Posts Tagged 'magic'

Shadow & Claw by Gene Wolfe – IV

There is no magic. There is only knowledge, more or less hidden.


Wolfe, Gene. Shadow & Claw. New York: ORB, 1994.


Orthodoxy by G K Chesterton – III

In the fairy tale an incomprehensible happiness rests upon an incomprehensible condition. A box is opened, and all evils fly out. A word is forgotten, and cities perish. A lamp is lit, and love flies away. A flower is plucked, and human lives are forfeited. An apple is eaten, and the hope of God is gone.

Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes by Thomas Campion

Thrice toss these oaken ashes in the air,
Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chair,
Then thrice three times tie up this true love’s knot,
And murmur soft “She will, or she will not.”

Go burn these pois’nous weeds in yon blue fire,
These screech-owl’s feathers and this prickling briar,
This cypress gathered at a dead man’s grave,
That all my fears and cares an end may have.

Then come, you fairies! dance with me a round;
Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound.
In vain are all the charms I can devise:
She hath an art to break them with her eyes.

Reflections: On the Magic of Writing by Diana Wynne Jones

This garden strikes me now, though it didn’t at the time, as a perfect analogue of what a good book (as opposed to a Real Book) should be, though I must confess I’m not too clear as to how the gardener and the bees fit in. A good book should be another place, beyond ordinary life and quite different from it, made with care and containing marvels. But though it is beyond everyday life, it is by no means unconnected with it. You have to beg the key. And – maybe this is where the bees at least fit in – you can tell the bees things. The bees don’t solve your problems. You have to do that. But the mere fact of having taken you mind to another place for a while, if that place is sufficiently wonderful, means that you come back with experience.

Jones, Diana Wynne. Reflections: On the Magic of Writing. New York: Greenwillow, 2012.