Revelation has landed

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.

Postby DrDanny » 06/24/08 11:21 AM

PickaCard wrote:Why did Mike Caveney wait all of these years to set the record straight? It just doesn’t make sense. ...

Actually, I think it's you who makes no sense. If Caveney had all that material all those years, what reason would he have for holding it back? OTOH, if he didn't have all that material, how could he have published it earlier?

Give it up and enjoy what we've got, eh?
Just my opinion, and worth every penny you paid to read it.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/24/08 11:24 AM

PickaCard: For years I had also heard those rumors, and I was convinced they were true because of my sources.

However the fact of the matter is that those rumors were untrue.

Vernon did have lots more ideas and tidbits about things in Erdnase (I have quite a few of these on tape which will appear in a future Genii issue on Vernon and Erdnase), but they were never part of the Revelations manuscript in any form.

Everything that was part of Revelations at any time in its history is in the new book. End of story.
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Postby PickaCard » 06/24/08 11:37 AM

Richard,

I appreciate your reassurance.

Aren't you a little bit surprised that someone with your connections (and I assume knows Mike Caveney personally) would be so misinformed all of these years?

If I had published a Vernon book and the magic community kept on talking about how I held back, I would not have waited 20+ years to let them know that they were wrong.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/24/08 12:43 PM

Yes, I was surprised. But there's no question in my mind, as of right now, that everything that was in Vernon's Revelations manuscript has been published. Nothing was removed.

I can't speak for Mike Caveney ... he's not the kind of person who feels it necessary to defend himself publicly.

Either way, it's a moot point now.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/24/08 12:46 PM

The only evidence Mike had was the word of Persi Diaconis; one of the guys everyoneincluding mebelieved was behind the alleged redaction. But when the original manuscript was found among the Jay Marshall collection (keep in mind that Jays stuff was about as organized as a common household junk-drawer), the evidence that finally proved Revelations was indeed complete was in. In fact, the first edition of Revelations had more material than the original manuscript of Revelation. This is absolutely indisputable evidence. Case closed as far as Im concerned.

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Postby PickaCard » 06/24/08 01:19 PM

Richard and Dustin,

Thank you for the insight.

I will now agree with both of you: moot point; case closed.

All of these years waiting for something that Mike Caveney knew did not exist the anticipation of the contents of the re-release I cant help but feel a little betrayed.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/24/08 01:24 PM

Don't feel betrayed. Mike Caveney published the manuscript Persi gave him--and it was complete.

Now, David Ben, who knows more things "Vernon," and has found more things "Vernon," tracked down additional material that no one knew existed. And Mike Caveney has used that material to publish an updated version of Revelation. Any fan of Vernon will want both editions.
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Postby Dustin Stinett » 06/24/08 01:52 PM

Betrayal only would have happened had Mike Caveney and David Ben chose not to publish this new-found material.

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Postby caveman » 06/24/08 09:48 PM

Now you can see why I have never posted on the Genii Forum before.
I don't know who Pick a card is and I think its better that way.
From the moment Revelations was published in 1984 I heard people say that parts had been excised. They said this information came from "reliable sources." Those sources were usually people who never spoke with me nor ever met Persi Diaconis.
The first time I heard this I asked Persi about it. He said, "Tell them that it actually contains 110% of Revelations." The extra 10% came from Persi's recent discussions with Dai Vernon about the manuscript. I had no reason to disbelieve Persi. For 24 years, every time someone has told me that annotations were cut out, I told them this story. If they chose not to believe me, that is their prerogative. But people, use your heads. Persi had control of the entire manuscript. If he wanted to keep this stuff secret, wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to just say "no" when I suggested that we produce the book.
And let's not forget that Vernon spent a week going over the manuscript with Persi just before we started work. Don't you think Vernon might have said, "Hey, what happened to this part?" Vernon was around for years after the book came out and he never suggested to me that anything was missing. Or was he part of the conspiracy too.
For 24 years I've told this story to every nitwit who ever raised the question and it never did any good.
My experience with the 1984 edition is this: true card experts thought it was fantastic and was well worth the thirty year wait. Card hacks couldn't get past the fact that Vernon's annotations were brief and spent their time staring at the blank parts concocting conspiracy theories. Presumably, that's why they are hacks.
Now we come to 2008. When I got the scans of the original typed pages, the first thing I did was to compare them, line by line, to our published edition. Amazingly, there was material in the book that did not appear in the typed version. This was Persi's extra 10%. In the new edition, Persi's additions have been set off in brackets to more clearly identify them. Finally, here was proof positive that the entire manuscript did appear in the first edition.
And let's not forget all of the other additional material that David Ben has discovered and all of the extra photographs of Vernon's hands that he somehow matched up to the proper descriptions. Truly an amazing detective job. And here it is, all laid out for your edification. And this is the response we get by someone who has never seen the book. Pathetic.
We led off this new edition with facsimile reproductions of the entire typed manuscript so everyone can do their own comparison. I'm sure it won't do any good. I can hear the skeptics now, "The pages were doctored, the page numbers were changed."
If I sound disgusted, I'm not. I have published over fifty books on the practice and history of magic and I have never been more proud of a book than Revelation. And no one is going to change that.
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Postby Michael Close » 06/24/08 10:41 PM

Mr. Caveman:

Thank you for clearing this up.

