Marion Gymnich and Klaus Scheunemann: The ‘Harry Potter Phenomenon’: Forms of World Building in the Novels, the Translations, the Film Series and the Fandom in:

Marion Gymnich, Hanne Birk, Denise Burkhard (Ed.)

"Harry - yer a wizard", page 11 - 38

Exploring J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter Universe

1. Edition 2017, ISBN print: 978-3-8288-4035-5, ISBN online: 978-3-8288-6751-2,

Series: Wissenschaftliche Beiträge aus dem Tectum Verlag: Anglistik, vol. 6

Tectum, Baden-Baden
Bibliographic information
Marion Gymnich and Klaus Scheunemann The ‘Harry Potter Phenomenon’: Forms of World Building in the Novels, the Translations, the Film Series and the Fandom “[…] there is no doubt that since the advent of Harry Potter, the concept of an international bestseller for children has taken on a new meaning as well as a new epithet: ‘phenomenon’” (Lathey 141). I. Introduction Two decades after the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 1997, the success of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series has become legendary. As James Russell points out, it “may have started out as a series of thrilling novels for children, but Harry Potter became the quintessential product of the modern American movie industry: an ultra highbudget, transmedia franchise” (392). Three years after the publication of the first volume, the ‘Harry Potter phenomenon’ was already well under way: “After 2000, and the publication of Goblet of Fire […], the ritual of queuing outside a bookshop the night before the book went on sale became famous” (Sunderland et al. 178). The eager anticipation and media hype that accompanied the publication of new instalments of the series in the late 1990s and early 2000s may seem unusual, at least for novels. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan observe that it is easy to compare the marketing of the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, released on 8 July 2000, to that of a film. The release of the fourth book was unashamedly promoted according to all the rules of Hollywood’s blockbusters, especially those which herald a series of films, like Jaws, Star Wars, or The Lord of the Rings. The release-day was announced months before and was celebrated with queues of customers waiting through the night, hundreds of adults and children attending bookshop events in order to collect their pre-ordered volume (39-40). The film series based on Rowling’s novels has of course also contributed to the ‘Harry Potter phenomenon’, and one can safely assume that by now significantly more people around the world have watched the entire movie series than have read all of the novels. Still, as far as one can tell today, for many people the movies have not simply replaced the novels, which continue to be as popular as ever.1 There was much speculation about the beneficial effects of the Harry Potter series on children’s literacy and their interest in reading, but it is still more or less an open question how extensive this so-called ‘Harry Potter effect’ on children’s reading habits has really been. Scholars such as Steve Dempster, Alice Oliver, Jane Sutherland and Joanne Thistlethwaite claim that the impact may actually have been a bit overestimated, especially since the undeniable length of the later volumes of the series seems to have prevented many young readers from finishing the books or even from reading them in the first place. What Dempster, Oliver, Sutherland and Thistlethwaite noticed in their study, however, is that the experience of read- 1 As Michael K. Johnson observes, audio-visual adaptations are actually likely to disappoint fans to a certain extent: “Few film adaptations of beloved novels appear without an accompanying chorus of complaints about the film’s differences and departures from the source text, often expressed, as Robert Stam has pointed out, in terms that connote moral violations (unfaithfulness, lack of fidelity)” (207). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 12 ing the series on the whole does increase young readers’ interest in specific genres, i.e., in “fiction that centre[s] on fantasy, magic, action and adventure” (277). Harry Potter is much more than children’s literature, of course. Children and adolescents only constitute one segment of the Harry Potter fan community, and “[o]lder readers have made up a substantial portion of Rowling’s audience from the start”, as Rebecca Sutherland Borah (346) observes. This is also apparent in the fact that Harry Potter has become the prime example of ‘all-ages’ or ‘crossover literature’. The emergence of the global ‘Harry Potter phenomenon’ in the late 1990s may partially be accounted for as a consequence of the innovative strategies of communication that accompanied the publication of the series almost from the start and that made use of new media. The first volumes were published at a time when the internet was gradually becoming a widely accessible, everyday medium for many people around the world, which made new forms of communication possible: As the novels were being released, the widespread adoption of the internet was accelerating the possibilities for hype and promotion, and Rowling actively used the web to speak to her fans, and provide insights into the writing process. Throughout the early 2000s, the Potter novels were very visibly presented to the public as something J.K. Rowling was actively and currently doing (Russell 394, original emphasis). Since the 1990s, fans have increasingly used the internet to construct an international virtual community, sharing their fascination with the wizarding world in forums or by means of fan fiction.2 In 2011 Pottermore was established as a platform for representing the franchise, distributing news and additional stories about the fictional Harry Potter universe that have an official/canonical status due to being sanctioned or even written by J.K. Rowling (cf. Sharp 112). Since its inception, Pottermore has undergone substantial changes in terms of its contents and functions, whose implications we will discuss in more detail below. Though communication and marketing strategies are certainly important for the series’ global success, the substance of the Potterverse, i.e., the wizarding world with its countless memorable human and non-human inhabitants, its picturesque settings and its unique magical artefacts, is at least equally significant for making Rowling’s series as popular as it is and for bringing about the ‘Harry Potter phenomenon’. In the following, we will examine various media-specific forms of world building in Rowling’s novels, in translations of these texts, in the Harry Potter film series as well as on Pottermore and within the fandom, which have jointly shaped the Potterverse as we know it today (and which are still operating in its ongoing expansion).3 II. The novels Somewhat paradoxically, a series whose global fame relies very much on new media has created a fictional world that eschews exactly these means of communication, presenting a community that uses parchment and quills instead of tablets and books instead of the internet. The old-fashioned, quaint atmosphere that is characteristic of the wizarding world seems to be an important factor in the series’ charm. In this context, Andrew Blake argues that the mani- 2 Cf. also Megan Farnel’s observation that “the massive scope and scale of Potter’s fanbase has a history which is very much intertwined with the rise of the Internet and its increasing adoption in homes during the early stages of the series” (40). 3 For a discussion of recent developments in the Potterverse, cf. the article by Marion Gymnich, Denise Burkhard and Hanne Birk in this volume. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 13 fold references to the past in the “low-tech magical world, with its Victorian London shopping alley and a Highlands boarding school” (305) correlate with a general trend that started to inform British popular and consumer culture already in the 1980s: The very past itself – our sense of ‘history’ – had been remodelled during the 1980s. The boom years of the 1980s indicated that almost any aspect of the past – including historic houses, Victorian gardening techniques, even opera – could be packaged as luxury consumer items for people with new wealth. With this in mind a younger generation of historians (and museum workers and archaeologists) tried to reinvent the past for present-day consumer culture, and to sell it. […] Museums offered not exhibitions, but simulated experiences of the past. Schools offered simulations of past experience rather than curricula centred on interpretation; pupils would dress up as medieval peasants rather than learn about the causes of the Wars of the Roses. […] The past was also available on the high street. A chain of shops, Past Times, offered copies of historical artefacts such as eighteenth-century maps or Victorian lamp stands, alongside classic novels and videos of televised costume dramas. History had become ‘heritage’ (306). The world created by Rowling fits neatly into the approach to the past outlined by Blake. The readers witness Harry, a modern child, immersing himself in a world that allows him to experience a picturesque ‘past in the present’, which somewhat eclectically draws upon features of different historical periods and where he can star in the role of an Arthurian knight with magical powers.4 While entering the wizarding world means shedding many of the paraphernalia of modern life, which are repeatedly criticised in references to the various (technological) gadgets Harry’s despicable cousin Dudley covets, Hogwarts students do not really have to do without all of the social achievements of life in the late 20th/early 21st century. Unlike in the periods of the past referenced most strongly in the everyday life of the wizarding world, neither ethnicity nor class are allowed to determine someone’s destiny in the wizarding community. As Blake points out, “Hogwarts represents the multicultural contemporary England” (308) and at Hogwarts “the abilities and activities” (ibid.) of a person are generally deemed more important than one’s ancestry. The fact that unpleasant characters like the Malfoys are shown to think differently ultimately only serves to drive this point home all the more forcefully. It is evidence of the modern outlook of the series that the fight against evil is also a fight against racial and class prejudices in various manifestations.5 Attending Hogwarts is a bit like entering a simulation of the past in a living-history museum or perhaps even a theme park or Renaissance fair (with the added bonus of adventure and magic). In this scenario, the protagonist Harry Potter, who embodies modern ideals of justice, equality and agency, can be seen as “a retrolutionary, a symbolic figure of the past-in-future England” (ibid., original emphasis). In the further course of the series, readers find out that many of the potential drawbacks of doing without modern technology can be made up for by magic. Travelling by means of floo powder, a portkey or by Apparating gets you much faster from one place to another than any contemporary Muggle means of transportation possibly could. While communicating via owl mail must appear painfully slow to readers used to (mobile) phones and the internet, the later volumes of Rowling’s series suggest that there are alternative, faster ways of communicating in the wizarding world as well; wizards and witches can, for instance, use fireplaces to talk to someone or send your Patronus to deliver a message. Still, even magical devices that imitate the effects of modern technology are by definition profoundly anti-technological, which implies that the nostalgia for a way of life that is less determined by technology and is generally more slow-paced than the one of the Harry Potter readers remains essentially intact. 4 In her contribution to this volume Franziska Becker has a closer look at the Arthurian roots of the series. 