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Incantatory Power

I find that when I merely browse passages in the Aegypt cycle, the overwhelming rush of words-- like trying to categorize drops of water coming from a fire hose-- distracts, and I cannot regain the sense of "living in the tale" very easily that way.  However, when I start at the beginning of a chapter and read to the end I am caught up and carried in that very stream.

Like Dee and Kelly chanting and performing the exhausting rites of alchemy, the desired gold comes only when that ritual has been properly done, and Crowley leads us in a similar manner to a kind of  "story gold."  The proper chant mesmerizes us, makes us see, feel, bite into the soft metal, and believe the gold is real.  And while we so believe:  it is real.  Later, as we are fleeing enemies, as dross facts attempt to draw- and-quarter our imaginations,  the gold evaporates.  Our fault, not the fault of the creator.

This signals the time to refill our treasure chests by doing the incantation again.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 3rd, 2008 02:38 pm (UTC)
Yes, I also believe that Crowley works some kind of magic through his way with words. Somehow he manages to infuse his narrative with meaning that emanates from his beautiful style.
In the summer I discovered yet another Argentinian writer who will figure among my personal pantheon of the very greatest: Juan José Saer. He also is a master of language, but his abilities lie on a different area than Crowley's. What I admire most is the precision of his language. Even though this contradicts intuition and current theory, some of his sentences give you the impression that the ideas expressed therein cannot be conveyed by a different formulation. And yet, his language is neither dry nor heavy. A few of his books are available at Amazon (you have to lookup the misspelled Juan Jos Saer also to get all available). Each is a masterpiece, but I would recommend "The Witness" or "The Event" as an introduction, because of your project to travel to Argentina. Of course I don't know how the language comes into English across the ocean of translation, but I guess it's worth a try.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 09:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks for yet another intriguing introduction to an author new to me! I have ordered |The Event| from Amazon, along with |Naming and Necessity| by Kripke. I will have much fun trying to make new rules about language until my head hurts.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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