Price of Magic.

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at
Wed Sep 29 06:43:21 EDT 1999

Alexandra wrote:
>If I had to name the "price of magic" in Diana Wynne Jones' books, I'd say
>it was understanding--the gaining of knowledge about oneself, about the
>nature of one's gifts and of one's art, and about the world around

I like that idea a lot, except I don't quite think it sounds like the
"price" precisely.  When you pulled out the similarities in all those books
it sounded to me a lot like the "Task" that must be accomplished before the
hero/heroine can assume his or her rightful place in the world.  BTW, I'm
talking fairy tales here, NOT High Fantasy/Tough Guide stuff.

If I can refer to our own metaphorical gardener's example:  I'd say that
the "task" Elise had was to recognize that she was assuming a plant died
because she's a weedkiller black thumb, but the "price" comes after that
recognition.  To decide that she wants to fight that preconception, and is
willing to do all she can to let go of it, and be open to what she gains by
gardening anyway, even if some of the little beggars do up and die on her.
It's a lot easier to say you've a black thumb and forget about it.

Sally wrote:
> Hey - the lot of us together could write a book on Delving Into Diana

As long as it doesn't turn into a Cliff Notes type thingy (shudder) -
though if it does I want to write some of the questions at the end of the

hallieod at

p.s. My own garden is jam-packed with plants I started from seed (now
there's Magic) - and also weeds, and snails and dead leaves.  Sigh.

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