OK this is an idea that I’ve been running in the background of the books for a while but I wanted to touch base on what people thought to the concept and whether it’s an easy thing to follow. Here’ s the general idea behind the way that magic works in Jack’s world:
- Characters in the book are characters in a book
- The worlds in the book are worlds in a book
- …you get the idea
- Somewhere deep inside their bones some of the characters know these things, and they can train themselves to change the words in the story around them.
I haven’t made this clear very often in the books for fear of making a children’s book like its overly intelectual. The books are just adventure stories with bad guys and fate-of-the-world stuff but the philosopher John that hides in my head and over-thinks things (here I’ll flap my BAHons, MLitt, and MPhil around) needed some highfalutin stuff to keep him occupied. For the most part this is all this is but I still thought it might be iteresting to share.
If you’re looking for subtext then you might also get the idea that the Wishmaster is a representation of Stalinist communism, the Reusens began their days trying to enact something like Rawl’s ‘veil of ignorance’ (a perfect world with equal opportunuties for all), and there’s even a bit or rationalism vs. impiricism hiding in there (magic: you believe what you can logically think up, matter-world: you believe what you can see). If you read into them deeply enough the first three books basically work as a Philosophy 101 course.
But in essence the books are suppposed to get kids thinking about the power of the words they say. The very first scene in the very first book finds Jack lost and alone because he told his parents he hates them, in Jack’s world (and in many ways in ours as well) words have power.
As always thanks so much for reading and feel free to leave any questions or comments you like in the comments below, all the best, John