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Harry Potter and existential transhumanism in fanfiction: E. Yudkowsky’s experiment with genres

N.S. Shurinova
80,00 ₽

UDC 821.161.1-3

DOI 10.20339/PhS.4-23.151   


Shurinova Natalya S.,

Candidate of Philology,

Senior Lecturer of the Theory and

History of World Literature Department

Institute of Philology, Journalism and Intercultural Communication

Southern Federal University



The article considers the fanfiction novel by E. Yudkowsky “Harry Potter and the methods of rationality” from the point of view of various genre strategies. We analyze Yudkowsky’s text as an example of the realization of possibilities of the network space for popularization of transhumanism and principles of rationality by creating a didactic novel based on the J.K. Rowling’s literary universe. Also it is a postmodern novel based on the deconstruction of Rowling’s “canonical” text and key elements of the fantasy genre. Besides that, this text is a philosophical existentialist novel, which reflects the author’s worldview. Yudkowsky’s experiment with genres demonstrates the potential of fanfiction texts illustrating R. Barth’s concept of reader’s active role: the famous story written by J. Rowling gets new meanings in Yudkowsky’s interpretation. Deconstructing the logic of fantasy, the author realizes didactic tasks, teaches rationality to his readers and reflects on the ethics of action, making Harry Potter a superhero, whose principles are correlated with the ideas of J.-P. Sartre and F. Nietzsche. Yudkowsky’s project, aimed at the rehabilitation of rationality, finally makes a reader doubt it, because the rational mind turns to be capable of destruction.

Keywords: Harry Potter, fanfiction, Sartre, Nietzsche, postmodernism, rationality.



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