Harry Potter's Real Magic Was on Way We Read

More than a popular book, Potter transformed literature, says critic

By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 17, 2011 6:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – With the release of the eighth and final movie in the Harry Potter franchise, stories about the famous young wizard may be over, but the series' legacy—both cultural and literary—will live on, writes John Granger in the Washington Post. "[JK] Rowling transformed our idea of what stories can do," he writes, thanks to the sheer scale of her books' success—her seven books sold 500 million copies in 67 languages (not to mention a few movies you might have heard of).

But more than just sales success, Granger thinks that Potter "hastened the demise of the literary novel." Say goodbye to boring old introspection and carefully crafted language: "Post-Potter, plot is no longer a crime, and sales do not mean selling out." Placing Rowling alongside such writers as Philip Sydney and CS Lewis, Granger says her Potter books "do best what every book is supposed to do: deliver meaning in depth, instructing while delighting." Of course, for the diehard Potter addicts, there will soon be Pottermore...

In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Ralph Fiennes portrays Lord Voldemort in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Ralph Fiennes portrays Lord Voldemort in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures)
In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.
In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, from left, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe are shown in a scene from "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros. Pictures, Jaap Buitendijk)
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