Now that we know the 8th Harry Potter book is to be released on July 31, we can look forward to the magic returning.
Every century has certain things that stand out – in politics, in world events, in technology, in cultural changes, in music, art, and in literature. These things become the “legacies” of those centuries.
A huge legacy of the 20th century, for example, is the computer and all of the technology that has followed. Other legacies will be two world wars and the Cold Ear and aftermath.
Legacies in music will be jazz, blue, rocks n’ roll, folk music, and heavy metal. Modernism and post-modernism are the legacies of art.
One thing that stands out about literature, however, is that its plots, characters, and themes reflect societal legacies.
They speak to our hopes, fears, longings, and our interactions with one another and with our planet.
During rough times throughout history, the arts have been used to not only reflect society but, as well, to provide a respite from our troubles, to take us somewhere where we can imagine a fantasy world far unlike the one in which we live, and to allow us, if only for a little while, to escape.
Consider, for example, the 1930’s in the United States – the time of the Great Depression. All of the Shirley Temple movies produced during that time allowed worried and anxious people to pay a nickel and be taken away for two hours.
The 21st century will more than likely be in part remembered for the Harry Potter series – a phenomenon that society needs right now.
The Unique Issues We Face Today
When you consider the monumental issues facing global society today, there is certainly cause for worry, anxiety, depression, and despondency:
- The Middle East is a boiling cauldron, spitting its water all over the world.
- Our planet is in deep trouble as it warms and entire species disappear
- Economies are in trouble and unemployment/underemployment is rampant
- In America, the middle class has all but disappeared
- Race relations and human rights are abysmal
- Some borders in Europe are threatened
- A presidential race in the United States has devolved into disgusting rhetoric and childish name-calling
- China’s economy is faltering
- North Korea is threatening nuclear war
- Human suffering, especially from terrorists and for those attempting to flee terrorism, is at a level we have not seen since the Holocaust
Much of our current literature reflects this – the dark despondency that so many feel. Thus, we have books and movies about Zombies; we have the frightening scenarios of The Hunger Games. Not only do these works not take us from our troubles, but they also put us in a dark place, just as much of our real world does.
As if our own problems could not get worse, now we can read about the living dead who will eat our brains, shortages of food, and a series that brings back the sadism of the Roman Empire – pitting slaves and prisoners against one another for the amusement of the few.
There is no uplifting here – just blood and gore and suffering.
We Need a Little Magic
Now that we know the 8th Harry Potter book is to be released on July 31, we can look forward to the magic returning. We can be swept away again, not by blood and gore, but by the fantasy and the thrill of a magical world of wizards and sorcerers – a world that takes us away from anything remotely resembling the dark places our minds go in our real worlds.
Harry Potter books are to us what the fairy tales of the 18th and 19th centuries were to those societies.
Details of the Book
J.K Rowling cautions fans that this is not really a book. She collaborated with two other playwrights to produce a play, not a novel, titled, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The play is set 19 years after the last Harry Potter book.
Harry is married with three children, and he and his son must face the fact that the family legacy of wizardry lives on. The play opens in London on July 30 of this year. Tickets for all performances were sold out within 8 hours of availability!
The World’s Reaction
There was a huge clamoring of Harry Potter fans all over the world (the books have been translated into some 83 languages) for the story. And so, the rehearsal script will be available in book form on July 31. Once the play has finished its first run, though, another collector’s edition of the script will be available.
Already the reservations with all booksellers for both of these editions are piling up and have topped any other book reservation in history.
Clearly, the fan base remains and has probably added quite a number since the announcement. Retailers are already filling shelves with Harry Potter glasses and swords.
We Can Have Magic Again
Children and adults both are ready for some more magic after a bit of a dry spell. Truly, there has not been much out there in the book market that can bring emotional highs of the good variety. We are welcoming Harry Potter again with open arms and hope that there will be more to come.
All this hype around the announcement should come as no surprise, however, as Harry Potter and the Cursed Child was widely anticipated by fans: when tickets for the play were released, the show sold out in just eight hours, with more than 175,000 tickets bought.
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