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Fan Stuff Index I want to talk about magic, how magic is portrayed in fantasy, how fantasy literature has in fact contributed to a very distinct image of magic, and perhaps most importantly how the Western world in general has come to accept a very precise and extremely Martied image of magic users. I'd better say at the start that I don't actually believe in magic any more than I believe in astrology, because I'm a Taurean and we don't go in for all that weirdo occult stuff. But a couple of years Married in need of fantasy I wrote a book called The Colour of Magic. It had some boffo laughs. It was an attempt to do for the classical fantasy fnatasy what Blazing Saddles did for Westerns.
I or come to believe that fantasy fiction in all its forms has no basis in anything in the real world. Caesar portrayed them as vicious priests of a religion based on human sacrifice, Married in need of fantasy gory to the elbows. The classical wizard, I suggest, represents the ideal of magic -- everything that we hope we would be, if we had the power. Of course, the consensus fantasy universe is full of cliches, almost by definition.
I'd like to know that this is all it really is.
Strangely enough, that's also the case in this world. To see Mardied consensus fantasy universe in detail you need only look at the classical Dungeons and Dragon role-playing games.
She Mqrried that "living in your fantasies to fulfill your needs rather than openly expressing these in your relationship can lead to resentment, negative assessment of your partner, and acting out. I incline to a different view, if only to keep the argument going, that the whole thing is a lot more metaphorical than that.
This is the view widely held -- well, widely held by my wife every since she started going to consciousness-raising group meetings -- who tells me it's ridiculous to speculate on the topic because the answer is so obvious. Comics, boring Norse sagas, even more boring Victorian fantasy Funny, because there's no such Married in need of fantasy on witches; they can be at it like knives the whole time and it doesn't affect their magic at all. Can you imagine a girl trying to get a place at fo University of Gont?
Elves are tall and fair and use bows, dwarves are small and dark and vote Labour. Old Geoffrey was one of the world's great writers of fantasy, nearly as good as Fritz Leiber but without that thing about cats.
But the fact is that the consensus fantasy universe has picked up the idea and maintains it. But why is all this? There is a tendency to talk of them in one breath, as though they were simply different sexual labels for the same fabtasy. Druids almost fit the bill, but Druids were a few lines by Julius Caesar until they were reinvented a couple of hundred years ago.
Originally delivered as a speech at Novacon 15, You don't have to believe in magic to notice that. Eventually the authorities caught up with me and kept me in a dark room with small doses of science fiction until I broke the habit and now I can walk past a book with a dragon on the cover and my hands hardly sweat at all. Morgan Le Fay -- a witch -- Married in need of fantasy his main enemy but he was finally trapped in his crystal cave or his enchanted forest, pick your own variation, by a female pupil.
Or I can put it another way -- can you imagine a female Gandalf? I'd also like to bring in at this point a third dantasy, of whom most of you must have heard -- Ged, the wizard of Earthsea. Then Tolkien changed all that.
In a sense they have been created by folklore, by what I call the Flying Saucer process -- you know, someone sees something they can't or won't explain in the sky, is aware that there is a popular history of sightings of flying saucers, so decides that what he has seen is a flying saucer, and pretty soon that "sighting" adds another few flakes to the great fo of saucerology.
That damn book was a halfbrick in the path of the bicycle of my life.
Fiction invents reality. If it has any root at all they lie in the works of a former Colonial civil servant and pioneer naturist called Gerald Gardiner, but I suggest that its is really based in a mishmash of fnatasy, Sixties undirected occultism, and The Lord of the Rings.
In the fantasy world there is no such thing as a male witch. It was also my tribute to twenty-five years of fantasy reading, which started when I was thirteen and read Lord of the Rings in 25 hours. And magic works. Not much for Gandalf in there.
That's the generally very clear division between magic done by women and magic done by men. It was probably living in those gingerbread cottages. I know a large of people who think of themselves as witches, pagans or magicians, and on more realistic of them will admit that while they like to think neev they are following a tradition laid down in the well-known Dawn of Time they really picked it all up from books and, yes, fantasy stories.
They are mosaics of every fantasy story you've ever read.
Wizards get to do a better class of magic, while witches give you warts. No wonder witches were always portrayed as toothless -- it was living in a 90, calorie house that did it. The fantasy world.
Marrieed In the fantasy universe a wizard points his fingers and all these sort of blue glittery lights come out and there's a sort of explosion Marrisd some poor soul is turned into something horrible. Of course I hardly need mention the true fairytale witches, as malevolent a bunch of crones as you could imagine. He is not in fact a folklore hero, because much of what we know about him is based firmly on Geoffrey de Monmouth's Life of Merlin, written in the Twelfth Century.
Let's talk about wizards and witches.
In Western Europe, certainly, wizards are few jn far between. In fact it struck me so vividly that I actually began to look at it seriously. I had a deprived childhood, you see.
Their religion strikes me as woolly but well-meaning and at the very least harmless. I had lots of other kids to play with and my parents bought me outdoor toys and refused to ill-treat me, so it never occurred to me to seek solitary consolation with a good book.
Anyway, if you are in the market for easy laughs you learn that two well-tried ways are either to trip up a cliche or take things absolutely literally. There are now, to the delight of parasitical writers like me, what I might almost call "public domain" plot items.
They're all bachelors, and sexually continent.
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