“All magic was inherently wrong…”

Last Saturday, I had coffee with a few writer friends, two of which happen to be Witches. We met at a coffee shop to discuss Kim Harrison’s latest darkish, bloody, bookish goodie. I was extra excited, for as many of you already know like The Hollows Series.

“So, are you ready to drop Kim Harrison from your reading lists?” My witchy writer friend smiled.

I blinked and few times, and looked back and forth from the book, in my hand, to her weirdly excited face. “What?” I looked around, and noticed my other friends looked somewhat too serious.

“You have to have caught that little line about the wrongness of magic.” She grinned, and I swear I expected to see fangs.

That little line, huh?” I went through my head wondering if I had missed a sentence where Rachel boiled babies and used their fat to fuel her broom or something. Then I remembered Rachel doesn’t even have a broom, and she might have scourged mean as all hell fairies, but she never hurt someone she considered innocent. I was confused and it must have shown on my face because the smirk on my friend dearest’s face was growing. I swallowed. “Okay, you are freaking me out. What’s going on?”

“I can’t believe Ms. I Remember Every Line I’ve Ever Read, missed an author saying that all magic is bad and witches are idiots for thinking any goodness can come out of it. It was in—”

“Stop!” I said a bit too loud, and put my hands down when I noticed people had turned around to stare at us. “First of all, I’ve never said ‘I remember every line I’ve ever read’. Yes, I remember story lines, for a long time, and I won’t stop being proud of that just because it bothers you—deal with it.” I took a breath. “Second, I do remember that particular line, that came out of the mind of Rachel Morgan, NOT Kim Harrison. So no, I won’t drop Kim off my list or whatever non sense you just said. It’s fiction for goodness’s sake, and I don’t know what all of you thought of Pale Demon, but Rachel has gone through hell and back, several times, since White Witch, Black Curse. I expected this kind of outburst from her—the witch is pissed, tired, confused, and kind of hating life.” I think I was screaming by then because many of my friends’ hands were over their mouths and the coffee shop was very quiet.

“You can’t have it both ways, Ms. Magaly.” She crossed her arms. “After we read White Witch, Black Curse, you were saying all those things about how Kim Harrison understood what magic was all about and now you want to say that it is all fiction and take it back; well, you can’t.”

“I’m not trying to take anything (insert name of extremely religious witchy friend who tends to get bend over backwards every time anyone says/writes anything that, in any way, brings down the sanctity of her witchy beliefs). All I’m saying is that characters and authors exist, believe it or not, exist separate from each other. I have no freaking idea what Kim’s views are on Witchcraft, and to be honest, it is none of my business or yours. If you are going to get this agitated about the beliefs of a fictional witch who sleeps with a dead man, has mixed feelings toward a vampire, thinks her 4-inch tall pixie friend is hot, houses a gargoyle, is the student of a demon, is trying to fight the laws of her world for the right to keep her brain and her allegedly demonic ovaries… then you might want to hire someone to filter your reading choices before your, way too fragile, little mind gets damaged by critical thinking.”

The argument didn’t end there; it went for over two hours. I ran out of patience, everybody else ran out of coffee, but my witchy friend didn’t run out of steam. We *thanks the rest of the group and blows kisses at them* were finally able to convince or witchy writer friend that we could continue discussing the issue at a later meeting. I, in truth, don’t care for it. I love fiction. I believe fiction can teach us a lot about real life. However, if we go around taking the words of every single character as infallible truths, then we will have a HUGE problem.

Here is the quote, in case you want to read where the words behind the argument came from. I would also like to point out that Rachel was in deep doodoo when she thought these words. And for those of you who don’t follow the Hollows Series, I should probably say that Rachel tends to stick her foot thigh-deep into her throat when she is in trouble. Um, the quote:  

“Pearce’s head was down, and Vivian was staring upward in amazement as more power than she knew existed spun through her. It wasn’t that the dark side was stronger, but that everything was the dark side. All magic was inherently wrong, and it was only us fooling ourselves that some of it was good, some of it was bad… just was.”Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Visit Kim Harrison’s website to learn more about her latest bit of urban fantasy goodness.

P.S. And if you think the things I wrote have been over-dramatized for your enjoyment, you are seriously mistaken, my luvs. I do want you to enjoy it, of course, but the thing is that when I get too excited about an issue, I tend to get long winded enough to annoy myself *sigh* I hate it when it happens to me in public, then I laugh when I rehash the memories because it is freaking hilarious! 


P.P.S. The line in question did stick out when I first read it, but the bit that stayed with me was at the end of the paragraph, when Rachel thought that magic “… just was.” Why? Because magic is like a blade that can be used to destroy or to carve something beautiful; it all depends on the user.  


