The Spanish release of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Legacy’. EPV

Magic trains never fail. It is estimated that every 30 seconds a new reader opens a Harry Potter book: he always finds a car waiting for him, on platform 9 ¾ of King’s Cross, ready to take him on an extraordinary adventure. In the real world, on the other hand, punctuality can be magic. In 1990 J. K. Rowling was traveling from Manchester precisely to the London station. Instead of some spell, his railroad broke down. Although that delay did have some charm: the author took the opportunity to conceive the idea of ​​a young magician with a great destiny ahead of him. When his train resumed, the incredible journey of Harry Potter had also just begun.

26 years have passed and the saga flies higher and higher. Its eighth chapter, Harry Potter and the cursed legacy, is published today in Spain and Latin America (Salamandra) surrounded by the expectation that perhaps the most successful epic in the history of literature deserves. Bookstores throughout Spain have prepared special events, some opened just at midnight for readers to spend the night at Hogwarts and tens of thousands of fans have already reserved their copy, lest it volatilize under some layer of invisibility. “We can say that he is already a classic of literature, like The Lord of the Rings”, says Simone Regazzoni, professor of Aesthetics at the University of Pavia and author of the book Harry Potter and Philosophy.

“Its success is explained with two elements. On the one hand, a masterful development of a plot that involves and is passionate. On the other, a complex, true world, built down to the smallest details ”, adds the professor. And Gemma Rovira, translator of novels in Spain since its fifth installment, adds another key: “Sincerity. They are honest books on dealing with emotions. They are not sweetened. There are doubts and ambiguity; anger and hatred are not hidden ”. Surely those feelings are those that have been experiencing the editorials that rejected the first manuscript of the saga. Until Bloosmbury removed the most successful yes in its history from the top hat.

Colossal success

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 Cover of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Legacy’. SALAMANDER

The numbers enlarge the triumph: seven books, with 450 million copies sold; eight movies, with 6,870 million revenue, the highest grossing ever for a film saga; in addition, theme parks, video games and merchandising. The novels have been translated into some 70 languages ​​and even Harrius Potter’s adventures can be read in Latin. Still, fans are still thirsty. So in the UK Harry Potter and the Cursed Legacy established the best debut of the decade for a book; and, more generally, the volume already accumulates millionaire sales, wherever it has been published. Meanwhile, it didn’t take a day for the original play to run out of 175,000 tickets for its first performances in the West End.

Here is a nuance that should be repeated: the eighth episode is not a novel. And what is published in book format is the script for the stage set. “It is a theatrical text, it is not disguised as anything,” says Rovira. Already put, it is not even written by Rowling: the author conceived the story, along with the theater director John Tiffany and the playwright Jack Thorne. It was the latter, however, in charge of filling in the pages. “He is very Rowling, it seems to me a fluid continuation in the style. It changes the format, they are all dialogues, but it includes the previous plots, incorporates new characters and the old ones are widely recognized, “promises Rovira.

The book includes the script of the play that is performed in London’s West End

The book starts 19 years after the seventh novel. The “boy who survived” is now a father of a family, with a job in the Ministry of Magic and problems that even his spells cannot solve: little time, a lot of work and a complicated relationship with Albus Severus, his youngest son and protagonist of the work. Faced with the impossibility of creating a nemesis at the height of Voldemort, the creators opted for a more real enemy: growing up in the shadow of a legendary father. “The Harry Potter novels never tell us what to do, but they lead us to reflect on the fact that growing and becoming ourselves means developing our uniqueness,” says Regazzoni.

The truth is that most reviews have enthusiastically approved the play and with some conviction its paper edition. There are also, yes, critical voices such as The Hollywood Reporter, which considers it a “remix of mythology that already existed” or The Atlantic: “Rowling runs the risk of damaging her legacy.” It will be seen if the magazine is right, the fact is that Harry Potter is left for a while. The film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on the eponymous spin-off, will hit theaters on November 18. Meanwhile, rumors of a future premiere of the play in New York or Toronto multiply. And next year a new version of the script for Harry Potter and the cursed legacy will be published, with the changes that the montage will incorporate as it is represented. There are those who denounce that the business is gaining the pulse of the spell, but the saga will always have a merit: millions of children start reading thanks to Harry Potter. There is no greater magic.