One of us lives on the east coast. One of us lives on the west.

One of us lives in a rural community. One of us lives in a city.

Both of us wander. Both of us witness. Both of us write.

This is a record of what we find.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Landscape of Connection

I just finished A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff.

I really really liked it.  It's my kind of book, the kind with that particular magic realism...with a magic that is so cosy and comforting I wish it was real...and that, in fact, I sort of believe IS real.

The magic of connection.

Not the coincidence of connection, but the magic of it.  This is an important distinction, because I think many books utilize that coincidence device (a character runs into the exact person who has the exact piece of information he has been searching for) but fewer push that device into the realm of magic.  And I believe that the magic comes from...hmmmmm...this is where language fails me...this is not so easy to articulate...I believe it comes from the way two people can illuminate otherwise dark spaces within one another.  Think magic trick.  See the empty room. Presto!  There's a door.  See the door.  Presto!  There's a room behind the door that wasn't there before.  It's the feeling that someone has found something new for you, but there's also this feeling that it's been there all along...

Does that make sense?

A Tangle of Knots does this very well.  Across time and place and relationships.

Any other books you can think of that do this?

Anyone want to offer a different take on this kind of magic?  I would love to find a clearer way to define it...

Gratefully yours,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Tam. I loved your line, "two people can illuminate otherwise dark spaces within one another." The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern deals with magic, not necessarily magical realism, but I loved how the setting of the circus and the different tents and food all created an atmosphere where you thought anything was possible--all you needed was an imagination to dream it up. I heard Erin speak and she said she tried to create a magic that could seem real and tangible.