We were probably complacent because we assumed that we already knew about these things and these people. But we found out an incredible amount of new information.
We found out where kabbalah came from. It's not Hebrew at all, it's Pythagorean Greek. It was Pythagoras who first suggested adding three spheres to the classical seven spheres. He said, Yeah that's great, but you need another three spheres. You need one to represent the Earth, you need one to represent the six stars of the Zodiac, and one to represent the Primum Mobile—the first stirrings, or the origins of the universe, the Big Bang. It still obviously has a Hebrew element in its construction, but what happened is that the Pythagoreans had this system outlined, 10 spheres, each with their correspondencies. But this would have been translated into various languages, including Hebrew, in Alexandria around 100 BC to 100 AD. And there were scholars from all over the world passing through Alexandria. What must have happened is that Hebrew scholars picked up this Pythagorean stuff and realized they had a base counting system of 10, which would have made it appropriate to their mathematics, and that they could draw 22 lines between the 10 spheres, representing the 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. And they took it, and ran with it, and developed kabbalah as it is today. But the roots were originally Pythagorean.
We want this thing to have a lot of really fun inserts, fun features. Something that would delight a child. We want to make this not only a perfectly lucid and accurate book about magic, but we really want to make it a book about magic that would not disappoint an 8-year-old child if they came across it. Back when I was a child and I first heard about magic, then I kind of knew instinctively what a book of magic would be. It would be unimaginably wonderful. It would have fantastic things in it. It would be much better than the children's comics annuals I got at Christmas, and they were pretty wonderful. That is very much what we've tried to achieve. We want this to be magic that will be accessible to intelligent, modern adults. And we also want it to be magic that 8-year-old children will recognize as magic, as being as beautiful and glorious and entertaining as they had always hoped that magic would turn out to would be.
Monday, March 02, 2009
Alan Moore in Wired
Discussing the new Watchmen movie, and the near-impossibility of adapting comics to film. Also discusses the forthcoming Bumper Book of Magic, a grimoire for the whole family.