BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Monday, 16 September, 2002, 14:18 GMT 15:18 UK
Russian 'Potter' author defends book
Dimitri Yemetz
Yemetz poses with his creation

A Russian author is insisting his creation Tanya Grotter is not a copy of Harry Potter - despite a threat of legal action.

Tanya Grotter and Her Magical Double Bass features a heroine who wears round spectacles, flies a magic musical instrument, has a mole on her nose and attends the Abracadabra school for young witches.

But writer Dimitri Yemetz insists his teenage magician is an original creation.

"The character is a cultural reply rather than plagiarism," he told BBC News Online in Moscow.

"The characters and the stories in the book are Russian folklore based on Russian culture and traditions."


If the book is the Russian answer to Harry Potter then they have to look similar

Dimitri Yemetz
That's not quite the way Rosmen, the Moscow-based Russian publisher of the Potter books, sees things.

A spokesman called the book "outrageous" and 'a serious violation of copyright".

"The book is in London being analysed in order to decide whether or not to take legal action against the publishers," he added.

Rosmen claims people are buying the book in the mistaken belief that it is the long-awaited fifth release in the original series of JK Rowling's bestsellers.

'Parody'

But author Yemetz dismisses such claims.

"The book is a parody," he insisted.

"There are several big differences between the two books and you cannot say that someone would come into a store and mix the two books."

Tanya Grotter
Tanya Grotter is a "cultural reply", the author says
But the front cover is strikingly similar to that of the Harry Potter series and the author admits that together with his publishers, he took a conscious decision to make them look the same.

"If the book is the Russian answer to Harry Potter then they have to look similar," he said.

"They have to address the same market segment so that people will be able to choose and compare the two."

Potter-mad

Russia, like many other countries around the world, has gone Potter-mad and the first four books have been very successful. The fifth is awaited by thousands of young Russians.

Harry Potter website - Warner Bros
Harry Potter - as seen on the films' website
Yemetz, who says he has a master's degree in Russian folklore and literature, says he wants to thank Rowling for her contribution to literature.

"Rowling's most important achievement is to have broken the barrier between literature for teenagers and for grown ups," he said.

Yemetz says that rather than a copy, his book is a similar attempt to create a universal literary language that bridges the gap between young and old.

"She has shown us the recipe of how to make great literature," he says.

"I hope she reads it, I think she would be interested in how similar cultural trends are developing in Russia."


In DepthIN DEPTH
Visit BBC News Online's Harry Potter special sectionHarry Potter
The latest from the wizard's world
See also:

13 Jun 02 | Entertainment
11 Feb 02 | Entertainment
09 May 02 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes