The Alchemist’s Tale
Harry Potter & the Alchemical Tradition in English Literature
by John Granger
In her Harry Potter books, J. K. Rowling looks at the world diagonally and sees its magic. I believe this diagonal vision springs from her classical education and its ideas of truth, love, and beauty, and her consequent discomfort with modernity and with modern ideas and institutions. She conveys the world’s magic as a traditional English writer writing within the traditions of her genre. And one of these traditions is the use of alchemical symbolism to convey spiritual realities.
Related Touchstone articles:
What I Learned About the Great Books & Harry Potter
THIS ARTICLE ONLY AVAILABLE TO SUBSCRIBERS.
FOR QUICK ACCESS:
John Granger is an Orthodox Reader and the author of several books about Harry Potter, including How Harry Cast His Spell (SaltRiver, 2008) and The Deathly Hallows Lectures (Zossima Press, 2008). His website is HogwartsProfessor.com.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives