Thursday, 18 March 2010

Pulling a Novel out of a Hat

Reading has always been a peculiarly magical experience- being transported into a different world full of colour that we travel to by looking upon a page of black and white. For me Stephen King put it perfectly when he said that ‘books are a uniquely portable magic’. It’s the magic in these paper blessings that I’ve been considering recently after re-reading Italo Calvino’s view on the subject that ‘in a narrative any object is always magic’. When I looked up ‘magic’ in the dictionary the first definition I came across was ‘the art of producing illusions as entertainment by the use of sleight of hand, deceptive devices, etc.; legerdemain; conjuring: to pull a rabbit out of a hat by magic.’ So I suppose seeing as every object in fictional writing is just that, fictional, technically they are deceptive devices created to entertain us with the illusions they create, allowing us to see what is not truly there.
Other terms that came about with further definitions were ‘enchanting’, ‘influential’ and ‘charming’ which to me are adjectives relevant to narrative, and the objects within that narrative, because without such enchantment or charm we would cease to read and be influenced by the messages we collect from various literature. Every narrative is influenced by the thought of its author even in the weakest of senses, and according to Lord Byron this original thought in itself is where the magic begins; ‘The power of thought, the magic of the mind’.
This music video always amuses me, but that aside, the lyrics are quite a beautifully clever way of describing a relationship as a narrative in a book. For me this is an example of how the illusive magic of narrative has woven its way into our lives.

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