I went to a panel on ‘The Harry Potter effect’ at the British Library this month
The discussion ranged so widely I couldn’t possibly mention everything but it began with how much a part of our culture Harry Potter has become. It’s a touchstone and social inroad for people: you can make a Harry Potter reference and be fairly sure that people are going to understand and connect to it. They moved on to its impact on politics, psychology, economics, history and of course made time for the important things: people’s favourite characters and moments in the series.
It was so profound for me to be in a room where Harry Potter was being taken seriously (and it was all I could do not to stand up and tell them about HOL). The 4 panellists were all incredibly intelligent, successful women in their own fields (a journalist, a publisher, a writer and a politician) and they were all complete fans. While they could talk about the series’ flaws and deconstruct its success in terms of less sentimental factors, they did so from a place of total love and respect. For someone who always felt a little awkward talking about Harry Potter in University due to it not being ‘serious’ enough, this was very, very liberating.
So, my question to you is…have you ever experienced a really profound moment due to your love of HP? And also, what do you consider to be ‘The Harry Potter Effect’?