Who exactly is this Vernon person you are speaking of?

Does he have any one-trick DVDs?

Best

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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/24/08 11:06 PM

Thanks, Mike (Caveney, that is)--as I said in my earlier post, the new version will put to rest all rumors because of its comprehensive nature.
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Postby caveman » 06/25/08 12:27 AM

Just when I needed a laugh...
Mike Close to the rescue.
No Mike, Dai Vernon doesn't have any one-trick dvds but I do have a Vernon wax cylinder with a description of a move using a skate key.

In my previous rant, I failed to answer a question from Ian in Scotland. At least for this summer, Revelation will be available only from Magic Words. You are right about the postage rate, it is crazy high. The post office has done away with surface mail over-seas so even the dealers have to pay for air.

For me to sell a book that was this expensive to produce at a price that I believe is very reasonable, I have to sell a bunch of them retail. That is the reason for my holding off. I'm all in favor of guys supporting their local magic shops but you'll have to wait a bit.
PS - I'll have a pile of them in Louisville.
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Postby Joe Naud » 06/25/08 10:27 AM

I can't wait for this book, I ordered mine a few days ago when my wife had a weak moment. Copies of the last edition selling on Ebay continue to go for well over $100 and the price has held for almost two years. I am so greatful to Mike for putting out what sounds to be a masterpiece for such a reasonable price!!! Mike, Don't let one fool give you an impression of how things go around here, there is always someone that has to bitch and complain about everything, especially here and they are the ones that simply won't go away no matter how many times they are proven wrong. I for one am very excited to see you post here at all and would really like to know more about the whole process of making this come to light. Thanks so much for a wonderful book, I can say that without even seeing the final product, and thanks for preserving our great history.
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Postby magicalt » 06/25/08 11:39 AM

Cant wait for the Delux edition to come in, should have bought a regular copy just to get started. I am sure that I will not be disappointed.
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Postby PickaCard » 06/25/08 12:02 PM

caveman wrote:For 24 years I've told this story to every nitwit who ever raised the question and it never did any good.
My experience with the 1984 edition is this: true card experts thought it was fantastic and was well worth the thirty year wait. Card hacks couldn't get past the fact that Vernon's annotations were brief and spent their time staring at the blank parts concocting conspiracy theories. Presumably, that's why they are hacks.


Jamy Ian Swiss wrote:In an opening publishers note, Mr. Caveney explains his own involvement with the books history, offering along the way the surprising factproven in these pagesthat not only had all of Vernons annotations appeared in our 1984 edition, but that furthermore, additional material from Persi [Diaconis]s more recent conversations with the Professor had also been included in the original edition.

[...]the ambitious design of the book itself, which, in a sincere attempt to provide a useful tool for the student, partly served to visually overwhelm Vernons contributions with a great deal of white space (in the margins in which Vernons comments were sprinkled)


Richard Kaufman wrote:For years I had also heard those rumors, and I was convinced they were true because of my sources.


Dustin Stinett wrote:[...] Persi Diaconis; one of the guys everyoneincluding mebelieved was behind the alleged redaction.


This nitwit considers himself honoured to be in such good company.

I also concede to being, as you defined it, a hack. However, I believe your definition also applies to the great majority of the people who purchase your books.

Thank you for clarifying this issue. This could have been clarified 20 years ago, but better now than never.
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Postby El Mystico » 06/25/08 12:55 PM

Maybe this deserves a separate thread, but - while the topic seems to be exonerating Persi - does anyone have any comments on what happened to the Henry Christ manuscript?
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/08 01:00 PM

There is no Henry Christ "manuscript" per se that I've ever heard about. Christ's notebooks exist.
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Postby Roger M. » 06/25/08 01:38 PM

Mike very clearly say "B.S." to the old rumors of missing text, AND backs it up with hard copy in the new book.

Now it's time to put all the tall tales to sleep.

"Goodnight"
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Postby Mike Rozek » 06/25/08 01:46 PM

Revelation arrived yesterday, and I'm stunned at how beautiful the book is. This book deserves every line of Jamy's wonderful review.

