You can find me at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3144945-alex - I do not update this site anymore.
he's saying that he believes in magic, yes, but his definition of "belief" is subtler than people give him credit for. He's talking about the power of myth in building culture and identity, and his book, broadly a collection of Irish folklore gathered from bars and washerwomen, will be about the impact of myth on the Irish character."Let us go forth, the tellers of tales, and seize whatever prey the heart long for, and have no fear. Everything exists, everything is true, and the earth is only a little dust under our feet." (p. 4)
And that difference - that the Irish consider themselves allied with the faeries and imps that inhabit their land - does say something important about the Irish. Compare that statement to the array of superstitions cataloged in Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, where anything and everything is a bad omen. And remember how Americans have historically felt about witches. We have a different, more fearful attitude toward the unknown. The quote above isn't about faeries; it's about the Irish."You - you will make no terms with the spirits of fire and earth and air and water. You have made the Darkness your enemy. We - we exchange civilities with the world beyond." (p. 93)