Well Said, Mr. Lamont!

Magic is not about fooling the audience. Magic depends on successful deception, but that is the means, not the end. Of course, the audience should not know how it is done, but this is a basic requirement, not the goal. The goal is not to provoke the experience of not knowing how it is done. The goal is not the experience of ignorance; it is the experience of magic. The audience are not the enemy; they are the people for whom we provide this experience. The goal of the magician is to create the effect that something happens that cannot happen. This is a paradox. It is a source of wonder. This is a profound and worthy goal.

Peter Lamont on “What is magic?”


 

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A Few Great Opening Lines

Card DevilNon, non, mon ami, we’re not talking “Hello, I’m the house magician” here. We’re talking world literature – great artists with consummate skills, both in commanding their subject-matter and in chiseling their gleaming semantic profile and persona from the gorgeous marble quarry we call language. Ah!

These are some of the best opening lines from magic books which I am aware of:

Jasper Maskelyne was drinking a glass of razor blades when the war began.
(David Fisher, The War Magician)

It is late afternoon on the beach, and this would look like paradise but for the silhouette of a fat woman in baggy shorts.
(Peter Lamont, The Rise of the Indian Rope Trick)

The history of female magic is short of names, achievements, and clothes.
(Irmgard Kleine-Nothdurfft, Box Jumpers and Bra Tricks: A Feminist Study of 20th Century Conjuring)

I loathed myself again.
(Derren Brown, Confessions of a Conjurer)

I’ve been talked into it.
(Harry Lorayne, Quantum Leaps)

On my seventh birthday I ventured into serious billard ball magic, but soon I dropped it.
(The Brilliant Bernardo Braggadocio, Me, Myself & I in Magic, Vol. II)