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James Randi in NYT

An oddly truncated review of An Honest Liar.
by Marty Demarest
03/07/15 10:46 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: James Randi in NYT
Replies: 1
Views: 221

Re: ERDNASE

I meant questions for me (and other researchers), Chris. The copyright application should answer those questions. It doesn't. The simplest answer that fits the evidence is: The form was filled out by someone who believed that someone named S.W. Erdnase wrote the book, that he was a real person, and ...
by Marty Demarest
03/07/15 10:40 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

The most interesting thing about the copyright application, to my mind, is its lack of legal validity. The entire purpose of a copyright registration was to establish legal ownership and rights to the material. But by withholding his legal name, the author of The Expert essentially forfeited those r...
by Marty Demarest
03/07/15 10:20 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I'm not sure that I would regard the use of a pseudonym and the printer's address in place of a residence (possibly the author did not have a stable residence) as a lot of fibbing. Don't worry Dick--I won't tell the taxman. ;) Didn't E.S. Andrews have a permanent Chicago address at the time? Interp...
by Marty Demarest
03/06/15 12:26 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Roger, you assumptions about the implications of self-publishing make sense. But evidence suggests otherwise. I have examples of self-published works that applied for copyright at that time, but which used the printing firm as filing representative. For example: The New Century Edition of The Househ...
by Marty Demarest
03/05/15 01:04 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I know that Richard Hatch has a letter written by Edwin Sumner Andrews. How does the handwriting on it compare with that on the copyright application?
by Marty Demarest
03/05/15 12:43 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I see no reason to make any assumptions about the copyright application, nor do I trust it. After all, it was supposed to indicate whether a pseudonym was used, and to state the author's real name. It gives "S.W. Erdnase" and no indication of a pseudonym. It also lists his residence as &qu...
by Marty Demarest
03/05/15 12:31 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I would say that we don't know who filled out the copyright form. It could have been anyone affiliated with McKinney & Co. It could have been the author. One point of interest is that, if it was filled out by the author, then he would likely have had direct contact with the title page, which nee...
by Marty Demarest
03/04/15 11:11 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Andrew, unfortunately the "What the Font" link you provided doesn't work. Can you summarize your results? Thanks for digging into this deeper! We used a modern Caslon for the Charles & Wonder edition as well. (And just for the record in your example: No "Th" ligature. Additio...
by Marty Demarest
03/04/15 01:05 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Groundbreaking new work on Edwin T. Sachs

I was excited to see that Tom Sawyer has announced on his Erdnase blog that his next work will be a substantial book about Edwin T. Sachs, the author of Sleight of Hand . Given how much influence Sachs exerted on magic in general--and how his work continues to be acknowledged by magicians today--thi...
by Marty Demarest
02/22/15 12:28 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Groundbreaking new work on Edwin T. Sachs
Replies: 6
Views: 842

Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

Good point, Roger. Sometimes "influence" is a step on a journey. Sometimes it's the endpoint.
by Marty Demarest
02/19/15 12:14 PM
 
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay
Replies: 146
Views: 8476

Re: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay

While I think I understand Dustin's basic point, I need to disagree with this statement: I do not believe anyone else should use the patter for “The Exclusive Coterie” from Erdnase since he has become so identified by it, particularly since it suits his character so well. I do perform "The Excl...
by Marty Demarest
02/19/15 12:04 PM
 
Forum: Close-Up Magic
Topic: Alaskan Poker by Ricky Jay
Replies: 146
Views: 8476

Re: NPH exposes thin sawing

Yes!
by Marty Demarest
01/14/15 08:26 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: NPH exposes thin sawing
Replies: 60
Views: 4964

Re: NPH exposes thin sawing

For what it's worth, I was shown the episode by a friend who asked, "Is that how it's really done?" I answered honestly: "Not always." The discussion then changed to sawings that couldn't have been done that way because... Etc. What I saw wasn't blatant exposure. I saw a televisi...
by Marty Demarest
01/14/15 08:17 PM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: NPH exposes thin sawing
Replies: 60
Views: 4964

