Book of the Month: Greater Magic

This forum is an ongoing, and evolving, discussion. Genii Forum members discuss opinions and trade notes on current and past magic books.
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Steve Bryant
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Steve Bryant » March 5th, 2003, 5:23 am

Heh heh. If you want to read a complete review of Melinda's CBS special (prior to its airing) or of John Gaughan losing the rights to the Hooker Rising Cards to Jay Marshall in a chess game, click on The Little Egypt Gazette April 97 . Alas, I have removed April 96 from the web. It contained a detailed review of Ricky Jay and His 52 Assistants (the book). Richard Hatch received inquiries from those who wished to purchase it.

And for those who may have not passed by Little Egypt Magic this month, the REAL news out of Melinda's camp is that her baby is due September 1. (Honest.)

Guest

Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » March 5th, 2003, 6:45 am

Dustin,
I hope Richard is paying you well.
I remember the Weber colum. You should have just e mailed me first.
Not to get off subject, perhaps someone will want to start a thread about it, but...I also remember Michael Weber's review of some older books: SCARNE'S MAGIC TRICKS, GARDNER'S MATHEMATICS, MAGIC AND MYSTERY, ENCYCLOPEDIA OF CARD TRICKS, and the four BRUCE ELLIOTT books. (I believe it was the issue with "two contests, two winners, who are these guys?") It really makes you love the books! This is what I would love to see all the reviewers take a shot at doing. Because as important as it is to look forward, sometimes it is equally so, to look back. Just as we are doing now with GREATER MAGIC.

Guest

Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » March 5th, 2003, 8:48 am

FYI: I just ordered my copy from the US Toy Co., and apparently there is only one copy left (after the one I snagged).

Zech Johnson

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby troublewit » March 6th, 2003, 4:02 pm

Find a nice colored glass miniature vase in an antique shop. Give the inside a nice spray of dark paint. Cut a little round piece of cork. Snip off a length of rope. Rediscover the many ways you could mystify with these common objects in Greater Magic's Selected Tricks section, and you'll find, (as Ross Bertram would say), ..."You could do a lot with a Chinese Prayer Vase...."
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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 6th, 2003, 10:35 pm

The little library (from the story) soon moved to larger quarters and a small antique shop took its place. Every once in a while the boy would stop there on his way home and look for things that could be of some magical use (and fall within his price range). The only thing he still has from those days is a set of poker chips (with rack & cover) from the 1920s. He still takes great joy in browsing antique shops--looking for something magical (in his price range)--whenever he gets the chance. I like to think that he was influenced by Greater Magic to consider looking backward on occasion. Treasure is not always hidden: we just tend to walk past it in our search for something "new."

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Michael Kamen » March 10th, 2003, 9:18 am

I do not know if others will share my enthusiasm for the quote from Greater Magic that I share below, but I will let you decide for yourself. I like this because it speaks directly to the sleight of hand vs. self-working question that comes up from time to time. I am kind of excited to have finally found the page on which this quote is located, because it is one of those things that has been branded in my memory since youth; while I looked for it several times in my new copy of this huge book, I could not find it till now. Thought perhaps I was thinking of some other book. Anyway, that this quote comes from a hoary source like Greater Magic, and is attributed there to an even older source, for me adds something to the discussion. . .

"Many things are necessary to do magic; but make no mistake, skill of the hands is four-fifths of them. He who depends upon his hands alone is a master of his craft and needs no protection against the predatory instincts of the guild. Merchants will not barter his wares in the market-place, nor pitchmen hawk his secrets in the streets.
-- From the Journal of the Great Jaggard"

p665, first page of section entitled "Coin Magic."
Michael Kamen

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 11th, 2003, 12:22 am

Michael,

That quote was in one of the drafts of my piece, but was ultimately edited out, not due to a lack of enthusiasm but a failure of contextual structure on my part. It's one of my favorite quotes in the book.

Many years ago when I was writing a magic trivia column for a magazine, I would usually toss in a quote (relevant or not) just because I enjoy them. To this day I often use relevant quotes in my work, and I always have a quote written on the dry-erase board in my office (which I change every couple of weeks), which will bring me visitors just to see what is posted there. Greater Magic and its use of quotes throughout the book is precisely what led me to this habit.

