Sunday, January 29, 2017

Philosopher's Stone VS Sorcerer's Stone

Someone asked how I feel about the title of the first Harry Potter book. In America, it was called "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone". In the UK, it's "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone".

I think "Sorcerer's Stone" makes for a better title, because it has alliteration, and it lets you know that the book is about wizards. But then again, I never heard of the Philosopher's Stone before. The only time I've heard it referenced outside of Harry Potter was a random one-sentence thing saying Saints Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas were rumored to have made one together, because they were both super-geniuses. And I only saw that, because I was researching Thomas Aquinas, so I could give a homily at St. Thomas Aquinas Parish.

I am forced to conclude that the philosopher's stone is not known in America, much less well-known, so it was probably a good idea to avoid confusion by giving the book an alternate title. It'd be like me writing a Greek mythology book called "Achilles and the Son of Laertes". People would not instinctively know who the second character is, and confusion would ensue.

Of course, now the Harry Potter series is well-known, and there's confusion over how the one book has two titles. I guess there's no winning! The title would confuse people, no matter what.


HyperTT said...

I think it should be called Harry Potter and the Alchemist's Stone because it was Nicholas Flamel's stone and he was an alchemist.

Anonymous said...

If American's don't want to be confused, then they should try reading and getting education. Everyone knows what the Philosopher's stone is. EVERYONE.