Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Magic: A Hard Word to Say Out Loud

"'Magic is sort of a hard word to say out loud, I think."
"It is if you mean it. A little shaming to say. Like 'sex.'"
"Like sex?" She laughed.
"I mean it's a thing you want to keep at a distance. Even though it means a great deal to you, even because it does. It's just agreed on, under the rules of politeness. It won't be seriously discussed."
"You sound like you think it works," she said.
He leaned toward her and began to speak a little more urgently. "Magic comes in more than one kind," he said. "There's illusion, like you said; Houdini. And wonder-working, wave a hand, get what you want—that kind is restricted to stories. But there are other kinds, that were really practiced. For centuries. It doesn't seem likely that people would have gone to so much trouble for so long if what they did didn't work at all."
—John Crowley, Love and Sleep

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