A Crown of Feathers by Isaac Bashevis Singer

I’m just not a magic person. Unless ‘wand’ has an obvious coarse connotation, I don’t want one in my book. I don’t want devils, demons or invisible crowns of feathers in pillows. I don’t care if the spell is portrayed in an elegant way by Singer or a basic way for children by Rowling. I hereby give up on Singer, this is my second stab at him and I’m not finishing this one. This despite the fact that it isn’t all magic driven. The second story ‘A Day in Coney Island’ avoids all that – and I know, the magic realist clique are going to jump all over that statement and claim this story for themselves too. Well, I don’t think coins coming out of slots counts as magic. So there.

Not only do I neither like nor understand magic propelled books, but when I think about it, in general I don’t share any reading tastes with those in the queue for Harry Potter. I don’t mean by that I don’t share reading tastes with eight year olds for whom the books were written, but that I don’t share them with adults. Apparently the whole marketing strategy of ‘Young Adult’ has been created to capture the market of adults who can’t really cope with reading books for adults, they need smaller concepts, shorter sentences, words with less syllables. They wouldn’t read a book they thought was for children, but put ‘adult’ in the title and it’s okay, even though these are still books for children. The capacity of human beings for self-deception knows no bounds.

Of course, I still say ‘Star so light, star so bright’ whenever I can, but that’s just sensible isn’t it? Hedging my bets.

5 thoughts on “A Crown of Feathers by Isaac Bashevis Singer

  1. Boo! Boo! What about the gods in the Iliad or the ghosts in Shakespeare? Are they being flung in the magical realism bin as well?

  2. I’m not sure. I read the Iliad etc at primary school age and could not imagine revisiting it. Shakespeare? Obviously something can have magic in it and not be categorised as ‘magic realism’. Will that do for Shakespeare? wiki has a page of magic realist authors and it includes authors I wouldn’t have dreamt of putting in such a category. EG Calvino who is pure fantasy. If I have to have magic, I want it in a fantasy setting. Shakespeare aside. Shakespeare can get away with anything.

  3. I see it’s one law for Shakespeare and another for J.K. Rowling. But why can’t Singer get Shakespeare’s defence team?

  4. Browsing around; read your review. Thanks; more ammunition for me to justify (to myself) some reasonable explanation for not reading “Harry Potter” books. Though, I must say that I am tempted.

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