Publication details

Harry Potter : The Boy Whose Story We Have Always Heard



Year of publication 2019
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Silesian Studies in English 2018 : Proceedings of the 5th International Conference of English and American Studies (6th-7th September 2018)
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Keywords J. K. Rowling; Harry Potter; children’s literature; myth criticism; Jordan B. Peterson; Maps of Meaning; meta-myth
Description The present paper attempts to establish the reason behind the enormous popularity of the Harry Potter series – a topic which has been abundantly commented on in recent years by both experts in the fields of literature and culture, as well as professionals from the publishing industry, although with no clear consensus. Employing the concept of myth as an essentially psychological phenomenon, as presented by the Canadian psychologist Jordan B. Peterson is his Maps of Meaning (1999), the article argues both that Harry Potter is a fundamentally mythological story which strongly resonates with basic human experience of the world and that it is J. K. Rowling’s adherence to archetypal story-patterns, rather than her originality, that makes her series for readers so easy to relate to.
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