Labelled by TIME as “The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars,” John Granger is a pioneer.
When many were dismissing the significance of the Hogwarts Saga, or condemning the books for “promoting witchcraft,” John was the first literary critic to explain how they carry on the tradition of English fantasy literature. His book, How Harry Cast His Spell, shows readers how J.K. Rowling used classic literary techniques to weave a timeless story that connects with the hearts of readers.
I recently spoke with John about the popularity of fantasy literature, and the secrets of writing a great fantasy story.
What draws people to fantasy literature?
I think Mircea Eliade was right when he wrote that reading serves a mythic or religious function in a secular society, which is to say that we read fiction in general because it offers us an escape from or transcendence of our ego existence.