5 Cf. the article by Carsten Kullmann in this volume. MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 14 The different literary genres and traditions Rowling draws upon may also contribute to a sense of nostalgia triggered especially for many adult readers by the series. Using conventions of the genre of the boarding-school novel, including themes, stock characters and even the traditional plot element of the train journey, the Harry Potter series may remind adult readers of novels by authors like Enid Blyton, which they may remember fondly from their childhood.6 The parallels to Gothic literature, especially classic Gothic novels from the late 18th century with their medieval castles, dungeons and uncanny forests, reinforce the idea of a picturesque representation of the past in the present.7 In addition, Rowling’s series picks up many tropes that are familiar from Victorian classics, such as the figure of the maltreated orphan, who is a staple feature of novels such as Charles Dickens’s Oliver Twist (1837-39) and David Copperfield (1849-50), Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1847) and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre (1847), to name just a few.8 The trope of the poor, abused orphan, which was employed time and again in Victorian literature to create empathy with literary characters as well as to express social criticism (cf. Reynolds 272-73), is still effective for today’s readership, adults and children alike. While the boy Harry Potter, the orphan with magical powers and a dark destiny, might not necessarily be a role model for all young readers, his fate is certainly apt to evoke sympathy. Additionally, values like loyalty, friendship, resilience as well as a sense of justice and fairness seem to resonate with modern readers as much as they did with Victorian ones. The dramatic story of Dumbledore’s younger sister Ariana, who was hidden away inside the family’s house due to her ‘insanity’, i.e., her inability to control her magical powers, echoes the Victorian interest in (women’s) ‘madness’. Ariana can be read as a magical (and younger) counterpart of Charlotte Brontë’s ‘madwoman in the attic’ in Jane Eyre, whose unstable psychological condition escalates in destruction which is similar to that caused by Ariana, who ends up killing her own mother in “one of her rages” (Hallows 455).9 What is even more significant with respect to resemblances between 19th-century literature and the Harry Potter series is the similarity between Rowling’s narrative style and techniques that are characteristic of Victorian realist novels. Philip Nel argues that “[o]ne of the assets of the Harry Potter books is that, as in Dorothy Sayers’ novels, even minor characters are distinctive and seem to have a rich life history of their own” (286). As far as Rowling’s approach to the representation of literary characters is concerned, again more obvious predecessors can be found among 19th-century novelists, ranging from Jane Austen and Charles Dickens to Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot and Elizabeth Gaskell. Rowling’s novels also share the attention to minute details that is typical of 19th-century realist novels, which more often than not create the impression of presenting a plausible world by means of detailed descriptions of characters and their everyday life. Especially the strategy of providing details about various aspects of material culture (descriptions of clothes, furniture, etc.), is reiterated in the attention paid by Rowling to (magical) objects in the wizarding world. These parallels between tradi- 6 According to Pat Pinsent, “[t]he use of the train to boarding school is particularly characteristic of the school story of the first two-thirds of the twentieth century” (13), which includes, for instance, Blyton’s famous boarding-school series, which “were published between 1940 and 1951” (ibid. 15). 7 For a more detailed discussion of the impact of the Gothic tradition on Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, cf. the article by Denise Burkhard and Julia Stibane in this volume. 8 Cf. Laura Peters’s comment on Victorian literature: “One can hardly open a novel by Dickens, the Brontë sisters, or George Eliot without stumbling over at least one orphan” (1). 9 Ariana’s brother Aberforth describes the girl’s situation as follows: “‘She wouldn’t use magic, but she couldn’t get rid of it: it turned inwards and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn’t control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous’” (Hallows 455). The notion that children’s attempts at suppressing magic may lead to disastrous consequences is picked up in the recent movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016). THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 15 tional realist novels and Rowling’s series are a decisive factor in the process of world building, since it is the wealth of details about all aspects of the wizarding world – from its fantastic fauna and flora to its customs and its rich material culture – which plays a crucial role in creating a believable fictional universe. Though the novels contain numerous scenes that highlight dramatic action, a considerable number of pages are dedicated to describing everyday life, which renders this magical world all the more plausible. ‘Heritage culture’ as it emerged in Britain in the 1980s is not just about recreating the past (typically without the more unpleasant aspects of historical periods). It is also about reimagining ‘Britishness’ or ‘Englishness’ in the context of the project of ‘rebranding Britain’ (cf. Blake 304), which sought to combine the past and the future in a positive reassessment of the nation, fuelling a new patriotism which incorporates a certain amount of nostalgia as well as irony and playful components. Popular music by bands like Oasis which was subsumed under the label ‘Brit Pop’ in the 1990s,10 romantic comedies such as Notting Hill (1999) and Love Actually (2003),11 the new James Bond movies and the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012 are as much the outcome of a ‘new patriotism’ as the Harry Potter series. One of the features shared by the images of Britishness in these media products is their tendency to celebrate individuality and eccentricity. The Harry Potter series with its array of quirky and highly entertaining (minor) characters fits perfectly into this pattern. As the success of products of popular culture like the ones just mentioned has amply demonstrated, the new version of Britishness constructed in popular culture sells extremely well – and not just in the U.K. Thus, it comes as no particular surprise that a series that is extremely British in many respects could turn into a global success. III. The translations Even though English is a global language, novels written in English must be translated into other languages if they are to become international bestsellers and the basis of a transcultural hype. This is even more the case for children’s literature, since one cannot presuppose extensive linguistic competence in a language other than the child’s native language. The year 2017 was marked by the translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone into the 80th language: Scots. This most recent translation by Matthew Fitt already signals that Harry Potter is currently not just available in languages like French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese or Japanese, which are spoken by a large number of people. As Lathey observes, “Harry is also playing a part in the revival of politically significant minority languages. A Basque edition was published in 2002; an Irish Gaelic translation by MáireNic Mhaolain […] [was] published in 2004” (149). Further cases in point include the Tibetan translation by Norgy Puchunggal and the West Greenlandic translation by Stephen Hammeken. Beyond that, there are also translations into Latin (by Peter Needham) and Ancient Greek (by Andrew Wilson). All of these translations take part in the world building within the Potterverse for their respec- 10 Sheila Whiteley, for instance, reads the interest in the music of The Beatles that is apparent in songs by Oasis as a result of “a light-hearted cultural nostalgia for groups whose music inflected social commentary in an upbeat rock style” (265). 11 In Richard Curtis’s Love Actually, the fictitious Prime Minister (Hugh Grant) even includes Harry Potter in the list of great people embodying Britishness that he uses to put the American President in his place during a press conference: “‘We may be a small country but we’re a great one, too. The country of Shakespeare, Churchill, The Beatles, Sean Connery, Harry Potter. David Beckham’s right foot. David Beckham’s left foot, come to that. And a friend who bullies us is no longer a friend. And since bullies only respond to strength, from now onward, I will be prepared to be much stronger. And the President should be prepared for that’” (00:41:45-00:42:20). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 16 tive readership. Translating a literary text from one language into another is an eminently creative act in which a dialogue between two inventories of linguistic signs and conceptual categories is established. This process may of course turn out to be substantially easier with some texts than with others. Everyone who has read Rowling’s novels – regardless in which language – cannot help but notice that they constitute a major challenge for translators. In the following, we will briefly address some of the obstacles translators of the Harry Potter series are confronted with, i.e., (i) the linguistic creativity of the series, (ii) its Britishness (in terms of both linguistic features and cultural references), (iii) the consequences of addressing children as the primary target group, and (iv) the time pressure translators often experienced. After a succinct discussion of these four problem areas, we will have a closer look at a few examples in order to show how different translators met the challenges. For this purpose, we will draw upon translations into German (by Klaus Fritz), French (by Jean-François Ménard), Spanish (by Alicia Dellepiane Rawson), Italian (by Marina Astrologo), Russian (by Marii Spivak), Latin (by Peter Needham) and Turkish (by Ülkü Tamer).12 Similar to many other fantasy novels, the Harry Potter series displays a considerable degree of linguistic creativity due to the genre’s emphasis on world building. New words coined by Rowling typically refer to the material and social dimension of the wizarding culture and thus contribute to evoking the impression of reading about a ‘complete’ world that is different from the one the readers live in. Due to their regular use throughout the novels, many of the newly created words soon become familiar to readers, who develop a ‘wizarding vocabulary’ in the course of the series, which promises to put them in the position of ‘insiders’ regarding the magical world. Replacing the ‘wizarding vocabulary’ by ‘ordinary’ words in a translation just will not do. Translators consequently need to decide whether they want to stick to the terms coined by Rowling or come up with their own creations. While Rowling’s term for the wizarding sport – Quidditch – is used in all of the translations we had a look at for this article, translators occasionally prove to be highly creative themselves when transferring a unique term into another language, which means they play a particularly active role in the world building. Jean-François Ménard has, for instance, come up with a felicitous translation for the ‘Sorting Hat’, coining the word Choixpeau by “blending choix (choice) and chapeau (hat)” (Davies 96). This may perhaps make the German and Italian counterparts (sprechender Hut, capello parlante = ‘talking hat’) look a bit conventional in comparison. The German and Italian translations appear to be straightforwardly descriptive, but they actually shift the focus from the sorting done by the hat, i.e., a tradition that is very important for maintaining the internal social structure of Hogwarts, to the more obvious magical feature of a hat that is able to talk. This example already illustrates that translations frequently change semantic nuances, even if only subtly. The word ‘Muggle’ is probably the most famous among all of the lexemes coined in Rowling’s series. This term, which has even been listed in the Oxford English Dictionary for some years now, has been left unchanged in a number of translations, albeit sometimes with slight adjustments regarding the spelling in order to provide a better ‘fit’ in the target language: the German translation, for instance, uses ‘Muggel’. In the Spanish translation, italics stress the ‘Otherness’ of this term (los muggles) and others coined by Rowling. Yet even if a word looks more or less like the original term on the page, the pronunciation readers will assign to the word is bound to vary to some extent depending on the reader’s reference language(s). Thus, the letter in English ‘Muggle’, German ‘Muggel’, Turkish ‘Muggle’, Russian ‘mugl’ and Spanish ‘muggle’ will in all likelihood be pronounced differently by speakers of these lan- 12 We are grateful to Peri Sipahi for her very helpful comments on the Turkish translation. