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Is it true the Harry Potter novels are not original?

Question asked by: mrquestion

Asked on: 09 Apr 2008

There were some rumblings that elements of these novels were borrowed.

Well, partly some of it is based on historical fact so in that sense is not original, for instance Nicholas Flamel really did exist and really was an alchemist (those looking to turn base metals to gold and generally doing chemical reactions before chemistry formally existed).

However there were also accusations made that a lot of material or ideas were borrowed from Ursula Le Guin A wizard of earthsea, and many have drawn various parallels between the books.

It is not unusual for an author to have several influences and there is nothing wrong with being derivative, nothing is truly original in the sense that magical powers have featured many times in literature over the years.

It would be a mistake to say that the novels were in any sense copied though any more than saying any book that uses ideas which have appeared before are copied (which then means virtually every book every written is a copy of some sort).

Rather they are original works with many new concepts, however they happen to be based on themes that are familiar such as magic, a strong hero and a strong villain, supporting casts, twisting plot lines - this is good story writing rather than being unoriginal, if a format ain't broke then don't fix it!

By: knowitall
Replied at: 09 Apr 2008
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novels  original  potter  harry  true  

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