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Michigan Psychoanalytic Institute & Society

WebMD: There's Something About Harry Potter


This past Friday night at bookstores and toy stores across the map, children and adults dressed as wizards, witches and elves. No, it wasn't Halloween come early. It was Harry Potter Eve and fanatic fans waited for the midnight-timed release of the fifth book in the series: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix."

And so far early reviews are calling the 870-page tome a winner. It's already breaking publishing records by selling an estimated 5 million copies on the first day alone, according to the book's U.S. publisher Scholastic. Author J.K. Rowling's first four Harry Potter books have sold an estimated 192 million copies worldwide and have been published in at least 55 languages and distributed in more than 200 countries.

In the era of The Matrix, high-speed Internet and DVDs, children of all ages are clamoring for a book. So what is it about this young wizard that keeps us "muggles" so fascinated? (In the world of Harry Potter, muggles are non-magical beings). Several leading psychoanalysts have their thoughts on the phenomenon.

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