foreword agic and literature are sibling arts. Both deal with the unexpected connectedness of things, transformation from one state to another, and the human urge to defy the odds and break out of confinement or control. Both create their own rules while at the same time reminding us of compliance with physical law and the threat of failure. The magician dramatizes fragility and vulnerability, hinting that this may be the time he fails to pull it off. In literature, even Shakespeare's master magician Prospero, who controls both the spirits and human visitors on his island, knows that he rules a world of "baseless fabric, cloud-capped towers" from which in the end he chooses to be released. The best literature can be magical, disruptive and transporting in theme as well as in its effect on the reader. Fictive realms where old orders break down remind us that the real world is temporary and that change can finally be a positive force, whether our urge is to encourage or resist it. Obvious or not, it is one of the primal subjects of literature. In comedy, change is threatening to some but finally constructive and wonderful. In serious fiction and tragedy,
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Oct 10, 2015
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