Download A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic by Peter Turchi PDF

By Peter Turchi

With his attribute expertise for locating connections among writing and the stuff of our lives, Peter Turchi ventures into new or even extra astonishing territory. In A Muse and a Maze, Turchi attracts out the similarities among writing and puzzle-making and its flip-side, puzzle-solving. As he teases out how secret lies on the middle of all storytelling, he uncovers the magic—the construction of credible illusion—that writers percentage with the likes of Houdini and grasp magicians. In Turchi’s associative narrative, we find out about the historical past of puzzles, their obsessive caliber, and that Benjamin Franklin used to be a devotee of an old precursor of sudoku known as Magic Squares. making use of this wealthy backdrop to the necessities of writing, Turchi unearths as a lot in regards to the human psyche as he does in regards to the literary mind's eye and the artistic process.

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Additional resources for A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic

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Puzzles focus our attention on a select body of knowledge and a single task. To that extent—and to the extent that each puzzle has one or more correct answers—they represent closed systems and, in the case of sudoku, a kind of pure knowledge, a miniature world in which some decisions are right, others are wrong, and ultimately there can be no question about which are which. ) It can be refreshing to mentally inhabit, even for a few minutes, a world in which a goal and the means of reaching it are perfectly clear, and where our reward is complete comprehension of the whole.

Smaller squares are easier. ” Sudoku are not for everyone. Puzzle solvers have their biases. An avid fan of the New York Times weekend crosswords might speak scornfully of those who attempt only the easier Monday through Thursday puzzles; Monday through Thursday crossword fans might belittle those who go no further than jumbled words and their cartoon punch lines; jumbled-word solvers can be heard to speak disdainfully of sudoku fans; and any of the above might heap abuse on those calm, methodical people content to circle “hidden” words.

In which, he said, the author had discovered great ingenuity and dexterity in the management of numbers; and, though several other foreigners had distinguished themselves in the same way, he did not recollect that any one Englishman had done anything of the kind remarkable. I said it was perhaps a mark of the good sense of our English mathematicians that they would not spend their time in things that were merely “difficiles nugae” [laborious trifles], incapable of any useful application. — BENJAMIN FRANKLIN The rows and columns of a magic square are filled with distinct numbers so that all of the rows, columns, and main diagonals add up to the same total, or Magic Constant.

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