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 17 guages. Some translators decided to coin a new expression to convey the key concept ‘Muggle’. Non-magical persons are referred to as ‘Moldus’ in the French translation and as ‘Babbani’ in the Italian one. While new words make both the wizarding world and the literary text look ‘exotic’, these terms generally do not render the translations difficult to understand, since the original text typically already provides explanations of these words.13 The situation is quite different when references to British culture occur in Rowling’s novels. Since the series is set on the British Isles and was presumably written with a British target readership in mind, readers who are not familiar with British culture may encounter features that prove to be more or less mystifying. In fact, the pervasive Britishness of the novels14 has even led to a separate American edition, in which the spelling, the syntax and some lexical items have been adjusted to American English.15 It is thus in particular due to the overall Britishness of the series that translators of Harry Potter have to negotiate two basic goals of translation: that of preserving the characteristics of the source text as far as possible, even where this yields an exotic or strange effect, and that of adapting it to produce a target text which seems normal, familiar and accessible to the target audience (Davies 69). In references to food and various aspects of boarding-school life the Britishness of the series is particularly apparent, but humour and the social implications of stylistic peculiarities may likewise prove to be difficult to translate (cf. Lathey 145). For instance, “[t]he nuances of British social hierarchies as represented in linguistic register are a challenge to any translator” (ibid. 149), which accounts for Hagrid ‘losing’ his “indeterminate working-class dialect” (ibid. 148) in many translations. There are numerous attempts to categorise the different strategies employed by translators in order to cope with cultural differences. Eirlys E. Davies provides a useful typology, which includes preservation, addition, omission, globalisation, i.e., “the process of replacing culture-specific references with ones which are more neutral or general” (83), and localisation, i.e., “anchor[ing] a reference firmly in the culture of the target audience” (ibid. 84). Whether a translator opts for “domesticating or foreignizing” (ibid. 69) a text in the process of translation may depend on a range of additional factors, including conventions for literary translations within the culture(s) associated with the target language, which tend to be historically and culturally variable (cf. ibid.) and which, beyond that, may not be identical for children’s literature and general fiction. A comparative analysis reveals that the translators of the Harry Potter novels often strike a compromise between maintaining some of the British flair of the original and adapting some of the references to their target culture(s).16 Whatever course they choose, the translators’ decisions have an impact on the world building for their target reader- 13 The term ‘Muggle’, for instance, is explained to Harry (and thus also to the reader) as follows: “‘A Muggle,’ said Hagrid. ‘It’s what we call non-magic folk like them [i.e., the Dursleys]’” (Stone 62). 14 Cultural specificity in terms of references and linguistic expressions affects both the depiction of the wizarding world and that of the Dursleys, who are presented “as conventional, middle-of-the-road Englanders who live in the suburban conformity that is instantly familiar to most British readers” (Lathey 146). For a more detailed discussion of some of the linguistic features that are relevant in this context, cf. ibid. (146-47). 15 Alexander Eastwood criticises this Americanisation of Harry Potter in his article “A Fantastic Failure: Displaced Nationalism and the Intralingual Translation of Harry Potter”. 16 This is also the conclusion reached by Davies (on the basis of a somewhat different sample of translations than the ones used for the present article): “In general it would seem that each translator has attempted to reconcile the potentially conflicting aims of giving readers a background with some authentic British flavour, yet at the same time avoid overwhelming them with too much that is unfamiliar and undecipherable” (72). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 18 ship. In cases where translators opt for maintaining culture-specific features of the original, they occasionally try to make the text more accessible for their audience by adding explanations.17 This strategy may very well be a concession to the young readers. The task of the translator is exacerbated by the fact that children constitute the primary target readership of the novels, which means that “[t]he translator […] faces the challenge of preserving their child-appeal and transmitting it to the child readers of another culture” (ibid. 66). On the one hand, children may perhaps be less tolerant than adults when encountering passages that seem cryptic because they refer to a culture they are not familiar with.18 On the other hand, translations that retain elements referencing the original culture and/or language may foster intercultural competence. It is certainly not true that children generally prefer stories set in their own reality, as the success of narratives ranging from the Arabian Nights fairy tales to fantasy as one of the most popular genres in children’s literature indicates very clearly. By reading about a culture that is ‘foreign’ to them – no matter whether this culture is real or imaginary – children are made aware of cultural differences and learn how to cope with these, for instance by deducing the meaning of unfamiliar cultural practices or lexical items from contextual information. Thus, “the initially foreign effect may dwindle as the item recurs throughout the series” (ibid. 76). Finally, the problems translators of the Harry Potter series had to face in the late 1990s and early 2000s were amplified by “[r]apid distribution” (Lathey 141) becoming one of the goals of many publishing houses authorised to publish translations. In an article from 2005, Gillian Lathey describes the accelerating production of translations as follows: Time patterns of translation still vary across the world, but gaps are decreasing as the international Potter effect gains momentum with the publication of each volume. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was not published in China until October 2000, a delay of three years from first publication in the UK; for volume five the planned time lapse between publication of the original and the translation was barely four months (142). The wish of publishing houses to cash in on the Harry Potter phenomenon as quickly as possible may be understandable, just as the wish of a readership that does not speak English to finally have access to the latest instalment of the series in their native language. In retrospect, one may perhaps wonder whether some of the translators’ choices resulted from due consideration or from time pressure. Be that as it may, a comparative analysis of Harry Potter translations proves to be a very illuminating (and entertaining) endeavour and testifies to the ingenuity displayed by the translators of Rowling’s novels. The characters’ names, whose meaning has often been commented on by academics and fans alike, are an interesting starting point for such an analysis. Many translations preserve the original names, but there are also some striking departures from this pattern, as the following examples will illustrate. While the name of Harry’s nemesis Voldemort has been preserved in all of the translations examined for this article,19 the last name of Harry’s potions teacher is different in some of the texts. For native speakers of English the name ‘Snape’ presumably conveys “vaguely unpleasant connotations deriving perhaps from the sound-symbolism of the 17 Davies provides examples from the French translation, such as the explanation of the term ‘préfet’/‘prefect’, which Ménard has embedded in a dialogue between Harry and Ron in the first volume of the series (cf. Davies 77). 18 This is also what Davies assumes: “young readers are perhaps less likely to be tolerant of the occasional obscurity, awkwardness or unnatural-sounding phrasing which adults, conscious that they are dealing with a translation, may be more accepting of” (66). 19 In this case, Rowling’s linguistic creativity incidentally entails that a character’s name “becomes much more transparent to French readers” (Davies 76). THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 19 initial sn- cluster, which also features in words such as sneer, snide, snoop, sneak, snap” (Davies 79, original emphasis). Additionally, from a phonological point of view the name ‘Snape’ constitutes a minimal pair with ‘snake’ and thus perhaps reminds readers of an animal that tends to be seen as the (biblical) embodiment of evil and treachery. The snake is also the heraldic beast of Slytherin House and is consequently associated with both Salazar Slytherin and his heir Voldemort. The abovementioned connotations of the name ‘Snape’ are bound to get lost in translation. Still, some translators decided to keep the original surname (German, Latin, Spanish, Turkish), whereas others stress this teacher’s unpleasant character by giving him a telling name in the target language. While the English name presumably provides a comparatively subtle characterisation, Ménard went for a more obviously telling name – ‘Rogue’, which “in French means ‘arrogant’” (ibid.) – and “the Italian translator, Marina Astrologo’s decision to rename him Piton, literally ‘python’, again turns the original hint into something unambiguous” (ibid., original emphasis). The Russian name ‘Zlej’ is perhaps even more telling, since it is reminiscent of the adjective zloj, which means ‘evil, malicious, grim’. According to Davies, “[t]he name of Harry Potter himself tends to be preserved unchanged, and it may have been judged preferable not to alter this name because it is the major identifying label for the series” (75). Still, the Russian translation alters at least the protagonist’s first name into ‘Гaрри’ (i.e., ‘Garri’). This change is one of several in the Russian text that result from the fact that there is neither the phoneme /h/ nor a letter corresponding to ; in other words, in contrast to languages like French and Italian, there is no ‘mute h’. Further names affected by this incompatibility of the Latin and the Cyrillic alphabets include ‘Hagrid’, who is called ‘Ogrid’ in the Russian translation, ‘Hedwig’, who becomes ‘Chedviga’, and ‘Hermione’, who is ‘Germiona’ in Russian.20 Even if Harry’s name stays the same in many translations, the cultural connotations of his name may be lost anyway; after all, “for the British audience, the name sounds a particularly banal and ordinary one, which contrasts with the extraordinary qualities of its bearer” (ibid. 75). While names may be among the first terms that spring to one’s mind when thinking about translating Harry Potter, there are further difficulties, especially, as mentioned above, with regard to words that contribute to the overall Britishness of the series. On a very basic level, terms of address may already indicate an attempt at either maintaining this Britishness or privileging localisation. The translation by Alicia Dellepiane Rawson systematically uses Spanish terms of address, introducing for instance Harry’s uncle and aunt as “[e]l señor y la señora Dursley” (Piedra 9) to the readers – thereby losing some of the British flavour. The Italian and Latin translations adopt the same strategy, referring to “[i]l signore e la signora Dursley” (Pietra 15) and “Dominus et Domina Dursley” (Lapis 1), respectively. The French and Turkish versions, by contrast, use ‘Mr’ and ‘Mrs’, and the German translation chooses ‘Mr.’ and ‘Mrs.’ as markers of an Anglophone context. The transliteration of the Russian version reads ‘Mister’ and ‘Missis’ and thus likewise evokes Anglophone connotations. A semantic field that proves particularly challenging for translators due to the large number of culture-specific items is food. References to food play a quite prominent role throughout the Harry Potter series. Banquets in the Great Hall are among the highlights of the students’ life at Hogwarts, and the sumptuous feast Harry enjoys shortly after his arrival signals that the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is going to be much more of a home for the orphaned boy than number four, Privet Drive has ever been: The dishes in front of him [Harry] were now piled with food. He had never seen so many things he liked to eat on one table: roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, 20 For information on the translation of characters’ names in further languages, cf. Davies (75-76). