Wandering Among Words 7: Gramarye
If, as Alice Hoffman is everywhere quoted, “Books may well be the only true magic,” then she is only following a tradition that has been acknowledged in all literate cultures: writing is magic, and magic is the written word.
We can point to the beginning of St John’s gospel to see this concept expounded:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Without getting into a theological discussion of what exactly John meant by Logos (‘the Word’), I just want to point out that the spoken word (and later the written word) is seen as the act of creation, and the creative act is magic, in its purest form.
All our language surrounding the concept of words, spoken or written, is closely bound up with magic.