Friday, July 27, 2007

The Unbearable Irony of Being Ms Potter

I like to think of J.K. Rowling as Ms. Potter. I have never read a single Harry Potter book to the completion, I have only watched the films over and over several times. When I think of Ms. Potter's rise from an unemployed single mother surviving on scraps of mercy from the government to the writer coveted by every other publisher; I am both amazed and dismayed. Amazed because her rags to riches story is too surreal to be true and dismayed because I sense her agony.

There are few writers who grow as their characters do. There are even fewer who can make their characters mature convincingly as they move seamlessly from one book to the next. Unlike Richmal Crompton's William, who is always eleven years old irrespective of the decade the book is set in, or Enid Blyton's characters, who are as mature at sixteen as they were at twelve; Harry Potter and his friends go through all the pain that comes with growing up. Little wonder then, that no one wants Harry Potter to die or to become obsolete; with the exception of J.K. Rowling herself.

As some sort of writer myself, I often find myself being drawn to my characters. I develop an affinity towards something that came out of the subconscious. One can imagine the amount of love Ms. Potter must have for Harry, his friends and the others. So why on earth does she want to kill them? It is because Ms. Rowling is first a writer and then the maker of Harry Potter. As an established writer, she can now afford the luxury of experimenting with versatility. Unfortunately, she is stuck with 'The Curse of the Potter', the kind of anathema that will not allow her to write a more 'adult' book for quite some time. Not to mention, all the clever little stunts pulled off by the publishers,pirates and others alike.

I only wonder what Ms. Potter has to say to all this.

3 comments:

Abhijit Pai said...

"Little wonder then, that no one wants Harry Potter to die or to become obsolete; with the exception of J.K. Rowling herself." - Nope, I do. In fact, I'd be very disappointed if she releases anything Potterish in the near future. Writing is perhaps not as easy as we might imagine. The seven books were planned even before the first was written, I reckon. It's not like Ekta's serials where the story changes as per how many slots more Star agrees to give it.


"Unfortunately, she is stuck with 'The Curse of the Potter', the kind of anathema that will not allow her to write a more 'adult' book for quite some time." - She doesn't seem to be among the writers who would write an adult book just because she wants to 'try her hand' at writing a book for adults.

So, as per me, there are two kinds of authors: Some, who keep churning out stuff as-fast-as-possible with the hope that something will click, and the others, who will send something to publish only when they know that what exactly they have in mind is in print.

Abhijit Pai said...

"I have never read a single Harry Potter book to the completion, ..."
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=24135840&postID=1932200422300269684

"Well speaking of Rowling, at least I can read an entire book without putting it down. With Brown, I left the last 100 pages ..."
https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=24135840&postID=2522785605850295928

Some people can never agree to the fact that they use Windows.

La Diva! said...

Actually I have read parts of 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. I stopped reading it because I was distracted by Ayn Rand :p. Nevertheless; I love Rowling's originality. Her writing isn't commonplace like Brown's. Also, she is no Ekta Kapoor. As a writer she must want to experiment with different characters, writing styles etc. It can get boring to write about the same character for all eternity.That's what I meant.