The Magician's Hidden Library Magic Words: A Dictionary

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A In Literature: • "I need a real drink. Mama looks at Caro and says, Abra! Caro winks at her and says, Cadabra! Then Caro guns the car in the direction of Davis Street, which means the Abracadabra Liquor store." -- Rebecca Wells, Little Altars Everywhere (1996) • "I pointed out that Victor had named the barn cats Abra and Cadabra, after I had wanted to call them Emily and Lavinia." -- Maxine Kumin, "Mutts," Dog is my Co-Pilot (200 ) • "[H]e pulled the dollar bill out of his pocket and examined it. It had been face down under the blotter. He now studied it and found the words Arbadac Arba written across George Washington's forehead on the front of the bill. 'Abra Cadabra,' he said, reading each word backwards. He thought there was a good chance that the words were a user name and password . . ." -- Michael Connelly, Chasing the Dime (2002) • "The two most potent magic words are not abra and cadabra." -- Steven L. Case, The Book of Uncommon Prayer (2002) Abracadabra As your head honcho said, there is nothing that matches abracadabra. -- Joseph Brodsky, "Vertumnus," Collected Poems in English (2000) Mystique: He gave us story-oceans and abracadabras. -- Salman Rushdie, The Moor's Last Sigh (1997) It's that spine-tingling thing that gives you goose bumps. It's the instant of a wish coming true. It's opening your eyes and seeing that the workaday world has transformed into something holy.24 It's that moment of clarity when everything suddenly "clicks," and you see that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. These clicks and ticks can trigger a resounding chime, signaling the fullness of time. And yet it is that very same chime of the clock that can disintegrate a dream ("At the stroke of midnight, you 2 "Amid a blinding cloud of smoke, a cadaverous voice cries aloud, 'Abra-cadabra.'" -- Variety review of the television program "The Magic Horseshoe" (195 ). "'Abracadabra.' The sound had cold fingers squeezing Luke's spine." -- Nora Roberts, Honest Illusions (1992). 24 "The custom of closing or covering the eyes while saying the blessing enacts the transformation of the world, since, when you reopen your eyes Abracadabra! the weekday, workaday world is special, holy, and Shabbat." -- Anita Diamant, How to Be a Jewish Parent: A Practical Handbook for Family Life (2000)
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