Download A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic by Peter Turchi PDF

By Peter Turchi

With his attribute expertise for locating connections among writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new or even extra remarkable territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi attracts out the similarities among writing and puzzle-making and its flip-side, puzzle-solving. As he teases out how secret lies on the middle of all storytelling, he uncovers the magic—the construction of credible illusion—that writers percentage with the likes of Houdini and grasp magicians. In Turchi’s associative narrative, we find out about the background of puzzles, their obsessive caliber, and that Benjamin Franklin was once a devotee of an old precursor of sudoku known as Magic Squares. employing this wealthy backdrop to the necessities of writing, Turchi unearths as a lot concerning the human psyche as he does concerning the literary mind's eye and the inventive process.

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Extra info for A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

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The virtue of obsession is the power of a narrow focus combined with ongoing investigation and deep contemplation. Like Thoreau’s writing about Walden Pond and Wordsworth’s poems about the English Lake District, the product of devoted attention encourages us to rediscover the virtues of a meditative relationship with our world. The refusal to rest content, the willingness to risk excess on behalf of one’s obsessions, is what separates artists from entertainers. ” But that implies that one knows quite enough.

The two middle fingers are next bent and brought down under the card and round to the front of same, thereby causing the card to revolve between the first and fourth fingers, as though on an axis, and assume the position on the back of the hand clipped between the first and second and third and fourth fingers (shown left). After considerable practice it will be found that all the movements I have just described will become practically one, and the card will apparently vanish from the hand. — Howard Thurston A magical illusion is a puzzle for the magician who, like that woman hoping for a raise, imagines an intended effect (a rabbit produced from a hat that appeared to be empty) and then organizes his materials, movements, words, and gestures to create that effect for an audience.

The writer looks at a draft of a new story only to find it feeling familiar—or gives it to a trusted friend who says, “This is like that story you showed me last year, except this time the sisters are cousins. ” As the friend goes on, excitedly making connections, explaining how every story the writer has ever written can be boiled down to yet another depiction of her relationship with her sister, the writer begins to despair. But reductive reading could make anyone’s work look bad. From that perspective, John Cheever wrote about suburban alcoholics, Jane Austen wrote love stories, and Poe was a madman writing about madmen.

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