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“As if Leonardo da Vinci had painted a speech bubble on the Mona Lisa in which she explained her state of mind”

Every generation must lose its innocence, must see the brightly painted nursery wall smashed away by the wrecking ball of betrayal to reveal a blighted landscape. For our predecessors, it was the Somme, the Great Depression, the Holocaust or Vietnam; for my generation, it was The Phantom Menace.

David Mitchell compares the launch of J.K. Rowling’s exhaustive Harry Potter website Pottermore with George Lucas lifting the veil of myth from the pre-story to his original Star Wars films and filling in all the detail like, as Mitchell puts it, ‘a tedious nerd’.