McCrum: HP for Kids and Their MindersHarry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
July 11, 2005, 12:55 PM
We've got another entry to the A.S. Byatt/Harold Bloom/William Safire school of HP-haters: Robert McCrum, who says:
"The great children's books were written by emotionally backward men and women who were writing principally for themselves....When all is said and done, JK Rowling is for children, their teachers and parents, the people who actually pay for the books....A triumph for word of mouth, her success has never been about hype. Yet her colossal readership, though real enough, is oddly limited.Hang on; neither I nor editor Kristin mind any children at all. Oh god, we're not fans! Thank goodness someone told us! Bye, guys - it's been fun. Pokemon, here we come!
When the current generation of Harry Potter readers has grown up, it will look back on the Harry Potter phenomenon with a mixed thrill of intense nostalgia, embarrassment and dismay. Our children's children will certainly read these books, but as curiosities, bizarre literary relics from a lost world.
... Harry Potter, unlike Alice, is only for children and their minders. The same goes for the movies... And now I'm going to live in a faraway country for 10 years."
(You can thank Mr. McCrum for getting rid of us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)