After work yesterday I brewed a pot of coffee and opened the book to the first page, cards in-hand. I still haven't slept.
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Postby DrDanny » 06/25/08 03:47 PM

Mike Rozek wrote:Revelation arrived yesterday, and I'm stunned at how beautiful the book is. This book deserves every line of Jamy's wonderful review....


My copy arrived SFBay area today, and I concur: this book is absolutely gorgeous. That frontispiece photograph should be sold as a poster. Who owns it?
Anyway, kudos to all involved.
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Postby espermachine » 06/25/08 08:13 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:The experience of this bookand the book is an experience, an adventure, a wonderbegins with an eye-catching dustjacket, featuring two never-before published photographic portraits of Dai Vernon taken by Ross BertramVernons friend and colleague, and mentor to David Ben.


Hello, is Jamy Ian Swiss referring to the wonderful "Vernon at study" photograph on the front cover of the Revelation book? If so, it has been previously published, in one of the later Magic Inc. Early Vernon reprints.

Regardless, I'm looking forward to receiving my copy!
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Postby Mallakite » 06/25/08 08:20 PM

I can't see Revelation on Mike Caveney's Magic Words site, how do you order a copy? Thanks.
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Postby espermachine » 06/25/08 08:24 PM

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Postby Mallakite » 06/25/08 08:36 PM

Ah thanks, I was using an old site address, thats why I couldn't see it. Wow the deluxe edition is sold out already, does it contain more material or is it just the format of the book that is different from the normal edition?
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Postby David Ben » 06/25/08 08:45 PM

Although I only have the original "Early Vernon" at hand, I believe that Jamy is correct in that it is a different photograph that graces the cover of Revelation. I chose this photograph and pulled the image from the original portrait size negative shot by Ross Bertram. The other image, and again, I would have to double check, was shot at the same session but is slightly different. The curtains, for example, in other photo were closed. Further, the focus on the print of the book on the table is much sharper. Perhaps an owner of the later reprint can see whether it is, in fact, the same image.
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Postby espermachine » 06/25/08 09:11 PM

Hello David,

I'm only comparing the picture from Early Vernon with the thumbnail image on Mike Caveney's web page. The reproduction in Early Vernon is of poor quality, a bit flat and washed out.

The caption beneath says, "Dai Vernon in 1965, in a photo taken by Ross Bertram at the Magic Castle. The photo is not just a posed shot - Vernon does study. He probably knows more about his kind of magic than any man on earth."
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Postby Donal Chayce » 06/25/08 09:19 PM

caveman wrote:Just when I needed a laugh...
Mike Close to the rescue.
No Mike, Dai Vernon doesn't have any one-trick dvds but I do have a Vernon wax cylinder with a description of a move using a skate key.

In my previous rant, I failed to answer a question from Ian in Scotland. At least for this summer, Revelation will be available only from Magic Words. You are right about the postage rate, it is crazy high. The post office has done away with surface mail over-seas so even the dealers have to pay for air.

For me to sell a book that was this expensive to produce at a price that I believe is very reasonable, I have to sell a bunch of them retail. That is the reason for my holding off. I'm all in favor of guys supporting their local magic shops but you'll have to wait a bit.
PS - I'll have a pile of them in Louisville.


Mike, how many copies of the book will you have for sale at the IBM/SAM convention?

It's my intention to purchase one there, but I don't want to wait until then if there's even the slightest risk of your selling out the very first day.
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Postby MagicMarine » 06/25/08 09:29 PM

David Ben wrote:Although I only have the original "Early Vernon" at hand, I believe that Jamy is correct in that it is a different photograph that graces the cover of Revelation. I chose this photograph and pulled the image from the original portrait size negative shot by Ross Bertram. The other image, and again, I would have to double check, was shot at the same session but is slightly different. The curtains, for example, in other photo were closed. Further, the focus on the print of the book on the table is much sharper. Perhaps an owner of the later reprint can see whether it is, in fact, the same image.


