Harry Potter (II): Intertekstualiteit en literêre genres in die reeks

  • Estelle Kruger Departement Didaktiek, Fakulteit Opvoedkunde, Universiteit van Stellenbosch


This article explores the intrinsic criteria that are applied to discover the literary value of the Harry Potter texts. The aim of the article is to equip educators of Afrikaans in the intermediate and senior school phases with background knowledge by providing an overview of discussions and commentaries on the literary genres in which these texts can be read, as well as examples of relevant intertexts. Educators who have chosen to prescribe these texts for learners of Afrikaans can use the texts to develop learners' critical literacy by means of problematising the culture and knowledge offered by the texts for readers to weigh and evaluate. The Harry Potter series in Afrikaans offers educators an opportunity to stimulate the interest of Afrikaans-speaking readers in the rich cultural heritage represented by the fantasy, Gothic and school series genres. These texts can furthermore challenge the readers to think critically about the implied intertexts in order to construct their own identity and moral choices. In relation to the aesthetic value of the Harry Potter books, they are firstly discussed as examples of fantasy and how they represent different elements of fantasy. Secondly, Harry Potter can be read in the Gothic tradition, and examples of Gothic elements are shown. Finally, it is shown that the books are a typical school series combination and that they can be read as such.

Keywords: Harry Potter; evaluation criteria; intertextuality; fantasy; Gothic novel; school series; critical literacy
Sleutelwoorde: Harry Potter; beoordelingskriteria; intertekstualiteit; fantasie; Gotiese spanningsverhaal, skoolreeksboeke; kritiese geletterdheid

[Jnl for Language Teaching Vol.37(2) 2003: 197-214]

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0259-9570