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Sam Kesler » March 12th, 2003, 9:39 am

Imagine my surprise when my wife called yesterday and said, "Honey, a 25-pound box of magic books arrived for you today!" It was good news and bad news. The good news is that I received my "Greater Magic" book from U.S. Toy Company. The bad news for me (and four other customers who ordered this book) is that I received four extra books! Bad for me because I'm not dishonest and can't pretend I didn't get them. :D Bad for the customers to whom these copies actually belong, because this will further delay the receipt of this wonderful book. I am waiting for a pre-paid label to be sent to me so I can return the books to U.S. Toy. For those who have ordered the book and read this forum, be patient, it's definitely worth the wait.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 12th, 2003, 5:05 pm

The Great Jaggard was actually Hilliard.
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Michael Kamen » March 12th, 2003, 6:38 pm

Originally posted by Richard Kaufman:
The Great Jaggard was actually Hilliard.
The man was a poet.
Michael Kamen

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » March 12th, 2003, 6:41 pm

Richard,

Do we know the reason behind the creation of this pseudonym? Was it an alter ego, the "great" illusionist/performer he perhaps harbored dreams of being? Was it an amalgamation of the great magicians he knew, thus giving him the ability to pass on sage advice from a single source? Did he mean to keep it a complete mystery, perhaps to give him the ability to write in another voice?

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Richard Kaufman » March 12th, 2003, 7:18 pm

Hilliard left no notes on the matter other than quotes from the Great Jaggard that were not used in the book, and they were written and edited in such a way that it was obvious they were original with Hillard. That was my conclusion.
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby mark » March 13th, 2003, 11:00 pm

Sam, that's not the best news in the world, you have my copy of Greater magic sitting there! Be careful packing those things, I want to see it in all its glory when it makes its way from California to Kansas City and back to California again :(

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Sam Kesler » March 14th, 2003, 8:53 am

Yes Mark, I'm afraid it's true, I do have your copy. I wish I could send it to you directly. (sigh) I also have Zech, Larry and Ricky's copy, too. Oh well. What's a few more days in the cosmic scheme of things? P.S. A hearty and belated thank you(!) to Richard for publishing such a wonderful book (not to mention Hilliard & Co). Imagine all this good karma flowing after nearly ten years (65 years if you count the original publication)!

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Daniel » March 15th, 2003, 4:36 am

I have just secured a good copy on Ebay for the equivalent of about $52, and I look forward to receiving it after reading all the comments in this interesting thread.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Anthony Blake » March 16th, 2003, 4:45 am

One of my greatest joys and most prized treasures is owning an original 1st editon of "Greater Magic." I guard it as if it was gold in Ft. Knox.

I acquired my copy directly from Eugene Burger. He had two first editions and after a Castle lecture about 16 or so years ago he announced that he had one copy of "Greater Magic" that he had for sale. I was the only one interested in buying it and got it for the whopping price of $100! It has the original paper jacket and is in great condition.

I've spent many an hour pouring over the effects and routines in this wonderous book... and I've included several in my act. I've also taken Ralph Hull's "Tuned Deck," played with it, tweaked it and made it a "showpiece" routine of my close-up shows - I now call it the "Finely Tuned Deck" and my variation will soon appear in a booklet I am writing.

Success!!!

Tony Blake

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Sam Kesler » March 18th, 2003, 8:39 pm

I trust the Genii Forum is gracious enough for me to post an update to the saga of the disappearing ;) "Greater Magic" books. I received the pre-paid UPS label and am happy to report the 4 copies are on their way back to U.S. Toy Company in Missouri. Hopefully they will arrive at their new homes next week. Barring any further unforseen sleight of hand, that is.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby magicbar » March 20th, 2003, 6:36 pm

It was 1969 or so. I was 10. Greater Magic was in the local public library in Englewood, Ohio just north of Dayton. I didn't get much performance material from the book but the way it was written tripped me out. I was exposed to an appreciation and an approach to magic that made me know it (magic) was more than a group of tricks one bought from Johnson-Smith. Many years later when my studies brought me to names that contributed the that book the loop had more significance and I felt I had reached a true plateau with my interest. Thanks Richard for your edition, it is a part of my library.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Sam Kesler » March 22nd, 2003, 10:42 am

Okay "Greater Magic" fans, here's a trivia question for you. Can that be a typo in the chart on the trick "Mutus, Nomen, Dedit, Cocis" on page 123 in Old Wine In New Bottles (chapter IX)? Shouldn't the cards for "C" and "I" be reversed?

