I was reminded of this last night after reading the following in Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.
"This fellow Balzac is a wizard...He touched the head of this mountain girl with an invisible finger, and she was transformed, carried away in a dream. It took her a while to come down to earth."Thus was the reaction of a young Chinese woman, living in a remote village, after reading a passage from Ursule Mirouët by Balzac. I offer this as further proof that story is not magic's by-product.