Fwd: Re: Books and messages

Nat Case ncase at hedbergmaps.com
Mon Oct 16 11:53:27 EDT 2000

Dang, I have got to find a way to stop replying to individuals and 
not the list... this was supposed to go up last Tuesday.


>>Do you ever get the feeling that the book you've chosen at random has an
>>important message for you and it was essential for you to read that book
>>at that time in order to get and appreciate the message?  I've had this
>>experience a lot lately.  The books I've been choosing to read
>>seemingly at random, with no conscious agenda but entertainment have
>>seemed to point out important things in my life that I haven't been
>>noticing (either consciously or unconsciously) and tell me things that I
>>haven't wanted to hear.  It's an odd experience.  I wonder if I notice the
>>messages more because I've been wrestling with things lately or if they
>>really are there that strongly.  Of course, one interprest a book through
>>one's subjective perspective, and different ideas float to the surface and
>>take positions of more importance at different times of one's life.  I
>>know two people can read the same book and have completely different
>>reactions to it, but still.  I've been getting the feeling more
>>strongly lately.
>Absolutely. My favorite authors affect me that way all the time.  I 
>want to write more on the subject, but I'm heading out of town 
>tomorrow for a conference, and don't have time for more than a few 
>sketchy notes:
>1. At its most extreme, being open to "messages" from books can be 
>like being under a spell, trapped in a story. Happened to me with a 
>combination of Thomas the Rhymer, Tam Lin (ballad and Dean's book) 
>and Fire and Hemlock. Took me seven years for the basic spell of 
>those stories to wear off (really!) so I could get out from under 
>them, and another seven so they became just stories, Which is, 
>believe me, a great relief.
>2. In college especially, I used books as a divination device (a 
>friend talented at Tarot was also helpful). It worked all right... 
>Thomas's reply to Polly in FIRE AND HEMLOCK about "not noticing how 
>silly you feel" was an especially potent one at one point.
>3. There is a sense in which "magic" in Jones has a lot to do with 
>the sideways power of ideas in fiction. The way magic is discussed 
>in WITCH WEEK is particularly relevant, but other books also come to 
>mind. ARCHER'S GOON, for example.
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