Well, we’ve had a day of Hunger Games posts and a follow-up day of Twilight thoughts; it must be time for some Harry Potter reflections and news. Today, a light and a relatively heavy post on the Hogwarts Saga: the first on Harry’s legacy post Deathly Hallows, the second on literary alchemy’s resurgence in the ’20′s and 30′s parallel to the contemporaneous renewed study of metallurgical and esoteric alchemy.
First, the fun.
I argued this time last year in Christianity Today, as the world braced for the last Harry Potter blockbuster film from Warner Brothers (but… does anyone seriously doubt there will be a re-boot or re-make sooner than we can believe today?), that Harry’s influence on the culture was not over. The final movie represented only the end of the beginning because the tsunami of Potter Mania in the early 21st century had remade the literary landscape: reader expectations for narrative fiction and the experience to be had were re-set at a much greater height — and smarter writers and publishers have naturally rushed to meet those expectations.
Twilight and Hunger Games certainly are the most successful book and movie franchises a la Harry to date but the queue to be the “Next Harry Potter” is quite long. And almost everyone standing in that line is someone in whom serious readers probably would recognize the Potter family resemblance and embrace for the likenesses and differences.
We’ve talked about Divergence, Chaos Walking, and the Leviathan trilogies here and I hope to continue those conversations (because none of the three are Hogwarts clones, if the influence is important). TotalFilm.com has conveniently given us a snapshot, though, of ‘The 30 Books That Could Be the Next Harry Potter’ to make my “it’s only the end of the beginning” point. Working through this line of Harry Heirs will keep The Boy Who Lived alive in our imagination for years, if not decades.
Please take a look and let me know what you think! My youngest boys’ favorite author, after only Jacques and Rowling, is listed as #1 and you will be reading about Artemis Fowl here if you stick around; I’ve got notes on this boy wonder begging for an outlet. I look forward to reading what books pictured here you have read and liked, despised, or can’t wait to re-visit.