Joke Rowling

I read in the Metro this morning, and in the Standard last night,* that yesterday J.K. Rowling was at the Victoria and Albert Museum to promote the creation of Pottermore.com.

I’m not going to lie, this idea does horrify my quite a lot.

While, I’ve never been a fan of hers, I have read four of the Potter books, and have promised my girlfriend to read the rest. Rowling’s disregard for mythology is something I will not go into now.

What concerns me is that half of the content for the new site already existed before she planned to create it. No matter what, any creative effort will lead to surplus, but that surplus is cut for inferiority.

I imagine the site’s target audience will flock to it, but I fear it will not be very good.

* Standard procedure, really.,

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Joke Rowling

5 thoughts on “Joke Rowling

  1. I’m not sure about it either, although as a Harry Potter fan I just can’t help but be intrigued by the concept. Although it does slightly irritate me the way Rowling has consistently drip fed further “information” to fans over the years, I almost feel as if it’s not up to her… all she achieves when she divulges the history of certain characters or sub plots is take away from the magic of the “Harry Potter” world and remind me that she came up with it; clearly she thinks she is still in control of it, whereas in reality Harry Potter is now much bigger than that.

    Anyway, I digress. The point I wanted to make is that whilst I share your concerns, I’m also saddened by her decision to cut book shops out of e-book sales (http://www.thebookseller.com/news/physical-bookshops-frustrated-pottermore.html). I’ll happily admit to being one of the people queuing up outside my local W H Smith at midnight to get my hands on The Order of the Phoenix, something I doubt she ever imagined would happen, so it seems a shame to take anything away from them.

    1. archaism says:

      I hadn’t seen that, and I must say it saddens me deeply. While I’m not one to scream about her novels, that they got people reading, and in such great, obvious numbers, is clearly a great thing.

  2. Jo says:

    I know what you mean Laura: the cash cow Harry Potter has become does somewhat take away from the magic of the first time we read it – the pleasure of telling your friends you’d found an amazing new book and not everyone had heard of it yet. I think as the generation that grew up with Harry Potter it is easy to feel a sense of ownership over it, and not to want it spoilt by commercialisation. However, I have to disagree that histories and sub plots would spoil that. I think Rowling’s real achievement is how complete the world she has created is, and extra “information” will only enhance that. I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit excited about the concept of Pottermore, and even moreso about the next film, so my perspective will naturally be a bit skewed, but I think the Harry Potter theme park deserves far more criticism for bleeding the magic from Harry Potter than Pottermore will.

    Nevertheless, I do agree that limiting book shop sales is a ridiculous decision.

    1. archaism says:

      While I’m not against the commercialisation for a successful franchise, my concern is that the histories and extra plot arcs will be only half realised.

      It’s one thing to release an author’s notes and drafts verbatim posthumously, but I’m worried that’s what this will become.

      Not the posthumous bit, mind.

  3. I think Jo’s point that we have grown up with Harry Potter as a generation, and therefore that a sense of ownership is understandable, is key to my own feelings against Rowling continuing to add ‘background’ for (probably) years to come. Whereas Jo is anticipating finding out more, I feel as if Rowling has “done her bit” and because I’m not convinced she isn’t just thinking up more things to drag out HP’s time in the spotlight, would rather she left well alone and let my imagination do the rest!

    The posthumous release of all her drafting and notes on the other hand would be unbelievably fascinating. To be privy to her intentions before these characters took on a life of their own, wow.

    PS. Super excited about the next film.

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