Re: ERDNASE

By saying "first edition, Chs&Wdr edition", are you suggesting that we compare the two? I don't have a 1st, but in all the early editions I've seen p. 29 has some damage, and you've obviously cleaned it up (or re-typeset it) for the C&W. Also, re: p. 29, yes the damage is consiste...
by Marty Demarest
01/03/15 01:46 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: Reviewers and Objectivity

Richard, thanks for the explanation. I do understand the situation, especially with regards to the size of the magic world. And I must add that by maintaining this forum and allowing for the open expression of opinions, you go a long way toward mitigating any flaws in the system. I have no problem w...
by Marty Demarest
01/03/15 01:10 PM
 
Forum: Light From the Lamp
Topic: Reviewers and Objectivity
Replies: 20
Views: 2469

Reviewers and Objectivity

Let me state up front that I am an admirer of David Britland's work, both as a reviewer for Genii and as a writer of his own projects. This post is prompted by his recent review of Ian Keable's book Charles Dickens Magician in Genii (January, 2015). But it addresses problems that I see elsewhere, an...
by Marty Demarest
01/02/15 11:29 AM
 
Forum: Light From the Lamp
Topic: Reviewers and Objectivity
Replies: 20
Views: 2469

Re: Carney Theater Show in Burbank, CA

All done by cunning.
by Marty Demarest
01/02/15 11:08 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Carney Theater Show in Burbank, CA
Replies: 15
Views: 1732

Re: Three Card Monte

Finally, someone who holds the cards the way Erdnase instructed!
by Marty Demarest
01/02/15 11:07 AM
 
Forum: Buzz
Topic: Three Card Monte
Replies: 3
Views: 555

Re: ERDNASE

The past few months of comments on this forum have gone in a fascinating direction--and it's great to see some new voices becoming active. I'm only now catching up. It is heartening to see attention being paid to questions inherent in the printing of The Expert , since that is our primary source of ...
by Marty Demarest
01/02/15 11:05 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Peter, that is a great question, and directly in keeping with the thinking David Ben expressed in his article "Popular Delusions and the Madness of Erdnase". There, he notes that an intimate knowledge of Erdnase's moves might provide insight into the man who created them. Unfortunately, af...
by Marty Demarest
12/24/14 06:46 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Tom, your recent post about the name "Andrews" and the various strands of letters is very interesting, and--as your work often does--evinces thinking that gets off familiar paths without straining to reach a particular conclusion. I think the simple name "Erdnase" deserves more e...
by Marty Demarest
11/26/14 05:46 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I think the use of the name "S. W. Erdnase" seems very contrived, and deserves examination on all fronts. There's the backward reading, the German connotation and the word-game approach. I think it certainly could be an anagram. And the German wordplay even suggests it. From W. H. Cremer, ...
by Marty Demarest
11/12/14 04:17 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Dick, the S. W. Erdnase Report came from a small printing, and Richard Kyle loaned me a copy to use in my research. To my knowledge, there are a few copies floating around the world. It was written and compiled by Elyk D. Rahcir--a very mysterious author. I haven't been able to learn anything about ...
by Marty Demarest
11/11/14 07:51 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Jason, I'm glad you took the opportunity to continue your discussion here. I know that the Genii Forum only pays a fraction of what you make at The Magic Café, but at least it stays open later, eh? It's interesting to have read both your and Richard Hatch's thoughts regarding Erdnase's engagement wi...
by Marty Demarest
11/10/14 01:48 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please

I agree with you Richard: It would be horribly offensive if you did a blackface act. Not only would you be reviving a condescending performance tradition, but you would be blatantly misrepresenting a racial group for which you have no entitlement to speak. It would be insulting in many ways. But if ...
by Marty Demarest
10/21/14 09:42 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please
Replies: 141
Views: 16073

Re: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please

Dustin, thank you for the video clip of Jeff Hobson. As a gay man I didn't find anything personally offensive in it. (I also watched his Egg Bag performance from the same show.) Nor did I find anything that insulted my boyfriend or denigrated my "tribe." In fact, it was refreshing to see a...
by Marty Demarest
10/20/14 06:44 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please
Replies: 141
Views: 16073

