Vita Nostra Q5: Words and hypertext
Words are a vital part of the book, with the students realising they're not human but are embodied words, and therefore have magical powers. They start their journey to the Institute controlled by the words spoken by Farit. Later, Sahsa is controlled by the threat of words coming through her pink phone. Yet at the same time, there are offhand references to how words don't matter: Sasha dismisses what she says when her mother comes to visit.
Any thoughts on these different importances of words? Are words the key to magic (again, compare with how words embody magic for Harry Potter and Ged, versus mystic/shamanic magic by intuition).
Magic in Vita Nostra is word-based and referred to as hypertext. Other authors, notably Charlie Stross, have posited that we're returning to a demon-haunted world (voice controlled smart devices) controlled by wizards who have immense power from inscribing occult words (programmers). Is that an appropriate reading for the magic in the book? Is it an analogy for our increasingly digitised world?