The Harry Potter series has been overwhelmingly popular. Each new book sold millions of copies, more than does a new book by the great Pat Buchanan.
However, despite a complete lack of evidence in her books, Rowling is now taking the winning side of history by adding in politically popular ideas.
Most controversially, Rowling has declared Dumbledore homosexual, which for a parent raises fears of pedophilia. No, it is not noble to place one’s vulnerable offspring at the risk of such abuse in the spirit of a great social experiment.
And Rowling has said the school was more multicultural than is evident in her books. The appeal of Harry Potter is its Britishness and indeed culture. While the rest of the world becomes secular and monotonous, Harry Potter was filled with magic and particularities. I would similarly find a samurai fantasy book boring if it included an African Animalist and an Arab Muslim. Samurai are supposed to be Japanese, or at least Ainu.
I love the high fantasy genre, but I never got into Harry Potter beyond a brief reading. This continuing fiasco underscores for me how truly valuable good fantasy work can be. Really, we might have all the high fantasy we need as a people.
For younger teenagers, CS Lewis’s Narnia and Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
For older teenagers, Tolkien’s LotR & The Silmarillion
For young adults, CS Lewis’s Space Trilogy
For a mature audience, CS Lewis’s Till We Have Faces
With Rowling we get popular positioning, but with Tolkien we have wonderful essays like this one over at The Imaginative Conservative. Surfing the Internet brings up endless articles, even hobbit houses, returns to a peasant-like existence! The tales are written and in a sense, perhaps, thusly dead. But in a sense they very much live!
Apparently Tolkien and Lewis were both influenced by the great GK Chesterton. I think I’ll spend my leisure time reading the rest of what Imaginative Conservative has to offer rather than reading new fantasy works (it takes little time to read a Mike Tuggle story), but in conclusion I say: We don’t need Rowling.