: This is what I was talking about, below, when I complained about people giving too much credit to Harry Potter. From the Washington Post:
Harry Potter has changed the world.
You just can’t say that about many books. You’ve got the Bible, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Copernicus wrote something or other. So did Newton and Malthus, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Charles Darwin.
But we live in different times: the UltraMaxiMedia-Age. We are slaves to the Next, ruled by videocracy. Taught by image; motivated by movement. Books are so old school. Reading is downright irrelevant. The world doesn’t really change these days, anyway. It fractures and reassembles and moves from abnormality to new normality to post-whatever-was-in-fashion-as-this-sentence-was-being-written.
That said: J.K. Rowling’s record-setting books — number five, “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” goes on sale today — are altering our landscape. With more than 200 million copies in print worldwide, the books have been translated into 55 languages and are available in 200 countries. The literary influence is global.
Changed the world? Come now. It had far more of an impact on marketing than on literature, literacy, and culture. [via IWantMedia]