Books, Harry Potter

I’d Like To Ban Harry Potter: A Response

Dear Shinie Antony,

Hi! How are you? I read your interview in Times of India today. Being an avid reader myself, I had no idea about your existence till I read your interview.  So, I had to search you on Goodreads. I found that you have written quite a few books yourself..and a total of THIRTEEN  people had rated your most rated book! And most of your books have been rated from the range of 2 to 3.5 stars…wow! Congratulations!!

I am writing to you, because I read your this article:

Now there are a million books out there, and a million more readers. So, I understand that not everybody will be aware of each and every ‘author’ there is. But, do you know, unless the person is living under a rock, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on some island that has not yet been charted on the maps as of today, since last decade….he/she WILL know of Harry Potter…Gives you a perspective doesn’t it?

There is a chance that you might not have a taste for fiction…every person has a different taste. But, if you wish to ban a book, and you are giving reasons for banning the book, at LEAST give reasons that are logical, and that are real, and not put out ‘facts’ based on what you think is in the book. READ before bashing.

Reading your interview, It was very clear, that you have NEVER READ the Harry Potter Series. Which is OK….but this is like you are giving an opinion on the taste of a dish that you have never tasted in your life.

You know why it was very clear, that you have not bothered to read through the series?

Here’s why:

Resembles too many tales…

Orphan hero.

Yea, because any story that has an orphan hero is copied. Duh..by the way..there are many stories with heros with parents, and heros with a single parent…so if I were to write a story…should I write a story where hero drops from the sky, or is born from aliens… so that it does not ‘resemble’ other stories?

Talking Animals.

Umm…the countless times that I read the entire story, I never once came across a talking animal…are you sure the book’s name was not Panchatantra or Narnia?

Evil Cousin.

That is Cinderella…not Harry Potter…though, it would be a very interesting fanfic where Voldemort is born in the Dursley Family!

Wands.

It is a story about wizards…what did you expect?

Startlingly different tone and reader age level from book to book

Well since the characters were eleven years old at the start and seventeen years old at the end….I do not understand how the tone would not change..An eleven year old would have much less perspective than a seventeen year old. Also, you might want to search a term called “Character Development”

About the readers, I started reading Harry Potter when I was about thirteen…I completed the series when I was in early twenties…my level of reading had changed..and Harry Potter changed along with it…the characters grew and developed with me…that’s the whole point of it…

all those details about a sport called Quidditch

In the fictional world, it’s called developing a perfect world. The details gives an idea, it forms entire structure of the world in our minds…

a morality tale.

When someone writes on Morality, it should be banned because it is too common.. let’s forget that an entire genreation gets strength and the courage to stand up for what is right…let us forget all those scientific researches that state that people who grew up reading harry potter are more open minded, smarter, open to diversity and are more politically tolerant than nonfans. Let us forget that these books made reading ‘cool’ again…let’s ban it..because you feel so.

Links to less than 1% of such researches:

http://www.psmag.com/navigation/books-and-culture/harry-potter-battle-bigotry-87002/

http://io9.com/d-id-harry-potter-influence-the-political-views-of-the-1623876038

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rossalynwarren/kids-that-read-harry-potter-have-more-positive-views-on-gay

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-everyone-should-read-harry-potter/

http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/harry-potter-makes-you-smarter-how-magic-unleashes-kids-creative-thought/

http://elitedaily.com/life/culture/science-says-kids-who-read-harry-potter-are-just-better-human-beings-in-general/691225/

Makes us look for railway stations that do not exist.

That’s the sign of a good fiction book. We KNOW the station does not exist, but we still look for it, because J K Rowling is such a powerful writer, that she manages to create a world inside us, which is so realistic, that we hope against all hope for it to be real. Now THAT is powerful writing.

Also, on a totally non related topic, you could not finish a Pulitzer Prize winning novel?

