The Magic Word: Words Have Power

“Words are not magical,” one professor said, waving her hand to indicate the empty space in the center of the ring of chairs. “When I say ‘table,’ no table appears.”

In her attempts to steer us away from the metaphysical and romantic views of language and ground literary theory and discussion in the relatively more scientific and pragmatic language of structuralism, she inadvertently convinced me that words were magical. For a table did appear.

Continue reading “The Magic Word: Words Have Power”

The Magic Trick: Fiction is Reality!

Now that I have ripped up the book, I hand it back to you whole. I told you all writing is fiction, now I tell you all fiction is real. A magic trick!

As all of you know, magic tricks are fake. Alas, how we regret learning that the magic trick which put us into ecstasies of delight was false. Our father teaches us the important lesson that the magician was performing tricks to entertain us. We do  not believe our dad until he shows us how the trick was done, and then we realize begrudgingly that the magician was a liar. Yet we hold out the hope that the next magician will have some real power. We watch carefully trying to catch him at his tricks, but we hope, nevertheless, oh how we hope, to find one trick that cannot be figured out. We wait for the day when there will be magic, real magic! We are ready at any moment to believe.

Continue reading “The Magic Trick: Fiction is Reality!”