Looking for Erdnase

The search continues: A new docu-drama is about to follow the trails of S.W. Erdnase, the most famous unidentified man in magic history, author of the The Expert at the Card Table. It will combine interviews with knowledgeable folks like Juan Tamariz with reenacted scenes. There is a Kickstarter project running until March 25th to ensure funding of the ambitious film. The mastermind behind this project is Hans-Joachim Brucherseifer, a young German filmmaker. You can watch a brief trailer and listen to an interview with him on Scott Wells‘s podcast The Magic Word here.

ZZZauber_Erdnase_Fr

Read some of my thoughts and musings on Erdnase here.


Addendum: The funding goal has been reached, 15,185 Euros have been collected. Looking forward to the movie, which should be out by the end of this year!


 

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The Multiplying Books

It’s springtime in Magic Bookie Land, new titles just keep popping up everywhere like mushrooms on a wet day!

Just about two weeks ago, Penguin Magic brought out Juan Tamariz‘s opus magnum, The Magic Rainbow. You may want to GET THIS NOW. Yes, it’s 149 Euro, but it has almost 600 pages and costs about what you paid for the last four or five “latest wonders” or overpriced one trick DVDs, so why worry? This one is likely to serve you a lifetime supply of brain food to understand magic better and to make you a much better performer.

1rainbow

Last week, Dover published a Kindle edition of How to Make a Living as a Professional Magician: Business First, Sleight-of-Hand Later by Matt Patterson. It’s an updated version of his 1997 manual, Blood, Sweat, and Pinky Breaks, which I had been unaware of before. The price is 12,45 Euro.

Only today I noticed a revised and extended edition of JosePepe” Carroll‘s two volume modern card magic classic, 52 Lovers, now advertised as 52 Lovers Through the Looking-Glass over at Vanishing Inc. The price is 70 Dollars.

Vanishing Inc. have also just started a new line of booklets called Astonishing Essays, which are pigeon-holed somewhere between lecture notes and books. The first three out of ten booklets planned feature Steve Cohen, Rob Zabrecky and an unnamed Prison Magician (with a lifetime sentence).

Cohen

By the way, Steve Cohen also put out a fine graphic novel just recently, The Millionaires’ Magician. The price is 24,99 Dollar, and you can catch a full online preview here.

Oh, and not to forget our very own Pit Hartling, who has just republished his acclaimed first book, Card Fictions, and his more recent, but quickly-out-of-print mem deck oeuvre, In Order to Amaze. Prices are 35 and 52 Euro.

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Für unsere deutschsprachigen Zauberfreunde: Thorsten Havener hat ganz frisch ein neues Buch am Markt. Sag es keinem weiter: Warum wir Geheimnisse brauchen beginnt mit einer sehr berührenden, persönlichen Geschichte des Autors. Danch reitet er flott durch einen Wust von Gedanken und Anekdoten, Studienergebnissen und Info-Häppchen. Im Mittelteil dürften dann auch viele Zauberfreunde auf ihre Kosten kommen und manchem vertrauten Namen und Prinzip begegnen. Der Preis: 16 Euro.

Erdnase

Bei Amazon ist am 11. Februar Der Experte am Kartentisch von S.W Erdnase auf deutsch erschienen. Der Untertitel: “Wie Sie erfolgreich manipulieren und meisterhaft zaubern”. Nun ja. Ob es sich bei dieser Veröffentlichung des Nikol Verlages um die bekannte Übersetzung von Christian Scherer handelt, konnte ich noch nicht feststellen. Der Preis: 7,95 Euro.


 

Thoughts on Erdnase, 101

Erdnase, Fig. 101

Mulling over the famous figure 101 that comes with the trick “The Three Aces” within TEATCT, here is a thought I have enjoyed nurturing for quite some time: What if there was a secret connection between the opening of the book (the original title on the frontispiece, to be precise) and this more or less closing feature of the book, the final drawing?

Unlike the other figures, this one does not only explain the ruse; in fact, it does deceive you, the reader. The display of the aces looks totally regular. Only when you know that there is a subterfuge involved, you will understand that the Ace of Diamonds is not what it claims to be, but something-or someone-else (the Ace of Hearts).

Now the same may be said about the triple of ARTIFICE, RUSE and SUBTERFUGE (= ARS (lat.) = art). I have always wondered why Erdnase used three nouns with roughly the same connotation here: You are being deceived expertly and artfully at the card table. Precision? (Erdnase obviously loved describing things in detail by doubling or tripling words.) PR blurb to make his book sound utterly important? Or simply a clever means of hiding something in the middle, in plain sight? That something might be “RUSE and.”

What is more, in American handwriting, figure I0I can be read forward as well as backwards. A hint at an anagram or at shifting words around?

Remember, “RUSE and” = “and RUSE” = “Andrus” = “Andrews” (!)

Finally, the book’s frontpage promises “over one hundred drawings.” The total of 101 figures delivers this promise, but only by the smallest margin. You may not call this cheating, but probably another artful subterfuge…

Pure conjecture, I admit. This could be more convincing if, say, figure 101 were really displayed on the very last page of the book, maybe on page 202, and if the book’s title went more like ART, ARTIFICE and ACES at the Card Table to resemble the three Aces in figure 101 even more closely.

Just a thought.

Here’s a bit more on Erdnase within my site.


 

Erdnasen, aufgeschaut! – Erdnasians, beware!

EngelGenug geträumt, gezögert und vertrödelt – jetzt gehe ich es wirklich an: In spätestens zwölf Monaten soll mein Büchlein fertig sein!

Mehr als 100 Jahre nach S.W. Erdnase wird es höchste Zeit, in ein neues und aufregendes Jahrhundert der Kartenkunst aufzubrechen.

Das hat zwar nichts mit meinem kleinen Werk zu tun, aber es musste hier mal gesagt werden!

Zumindest der vorläufige Titel steht auch schon fest:

ARTHR_DE

(Hinweis: Zu einem späteren Zeitpunkt könnten auch noch Subalterne, Substitute, Suppenkoma oder Sukkulenten Berücksichtigung finden.)

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Enough of pondering, procrastination, and idle play – I’m going for it now: In about twelve months my book should be finished!

More than 100 years after Erdnase it’s about time to enter a new and exciting century of expert cardistry.

This is totally unrelated to my little effort, but I thought I’d mention it anyway.

I already got a preliminary title down:

ARTHR_ENG

(Full disclosure: Subtleties, submarines, substitutes, subpoena, soup cubes or succulents may also be considered at a later date.)