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 20 boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, chips, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup and, for some strange reason, mint humbugs (Stone 135). What is served during the banquet is not modern British cuisine of the kind propagated by Jamie Oliver (for example in his campaign for healthier school meals) but very traditional English food, which may support the nostalgic tenor of the series. While Harry relishes the food that appears in front of him, some readers – especially those who are used to a very different cuisine (or happen to be vegetarians) – may not find all of these foodstuffs quite that appetising. Since references to food that readers are prone to dislike would defeat the overall purpose of the list quoted above, translators may be inclined to avoid a faithful translation in this case. Muslims, for instance, might not be happy about the references to ‘pork chops’ and ‘bacon’, while Hindu readers might object to the ‘roast beef’. Food taboos motivated by culture and religion are likely to affect translations into languages like Arabic, Turkish and Hindi.21 This is exactly what can be observed in the Turkish translation, where Ülkü Tamer has translated “pork chops and lamb chops” as “pirzola” (Taşı 112), which means ‘chops’, but is only used to refer to lamb chops in Turkish. ‘Bacon’ is left out in the Turkish text; instead, there are two terms referring to sausages, “sosis” and “sucuk” (ibid.). ‘Socis’ is used for poultry sausages, whereas the latter term is the more common one used in Turkish to refer to ‘sausage’, which may be indicative of a certain localisation. The first item on Rowling’s list (‘roast beef’) has been adopted with minor changes in some of the translations – presumably in an attempt to stress Britishness: there is German “Roastbeef” (Stein 136), French “roastbeef” (Ecole 125), Italian “roast beef” (Pietra 126) and Russian “rostbif” (Kamen’ 176-77). Other translators opt for what Davies calls ‘globalisation’ in this case, choosing a somewhat more general expression which corresponds to ‘roasted meat’: “carne asada” in Spanish (Piedra 107)22 and “kızarmış et” in Turkish (Taşı 112). Although the vegetables mentioned in Rowling’s list are not likely to cause any major cultural problems, at least not with the languages of the translations chosen here, it is worth mentioning that the French translation replaces “peas, carrots” by “légumes divers”, i.e., ‘mixed vegetables’ (Ecole 125), which is a standard item on French menus. Thus, the choice may be seen as an example of localisation. A particularly intriguing item on the list of foods is ‘Yorkshire pudding’, a quintessentially English dish, which is bound to be unknown to most non-British children. Thus, it comes as no particular surprise that the French and Turkish translations simply dispense with this item. Moreover, the Spanish “pudín” (Piedra 107) is not likely to suggest ‘Yorkshire pudding’ to Spanish-speaking readers. In the German and Italian translations, however, there are references to “Yorkshire-Pudding” (Stein 136) and “Yorkshire pudding” (Pietra 126), respectively; in the Russian translation a dish called “jorkširskij puding” (Kamen’ 177) is mentioned. Presumably, for most readers of the German, Italian or Russian version (especially for children) ‘Yorkshire pudding’ is unfamiliar, too (or evokes completely wrong associations). Here, the term thus clearly serves as marker of (exotic) Britishness. In terms of their target audience, the translations into Latin and Ancient Greek differ from the ones discussed so far. While Lathey assumes that these “may be no more than an amusing gag for the learned” (149), teachers might also hope for a somewhat different readership, i.e., young people who might be more interested in reading about Harry’s adventures in an ancient language than in studying classical texts such as Cesar’s De Bello Gallico. There is a tradition of translating English children’s classics into Latin; cases in point include J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit (Hobbitus Ille), Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alicia in Terra Mirabili), Michael Bond’s A Bear Called Paddington (Ursus Nomine Paddington) and 21 References to pork and beef may of course also alienate Anglophone Muslims and Hindus. 22 We would like to thank Andrea König for her helpful comments on the Spanish translation. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 21 A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh (Winnie Ille Pu). Thus, children who want to read entertaining texts and practise their Latin have access to quite a lot of reading material. In German schools, translations of the popular Asterix comics by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo into Latin are used quite successfully in Latin classes.23 Since many young readers of Harrius Potter et Philosophi Lapis already know the Harry Potter books in their first language, the language barrier might be easier to overcome; they will recognise more easily what they already know in a different language. Given the special premises for the Latin translation, the culture of the target readership is not that important in this case. Ideally, the text may make readers curious as to how Harry’s adventures have been transformed into Harrius’s world and, along the way, may make them more familiar with how Latin ‘works’, for instance with respect to its declension system. The latter may give nouns a distinct ‘ancient’ touch by producing constructions such as “loco communali Gryffindorensium” (Lapis 116) and “Malfoy Crabbem et Goylem contemplavit” (ibid. 124). The impression of ‘ancient Otherness’ is reinforced by the fact that some of the names have been Latinised (e.g. Harrius Potter, Ronaldus, Fredericus et Georgius Vislius). Others, however, have been adopted without change from the English text (e.g. Voldemort, McGonagall, Albus Dumbledore, Snape, Hermione, Draco Malfoy). Regarding the abovementioned foods, the Latin version does something special with ‘Yorkshire pudding’, translating it into “placenta comitatus Eboracensis” (ibid. 100). Here, the Latin name for York (Eboracum) is used, which means that a reference to a local dish is translated faithfully, but still ‘disguised’ in such a way that even English readers will be hard-put to recognise the term. IV. The movies The worldwide fame of Harry Potter does not rest solely on the novels written by Rowling. The filmic adaptations of the series have contributed very much to turning ‘the boy who lived’ into a well-known fictional figure. Some scholars have argued that Rowling’s novels provide very good material for audio-visual adaptations, being quite ‘filmic’ themselves: “[a]ction sequences, such as the roller-coaster-like ride through Gringotts, the defeat of the troll or the journey through the trapdoor, punctuate the narrative in precisely the way they would be expected to in a film” (Cartmell/Whelehan 43). Still, the novels (especially the later ones) are quite long and all of them provide an amount of detail that no adaptation that is limited to the length of a feature film (or two in the case of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) can hope to capture. Thus, the plot has been ‘streamlined’ to a certain extent in the movies. This meant in particular “emphasizing Harry’s journey over and above incidental events” (Russell 398), thus, for instance, reducing other characters’ back-stories. Omissions are of course inevitable in adaptations of texts that are as long and detailed as Rowling’s. Still, some of the deletions arguably are to the detriment of the world building and/or characterisation. In Mike Newell’s film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), for instance, there are some omissions that affect the impression of the wizarding world in general and the characterisation of Hermione Granger in particular. Although Nel argues that “[p]erhaps the need to condense justifies […] the omission of the S.P.E.W. subplot” (281), the fact that the houseelves have been left out in the fourth movie has several repercussions.24 The deletion of 23 We are very grateful to Wolfgang Scheunemann for sharing with us his expertise in Latin and in teaching this language. 24 Hermione explains the acronym she created for her movement as follows: “‘S – P – E – W. Stands for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare’” (Goblet 246). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 22 information on house-elves, who are after all one of the most prominent non-human species in the wizarding world, reduces the complexity of this world.25 Unlike the readers, the viewers do not find out that even in Hogwarts house-elves are kept as ‘indentured workers’ – a fact that Hermione discovers in her fourth year at the school.26 In other words, ‘evil’ families like the Malfoys are not the only ones who exploit this non-human race. This adds to the ambiguity of the wizarding world, which is – contrary to what some people may assume – not idealised in Rowling’s novels. The fact that Muggle-born Hermione is apparently the only one who is outraged by what she considers to be downright “‘[s]lave labour’” (Goblet 202) and is willing to take action on behalf of the house-elves adds an important facet to the portrayal of one of the series’ protagonists. Moreover, her attitude shows that a perspective shaped by an upbringing among Muggles may prove to be progressive. By leaving out Hermione’s political activism the film limits the character very much to her role as a potential love interest and ‘belle of the ball’, which reaffirms traditional concepts of femininity. Another feature of the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that reiterates gender as well as national stereotypes is the depiction of the visiting students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Their choreographed entries in the Great Hall, which juxtapose the (supposedly feminine) seductive and dance-like movements of the exclusively female French students with the marching and the athletic Cossack-style performance of the exclusively male Eastern European visitors, are not based on the novel. The reduction of the students of the visiting schools to simplistic gender and national stereotypes suggests that Hogwarts is a more progressive, coeducational wizarding school, where girls and boys are even on the same sports teams. While the movie suggests that the other wizarding schools are not coeducational, the novel mentions at least in passing that both Durmstrang and Beauxbatons are in fact coeducational institutions as well.27 This also means that Beauxbatons could have a male Triwizard champion, which implies that the selection of Fleur Delacour presumably results from her being more capable than her (female and male) fellow students. In other words, the novel is more balanced in terms of its approach to gender roles than the movie, which activates both gender and national stereotypes to maximise the differences between the three schools. As the examples above have shown, changes in terms of plot and characterisation may have a significant impact on the world building, leaving people who only know the films with a somewhat different impression of the wizarding world than those who have also read the novels.28 Moreover, even people who are familiar with the texts as well as their audio-visual 25 Some scenes involving centaurs and goblins are likewise missing in the movies or have been shortened, which increases the overall focus on wizards and witches and makes the wizarding world look more homogenous than it is according to Rowling’s novels. 