Monday, September 22, 2008

Witches in Fiction

I started Meg Cabot's Jinx last night, which in combination with Tanglewreck (which I'm currently reading to the Possum), got me thinking about the importance of houses in magic stories. And honestly, I can't think of a magical sort of story that doesn't make the house (or, in Harry Potter, Hogwarts) an important character.

In Bell, Book and Candle and Practical Magic, in Sabrina The Teenage Witch and Bewitched, women with awesome magical powers seem perfectly content to live in their wonderful homes, and occasionally help out a girlfriend. They dress well, look fabulous, and don't have to spend any time scrubbing dirty floors.

Guys with magical powers tend toward the grandiose and messianic. It seems to me the gals have it right. Ultimate power? Ultimate headache. Okay, sure, there's a strong feminist backlash to the assumption that a woman with great powers would be happy keeping house for some putz. But if I could opt out of doing all the drudgery associated with daily life, I'd bring the spouse along to enjoy the ride...

To our Addam's Family sort of house.

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