THE USES OF ENCHANTMENT
Every day you are subjected to a relentless surge of
information and facts. We all know it's important to stay informed, but
the experience does tend to shut down your sense of wonder. Where do you
go to restore your sense of delight and mystery? To find enchantment?
In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, writers Neil Gaiman, A.S.
Byatt and Salman Rushdie tell us why we need magic.
Just because we've all grown up and aren't supposed
to believe in fairy tales and magic doesn't mean we don't still need
them. This hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge offers conversations
with Neil Gaiman, A.S. Byatt and Salman Rushdie about the uses of enchantment.
Signe Pike starts things off with her story about the search for
magic. She chucked her job at a NY publishing house to looking for fairies
in Mexico and the British Isles. Signe Pike talks with Anne Strainchamps
about her novel "Faery Tale."
Neil Gaiman is among the most celebrated writers
of the fantastic. He's a transplant to the Midwest who discovered the
House on the Rock in Spring Green, WI and made it famous in his novel
"American Gods." He returned there in 2010 for a celebration
of the 10th anniversary of the novel and allowed himself to be pulled
away from his fans long enough to talk about it with Steve Paulson.
Salman Rushdie's life has been a fantasy, but not necessarily
in the way he would have wanted. The Ayatollah issued a death warrant
on him after his book "The Satanic Verses," but it has finally
been withdrawn. His new book involves dangers of a more literary kind.
He tells Jim Fleming he wrote his new book "Luka and the
Fire of Life" at his younger son's request.
Fairy tales are part of all our lives, whether it's
Snow White or Cinderella of Little Red Riding Hood. Old stories like
those exist in many versions, in many cultures, all over the world.
Writer A.S. Byatt has been studying them, and writing them. She
tells Anne Strainchamps these are some of the oldest and most
powerful stories we have.
CD copies are available at 1-800-747-7444.
Ask for program number 10-12-19-B.
1) Under Salman Rushdie's "Magic carpet"
reading: first track on the soundtrack for "The Secret Garden".
2) After Signe Pike: Derek Bell, "Ancient Music
for the Irish Harp." (Claddagh Records Limited). We used Track
8, "Lady Blaney".
3) Under Neil Gaiman's reading: Strauss' "Blue
Danube" waltz, calliope version.
4) Under Salman Rushdie readings: Ravi Shankar, selections
from "Song of India"
5) Close music: music from the soundtrack for "Stardust"
(film based on a Neil Gaiman novel). We used track 7, "Septimus".
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