So yes, Harry Potter was a huge part of my childhood but I can’t say that it’s remained a huge part of my life. I still find some enjoyment in the films but I suspect that may have more to do with the fantastic British cast. Frankly, as the years go by I find both Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe to be increasingly annoying characters. (Although, in Radcliffe’s defence, I give him big props for openly admitting to how shit he was. As a result I’m genuinely looking forward to Horns.) Harry Potter just feels incredibly childish these days and, as a potential example of my inner child dying, I can’t help but focus on the fact that Hogwarts should have been shut down years ago. Far from being a hero, Dumbledore is nothing more than the shittest headteacher imaginable. Plus Snape’s all-encompassing and supposedly beautiful love for Lilly is actually creepy and worrying. I mean, dude she married someone else and died years ago. It was definitely time to move on.
Whilst I understand there is a lot to respect about her as person and there are aspects of her writing style to celebrate, JK Rowling just isn’t a good enough writer to keep me entertained any more. She’s supposedly one of the greatest British authors of all time but I don’t get it. Are people just confusing feelings of nostalgia with a respect for her prose? She came up with a great idea, I certainly can’t deny that, but it’s an idea that deserved a better writer. Someone who didn’t get bogged down in literary references and rushed to meet deadlines. I mean it gets super annoying that a lot of potentially exciting storylines are just tainted by her never-ending need for sentimentality.
I know big fans of the novels have probably read them countless times but I, honestly, haven’t been able to manage it and doubt I ever will. I tried so hard to read the first book again after my postgraduate degree but it just felt so cringey. Unlike my ex-colleague, I can’t remember the names of random bit characters or stupid little details. I’m not going to go so far as to say that children’s books shouldn’t be enjoyed but adults because it’s just not true. I just think Harry Potter has an age-limit. Whenever I see people nearing their twenties and upwards talking about how obsessed they still are I just don’t get it. I’m all for reliving my childhood but there’s an abundance of greater literature out there to constantly talk about instead.
Harry Potter will always have a place in my heart and it has undoubtedly helped shape my life and approach to literature. But, as Woody Allen was telling is in Midnight in Paris,nostalgia is a dangerous game. As I’ve grown up so too have my reading tastes. Harry Potter is the perfect series for young readers but there has to come a time when we all just calm down about it. So I’ll leave Harry Potter in my past and pray to god that JK Rowling does the same.
Of course, she’s proving to be a proper little George Lucas these days and I fear Book Eight really is just around the corner. Apologies, Hank, but this is one Potterhead who isn’t excitedly waiting for an additional instalment. Honestly, I can’t believe that anyone who read the fucking epilogue can still be hoping that she writes another. I don’t need to hear more about Albus Severus and his irritating father.
So I’m sorry internet, but I’ll have to approach my feelings for Harry Potter in the same way that an alcoholic deals with alcohol. I’ll always consider myself to be an addict but I’ll stay away from the thing at the heart of my obsession.