Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Superstitions: They're Everywhere

Since we're discussing Superstitions, we have to start with Stevie Wonder getting groovy in the background:

Okay, now that that's stuck in your head for the week, let's talk superstitions' roles in books. I bet you can name five popular books that deal with superstition as a central plot point.


Did your mind automatically veer towards characters who have a cute little quirk like tossing salt over their shoulder, walking around a ladder, or refusing to manhandle a mirror? Maybe you're picturing that creepy woman stroking the black cat in the middle of the sidewalk filled with cracks?

That wasn't a book. That was a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

Those are the stereotypes most of our western brains automatically summon when presented with the word "Superstition." We're raised to think superstitions are "irrational' or "silly." Sure, when you were five you developed a temporary case of pigeon-feet so you wouldn't break your mama's back. These days, you take note of a crack only to gauge whether it's going to snap your stiletto.

Now, compare Superstition to Faith. 

That was not a flying monkey screeching across your office. Both are categories of beliefs in Powers That Be (PTB). One is the deeply rooted belief that the PTB have a bad side. The other is the deeply rooted belief that the PTB have a good side.

Bad vs Good. Sounds like the plot of a story.

If I were to ask you again, dear readers, to name a few books where superstition is a central plot point, could you? Go ahead. Meaningless bonus points for mentions of Best Sellers from Inspirational presses.

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