Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Kind of Magic

Fiction is a kind of magic, and a fiction writer is a magician. He creates illusions on a stage in the reader's imagination. Like any magician, his skill is the skill of getting an audience to focus attention where he wants it. If he can control their attention, he can create any illusion.His chief trick is to make things appear. He must keep the audience from noticing what he's doing. So, his writing never calls attention to itself or to him. Indeed, by misdirection he keeps his audience from noticing he's there. He makes them equally unaware of the words on the page. Truly, he has them under a spell.In this semi-hypnotic state, he manipulates their perceptions and emotions without them being aware of what he's doing.Originally, magic served religion. Today it is an entertainment industry.

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