26 What the Gryffindor ghost Nearly Headless Nick tells Hermione about the more than one hundred house-elves who live in the school and take care of all sorts of household chores is also reminiscent of servants in the Victorian period – or of Heinzelmännchen in German folklore: “‘ they hardly ever leave the kitchen by day […]. They come out at night to do a bit of cleaning … see to the fires and so on … I mean, you’re not supposed to see them, are you? That’s the mark of a good house-elf, isn’t it, that you don’t know it’s there?’” (Goblet 201) 27 At least one female Durmstrang student is briefly mentioned (cf. Goblet 283), and the text says explicitly that “around a dozen boys and girls […] emerged from the carriage” (ibid. 269) when the Beauxbatons students arrive. 28 While some scenes have been deleted, others have been written specifically for the movies. At least the first movies, for instance, manifest a certain tendency to insist on physical comedy beyond what is depicted in the books. A case in point is Seamus Finnigan’s ‘habit’ of blowing himself up in the first instalment of the movie series: “When Seamus attempts a spell that should turn water into rum, he causes an explosion, singeing his hair; when he tries the ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ spell, boom! And his hair is THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 23 adaptations are likely to be influenced by the films to a certain extent. The movies inform what many readers imagine characters, places and objects to look like when (re-)reading the novels: “The dominance of perceptual images leads to an overlay with the imaginative image” (Cuntz-Leng 57). This is perhaps particularly apparent with respect to the portrayal of potions teacher Severus Snape, as Vera Cuntz-Leng argues. She claims that the extensive interest in this particular character and his popularity among fans can largely be attributed to Alan Rickman’s portrayal of the teacher rather than to the presentation of the character in the first volumes of the series. In the first novels, there was no reason to like Snape, and “[a]lthough fanfiction had been written about Harry Potter before 2001, Snape had been a character of minor interest in the early years of the fandom”, as Cuntz-Leng (65) observes. This changed quickly after the release of the first movie when, due to a felicitous casting decision, the British actor Alan Rickman became Snape – or did Snape become Alan Rickman at this moment (cf. ibid. 64)? From this point onward, there was a remarkable change in the fans’ attitude towards Snape, who now began to play a much more important role in fan fiction. With respect to the interpretation of Snape, the relation between the book series and the films is rendered even more complex by the fact that the production of the movies started before Rowling’s series had been completed. As Cuntz-Leng points out, “the parallel development of film adaptations and new novels brings both media into an inevitable dialogue wherein the books can react upon the movies and upon fan works – something quite unusual” (56). She assumes that Rickman’s portrayal of Snape had an impact on the depiction of ‘his’ character in later volumes of the series: Deathly Hallows is – although Snape is physically absent from most of the narrative – the only book in the series that provides us with the full spectrum of Snape’s emotional complexity that has been excessively explored through fanfiction: He is greedy, timid, self-confident, arrogant, loyal, happy, in love, mean and unfair, bitter, shy, ashamed, suicidal, angry, desperate, righteous, etc. This corresponds with […] [the] assumption that Rickman’s performance as well as the reactions by fans regarding his interpretation of the character influenced Rowling’s writing in later books to more easily motivate Snape’s ambiguous personality and his key position in the subject areas of love and sacrifice that are at the core of the series’ finale […]. Rowling’s later novels show a stronger awareness for the romantic and erotic possibilities of the character and ultimately, the Byronic hero archetype becomes decipherable in her text (ibid. 68). The lasting impact of the late Alan Rickman on the character of Severus Snape is also apparent in the stage production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (2016) in London, in which the portrayal of the potions teacher tries to emulate the appearance of Rickman as well as his very distinctive way of speaking. T-shirts, hoodies, cushions, phone cases, mugs, bracelets and other types of merchandise that refer to Snape’s famous (and characteristically laconic) admission that he still loves Harry’s mother Lily (‘Always’) provide further evidence of the character’s transformation from an entirely unpleasant, malicious teacher into a romantic hero. Alan Rickman is not the only charismatic actor who has contributed to the success of the film series. The cast reads very much like a ‘who is who’ of British actors and actresses, including Richard Harris, Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Ralph Fiennes and a number of further well-known actors and actresses. Some of the young stars, who have grown up ‘in Hogwarts’, have moved on to very successful careers on screen and/or on the stage. This seems to be particularly true for Daniel Radcliffe (Harry) and Emma Watson (Hermione). The idea that the cast should reflect the Britishness of the series singed again. Neither scene occurs in the book, and Rowling’s spells have very specific effects when poorly executed – they don’t all create smoke” (Nel 278). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 24 (cf. Cartmell/Whelehan 38) has paid off. In the movies the actors and actresses use different regional and social varieties of English, all of which are, however, associated with the British Isles. In conjunction with productions like Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and The Hobbit (2012-2014) trilogies and the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011-), the Harry Potter film series has arguably contributed to establishing varieties of English that are associated with the British Isles as the predominant audio-visual ‘language of fantasy’. There are four different directors behind the Harry Potter movies, who, despite their distinctive styles, have all contributed to world building in the Potterverse. The first two movies, directed by Chris Columbus, have been much maligned by critics due to their supposedly strong ‘fidelity’ to Rowling’s books. This impression is partially due to the films’ emphasis on world building. Deborah Cartmell and Imelda Whelehan argue that the first instalment “was a film that tried too hard to be the book and one which was destined to suffer invidious comparisons with a much more successful book-to-film adaptation in the form of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)” (39, original emphasis).29 On a similarly disparaging note, James Russell perceives “some obvious ‘Hollywood’ elements” (397) in the first two movies; he criticises that they display “a relatively bright, accessible, aesthetic: they are upbeat in tone, there is less emphasis on the weather and the seasons, and they are structured according to a familiar children’s film template” (ibid.). To a certain extent, the more upbeat tone of Columbus’s movies in comparison to the later ones is of course in accordance with the overall optimism of the first novels, which stress the protagonist’s enthusiasm for becoming part of a new and exciting world at least as much as the dangers awaiting him in this new environment. Columbus’s first movie has also been criticised for its pace and “cumbersome style” (Nel 280). Especially the depiction of the arrival at Hogwarts has come under fire: Columbus’ emphasis on sets and effects slows the pace. For example, when the students approach Hogwarts for the first time, the camera shows the castle as boats approach, then shows the first-years looking awed, then lingers on the castle once more, then moves to a close-up of awed students’ faces again, and finally moves back to linger on the castle…again. After nearly a minute of switching back and forth between the castle and the children’s faces, what began as an impressive sight grows tedious (ibid. 280). Although Nel may have a point if one applies the conventions of the standard fast-paced, action-driven Hollywood blockbuster, one may venture the hypothesis that many fans of the series actually want to relish the memorable moment of beholding Hogwarts for the very first time. After all, Hogwarts has always been substantially more than a mere setting: if Harry Potter is the character that defines Rowling’s magical universe, then Hogwarts is the place that more than any other lends the series its unique appeal and that is the centre of Harry’s world. This can be seen in the fact that a substantial part of the world building revolves around Hogwarts and its immediate surroundings (i.e., the Forbidden Forest and Hogsmeade). Moreover, the awe-inspiring effect of Hogwarts that is highlighted in Columbus’s adaptation echoes traditional Gothic literature, which sought to evoke the sublime with the depiction of old castles. Moreover, the strategy of devoting screen-time to establishing impressive settings seems to be apt to filmic world building in fantasy movies, as, for instance, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy has shown. The later movies in the film series get increasingly darker and are generally somewhat more experimental than the first two. Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of 29 In a similar vein, Nel claims that “the attempt to be completely faithful hampers those first two films; recognition of the impossibility of being completely faithful liberates the third, fourth, and fifth films” (276). THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 25 Azkaban (2004) is often seen as a major turning point in the series. The movie has been praised for being much more interesting in terms of its aesthetics than its predecessors, drawing, for instance, on “‘old-fashioned’ techniques, such as the silent-film era ‘iris-in’ transitional device” (Johnson 209) and incorporating allusions to different filmic traditions, specifically “classic Universal horror films of the 1930s and French New Wave films of the late 1950s and early 1960s” (ibid.). From that point onward, the movies stress the increasing threat by using visual techniques such as “digital color grading” and “darker, low key lighting” (Russell 391). Moreover, Cuarón established a ‘modernisation’ of the look of Hogwarts in so far as the protagonists are from now on regularly shown wearing modern clothes instead of their black school robes. Each of the films in the series features unique moments as far as the visual effects are concerned, such as the point-of-view shots in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire indicating that Harry is being watched by Mad-Eye Moody’s magical eye or the embedded narrative of “The Tale of the Three Brothers” in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II (2011), an animated sequence inspired by “Asian shadow plays” (Sibley 163) and the filmic style coined by Lotte Reiniger.30 While the directors changed repeatedly, production designer Stuart Craig stayed on throughout the series, which lent the wizarding world a high degree of visual coherence and contributed to the impression of a plausible, ‘complete’ alternative world. 