Maybe I need more stimulants. Better yet, maybe Richard can answer this since he doesn't drink coffee and probably has never set foot in a Starbucks. ;)

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » March 31st, 2003, 12:01 pm

Just wanted to say that my copy finally arrived. A big thanks to Sam Kesler for keeping such good care of it during it's brief stay in CA. Now, if I can only find the time to read the dang thing...

Zech Johnson

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby mark » April 1st, 2003, 12:26 am

I am happy to report that my postman kindly tried his best to hide the box containing my copy of Greater Magic under the welcome mat. Now THAT is dedication! Needless to say, I am happy that my errant tome has wandered its way back to the sunny climes of Northern California (we like to capitalize the "n" so folks don't think we're a part of the craziness) Thanks to the good folk on this board for the US Toy information - I likely would have had to get gouged on Ebay for a copy. Thanks so much.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Sam Kesler » April 1st, 2003, 9:33 am

You're welcome, Zech! Glad you guys finally received your book. It was a major screw-up but I forgive them for discovering that stash of Greater Magic books.

p.s. Check out the apparent typo mentioned above and let me know what you think.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 1st, 2003, 11:08 pm

Sam,

In my third edition, the chart has C O C I S on the bottom line. Cocis, of course, is part of the title, and is used several times throughout the trick explanation. If the Kaufman edition has it spelled otherwise, then it is a typo.

Interestingly, I cannot find any entry for "cocis" or "dedit" in a Latin dictionary. Also, the closest thing to "mutus" is "mutuus" which means - essentially - a mutual exchange or loan. "Nomen" means name.

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » April 3rd, 2003, 10:37 pm

A WONDEERFUL history and review; it is amazing what lies within the book. Years ago, when Hull's name was still around, I immediately turned to the Tuned Deck. The contents page described it as a complete act in itself--and so it was. LIke the icing on the cake, I left it till later. "Later" turned out to be "years" away from magic and by then magic productions were pouring out so rapidly that they took all the available time. I'm not sure I spent my time well with the other books etc. Greater Magic seems to have it all.
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 7th, 2003, 2:12 am

At the risk of sounding pedantic...

I think "Mutus" (and also for that matter "Cocis") is an invented name, which is why it won't be in any Latin dictionary. "Dedit" is the perfect tense form of the verb "to give", so you won't find that listed as a head word in the dictionary either.

I've seen this sentence translated in a couple of magic books as "Mutus gave a name to Cocis", but unfortunately this doesn't quite work because of the way Latin nouns change their endings according to their grammatical functions. The accusative (direct object) form of "nomen" is "nominem", and to say "to Cocis" (dative or indirect object) it would have to be "Coci". So you'd have to say "Mutus nominem Coci dedit", which of course wouldn't be much good for the trick in question.

End of Latin Lesson.

There are also variations that use other words, though I can't remember where I've seen them.

Sorry for this digression - and just let me add my appreciation for this and all the other Book of the Month threads, which are superb.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Matthew Field » April 7th, 2003, 7:01 am

Originally posted by Edwin Corrie:

There are also variations that use other words, though I can't remember where I've seen them.
Karl Fulves has a violume with many variations of this basic effect. Even if you think you know all there is, even if you think the concept is simple, Karl's book contains some very interesting material. It's titled something line "The Mutus Effect."

If you are interested in card magic and haven't sent a stamped, self addressed envelope to Karl for his latest catalog of what he has in print, i suggest you do so. Karl Fulves, Box 433, Teaneck, NJ 07666.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Bob Farmer » April 8th, 2003, 4:59 pm

For the record: we all owe Richard Kaufman a huge debt of gratitude for not just re-publishing Greater Magic, but also for adding so much to the new edition.

