Friday, January 06, 2012

Harry Potter and the postcolonial intertextual metanarrative

Hu Jintao, the president of China, has accused Harry Potter (among other manifestations of Western decadence) of being part of a cultural war against his country’s best interests. Which may be the case, but it’s one that the four-eyed wizardling is bound to lose, as for every upstanding Maoist corrupted by the insidious forces of Rowlingite decadence, there are 20 who will have tempered their Potter fix with a hefty slug of chinoiserie. Check out this list of fake Chinese Potter books, including Harry Potter and the Leopard Walk-Up-To Dragon and Harry Potter and the Filler of Big; not content with  boring old death-eaters, the authors bulk out their narratives with dinosaurs, hobbits, belly dancers, acrobats and someone called Big Spinach. A significant theme that pervades many of these insurgent reimaginings is that Harry’s own feeble, round-eye powers often need help from a passing Chinese wizard or two, whose skills make the witless gweilo look like the tired, imperialist running dog he really is. We even encounter Voldemort’s Asian twin, Yandomort, who’s probably twice as evil, and cheaper too. This is not so much piracy as an act of postmodern genetic splicing that leaves poor old JK spluttering in the meagre dust that is all that’s left of Western civilisation. President Hu is not the one who should be worried.


Charles Frith said...

The Monsanto of contemporary myth making. Perfick.

Martin said...

I had leave this post early, as I was suddenly overtaken by images of Benny Hill being interviewed by Henry McGee.

Billy said...

Harry Potter and the Magic Biscuit.