So, if you do not like Harry Potter, or if you feel that it is not your cup of tea, that’s totally cool! Just, do not parade wrong information as the reason for ‘banning a book’.

Thank you.

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24 thoughts on “I’d Like To Ban Harry Potter: A Response”

  1. Reblogged this on Bound and Gagged and commented:
    Many people have tried to (and succeeded in) banning Harry Potter. I’ve been wanting to tackle the books here for years, but never know where to begin (I’ve written two academic papers on the matter and have too much to say) or how to put it in any kind of coherent, non-thesis-y order and then get overwhelmed and put it off again. However, an excellent blog I follow recently wrote a rebuttal to an interview in Times of India, in which a writer gave some odd reasons for wanting to ban the Harry Potter books. Once again it seems the people trying to ban books have all too often never read them. Anyway, it’s an interesting read, so go check it out.

    Like

  2. Haha! Well written! And hey, I thought by”taking animals” she meant “talking animal tongue” as in parseltongue! But then, I don’t remember reading any book where characters talk in animal language! May be she is talking about nagini talking in Part 7? I dunno! 😛

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  3. Isn’t it obvious, she was trying to piggyback on the success of an already established author just so that she presents herself to be the different one in the herd of sheep.
    To a point she succeeded, as it is apparent you did your research on her and everyone reading your article will know about her in detail (courtesy you).

    Like

  4. Lovely article! 🙂

    I like the HP series, but haven’t really liked it enough to consider it as the top of the fantasy pile, but then again, I am a hardcore LOTR buff. I’d even written a post myself about LOTR vs. HP long long back – https://psycamerasjogatya.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/yet-another-lotr-thing/ Yes, shameless plugging of my own post, I know 😛 But wanted to put it on here, and get your view on this.

    However, what the hell was this person even thinking while giving that interview? I’d like to find out what she was high on at that particular moment, and strongly start a campaign against that among all high schools and colleges with the sole message that “This will not give you a good high. It will just rob you of rational thinking!” Nothing else can explain such a reasoning for me… other than maybe her being an Indian politician – but that’s a different story/ballgame altogether.

    Anyway, great piece, like I said.

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    1. I read LOTR long back, when I was in primary school…I remember being a bit confused at the places…but I really liked the story line..I plan to read it again soon!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pick it up soon – I can’t recommend LOTR enough! 🙂 My standard fall-back when I am feeling too bored, and am too lazy to search out a new book to read.

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  5. Kudos on the response!

    But to say that I have encountered such, more than a few people who are not published yet and will not be ever.. who think Harry Potter is so and so… First, I think they just lack an imagination to just believe in the text or as Coleridge has said, willing suspend our senses to a text.. Second, which work is original.. all of what we read is revisited and re-adapted.. they fail to appreciate the beauty in assembling a set of already known ideas.. and third, it is easy to critique!

    it is not just about harry potter and its realms of fantasy… this sounds like is a standard critique of over the top films as well.. like “why shd Bollywood films have songs, we don’t dance around trees in real life!!” duh!! there are different genres.. of writing and making..

    lovely piece,
    Ashes 🙂

    Like

    1. Thanks for dropping by and leaving the comment 🙂 I do think it is ok to not like something…not everybody has the same tastes…but saying this should be banned, or that should be banned just because it does not fit in my standards of good literature…is not ok..What people need to understand is that it is “fiction”, which means it is not real. So, it does not make sense to read a fiction and ask for reality ..those who want reality can read non fiction..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. exactly. everybody is entitled to an opinion. But, there are ways of putting forth an opinion.

        And, we do need to take into account that HP, since we are discussing this series, became successful in a certain period.. there is this scale of popularity that cannot be measured – as to why some book or film et al. became popular or is on the best selling list..

        HP fans or not, this kind of opinion demeans not the book but the writer! I hope she gets that right at least. More publicity for potter, if not anything else.. if spotlight is what she wants, she gets it.. but as ‘infamous’ 😦

        Like

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