Only a few people know what Richard had to do to make this happen (chiefly his negotiations with the Jones family) and I doubt if anyone else could have pulled it off.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 8th, 2003, 10:54 pm

Thanks for the reference to the Karl Fulves book. Maybe that was what I had in mind, although I'm sure I've also seen the trick in other books with slightly different versions of the "word matrix". In any case, this might be a good excuse to ask for a new Fulves catalogue - it's been ages since I last had one.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Bill Mullins » April 24th, 2003, 7:35 am

There was no March book.

How about something more modern for April? Mark Wilson's book, or Harry Lorayne's The Magic Book?

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 24th, 2003, 8:23 am

Sorry for the delay: The next book is in the works, and is proving to be a greater challenge than I had originally expected. I will have it up soon - hopefully before the weekend. It is a contemporary book which, hopefully, should promote some interesting discussion.

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » February 16th, 2006, 3:51 pm

Richard,

Are there plans to release another reprint of Greater Magic in the near future?

Thanks.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Peo Olsson » February 17th, 2006, 2:09 pm

What can I say, Greater Magic is the book I would have with me at the well-known desert island. It's my all time favourite.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » April 16th, 2006, 1:09 pm

Just a short note to thank Dustin for a great article on Greater Magic. I have been building my "Greater Magic" collection since 1980 when my then new freind Bill Coomer (Who has a son named Dai Vernon!) showed me his edition. In the April 1979, vol. 68 #11 of MUM you will find a teriffic article by H. Adrian Smith on Greater Magic. Thanks to all for this great thread.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » April 16th, 2006, 10:49 pm

Thanks for the kind words and for reading!

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Guest » April 19th, 2006, 9:20 pm

When I was a teenager, I worked at the local magic shop, and I managed to purchase a copy of Greater Magic. My entry into college, combined with a limited amount of study time, caused me to drop out of magic altogether. I sold all my books, props -- everything except my Stubby cups. Don't know why I kept those.

Twelve years later (1972), watching Kreskin on television, I was inspired to go back into magic. This time, I did it right. I bought the classics. I got the Tarbell course, Erdnase, Bobo, and searched in vain for a copy of Greater Magic. I was shocked to learn that the book sold for $185 if you could find a copy.

Then the widow of one of the local magicians decided to get rid of all his props and books. I got a wonderful price on the book. I paid her twice what she was asking and still felt like I had stolen it. It was the 1938 second impression. I still have it, and I still use it as a reference.

And I have the Kaufman edition, as well. It's well done. I think Hilliard would have approved of it.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby JFox » September 12th, 2008, 11:43 pm

"Die Box" Greater Magic error listing:

My 1938 1st edition lists in the index:

"Die Box, 376"

....and yet, in the book - no description or drawing exists of a Die Box!
__________________________

Was this error corrected in later impressions-editions? How about in the Kaufman reprint?

Do the "Lost Notebooks" describe-illustrate a Die Box?
____________________________________

I have much appreciation to the late magician, Lew Dick - who in 1975 sold me a 1938 1st edition w/ cover...for the low sum of $12.50. It made a 17-year kid (me!) very happy!

Lew stated in his 1975 letter: "It's the last copy going at this price ($12.50), cheapest avaialble price is $25.00. It's out of print, you know - but I said I'd get it for you, and I did".
_____________________

So, what's with the "Die Box" error????

---Joe Fox

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David Thomas
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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby David Thomas » September 13th, 2008, 12:13 am

I don't think there is a kaufman reprint.

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 13th, 2008, 1:46 am

I have the 1st through 9th impressions as well as the (yes cardmechanic, there is one) the Kaufman edition, and the error appears in each one.

That's not to say that the words "Die Box" do not appear anywhere in the book; they may. But I cannot find it (looking in some logical places.)

But if that is the only error in an index to a book of this size, I would be astonished.

I also found nothing on the Die Box in the Lost Notebooks.

Dustin

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby JFox » September 18th, 2008, 3:07 am

AHA!

Re: "error listing" of "DIE BOX, 376" in Greater Magic...

This was driving me nuts, so I carefully read page 376 in the "Rising Cards" chapter...and there it was - a simple mention of "die box" in a sentence:

"In place of the thumb tack, the thread can be tied to some piece of apparatus, such as a die box..."

....so, now we know!

--Joe Fox

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Re: Book of the Month: Greater Magic

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 18th, 2008, 12:28 pm

Nice catch! I only skimmed the page the other day so I missed it completely.


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