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24 comments:

  1. Having been a magician 41 years now, I see magic from a very different perspective. All magic I have ever seen or performed is good and all magic is real, whether we think so or not!

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  2. If it were my friend and I cared for them deeply I might have to let them have their tantrum and be glad they have such passion.
    Or throw hot coffee in their face and scream "THE CURE FOR STUPID IS PAIN!"
    But this is probably why you have more friends.
    ;p

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  3. Sheesh, and I thought reading was just for fun. ^^

    Haven't they ever read and maybe even liked books where the Protagonist was Christian or such? I think it's possible to disagree with a character on something and still like to read an author.

    (And no, characters and authors are not the same person. I'd have slaughtered dozens by now if it were otherwise... *g*)

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  4. And, concerning "good" vs. "bad" (not only referring to magic, but to about everything in life) - I doubt that the concept actually works.

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  5. I too love the Hollows. I took that quote and several others as Rachel just working things out in her own mind. Because not only was Rachel in deep but, she was realizing what she really was and trying to deal with it. You can't take one word or quote out of anything and put it on the table as gospel. You have to read the entire story and take it in context.

    But really, I just enjoy reading. You'll never have any fun if pick everything apart with a fine tooth comb. Like Rachel said, "Just is..."

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  6. Why thank you Magaly, your spirited defence of the book has put it on my lists of authors and books to read :)

    There are books I simply love and can read over and over but I've never understood people who get so wrapped up in a fiction story they translate it in to life, surely that misses the point of fiction?

    There are many quotes of Granny Weatherwax I can find wisdom in but that is down solely to the talent of her creator Terry Pratchett. A good fiction story transports you somewhere else, a good author adds just enough of reality for us to relate to the characters.

    I actually like the line you quoted and the bit 'just was' that makes sense to me. Personally I think 'Magic just is' neither bad nor good, just there for those who wish to look and how you perceive it is down to the individual.

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  7. And I say, "YES"! The characters in the book are just that...characters. Their beliefs are not necessarily that of the authors. I mean, seriously!! This happens in so many things! It is totally messed up for sure!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

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  8. James - Intentions are everything...

    Cogent - Again, you nearly made me spill coffee on my sheets lol

    Diandra - There are some people who just can't have a good... or think. And about the author character relation, I know exactly how you feel. If that were through, I would be in jail.

    Melissa - You know my thoughts in the issue and the writer.

    Dragonfly - Some people are just really strange; the weird bits make part of us kind of cool and other of us just strange, scary and difficult to deal with.

    SueAnn - Indeed! I get annoyed when people take a bit of writing, particularly when is out of contest, and dissect it to the point of leaving it unrecognizable.

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  9. I have "friends" like this. They live to push buttons. Sad lol. Oh, and I agree with your assessment with the last two words. Not that you need my validation hehee.

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  10. No real comment of import because I don't think you need the validation... I just adore you.

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  11. One thing I wanna know Mags, .....okay I wanna know a lot of things but at this very moment, one this I GOTTA know.

    Where in the sam hell do you dig these people up from?! I swear you have the most interesting coffee conversations (and some of the most agitating) I've ever heard of. Maybe I just need to go to writing school.:)

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  12. I'm still laughing at Cogent's remark! Brilliant ideas ;)

    My dear Magaly, I love reading your accounts...whether fictional or based on true life events! I must say I could have used you in my corner rather my attorney during my 3-year-long (so far) fight for disability. :D

    I had never thought of Pagans or Witches as being "closed-minded". Isn't one of our strengths the fact that we (well, me, and maybe most of us?) are willing and able to maintain open perspectives and sift through ideas, facts, and findings without feeling that our paths are being "threatened"?

    Now I'm curious to read this author. Sounds fascinating!

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  13. I side with you.

    I had a similar discussion (which didn't go very far...I think I didn't know how to explain myself at the time?) with my brother a few years ago over these lines from "Man of la Mancha": "Hear me heathens and wizards and serpents of sin / all your dastardly doings are past." Or it went something like that.

    That isn't to say that I don't somethings take offence to stories...I remember strongly disliking "Song of Roland" and I'm still vexed with it. lol

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  14. Zombie Goddess - Don't we all, and they sooo make our lives super interesting, don't they?

    Kat - You are too sweet!

