Speaking of magic...

alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca alexandra.bolintineanu at utoronto.ca
Mon Dec 20 12:04:27 EST 1999

...not that we really were, specifically, but the topic seems to be
permanently hovering (or else I'm just making excuses here; take your
pick)--here's a cool tidbit.  According to Mircea Eliade, in most cultures
"myths must not be recited except during a period of sacred time (usually
in autumn or winter, and only at night)... Among the Turco-Mongols and the
Tibetans the epic songs of the Gesar cycle can be recited only at night
and in winter.  'Before the recitation begins, a space is prepared by
being powdered with roasted barley flour.  The audience sit around it.
The bard recites the epic for several days.  They say that in former times
the hoofprints of Gesar's horse appeared in the prepared space.  Hence the
recitation brought the real presence of the hero.' "  I love this idea of
magic through storytelling--enormously dwj-ish.  (Was somebody not writing
her thesis on this aspect of dwj's "stories about storytelling"?)

(to whom Hallie and Becca are far too kind--the current sluggishness of
the brain seems very much of an exam-hangover)

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