The nature of magic

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at kl.com
Fri Jan 5 17:54:52 EST 2001



Jennifer:
"And I'd have to understand things properly, know how they worked as a
system
or fit together, then I could put a spell-structure together to manipulate
them (lots of diagrams, probably.)"

I bet you could whip up some really fiendish magical jigsaw puzzles.
Perhaps they would come in the usual box but the user would soon find that
they were being led into some serious mental sweat as well as strange
journeys, unusual smells, holographic whimsies and fiendish problem solving
based on inquiry into and application of known principles.  Who knows *what*
the finished puzzle would be like, or what it might be capable of doing once
assembled?  

Gili's proposed magic sounds like she could probably persuade me into just
about anything through a sort of step by step finesse where everything would
seem extremely reasonable at every stage but I would be delirious with
amazement at the end when I look back all the way to the beginning.   What
am I doing here in Hong Kong wearing a tuxedo when I meant to go to the
corner store?  

Hallie's sounds like a sort of perception magic - a discovery of hidden
wonder magic?  I see what you mean about it being a sort of bringing along,
bringing out magic like Sophie's, but maybe more of a teaching magic than
Sophie's?  What do you think?

I thought some more about it and I think I would favor ambient projects,
fitting with the sort of unobtrusiveness I mentioned previously - or even
something trompe l'oeil/ prestidigitation sort of thing where the shiny,
noisy thing is distracting observers from what is really going on.  So maybe
some lightning after all, but only with tongue in cheek  ;).   But as far as
ambient, I was thinking the magic would be like a mist or dew or in the
quality of light - and it would have to be very like the thing it is woven
in with.  Like, instead of the magic being in the cwidder, it would be in
the tune and words - except I think that would be irresponsible like the
Simon Says spell - there would have to be some sort of failsafe built in so
it would be safe to play unknowingly and effective if one know what to do.

How disturbing - you are so right Gili about how the question makes you
think of things about yourself you've never thought of before.  Horrible
moment.  I just realized I like ruses. Oh my.  Well there's something to
think about.  At least I only like harmless ones.  But I see - it makes
sense under the overarching idea of consonance, metaphor and association -
so in a word, my magic would be verisimilitudinous.  Which is just plain fun
to say.  Maybe there is something to those pop psych moments in YoTG after
all  ;)


I loved reading everyone's thoughts so far - I love to think like this.
Maybe we should start imagining what the magic of our fellow listmembers
would be like... mwah ha.  Who wants to be imagined for first?  

Have a great weekend all!

P.s. Jennifer:

"And one of those bookcases, like in Chrestomanci Castle, with
infinite numbers of books on it."

Definitely!  And I would make one page books - the careless would think it
just a sheet of paper.  And of course my To Do lists would appear to be
dusty epic tomes which, when closely scrutinized, could be observed to say
only "very little."  Or little origami figures that are books - like that
fortuneteller one - did anyone else make those in school?  I thrived on
making them and then putting saucy fortunes under the flaps.  I had been
thinking of magical objects like small wooden statues, but I think origami
offers so many interesting possibilities.  Not to mention that the wizard,
err me, would seem to be doing something completely innocuous.  Now that
I've found my modus operandi it is all coming clear.  Visions of Escher-like
origami traps for the unwary dancing in my head.....
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