(…and one or two why probably not.)
Following the lines of, uhmm, “special thinking” and wild inductive reasoning often displayed in the Erdnase thread over at the Genii Forum, minutes and hours of my own dedicated research and uninformed opining have unearthed that the author of The Expert had, in fact, always been around, hiding in plain sight before us and even among us, as he was no outsider to our community. On the contrary, he was and is one of our most respected practitioners and innovators!
- like few others had the expertise to perform all the sleights described in the book with “unflinching audacity”
- was interested and well-versed both in gambling and magic
- was a true artist but also a logical, almost scientific thinker
- could write well and did so elsewhere
- preached to be natural and to handle the deck lightly
- loved a good secret and fooling the boys (and he did keep many secrets over decades)
- was almost always in need of money
- became, in fact, the biggest promoter of his own book
- had a special reason for using the anagram “Erdnase”: At one point in time, in New York City, a Dr. S. Weenas (sic!) was his optometrician
- hid and displayed his name very prominently on the famous title page of TEATCT, centered within the inverted pyramid text: DetAIl eVERy kNOwN:
Finally, Erdnase has been found. TEATCT was written “by DAI VERNON, the Expert Card Handler”. There can be no doubt that he’s our man!
Yes, yes, I know what you’re saying… Officially, Dai Vernon was only born in 1894, and the book appeared in 1902. What a boy wonder! Or maybe he just cheated about his real age. Was he probably about 15 years older than he claimed? Considering his early proficiency with cards, this could be true! Or maybe it was a father and son ploy, elaborately planned and executed over decades (just like some U.S. White House takeovers). And yes, he didn’t choose to be called Dai Vernon until much later on, but, hey, maybe the guy was just planning ahead! All part of the ploy.
Vernon’s the man. Case closed. Thread closed. Now let’s move on to other secrets, please:
- Who was the mysterious Frenchman (?) “Mr Charlier”?
- Who invented the legendary Horse Drop?
- And who is “R.G.”, the German/Austrian (?) author of the early card book, Ein Spiel Karten (A Deck of Cards) from 1853?