J.K. Rowling helped to revolutionize fantasy with her Harry Potter books, but sadly, she has not steeped herself in the genre. Her interview over at the New York Times is full of very old-school literary allusions. (As in, Elizabeth Gaskell and Anthony Trollope, two 19th century novelists that anyone who loves fantasy and science fiction should definitely read.) But when the New York Times asks her if there are any genres that she just can't be bothered with, Rowling responds:
"Can't be bothered with" isn't a phrase I'd use, because my reading tastes are pretty catholic. I don't read "chick lit," fantasy or science fiction but I'll give any book a chance if it's lying there and I've got half an hour to kill.
This makes me sad — and yet it doesn't change my love for the Potter books. In fact, Rowling might be the ultimate proof that sometimes, the best way to revolutionize a genre is not to be too immersed in its traditions.