Together Again for the First Time: Harry Potter and Bob Dylan
August 09, 2003
By way of ArtsJournal comes this amusing commentary by young persons’ author Louisa Young, aka Zizou Corder(?), on being declared the New JK Rowling.
You may think that being the New JK Rowling is an experience granted to few, of little interest to the general reader - but you'd be wrong. New JK Rowlings are ten a penny (which must be galling for the Actual JK Rowling). There was Georgia Byng, Eoin Colfer, Lemony Snicket, Lorraine Kelly and that vicar, and the guy whose mother saved his manuscript from the bin.I could not but be reminded by this of the way in which music writers for almost forty years now have repeatedly discovered that the musician of whom they are writing is The New Bob Dylan. Loudon Wainwright III, John Prine, Bruce Springsteen: all the New Bob Dylan. A quick Google search reveals that Beck is the New Dylan; that Eminem is The New Dylan; that if you want to be The New Dylan, it doesn't hurt to be the son of the old Dylan. When all else fails, writer just keep spawning More New Dylans [Pete Yorn? Jack Johnson? Please.] And did you know that Baltimore House Music Is The New Dylan? I thought not.
Recently, the BBC held a contest for the position, which a drama student from Canterbury won. Even the AJKR was herself voted the NJKR in a poll. In fact, if you can just get off your arse and write a children's book (though I'm sure we will have some NJKRs soon who have not written a word), and perhaps demonstrate some vague similarity to the AJKR, then before you know it you too will be getting emails from your friends saying: "Haha! I hear you're JKRowling in it!"
Those who have been following this blog in its short life will recognize certain recurring themes behind this post. If you are newer, you will find prior mentions of the original Bob Dylan here and here. Harry Potter and Philip Pullman (who himself earns a mention in Louisa Young's NJKR piece above) were taken up at length here.