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Harry Potter’s Scar and the Scar-Intertext Analogy

  • 인문논총
  • 2016, 41(), pp.359-382
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Published : October 31, 2016

Joon Hyung Park 1

1경남대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

Focusing on Harry’s scar in various texts such as Rowling’s novels, book illustrations, film adaptations, Harry Potter makeup kits, and body modification blogs, this paper explores its ambiguous, unbounded, and unfixed aspects. Drawing on two theoretical frameworks, body and skin discourses and Barthes’s theory of text and intertextuality, I propose a new analogy between the scar and the intertext. The scar and the intertext share three common aspects: the ambiguity of their statuses as both the sign and the text; unclosed sites for the process of continuous rewriting, adaptation, and transformation; their intermediacy between the scarred skin and the scar writer and between a target text and a source text. I use the scar-intertext analogy as a lens to scrutinize the cultural significance of Harry’s scar, especially concerning how Harry’s scar continues to be reproduced and transformed in various texts. I also situate this new analogy against the backdrop of two existing analogies between body and text and between skin and text in body and skin discourses. By doing so, this paper suggests directions for future studies utilizing the scarintertext analogy to debunk and overcome the hidden essentialism in using the body or the skin as a text to register the essential definition of male or female identity.

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