University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
JournalFolklore
Journal publication date11 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2019

Abstract

Objects of ‘magic’ and folklore do not always begin their lives as such. Often, they are natural objects or mundane artefacts, crafted for utilitarian purposes, which become objects of magic through processes of reutilization and redefinition. This is a process poignantly explored by fantasy writer Alan Garner in many – if not all – of his works, from the owl service to the weirdstone, but as a theme it is captured most overtly in his 1973 novel Red Shift. This paper offers a commentary on this novel, exploring how Garner uses fiction and folklore to illustrate the mutability and multiple-authorship of the magical object.

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