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Harry Potter, superhero of “World” readers

The film performers have grown up with their roles. DPA / Photononstop / DPA / Photononstop

The announcement may surprise you. Harry Potter, superhero of the reader ranking of the World ? It would be wrong to see in it the fruit of some sort of spell or the consequence of random choices. Here is a work that has sealed the alliance of popular culture and scholarly culture, fairy tale and political narrative, the most unbridled learning novel and fantasy. These land features have promoted the adventures of the young wizard to the rank of a transgenerational work, lending themselves to multiple interpretations.

“J. K. Rowling has a cheerful and cheeky pen. His taste for fantasy is communicative. His sense of suspense leaves you breathless. (…) A perfect success that plays with mystery and thrill with virtuosity ”, wrote on January 29, 1999 Jacques Baudou in The World of Books about the first volume published in France. Two years before (The world July 12, 1997), the newspaper spoke more concisely of the unprecedented contract signed by “A young unemployed English woman, recently divorced and penniless” for “About 1,000,000 francs, from an American publisher (…). The story was highly regarded in England. Harry Potter, a poor orphan raised by a wicked uncle and a wicked aunt, discovers that he is a magician and goes into another world through a time flaw. And the Hollywood studios also seem interested ”…

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Finally, The world has referred to Harry Potter in 1,166 articles since its appearance on the literary scene! Reviews of books and films, all-round analyzes of the phenomenon, in particular of its direct or collateral benefits … First, the seven novels marked a turning point in children's and young adults' literature. They awakened the taste for reading among the youngest, revived it among their elders. They also had the French read in English in the text. Thus, volume VI in the original version, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, has sold close to 150,000 copies on this side of the Channel. Same craze for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play in epilogue in which the hero was now married and father of three children.

Sold half a billion copies worldwide, published in more than 200 countries, translated into 80 languages, including Farsi, Ancient Greek, Zulu and Frisian, they gave rise, almost simultaneously, to innumerable essays, master's theses, doctoral theses, in France and abroad. The university is in tune with the news, critical thinking has escorted public success. The universe created by J. K. Rowling has spread to the cinema, museums, textbooks where passages from his books are now studied alongside extracts from Alexandre Dumas, Franz Kafka and Victor Hugo.

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