31 The filming locations chosen for the movies reinforce the Britishness of the series (cf. Nel 276). For instance, “footage of the magnificent Scottish Highlands was filmed for use as establishing shots, inspiration for matte paintings, and digitally composited backdrops” (Revenson, Places 10), transporting the notion of Hogwarts being situated in a remote and picturesque location into the movies. The use of the Scottish Highlands as well as of various cathedrals and universities around Britain as backdrop for the film series and/or as inspiration for set designs in Leavesden Studios (near London) endows the film series with a distinctive British look. The set design also brings across the idea that the wizarding world follows traditions that reach back to the medieval era and is anything but modern with its quills, robes, candles and ramshackle buildings: “Craig and his location scouts searched out universities and cathedrals in England that could represent Hogwarts castle and give it the timelessness that a roughly thousand-year-old institution merited” (ibid., Places 8). The Chapter House of Durham Cathedral (= the Transfiguration classroom), the Fourth Form Room of Harrow Old School, Middlesex, which dates back to the late 16th century (= the Charms classroom), and Lavenham, Suffolk, where some of the Godric’s Hollow scenes were shot, are among the locations used for the movies (cf. ibid., Places 117, 119, 185). Different locations were linked visually by moveable ‘Hogwarts-related’ items, as set decorator Stephenie McMillan explains: ‘We had several five-foot-high columns topped by owl-shaped lamps that were portable […]. So between Oxford [University] and Durham Cathedral, for instance, we took our owl lamps with us, placed them in the corridors, and made both places look like Hogwarts’ (McMillan quoted in Revenson, Places 10). Though Gothic architecture looms large in the movies, the old-fashioned appearance of the wizarding world derives from references to styles that are associated with different historical periods. The rooms in the Leaky Cauldron, for example, feature a distinct Tudor-style look 30 “Reiniger was a German-born animator who worked from the 1930s through the 1950s making mostly short films based on fairy tales and classic stories. Her animations were distinguished by their use of hand-cut paper silhouettes and lyrical, elastic movements” (Sibley 163). 31 Cf. Russell’s assessment of Craig’s role: “As head of the design team, Craig has constructed the physical spaces of Harry Potter’s world and his importance should not be underestimated” (400). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 26 with their “dark, weathered wood panels”, “simple, plastered walls” and “a bed with ornately carved bedposts and headboard” (ibid. 22), while the Gryffindor common room is decorated with reproductions of the late-medieval tapestry “The Lady and the Unicorn”. Manifold allusions to the past, which are embedded in the visual portrayal of the wizarding world, create a link with the British heritage industry. Triggering a certain sense of nostalgia for the ‘good old times’ by showing the wizarding world is apt to reinforce the overall interest in national heritage. The set designers, however, did not aim at historical accuracy, instead often adding a specific, ‘magical’ touch to the places they created, for instance by exaggerating the “‘gravity-defying lean’” (Craig quoted in ibid. 24, original emphasis) they noticed in some buildings from the early Victorian period. This architectural peculiarity inspired the design of Diagon Alley, for instance, where the ‘lean’ has become a bit more intense than it has ever been in Muggle architecture. In other words, while using historical buildings as inspiration, the set designers still created a unique ‘magical’ look for the wizarding world, which lends this world additional credibility and sets it apart from the Muggle world. Despite the old-fashioned design favoured throughout the series there are some settings that evoke modern associations. This is particularly apparent in the design of the arena where the Quidditch World Cup takes place in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The description of the “gigantic stadium” (Goblet 108) mentions features such as “immense gold walls” (ibid.), “stairs […] carpeted in rich purple” (ibid. 109), “golden goalposts” (ibid.) and “purpleand-gilt chairs” (ibid.), which evokes an old-fashioned opera- or theatre-style edifice rather than a modern sports arena. In this case, the movie departs from both the novel and the film series’ preference for historical architectural styles, showing a building that is more in line with a contemporary sports arena and looks ‘functional’ rather than decorative. Still, the idea of a colossal building providing room for “[a] hundred thousand witches and wizards” (ibid.) is captured quite well in the audio-visual adaptation. That Quidditch is not per se a modern thing in the wizarding world is highlighted by the set design for the Hogwarts Quidditch pitch, however, which is reminiscent of a medieval jousting ground. Another set that stands out in terms of its architecture is the Ministry of Magic, whose tiled halls were inspired by “the London Underground’s network of tunnels and stations” (Revenson, Places 162) and in particular “‘the oldest of the London Tube stations, built in the early 1900s, many of which used an extravagant amount of decorative ceramic tile’” (Craig quoted in ibid.). The emphasis on (biased and entirely unreliable) propaganda that is increasingly associated with the Ministry in the later instalments of the series is visually underlined in the production design: “Craig and director Yates were inspired by Early Soviet Union-style propaganda posters to place a large banner of Cornelius Fudge in the Atrium that watches over the workers” (ibid.). Anti-Muggle propaganda texts were likewise designed to resemble “Soviet propaganda of the post-World War I era, which used primary colors and bold lettering on posters and in pamphlets to be eye-catching and to incite heightened emotions” (Revenson, Artifact 149). As the example of the Ministry propaganda material illustrates, the effect created by the film sets is completed by props. Rowling’s thorough attention to detail thus is translated into the movies to a certain extent and arguably accounts for part of the fascination with the adaptations, which achieve a quite compelling visual world building. The attention to detail also meant that “[t]he number of artifacts required for the Harry Potter films is astounding – and not simply the result of being spread over eight films, but rather that some locations needed to be filled up wall to wall! There were twenty thousand goods and products in the windows of Diagon Alley alone” (ibid. 12). The number of objects necessary to decorate the different sets is even more impressive if one takes into account how much effort went into THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 27 designing each of these objects. The bottles containing potions and potion ingredients exemplify the achievement of the design team: The original five hundred bottles for Professor Severus Snape’s classroom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone were filled with dried herbs and other plants, baked animal bones from a butcher, and plastic animal toys from the London Zoo gift shop. Then the graphics design team would make the labels, each one handwritten and handcrafted, which included serial numbers, lists of the ingredients, and stains and splashes of liquid (ibid. 28). The procedure described here clearly emulates the meticulous attention to detail that is characteristic of Rowling’s writing style. Compared to the visual track, the soundtrack in general and music in particular play a minor role in the filmic world building throughout the Harry Potter film series. Still, the soundtrack, for instance, occasionally references medieval music in order to support the allusions to medieval culture that are also prominent in architecture. Primarily, however, non-diegetic music accompanies the visual track in order to reinforce the atmosphere and trigger affective reactions on the part of the viewers, which is one of the basic functions of filmic music in general.32 Moreover, the music may express the emotions of one of the characters, more often than not those of Harry. While the strategy of conveying an impression of the protagonist’s emotional landscape by means of non-diegetic music is anything but unusual in and of itself, in this particular case it seems to simulate the regular use of internal focalization in Rowling’s novels, which serves in particular to privilege Harry’s perspective. The most memorable musical theme from the film series is certainly its title theme: John Williams’s “Hedwig’s Theme”, “a waltz in a minor key” (Nel 288), which links all of the movies (including even Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where it is briefly ‘quoted’ at the beginning). While the many variations on “Hedwig’s Theme” in terms of instrumentation and mood used throughout the movies may endow this motif with very different emotional qualities, a certain amount of “sadness” (ibid.) and melancholy appears to constitute the theme’s emotional core. This melancholy echoes the idea of loss, which is a recurring theme of the series. There are also instances of diegetic music in the course of the series which contribute to the world building. They support the idea that the wizarding world has its own (popular) music and thus is similar to the Muggle world in this respect. While the readers admittedly do not hear much about wizard pop and rock in the course of the series, which tends to focus very much on sports fandom,33 they learn at least that the wizarding community has its own radio station, popular music and music fans: 32 On the impact of filmic music, cf. Hilary Lapedis: “Music is transformational. It changes the emotional state of the audience members more quickly and at a deeper level than the more consciously rooted, visual channel” (370, original emphasis). 33 With respect to the practices associated with sports fandom, the wizarding world is extremely close to our reality. There are, for instance, Quidditch fan magazines (cf. Hallows 125) and in the context of the Quidditch World Cup a wide range of merchandise is sold to sports fans: “Salesmen were Apparating every few feet, carrying trays and pushing carts full of extraordinary merchandise. There were luminous rosettes – green for Ireland, red for Bulgaria – which were squealing the names of the players, pointed green hats bedecked with dancing shamrocks, Bulgarian scarves adorned with lions that really roared, flags from both countries which played their national anthems as they were waved; there were tiny models of Firebolts, which really flew, and collectible figures of famous players, which strolled across the palm of your hand, preening themselves. […] Though Ron purchased himself a dancing-shamrock hat and a large green rosette, he also bought a small figure of Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker. The miniature Krum walked backwards and forwards over Ron’s hand, scowling up at the green rosette above him” (Goblet 105-06). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 28 he [Dumbledore] had booked the Weird Sisters [for the Yule Ball]. Exactly who or what the Weird Sisters were Harry didn’t know, never having had access to a wizard’s wireless, but he deduced from the wild excitement of those who had grown up listening to the WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) that they were a very famous musical group (Goblet 428). Moreover, the Yule Ball illustrates once more the series’ mixture of traditional and modern elements in the wizarding world by starting with a traditional waltz and then moving on to rock. The casting of the band members in the filmic adaptation establishes a link with ‘Muggle’ popular music since the musicians are “bassist Steve Mackey and front man Jarvis Cocker, both from the band Pulp; Johnny Greenwood, guitarist for Radiohead; and bagpiper Steven Claydon, who played in the band Add N to (X)” (Revenson, Artifact 110). Yet even the modern rock song is firmly embedded in the wizarding world by means of its lyrics, which stresses the independence of this community from the Muggles once again. V. The fandom In particular in fan fiction, fan art and fan videos the fandom also takes part in world building activities. The countless narratives produced by fans and made accessible on websites such as expand and elaborate the Potterverse in various ways, presenting new interpretations of characters or even altering the premises of Harry’s world (e.g. in crossover stories). While these world building activities are indicative of the fans’ creativity and their interests, they are not part of the ‘canon’ and do not aim at creating a coherent world. In definitions of fan culture as ‘participatory culture’, which follow Henry Jenkins’s groundbreaking study Textual Poachers (1992), “the distinction between active producers and passive consumers has been reduced or erased because both are now actively engaged as players in the flow of media culture” (Duffett 251). Scholars starting from this assumption are bound to find fault with Pottermore, which does not embrace fiction in which “fan writers do not so much reproduce the primary text as they rework and rewrite it, repairing or dismissing unsatisfying aspects, developing interests not sufficiently explored” (Jenkins 162) and similar forms of participation, which thrive on other platforms. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Pottermore has been chided for disregarding fans’ creativity.34 In the original design of Pottermore, there was still the possibility of “post[ing] comments and art” (Sharp 113). Moreover, the platform offered “a computer-game style walkthrough of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, [where fans] brew potions, duel, and buy things at Diagon Alley” (ibid.), which promised immersion in the wizarding world.35 In the meantime, Pottermore has been completely overhauled and is now much more textcentred than it used to be, but it is in particular this feature which contributes to the expansion of the wizarding world. The new Pottermore focuses very much on news as well as on writing by (anonymous) staff members as well as by J.K. Rowling, who continues to provide new texts that elaborate on the wizarding world beyond the information provided in the novels. There are comparatively few possibilities for interactivity on Pottermore. Visitors are invited 34 Cf., for instance, Pamela Ingleton, who claims that “Pottermore is entirely built around and based upon all of the Harry Potter books, and therefore all creativity and/or interactivity it begets remain secondary to Rowling’s oeuvre” (188). 35 Cf. also Cassie Brummitt’s description of the original Pottermore platform: “In its digital, visually-led adaptation of the novels, users travelled chronologically through a timeline of visual ‘moments’ from the books. These moments were designed as an immersive experience that also enabled particular forms of interactivity: each scene’s artwork could be zoomed into, with sound effects and collectible items embedded into the images” (114). THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 29 to get sorted into Hogwarts and Ilvermorny Houses; they are also assigned a wand and can discover their Patronus. Recently, there have been attempts to implement new interactive components on Pottermore. In 2017, the ‘Wizarding World Book Club’ was launched, inviting fans to join discussions on Twitter that focus on a specific theme and novel each week. For the discussion of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (1998), for instance, the topics were ‘home’, ‘celebrity’, ‘phobias’, ‘myth and legend’ (Pottermore Team, “Wizarding World Book Club” n.p.). On 1 September 2017, i.e., the day students return to Hogwarts after the holidays, Pottermore launched an interactive ‘Hogwarts experience’, which invites fans to discover 100 ‘hotspots’ in a digital version of Hogwarts and its surroundings. Clicking on the ‘hotspots’ reveals short texts containing information on the wizarding world and quotations from the novels. Similar to the original design of the platform, though on a much more modest scale, the ‘Hogwarts experience’ is an “attempt to conflate traditional methods of reading with virtual opportunities for participation” (Brummitt 115). In addition to the different types of interactive features mentioned so far, there are also quizzes, in which “the fan practices and interactions become a competitive performance of memory, or knowledge, over the text with other members” (Lee 63). The competitors stay anonymous. From today’s perspective, the Potterverse can be thought of as a vast world-building transmedia narrative whose kernel can already be found in the characters and plot of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and which has kept expanding and becoming more and more complex ever since the publication of the first Harry Potter novel. The ‘core narrative’, i.e., the story of Harry’s development and his conflict with his archenemy, the dark wizard Voldemort, has proven vital for creating coherence throughout the series. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone introduces the conflict between Harry and Voldemort, and this conflict culminates in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2007) in an epic battle and the final defeat of the villain. In addition to this core narrative, the novels increasingly introduce ancillary narratives that tend to be character-driven and typically provide background information on characters (such as Dumbledore, Snape or the Gaunt family).36 While the ancillary narratives have often been curtailed in the film series, they have been cherished by fans (also as starting points for fan fiction). While fan fiction tends to be character-driven and often develops both protagonists and minor characters in ways that depart from the canonical texts,37 Pottermore sticks to the versions of characters that have been established in the series and adds information (on characters, places, objects) that does not contradict the original information. Moreover, Rowling’s texts and Pottermore in general stay true to the narrative style developed in the novels in their attention to detail and thus contribute to the ongoing construction of a coherent wizarding world.38 In contrast to other franchises (e.g. Star Wars or Star Trek), where fans more often than not had to purchase magazines or novels to get scant additional information on their favourite fictional world, Pottermore is completely free of charge. Moreover, the countless Star Wars or Star Trek novels (as well as video games, comics, etc.) are typically not written by the creators of the universe; their status with respect to world building is debatable, since they often convey information that is contradicted in subsequent instalments. If Rowling exerts strict control over her creation, the net result is at least that her fans are provided with reliable and lasting extensions of the original world. From the point of view of world building, some of the Pottermore texts by Rowling are also interesting in so far as the writer departs from the predominant stance of providing 36 For a discussion of the Gaunt family, cf. the article by Svenja Renzel in this volume. 37 Cf. the article by Franziska Göbel in this volume for a discussion of fan fiction that clearly departs from the vision of the characters in the series. 38 For more information on the role of Pottermore for the expansion of the Potterverse, cf. the article by Marion Gymnich, Denise Burkhard and Hanne Birk in this volume. MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 30 ‘factual’ information on the wizarding world. In her text about vampires, for instance, Rowling speaks in her role as the author of the Harry Potter series and comments on her decision to discard her plans for including a vampire among the Hogwarts staff: The vampire myth is so rich, and has been exploited so many times in literature and on film, that I felt there was little I could add to the tradition. […] Aside from passing mentions, therefore, the only vampire whom Harry meets in the books is Sanguini in Half-Blood Prince, who makes a faintly comic appearance at a party. Looking back through my earliest notebooks, however, I found that on my very earliest list of staff, there was a subjectless vampire teacher I had forgotten, called ‘Trocar’. […] Evidently I did not think much of him as a character, though, because he disappears fairly early on in my notes (Rowling, “Vampires” n.p.). Strictly speaking, comments like the one quoted above undermine the narrative illusion to a certain extent. Instead of contributing to the world building by stressing the ‘factuality’ of the fictional universe, they redirect the reader’s attention to the author’s act of creating the universe. What they achieve, however, is maintaining the idea of a communication with the fans by providing them with insights into the production process, which could also be observed in between publication of the volumes of the series (cf. Russell 394). One of the basic characteristics of fandom is its strong affective dimension; it is “connected to a feeling of ‘Heimat’: a zone of physical, emotional and ideological safety that fans can call home, which offers them a sense of security, stability and emotional warmth” (Duffett 225). This affective dimension also informs fans’ visits at places connected with the fandom in some way or other. In the case of Harry Potter fandom there are a number of places that promise to offer a (partial) substitute for the physically inaccessible “imagined space” (ibid. 226, original emphasis) of Rowling’s wizarding world. These places range from filming locations and exhibitions to the highly commodified Warner Brothers Studies in Leavesden, which opened in 2012. Places that cater to the fans’ desire to immerse themselves in the world of Harry Potter keep expanding. In Los Angeles, Orlando (Florida) and Japan the concept of the theme park has been adapted to the Harry Potter universe, transforming typical theme-park features such as the rollercoaster ride into Harry Potter-themed attractions.39 In the case of the Potterverse the range of substitute places may even include shops like the ones at King’s Cross Station and Heathrow Airport. By decorating shops in ways that reference the wizarding world (e.g. with Gothic arches), even these locations cater to a certain extent to the fans’ desire to immerse themselves in the wizarding world. Moreover, the merchandise itself can be seen as fostering immersion (albeit presumably on a comparatively small scale), making it even possible to take objects that evoke the wizarding world home. Two different types of merchandise can be distinguished on the basis of their relationship to the fictional universe and, thus, their impact on world building. On the one hand, there are products that could be referred to as ‘referential’, i.e., objects that merely allude to the fictional world or Harry Potter in general. This type of merchandise encompasses items featuring pictures and/or quotations related to the Potterverse in some way or other. Sometimes it even signals a certain ironic distance from the fictional world and/or an awareness of the latter’s fictional status in its very make-up. Cases in point include mugs, cushions or T-shirts displaying texts such as ‘If you don’t get my Harry Potter references then there is some thing Siriusly 39 According to the news section on Pottermore, a new attraction is scheduled to open in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando in 2019, which “is being described as a ‘new generation of thrill ride’ and will feature ‘a new level of storytelling’ during the experience. The ride will also feature wizarding world characters and creatures” (Pottermore Team, “New Ride” n.p.). In other words, the attempt to bring parts of the wizarding world into our world may perhaps even have an impact on the standards of theme park design. