Retort directed toward A S Byatt's comments

  July 26, 2003 at 11:27 AM ET
  James     Wizard News (via Ithaca Journal)

David Rossie writesopens in new window in an eloquent and yet (in equal measure) a harsh tone, in one place stating offhandedly that he thinks, because Rowling is "dripping" in numerous awards and accolades for her accomplished set of novels, Byatt is displaying a outward sense of professional jealousy.

For the record, I don't watch TV cartoons, have never watched a soap opera or a reality TV show or those programs that keep us updated on the couplings and uncouplings of Hollywood celebrities.

But no matter. I must yearn for them, subconsciously at least, because that is a profile, as determined by Byatt, of an adult who has enjoyed reading the Harry Potter books. To which I plead guilty.

I'd never heard of A.S. Byatt until her lengthy analysis of adult Potter fans recently showed up on the op-ed page of The New York Times. In fact, and this probably confirms my low-brow status, I assumed, until a female colleague set me straight, that A.S. was a man.

Turns out she is, like J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter's creator, an acclaimed author and, unlike Rowling, one dripping with academic honors. I also suspect that her book royalties may be minuscule compared with Rowling's, but it would be crass to suggest there is a bit of professional jealousy in her assessment.


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