Log in

No account? Create an account

The Ultimate Product

Given this summer's hype, I've decided that the ultimate product would be a Harry Potter iPhone.


Even given the astonishing magic in the Harry Potter books, they don't seem to have any easy way to talk long-distance. (There's some sort of fire thing, I seem to remember.) Why no cell phones? Just when do these books take place?
Careful reading seems to indicate that the books are set in the 1990s.
"The Heir of Slytherin? We've got to tell Dumbledore," Harry exclaimed. "Hermione, hand me the bag phone!"

"But Harry, how are we going to get coverage?" said Ron, remembering the little red note from his mother. "We're way out of our area, and my mum will KILL me if I get another roaming charge!"

"Not to worry," Hermione interjected. "I've hacked the cell site and spoofed our identities. Snape will get the roaming charge on his brick phone, but that's unavoidable."

"You ARE bad," Ron breathed.
That's what she might have meant, and obviously the movies are done with modernish dress and slang. But, as John Clute might say, what's the Real Year? It seems to me that this is a 1950s story. Did JKL go to boarding school? The books are probably reflective of her own experience in school. And the themes of one half-generation past the Great War also place it in 1957.
But I believe there's an actual reference to a year in the 1990s in the books.
"According to Clute, every sf text, regardless of the year it claims to be set in, has an underlying "real year" which shines through, the secret point in time that gives the work its flavor."

I claim that the Real Year of Harry Potter is 1957. This has nothing to do with authorial references to actual dates. The story is *about* boarding school in the 1950s.
I would argue less for there being a Real Year for the books, and more for Rowling trying to keep the story as "timeless" as possible. To me, the books don't feel grounded in a specific decade at all, even with her references to boarding schools and the like.

Why specifcally 1957, and not some other year in the 1950s?
And here's a Wikipedia entry that lays out the chronology of the books:

I dunno. A Transformers iPhone might give the star of Equus a run for his money.

December 2016

Powered by LiveJournal.com