Op-Ed about Harry Potter in the Times!

David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
edited June 2017 in General 7292 karma


I have an op-ed in the New York Times about Harry Potter today! Notice the call-out of an assumption in an argument I'm trying to take down. Everything you're learning for the test applies in the real world too!

Just for fun, I'll share a few paragraphs which they cut, and which rely on the idea of necessary conditions:

Opponents of YA-reading adults aren’t Puritans; they don’t believe that literature ought to instruct and improve us. On the contrary, Beha and Graham rely on the concept of pleasure. The core sentiment is approximately this: “It’s weird that adults find YA so enjoyable. Those books are so basic.” In Graham’s words,

These books consistently indulge in the kind of endings that teenagers want to see, but which adult readers ought to reject as far too simple…These endings are emblematic of the fact that the emotional and moral ambiguity of adult fiction—of the real world—is nowhere in evidence in YA fiction. These endings are for readers who prefer things to be wrapped up neatly, our heroes married or dead or happily grasping hands, looking to the future.

Never mind that Shakespeare and Dickens and the Brontë sisters, all of whom get name-checked in Graham’s piece, wrap up many of their works with perfect bows. I just don’t believe that ambiguity or complexity are necessary conditions of pleasure. Books can be good in many different ways. Are the Harry Potter books morally simplistic? Sure, but it doesn’t matter. Rowling mastered the ancient magic of storytelling, which is why Harry is the boy who lived, and still lives, in our collective imagination.

Here's the article:


  • tringo335tringo335 Alum Member
    3679 karma

    Woohoo! Nice work! I'll be sure to read the entire piece ;-)

  • NotMyNameNotMyName Alum Member Sage
    5320 karma

    Congrats on the Times piece!

  • jack.igoejack.igoe Member
    544 karma

    Congratulations! Excited to see it soon!

  • Mellow_ZMellow_Z Alum Member
    edited June 2017 1997 karma

    Haha that's amazing, congrats! Is being published in the NY Times a regular occurrence for you?!

    HP is also awesome and will always been one of my favorite pleasure reads :wink:

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    Just read it in it's entirety. Haha that is awesome and congrats @"david.busis" :)

  • JustDoItJustDoIt Alum Member
    3112 karma

    Killing it @"david.busis"! Congrats!

  • Freddy_DFreddy_D Alum Member
    2983 karma

    Fake News! JK. Congratulations!!!!!

  • Help2222Help2222 Member
    240 karma

    Very good!

  • kimpg_66kimpg_66 Alum Member
    1617 karma

    What the heck!!! That's awesome! Congrats, man!

  • dennisgerrarddennisgerrard Member
    1644 karma

    @"David.Busis" Would it be a series?

  • David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
    7292 karma

    Thanks everyone! @Mellow_Z no, not regular. @dennisgerrard my book? Definitely.

  • Zachary_PZachary_P Member
    659 karma

    Wow! Awesome stuff!

  • ElleWoods77ElleWoods77 Alum Member
    1184 karma

    Whoever dissed Harry Potter is a muggle :), congrats this is amazing!

  • AlexAlex Alum Member
    23929 karma

    @ElleWoods77 said:
    Whoever dissed Harry Potter is a muggle :), congrats this is amazing!

    Hahaha! :)

  • akistotleakistotle Member 🍌🍌
    9377 karma

    This is a great article. I look forward to reading your novel!

  • Cant Get RightCant Get Right Yearly + Live Member Sage 🍌 7Sage Tutor
    27829 karma

    Beautifully written David. I was 11 when Sorcerer's Stone was first released--the same age as Harry when he received his letter from Hogwarts--so I grew up right alongside Harry and the gang. My Voldemorts may have come to me in different forms, but the lessons are the same. I learned that it's okay to be afraid and confused and frustrated and angry and sad: Harry and I share all of these feelings with Tom Riddle. That's not what separates us from the Voldemorts of the world. What really matters--and what ultimately defines us--is not how we feel, but how we act in response to these feelings. Voldemort acted with cowardice, dispair, and hatred; Harry acted with courage, hope, and love. This is a lesson that serves as my compass even now, long after my days at Hogwarts.

    “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

  • David BusisDavid Busis Member Moderator
    7292 karma

    Thanks @"Cant Get Right"!

    And yeah, that line is killer.

  • poohbearpoohbear Alum Member
    496 karma

    Really enjoyed the article! I'm a huge HP fan myself-- constantly rereading the books over and over again and finding something new that I love about the series each time.

    Congrats on the piece!

  • alaa.11alaa.11 Free Trial Member
    33 karma

    Wow, what a refreshing perspective you give in that article. I personally agree with you and appreciate your articulation on why YAs are also adult appropriate reads, especially Harry Potter!

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