Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Knock it off

Somehow I never tire of these articles about counterfeit Chinese Harry Potter books.

These include “Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Relative Prince,” a creation whose name in Chinese closely resembles the title of the genuine sixth book by Ms. Rowling, as well as pure inventions that include “Harry Potter and the Hiking Dragon,” “Harry Potter and the Chinese Empire,” “Harry Potter and the Young Heroes,” “Harry Potter and Leopard-Walk-Up-to-Dragon,” and “Harry Potter and the Big Funnel.”

Some borrow little more than the names of Ms. Rowling’s characters, lifting plots from other well-known authors, like J. R. R. Tolkien, or placing the famously British protagonist in plots lifted from well-known kung-fu epics and introducing new characters from Chinese literary classics like “Journey to the West.”

This reminds me of the way Darger had his Vivian Girls meet characters from The Wizard of Oz and other books. I'm also reminded of this bit in Dizzyhead Douglas's excellent Reading Comics, re the early success of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

Within months, comics stores' shelves were flooded with knockoffs and parodies and parodies of knockoffs—Adolescent Radioactive Black-Belt Hamsters, Aristocratic Xtraterrestrial Time-Traveling Thieves, Pre-Teen Dirty-Gene Kung-Fu Kangaroos (I swear I'm not making this up)...


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In other news: Woah, the reading tonight has been written up at this cool blog called NYTimes.com!

And—New York mag likes the New-York Ghost, calling it "a wonder of both style and substance"!

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7 Comments:

Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

I guess the actual books are probably disappointing, but isn't it partly appealing because it's like something in a dream?!? Like if I was half asleep and fantasizing about what I most wanted to read, it might something like "Harry Potter and the Triathlon of Death" or something...

11:29 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

You are right, that *is* the appeal!

Also the father wanting to continue the story for his son was very moving somehow....

1:05 PM  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

Yes, it was moving!

In your version, Ed, one of the main characters takes up the ukelele!

1:20 PM  
Blogger Ed said...

Harry Potter and the Felt Ukulele Pick, yes, it's one of JKR's best....

2:08 PM  
Blogger Mollie said...

Happy Birthday, Ed!

8:41 AM  
Blogger Sarah Weinman said...

Yes happy happy birthday Ed!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Ed said...

Thank you!!

2:12 PM  

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