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 31 Ron with you’ or even a ‘crossover’ reference like ‘I never received my acceptance letter to Hogwarts, so I’m leaving the Shire to become a Jedi and take the Iron Throne’. Objects that are associated with ‘Muggle’ technology, such as Harry Potter-themed mouse mats, can also be subsumed under the category of ‘referential’ merchandise. On the other hand, there is merchandise that could be referred to as ‘mimetic’ since it is meant to closely resemble an object from the wizarding world. In these cases, the movies constitute the reference point for verisimilitude, which serves to confirm the audio-visual adaptations in their function as ‘official’ visual representation of the wizarding world. Examples of this type of merchandise, which reflects most clearly “the decision [by Time Warner] to ignore Rowling’s Muggle world and only produce products that come from and are positioned in the magical world” (Beatty 115), include the Marauder’s Map, boxes containing Chocolate Frogs (complete with collectible card), replicas of Marvolo Gaunt’s ring, Rowena Ravenclaw’s tiara and other Horcruxes as well as different wands seen in the films. These items do not express an ironic distance from the fictional world; instead, by virtue of being “marked by verisimilitude” (ibid.), they promise fans immersion “in their favorite story by consuming” (ibid. 116) more or less expensive objects. The significance of ‘mimetic’ merchandise for the fan is partially the outcome of textinternal processes: the magical artefacts represented by the merchandise have accumulated meaning in the course of the series, which can be decoded by the fan due to his/her knowledge of the texts. Many artefacts that have been endowed with rich layers of meaning in the book and film series by being associated with the characters, their actions, magical properties and memorable moments have inspired Harry Potter merchandise. While there are also reproductions of artefacts in other franchises (e.g. the ‘One Ring’ as The Lord of the Rings merchandise), the sheer number of artefacts created by Rowling for the novels and by the production design team for the film series arguably sets ‘mimetic’ Harry Potter merchandise apart from merchandise in other fandoms. The category of ‘mimetic’ merchandise also encompasses items such as sweaters and scarves that look like the school uniforms worn by the young actors and actresses in the movies. Fans sometimes wear these in everyday situations without causing raised eyebrows, which is made possible by the fact that the Hogwarts school uniform as displayed in the movies includes ‘normal’ clothes. Wearing a Gryffindor or Ravenclaw scarf in everyday life sends a signal, revealing one’s interests as a fan. Still, this performance of fandom is not what most people would think of as cosplay, which tends to be associated with unusual costumes as well as negative stereotypes about fans and, for this reason, “forms a controversial corner of fandom” (Duffett 292). While donning robes with one of the Hogwarts House crests is likely to be categorised as a form of cosplay (and would draw a lot of attention in a school or workplace), wearing just a House scarf or sweater is presumably more socially acceptable (and will perhaps be deciphered primarily by other fans). Nevertheless, it is still an expression of fandom and a “playful immersion in the mythos” of the Potterverse (ibid. 188, original emphasis). Jewellery that is either ‘referential’ (e.g., a miniature Hedwig or Golden Snitch on a necklace) or ‘mimetic’ (e.g., a Time-Turner or Deathly Hallows necklace) may fulfil a similar purpose and is comparatively inconspicuous, except for initiates. Just as Xenophilius Lovegood wears the Deathly Hallows necklace in order “‘to reveal […] [himself] to other believers, in the hope that they might help […] [him] with the Quest’” (Hallows 329), fans may thus reveal their identity as fans to others in more or less subtle ways by using merchandise.40 40 For the connection between fandom and identity, cf. for example the following comment by Chin-Ting Lee: “Identity is an important theme and focus on fandom studies because fans, especially celebrity and media fans, have a strong attachment to an object; they identify, perceive, and understand themselves and other people through a media text or celebrity they like” (56-57). MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 32 One of the hallmark features of Harry Potter merchandise is its comparatively high degree of individualisation. People can even order a personalised Hogwarts acceptance letter, which has their name and address on it. There is also an intermediate level of individualisation, which manifests itself in house-themed merchandise, for instance in clothes in house colours, featuring one of the house crests. Fandom may be a community-building activity, as internet forums and fan conventions show perhaps most clearly. In the context of fandom as a social activity, one of the functions of merchandise is that of communicating one’s fan status to others and thus potentially initiating contact with people who share their interests, as was already pointed out above. By displaying house-themed items Harry Potter fans may signal their ‘allegiance’ and their self-identification in a more specific way than with more ‘general’ merchandise, potentially appealing to a specific group within the Harry Potter fandom. Among the most recent house-themed products are special 20th-anniversary editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. For each Hogwarts house there is an edition whose cover features the house crest in the house colour as well as the principal values of the house (e.g. Wit – Learning – Wisdom for Ravenclaw and Pride – Ambition – Cunning for Slytherin). Moreover, the editions contain additional material about the house, its founder, relics, ghost, the common room, famous alumni, etc. While most of this information is based on the series, it exceeds what readers learn in the first volume. That means for first-time readers the house editions contain spoilers or information they do not understand. The Ravenclaw edition, for instance, tells the reader that “Rowena Ravenclaw’s daughter Helena stole the diadem out of jealousy of her mother’s cleverness. It was found by Lord Voldemort who made it into a Horcrux and kept it hidden for many years at Hogwarts” (Ravenclaw xii), thus divulging information that is only revealed in the last volume of the series.41 This leads to the conclusion that fans who are interested in re-reading the story rather than newcomers constitute the target readership of these editions. Though merchandise seems to sell quite well, the Harry Potter fandom is not entirely about merchandise of course. For many people, being creative is part of their experience as fans. Thus, “homemade pieces” (Beatty 118), which are often associated with memories of when, by whom or with whom they were made, may be more important than merchandise for many fans. The spectrum of homemade objects ranges from decoration for Harry Potterthemed parties to self-made wands. Wands, which are the basic equipment of witches and wizards, play a very important role in the series and are complex artefacts (made of different types of wood, containing special cores and differing in terms of their length and flexibility),42 are available as merchandise. Alternatively, fans may decide to make their own wand. While this type of wand-making strictly speaking does not adhere to the idea that ‘the wand chooses the wizard’, it certainly does justice to the notion that each wand is unique and has a special relationship to its owner. 41 In a similar fashion, the Slytherin edition refers to the second volume: “A legend circulated that Slytherin had built a hidden chamber at Hogwarts, a chamber that was home to a monster which would rid the school of half-bloods and Muggle-borns, a chamber that could only be opened by Salazar Slytherin’s true heir. It was in Harry Potter’s second year at Hogwarts that this legend was proved to be fact” (Slytherin xi). 42 These differences are, for instance, highlighted in the chapter “The Weighing of the Wands” in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Mr Ollivander describes the wand owned by Cedric Diggory as follows: “‘Containing a single hair from the tail of a particularly fine male unicorn … must have been seventeen hands; nearly gored me with his horn after I plucked his tail. Twelve and a quarter inches … ash … pleasantly springy’” (Goblet 339). Wands are also discussed in the articles by Sarah Hofmann and Jule Lenzen in this volume. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 33 Figure 1 shows wands that were made by participants at the 2017 Inklings conference in Aachen, Germany. VI. Conclusion: The Potterverse in motion The Potterverse provides a prime example of ongoing transmedial world building. The world that has been developed in the Potterverse is amazingly coherent, despite its ever-increasing complexity. This is largely due to the fact that the development of the Potterverse has very much remained in the hands of author J.K. Rowling, in contrast to other successful franchises, such as Star Trek or Star Wars, which were multi-authored almost right from the start. So far the series of novels constitutes the authoritative text in the Potterverse. This is, for instance, evident in recurring references to the novels on Pottermore. The film series has endowed the wizarding world with powerful images of characters, places and objects. Although these images have by now presumably shaped what most fans imagine the wizarding world to look like, the movies do not provide the only authoritative images anymore. In 2015, the illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone featuring artwork by Jim Kay was published. Since then the second and third volume have likewise appeared as illustrated versions. The illustrations do not try to imitate the movies, but offer a somewhat different vision of Harry Potter’s world.43 In the future, these new images promise to have an increasing impact on readers’ imagination, especially since illustrations by Kay also appear on Pottermore and constitute the basis of the most recent edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: the Kindle in Motion edition. Here, readers may see images ‘as wizards see them’, i.e., moving around. Twenty years after the initial publication of the first Harry Potter novel, which has had a huge impact on the concept of world building within children’s literature and its cultural relevance, the Kindle in Motion edition might contribute to yet another revolution within children’s literature, which is currently under way, popularising new ways of thinking about text-image relationships and the ways imaginary worlds are created in literary texts. 43 Cf. the discussion of Kay’s illustration of the Forbidden Forest in the article by Denise Burkhard in this volume. MARION GYMNICH AND KLAUS SCHEUNEMANN 34 Works Cited Beatty, Bronwyn E. “‘It’s a natural part of us!’ The Potter Generation Reflect on Their Ongoing Relationship with a Cultural Phenomenon.” From Here to Hogwarts: Essays on Harry Potter Fandom and Fiction, edited by Christopher E. Bell, McFarland, 2016. 99- 122. 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Bell, McFarland, 2016. 28-53. Ingleton, Pamela. “‘Neither Can Live while the Other Survives’: Harry Potter and the Extratextual (After)life of J.K. Rowling.” J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter, edited by Cynthia J. Hallett and Peggy J. Huey, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 175-93. Jenkins, Henry. Textual Poachers: Television Fans and Participatory Culture. Updated Twentieth Anniversary Edition, Routledge, 2013 [1992]. Johnson, Michael K. “Doubling, Transfiguration, and Haunting.” Reading Harry Potter Again: New Critical Essays, edited by Giselle Liza Anatol, Praeger, 2009. 207-21. Lapedis, Hilary. “Popping the Question: The Function and Effect of Popular Music in Cinema.” Popular Music 18.3 (1999): 367-79. THE ‘HARRY POTTER PHENOMENON’ 35 Lathey, Gillian. “The Travels of Harry: International Marketing and the Translation of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Books.” The Lion and the Unicorn 29.2 (2005): 141-51. 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J. K. Rowling’s “ Harry Potter” series (1997–2007) has turned into a global phenomenon and her Potterverse is still expanding. The contributions in this volume provide a range of inter- and transdisciplinary approaches to various dimensions of this multifacetted universe. The introductory article focuses on different forms of world building in the novels, the translations, the film series and the fandom.

Part I examines various potential sources for Rowling’s series in folklore, the Arthurian legend and Gothic literature. Further articles focus on parallels between the “Harry Potter” series and Celtic Druidism, the impact Victorian notions of gender roles have had on the representation of the Gaunt family, the reception of (medieval and Early Modern) history in the series and the influence of Christian concepts on the world view expressed in the novels.

Part II focuses on a range of prominent political and social themes in the series, including conspiracy, persecution and terror, racism as well as the role of economic, social and cultural capital. Other articles explore the concept of a Magical Criminal Law and its consequences as well as the significance of secrets and forbidden places.

The articles in Part III go beyond the novels by taking the stage play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”, the movie “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”, Pottermore and fan fiction into account. Main topics in this part include trauma theory/PTSD, queerbaiting, a ‘post’-colonial analysis of the representation of Native Americans in Rowling’s “History of Magic in North America” and the depiction of violence, incest and rape in fan fictions.

The concluding article highlights the diversification of the Potterverse and analyses strategies informing its ongoing expansion.