Something has been bothering me the last couple months. Read your paper. Does it seem to have many articles about a certain wizard? Every year, at about this time, the papers are innundated by articles about the Harry Potter films and books. I have two problems with this.
All this attention is given to Harry Potter. The books are popular, but there are many many more books out there. Harry Potter is often portrayed as the “be all end all” of contemporary lit. I see Harry Potter as the road block to other great works. I agree that HP has reinvigorated reading in our society. I just don’t see any effort being made to encourage reading beyond HP.
When the LotR films came out, how much focus was given to Tolkien and his works? From what I recall, next to none. Sure, there were a couple more shelves in the bookstore, but that was it. There was no real credit given in the mass media. It was all about Jackson. Seeing all the “hoopla” over HP helped me realize this. There was almost no effort to get the word out. In some ways, it was made out to be Jackson & co.’s creation alone. I’ll admit, there were blurbs here or there saying “JRR Tolkien’s epic…blah blah blah” etc. But really, except for saying he wrote a book, nothing more was done.
Thus we get Harry Potter, the Literary Hog. Taking the spotlight, and obscuring other great works in darkness.