Potter backlash in Germany growing

  November 8, 2003 at 12:24 PM ET
  Geri     Wizard News (via Deutsche Welle)

With the release of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Germany this weekend, the chorus of critics is gaining resonance. The Harry Potter series may be an unprecedented publishing phenomenon, but its magic doesn't work for everyone.

According to Deutsche Welleopens in new window critics seem to be jumping on the anti-Potter bandwagon, which include the Christian Fe-Medienverlag who have published an impassioned anti-Potter tome Harry Potter - Good or Evil? by religious sociologist Gabriele Kuby.

Kuby subscribes to the conspiracy-theory school of literary criticism, describing Rowling's cult series as a "global, long-term project to change the face of culture." She sees the world Harry Potter inhabits as one in which "evil presides, and is depicted as a value to aspire to."

She also objects to Rowling's penchant for subverting religious symbols and rituals - such as when a poltergeist appears in Harry's school at Christmas bellowing obscene songs.

Reinhard Franzke, pedagogics professor at Hanover University, thinks that:

"The horror scenes violate childish minds. They could make sensitive children psychologically ill, trigger depression and nightmares, and affect their reading and learning abilities."

He believes that, if it continues, Potter-mania will eventually mean that "the number of patients admitted to psychiatric wards will explode, health care contributions will rocket and there'll be a rise in the number of unexplained murders and suicides."


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