999 I read all three books aloud to my wife, who stayed up way past bedtime to insist on hearing one more chapter.

Read the entire article here.


5 Responses

  1. Does anyone here plan to join a midnight party and get a copy of the book? One of my former roommates is a fan of Harry Potter series. He once lent me the first book, but I could only manage to go through a few pages 🙂 . He must be very disappointed 😦

  2. The above post is mine.

  3. I wouldn’t plan to as I am lazy to wait and if I was not soon enough chance is I will waste my time there. I bought it from Amazon instead. I guess you wound’t either ^^

    By the way, anh Luan, you gotta try some more pages 🙂 Things get more and more exciting later on. I read all the first 6 books in Vietnamese when they were released in Vietnam, and now this 7th one I will read it in English. I like it probably because I am so … childish? 😀

  4. The book is good for the purpose of entertaining. It was fun sitting down after book 6 and guessing what will go on in 7 (at least guess what you can guess, not create a whole book on your own).
    For the purpose of learning English, the book can help too.
    The translation by Ly’ Lan was great. But the translation of book 5 and 6 found on vnthuquan.net was ridiculuos. By comparing some paragraphs, I cannot stop myself from thinking if the one who translated the part fully understood what was written in English.

  5. Who to blame? The publishers or the translators? Well, trash them both and read the original.

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