Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Proof of the existence of magic...

Sometimes when I am reading I come across a line in a book that is so cunning, and so lyrical it really does prove the existence of magic. I am re-reading Philip Pullman's Northern Lights for my university course at the moment and I came across this line yesterday which definitely proves it.

It was about as long as Lyra's thumb, and dark green, not black. Its wing cases were erect, like a ladybird's about to fly, and the wings inside were beating so furiously that they were only a blur. Its six clawed legs were scrabbling on the smooth glass.
"What is it?" she said.
"If you was to crack it open," said Farder Coram, "you'd find no living thing in there...There's a clockwork running in there, and pinned to the spring of it, there's a bad spirit with a spell through its heart."

Its kind of the holy grail, these sentences that blow our minds, that make us want to work harder and strive more to write these things ourselves. To touch this magic and reveal it for other readers. Sigh. I've been thinking about things I've written and sentences that I've been especially proud of. Sentences that have a hint of this kind of magic. I can't quite bring myself to post any up today, so close to Pullman's genius. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. In the meantime I'd love to hear about the sentences that made you feel this way - in your own writing or the writing of others.

1 comment:

Old Kitty said...

That's a gorgeous snippet from Mr Pullman!

I'd say all of Terry Pratchett's are gorgeous too!

But this from Winnie the Pooh always makes me cry:

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.

"Yes, Piglet?"

"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you."”

Take care