July 16, 2005

· Books

Good to see all the fuss and hype over the new Harry Potter. I wonder whether it’ll be better than the last one, which I thought was a bit of a disaster. It’s a little shorter, which is a good sign. Like many people, I have my doubts that Potter will still be read by children a few generations down the line. He may end up a curio like Billy Bunter, or even the Oz books, whose characters enter the culture but the novels hardly bear re-reading. But bugger posterity, to be honest: at some point you can’t argue with the huge queues of people waiting to buy the books. I’d happily settle for the gift of being able to write something that would be read by a hundreth as many people.

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I am Associate Professor of Sociology at Duke University. I’m affiliated with the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Markets and Management Studies program, and the Duke Network Analysis Center.



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