But is J.K. Rowling's new book really a new direction, both politically and in terms of her literary output? On the contrary. There's no wonder that the student protests of 2011 featured many Harry Potter inspired slogans.
At the beginning of the 21st Century, brevity is back in vogue. Twitter is an extension of Hemingway's challenge to anyone brave enough to accept it, and, like the modernists' reaction to photography and the 'brief encounter', it cultivates new ways of seeing and thinking.
2012 has been yet another demonstration of why the position of literature in the UK is unique. Where else would a national newspaper feature a poem on its front page , as The Guardian did recently with the poet laureate's Olympic poem, 'Translating the British, 2012'?