    LJ - Think about this... I have a friend who has a young neighbor who comes to her door and stands there without knocking. This same friend's teenage son was supposed to get paid to work for certain gymnastics club that failed (or hid) from her and others that there was a $2,000+ fee she would have to pay for said boy to attend. The same friend has a rather dramatic mother (who reminds me a lot of mine) who has been trying to show her the goodness of the Christian God for as long as my friend remembers, but lately the mom seems to have found Scientology and my friend is worried (with past evidence as justification) that her mom will try to push Scientology on her. My friend is also part of several online forums where people get really pissed when anyone discusses the mythology of their beliefs, even when their own religion calls it a myth. Um, yeah, I know some rather interesting people. Some I love to no end *wink, wink*, others make me blink at lot and remind me that regardless of how bad my life gets, I will never be as disconnected from reality as they are *rolls eyes thinking about PALE DEMON coffee shop discussion*. Oh, and you are right about writing friends being extra special, I mean, have you read any of Diandra's stories lately? I LOVE the Witch's writing!

    Polly - Ha! Just don't tell your attorney. On the bit about Pagans or Witches being "closed-minded" there are either a whole lot of them or I've met too many in my life. I've met more than one Witch who has told me I'm not a real Witch because I refuse to follow certain rules (which make no sense to me), but hey, the world's strengths is found on its variety, right? And I was rolling when I read Cogent's bit; he always make me roar, especially when I imagine his face during the act. And do read Kim's books, for they are FABULOUS!

    Sarita - I know how you feel, I do take offense to certain stories, or maybe more than offence I just find them too terrible to read for enjoyment. I refuse to read things about "old days" racism, if it is not for school--it just hurt too much to see that men can treat other men in such nasty ways. And most historical fiction gets me a bit overexcited on the annoyed side because women are just treated like garbage.

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  15. We are taking 'fiction'??? Right????? LOL, I mean it's not the authors autobiography... he he, sounds like you guys may have to pick a new venue for coffee, great tale Magaly, I felt like I was at the table next to you shielding my skinny flat white from flying spittle ;)

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  16. Hey Magaly, I am with you! Good for you saying what you did! I don't understand people! I liked what you wrote at the end, about magic, how true my friend ;o) Hugs ;o)

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  17. Sunshineshelle - I love knowing we were so closed to my mind during your reading of the tale. I've missed you, my dear luv!

    MagicLoveCrow - So glad you liked it, my dear one, you know what they say about great minds ;-D

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  18. Just popping in to say I've finally Photoshopped some better buttons and banners if you would like to replace the washed out white (without a background) on the right side of your page. :D There are a variety of sizes here: http://paganbydesign.blogspot.com/p/about.html

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  19. I have to say I can honestly see this entire conversation going down. I have seen my Aries sister go from relaxed sweetie to bristling Rottweiler when standing up for what is right or what she believes is right, which is the same thing, right? ;-)

    I happen to love the line that caused this entire episode and yes, my delightful wicked witch...magic just is! Sending you and your precious Piano Man blessings of happiness and beautiful love.

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  20. Polly - I will add your vibrant new banner to my Darling Shops, Blogs and Groups page (http://pagan-culture.blogspot.com/2011/05/wicked-banners-groups-causes-projects.html)

    Mina - Indeed! And delicious thoughts right back at you!

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  21. I'm a bit behind on these books... I think I've read 5 of them, and isn't there something like 7 or 8 of them? (Sorry, so many books... So little time! LOL!)

    Anyway, knowing Rachel as well as I do from the books I have read I'm not surprised at her thoughts. She's good at getting herself in trouble, and no matter what she does things just seem to get more problematic for her. I'd be stressed and fed up of it all too if I was her!

    And, as for the comment... Like you said, it's fiction. I mean, magic isn't all orbing, freezing people and blowing things up, but that doesn't stop me enjoying the "Charmed" TV series, so why should how an author allows a character to talk about magic in one of her books stop me - or anyone else - from reading the book and loving the author?

    Brightest blessings,
    Tori

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  22. If you read the first 5 you are up for a bloody surprise ;-)

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  23. Why thank you Magaly, your spirited defence of the book has put it on my lists of authors and books to read :)

    There are books I simply love and can read over and over but I've never understood people who get so wrapped up in a fiction story they translate it in to life, surely that misses the point of fiction?

    There are many quotes of Granny Weatherwax I can find wisdom in but that is down solely to the talent of her creator Terry Pratchett. A good fiction story transports you somewhere else, a good author adds just enough of reality for us to relate to the characters.

    I actually like the line you quoted and the bit 'just was' that makes sense to me. Personally I think 'Magic just is' neither bad nor good, just there for those who wish to look and how you perceive it is down to the individual.

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  24. And, concerning "good" vs. "bad" (not only referring to magic, but to about everything in life) - I doubt that the concept actually works.

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