Magic vs Magic in Literature


I have encountered a few discussions lately around the differences between the magic of a book like “Harry Potter” and that of “Lord of the Rings”. I am not a huge detractor of the Potter craze (except on literary grounds), but I think it is important for us be able to explain why our classics of Christian literature are just that.

On the subject of magic, here is a great quote from Tolkien distinguishing different types.

“…a magic of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers of talents…bulldozing the real world, or coercing other wills. The Machine is our more obvious form…I have not used “magic” consistently, and indeed the Elven-queen Galadriel is obliged to remonstrate with the Hobbits on their confused use of the word both for the devices and operations of the Enemy , and for those of the Elves…the Elves are there (in my tales) to demonstrate the difference. Their “magic” is Art… And its object is Art not Power, sub-creation, not domination and tyrannous re-forming of Creation”(Letters, no. 131,p.146)

Great quote. Much more to come on this topic.

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