Monday, September 20, 2010

Superstitions in Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series continues to fascinate me as does the growth and mastery of J.K. Rowling.

As she developed as a write, J.K. Rowling began including expletives that were specific to the wizarding world. Like “Merlin’s Beard!”

To my delight in her seventh book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” Rowling got around to Wizard-specific superstitions. What she does that is so delightful is skate right beside something that is familiar in our regular world, touch it a tiny bit so that is becomes specific to the world that isn’t ours but it is so familiar we don’t need explanation.

In a conversation about The Deathly Hallows and their inclusion in a children’s book of cautionary fairy tales she discusses:

• May born witches will marry muggles
• Jinxed by twilight undone by midnight
• Wand of elder never prosper

It is the wand of elder that is important to the through line of the story, the other two superstitions give credibility to the third. It’s very clever writing. Truly J.K. Rowling can be used a textbook for exceptional writing.

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