Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman's new novel is The Magician King. From his Q & A with Barbara Chai at the Wall Street Journal's Speakeasy blog:

You are often compared to J.K. Rowling. Do you wish to break free from this?

No, that connection is one that I invited semi-explicitly in The Magicians, so I’m the last person who should complain about it. Rowling might want to get rid of it, if she’s even aware of who I am, but I enjoy thinking of myself as being part of the tradition that she’s in, so it’s certainly not something I discourage.

Your fantasy characters are grounded in reality. When you go about your regular day, do you see magic in everyday little things?

The thing I note about magic is its complete absence from reality. The novelists who are most important to me – they’re fantasy novelists but also the modernists. Woolf in particular, Joyce, Hemingway, Fitzgerald. These really meticulous, moment-to-moment observers of reality. They’re at least half of where my inspiration comes from and who I think of as my influences. I most often begin with a fantastical scene and then try to think about how it would actually play out in reality. If you’re casting a spell, what does it feel like? Do your fingertips get hot? Is there a certain smell in the air from magic? What does it sound like, what kind of light does it cast, what sorts of shadows? How long does it take? I sort of picture a fantastical scene, then try to observe it the way...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Lev Grossman's website and The Magicians website.

The Page 69 Test: The Magicians.

--Marshal Zeringue