Monday, 4 April 2011

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Anyone who's read Susanna Clarke's above-mentioned masterpiece can't have failed to have been enchanted by the extraordinary story and awe-inspiring research which went into the work. I saw something this evening which made me think of Mr. Norrell's plea to the British Government at the beginning of the book: to be allowed to use magic to conquer the French Army during the Napoleonic Wars at the start of the nineteenth century. He eventually gets his way and the results appear impressive. Read the book if you haven't yet done so; it's magnificent.

Anyhow, this morning I received a video of, I presume, David Blaine (? ) performing 'magic' in a park in the USA. Since we all know that magic in this form can't possibly exist we can only but salute his art and prestidigitation with the deepest of reverences. Nonetheless, millions upon millions of people all over this still beautiful but ultimately doomed planet will not be familiar with his work, so why can't we put it to better use than just shocking cybernauts? A few well-placed tricks and illusions could bring peace to the Middle East, food to Africa and water to Australia. Watch the video below and wonder if such powers of manipulation could benefit humankind in some way:

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