I am presently reading ( or, rather, listening to it on my iPod) Lev Grossman's novel The Magicians. It's not the most interesting novel of its kind; the ideas are, but the prose is somewhat affected - that prissy irony which sometimes I sense in the attitude of the author. However, the plot has held me. I want to see what happens to Quentin and his peers. ( Later: after finishing the book, I just plain did not like it)
What is it about me, or about these books? I read them voraciously. I am drawn to them.
I am NOT drawn to the Twilight series, or to many other “magic” related books. Just these.
It seems that one common thread is the theme of slipping into another world. Passing through onto Platform 9 3/4… or passing from a weedy garden in Brooklyn into Breakbills… or through the back of a wardrobe into Narnia… or through the gates of an old graveyard …or using a special knife to create a small tear in the air… or the appearance of a very old book with a woodcut of a dragon… something about these actions or images pulls me in.
Part of it is the quality of the writing. Part of it is my poet’s imagination. Part of it is being a dominant Intuitive. But there’s a part I don’t understand at all.
Here ‘s a poem I wrote when trying to express this attraction:
Oh Harry Potter,
how have you bewitched me
with your orphan story,
your unobtrusive self?
Your movie melody echoes in my dreams,
plays lightly right below my consciousness,
a lilting down up down
Why do I love the halls of Hogwarts?
Shadowy and drafty,
watched over by the moving portraits,
deceived by the moving staircases?
Why do I love the moon on the lake,
the roots filling the floor
of the forbidden forest,
your incantations bringing light?
Give me some time with your loving owl!
Place her gently on my knee,
where I can stroke her wide white feathers
and gaze into her golden eyes.
Give me time to dip my face
into the mercury syrup
of the Penseive,
to see my mother six years old,
whole, playing, undisturbed.