Sherwood Smith's Reviews > Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood

Touch Magic by Jane Yolen
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Aug 17, 2015


Every few years I take this book out and reread it. Yolen writes with deceptive simplicity and clarity that one doesn't realize how profoundly true her words are until they keep coming back in memory.

From this book comes a (deservedly) repeated quotation, which I reproduce here, as I use it frequently to give the short answer why I can't read game of Thrones, well-written as it is:

And for adults, the world of fantasy books returns to us the great words of power which, in order to be tamed, we have excised from our adult vocabularies. These words are the pornography of innocence, words which adults no longer use with other adults, and so we laugh at them and consign them to the nursery, fear masking as cynicism. These are the words that were forged in the earth, air, fire, and water of human existence, and the words are:

Love. Hate. Good. Evil. Courage. Honor. Truth.”

And:

"Touch magic. Pass it on."
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Jacey (new)

Jacey This sounds excellent. I have a lot of respect for Jane Yolen as a writer, so I went to Amazon.co.uk to order it. Great - a Kindle version. But beware oh, gentle reader, the link from Touch Magic leads to a kindle version of the novel, Magic Touch. Luckily I spotted the mistake and ordered to paperback version instead. Looking forward to reading it.


message 2: by Sherwood (new) - added it

Sherwood Smith Phew, thanks for the warning!


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Neumeier I also discovered the Kindle confusion between Touch Magic and Magic Touch! Luckily I also noticed in time to order a paper copy.


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