To all those who despair upon the fascination with Harry Potter as a sign that the masses have no sense of literature or taste–just stop, please. You are making the rest of us literary snobs look like asshats.
Now, I don’t deny that I can be astoundingly elitist about certain things. I froth when I see the term criticism used as nothing more than a synonym for a book review. I believe those who haven’t learned to analyze literature can hardly make a good claim to sentience. I regard those who think English is a useless degree as lower forms of life who probably wallow in their own fecal matter. Somehow, though, I manage not to despair that not everyone reads nothing but Shakespeare or Dante or Chaucer or Thackeray or Woolf or Pynchon for entertainment purposes.