Re: ERDNASE

I just saw a Q&A that Jason England conducted on the Magic Café last month, and since some of it relates directly to Erdnase, I think it's worth linking to it. It's interesting material. I'm sorry I missed the discussion, as I would have responded there. But since I prefer this forum--and since ...
by Marty Demarest
10/20/14 06:33 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please

Could someone please describe what Jeff Hobson does in his act that makes it insulting to gay men? Does he explicitly present himself as being both gay and a buffoon? Does he demean homosexuality? Or does he just play a campy character? Because if he's just swishy, a lot of straight guys are like th...
by Marty Demarest
10/17/14 05:39 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: Identity of this "Camp/Gay" magician please
Replies: 141
Views: 16073

Re: ERDNASE

I wanted to follow up the recent discussion of the color change that is commonly called "The Erdnase Color Change." In addition to the (much older) sources cited above that attribute the move to Houdini, it is claimed outright by Houdini in his editing of Elliott's Last Legacy (1923) under...
by Marty Demarest
09/12/14 02:09 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Bill--Martha Edgerton Plassmann was indeed related to Wilbur Edgerton Sanders. She was the daughter of Sidney Edgerton, Montana Territory's first Territorial Governor, and a second cousin of WES. Unfortunately, she died in 1936, so I've been unable to ask her about her cousin! The Martha Edgerton Pl...
by Marty Demarest
09/11/14 10:52 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

A couple of points of possible interest to Erdnasians: --As Tom implied above, it is possible to preview the index to the new edition of The Expert at Amazon.com . --I will be discussing some new Erdnase evidence at an upcoming history conference in Helena, Montana , next weekend. However, before yo...
by Marty Demarest
09/10/14 03:00 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Speaking of Drake's involvement with The Expert , I've always had my doubts about any direct, personal connection between Erdnase and the firm. I believe that there have been claims and implications of a relationship between Drake and Erdnase, but I've never seen any evidence for it. The evidence su...
by Marty Demarest
09/10/14 02:52 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

John--yes please! (Will try to contact you through other channels.) Jason England brought some of his collection to The Erdnaseum and it was inspiring to see the extent of The Expert 's printed history. One of the variations that interests me the most is the change made to page 5 (first edition). As...
by Marty Demarest
09/08/14 10:54 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I'm wondering how Marty -- in his new version of the book -- handled the oft-mentioned "five mistakes" in Erdnase. Tom, the short answer to your question is that "The Indexed Expert" (as I've come to think of the new edition) handles the famous "five errors" by includi...
by Marty Demarest
09/05/14 09:51 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

The Expert at the Card Table exhibits an interesting mix of printing variations across the first edition. These aren't major changes--I've not seen evidence that any of the book was re-set during the first edition. But there are still differences that enter the print run, probably due to the techno...
by Marty Demarest
09/04/14 02:11 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Sorry, Jason, I should have included those references. Thanks Bill! I will say that although we don't have an explicit statement along the lines of "Harry Houdini invented this lovely color change..." in the early literature, the first pictures of the effect show Houdini performing it, and...
by Marty Demarest
08/23/14 06:57 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Jason, thanks for the clarification regarding the timeline of card indices. As for the hypothesis that Erdnase's copyright notices match techniques that he invented, I also followed that line of inquiry a few years ago. I won't reiterate your examples, but I will note that there are meaningful excep...
by Marty Demarest
08/23/14 12:48 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

Great blog idea--and good to see you writing again about Erdnase, Tom! I'll add my voice to those asking for reprints. Or maybe just bind all your Erdnase work together? In any case, it's well worth seeking out.
by Marty Demarest
07/30/14 09:58 AM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871

Re: ERDNASE

I've always thought that Erdnase's "mechanical cards" were things like the cards described in the "Prepared and Mechanical Cards" chapter of Roterberg's New Era Card Tricks (1897), which include things like mechanically diminishing cards and moving pip cards. Likewise in Hoffmann...
by Marty Demarest
03/09/14 11:09 PM
 
Forum: General
Topic: ERDNASE
Replies: 3149
Views: 1395871
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