David,
Do you mind if I ask: What is your ETA on Vol II of the Vernon Bio? I can't wait to read it.
Also, is it possible to purchase a copy of the Vernon pic on the cover?
Thanks
Paul
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Postby MagicMarine » 06/25/08 09:30 PM

caveman wrote:Now you can see why I have never posted on the Genii Forum before.
I don't know who Pick a card is and I think its better that way.
From the moment Revelations was published in 1984 I heard people say that parts had been excised. They said this information came from "reliable sources." Those sources were usually people who never spoke with me nor ever met Persi Diaconis.
The first time I heard this I asked Persi about it. He said, "Tell them that it actually contains 110% of Revelations." The extra 10% came from Persi's recent discussions with Dai Vernon about the manuscript. I had no reason to disbelieve Persi. For 24 years, every time someone has told me that annotations were cut out, I told them this story. If they chose not to believe me, that is their prerogative. But people, use your heads. Persi had control of the entire manuscript. If he wanted to keep this stuff secret, wouldn't it have made a lot more sense to just say "no" when I suggested that we produce the book.
And let's not forget that Vernon spent a week going over the manuscript with Persi just before we started work. Don't you think Vernon might have said, "Hey, what happened to this part?" Vernon was around for years after the book came out and he never suggested to me that anything was missing. Or was he part of the conspiracy too.
For 24 years I've told this story to every nitwit who ever raised the question and it never did any good.
My experience with the 1984 edition is this: true card experts thought it was fantastic and was well worth the thirty year wait. Card hacks couldn't get past the fact that Vernon's annotations were brief and spent their time staring at the blank parts concocting conspiracy theories. Presumably, that's why they are hacks.
Now we come to 2008. When I got the scans of the original typed pages, the first thing I did was to compare them, line by line, to our published edition. Amazingly, there was material in the book that did not appear in the typed version. This was Persi's extra 10%. In the new edition, Persi's additions have been set off in brackets to more clearly identify them. Finally, here was proof positive that the entire manuscript did appear in the first edition.
And let's not forget all of the other additional material that David Ben has discovered and all of the extra photographs of Vernon's hands that he somehow matched up to the proper descriptions. Truly an amazing detective job. And here it is, all laid out for your edification. And this is the response we get by someone who has never seen the book. Pathetic.
We led off this new edition with facsimile reproductions of the entire typed manuscript so everyone can do their own comparison. I'm sure it won't do any good. I can hear the skeptics now, "The pages were doctored, the page numbers were changed."
If I sound disgusted, I'm not. I have published over fifty books on the practice and history of magic and I have never been more proud of a book than Revelation. And no one is going to change that.


The only conspiracy that I'm worried about is the one keeping my 2 copies from arriving! It is like torture waiting for it when you know others got it!
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/25/08 11:07 PM

Having just spoken with David Ben about volume 2 of the Vernon Bio, I can assure you that he's working on it constantly and has been.

The Herb Zarrow book is finished and Gabe Fajuri is now laying it out, so David's work on that is done.

But expect to see another, different book out of him before Vernon 2 comes out.
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Postby MagicMarine » 06/25/08 11:53 PM

Thanks Richard. Any idea when the Zarrow book will be coming out?
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Postby David Ben » 06/26/08 09:13 AM

The Zarrow book should be out later this summer. Meir Yedid will be publishing it and I believe he will be taking some advance orders at the IBM-SAM convention for it. It will be a very large book with over a 150 items, plus well over 1,000 photographs.

As for the Vernon photograph, unfortunately despite what was written in Early Vernon, it was a posed shot. I had a very limited edition series of prints pulled from the original negative but they are, at present, accounted for. The prints are 19" x 19" in size and are of stunning clarity. The problem with selling more of these is that they are very expensive to reproduce. They are pulled and prepared in such a manner as to be of museum exhibition quality. While many magicians may pay a lot of money for a lithograph, few are willing to pay for this type of photograph. So, larger runs - say a limited edition of 50 to a 100 - may not generate much interest in the community. Of course, I hope I'm wrong.

The Vernon Estate is contemplating releasing, however, some other items for the community. It just takes a lot of time to organize. As for Vernon, Volume Two, as Richard suggests, I am working on it but a couple of other books will probably appear before it.
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Postby PapaG » 06/26/08 09:18 AM

Any developments on the Dad Stevens manuscript?
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Postby David Ben » 06/26/08 10:59 AM

The Stevens material will be incorporated into another book - not to scare anyone - but another Annotated Erdnase that I have been working on for a number of years. I know, people are shaking their heads. It's best not to ask. It is what it is, and people will comment on its value or lack thereof when it is eventually released.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 06/26/08 11:02 AM

Sounds good to me!
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Postby MagicMarine » 06/26/08 01:28 PM

Thanks for the updates David. I look forward to all your books!

I would be interested in purchasing some of those photos if other buyers back out.

I'd also be interested in a copy of the classic Vernon piece where he is looking down at the Ace of Clubs. Any idea where I can find a nice one, either as a stand-alone photo or even the original Dale Vernon promo piece from which it came?

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Postby MagicMarine » 06/26/08 01:28 PM

Richard Kaufman wrote:Sounds good to me!


Amen!
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Postby Brian W » 06/26/08 01:30 PM

Just wanted to say that Revelation has reached the East Coast. I just looked through it briefly and it is one beautiful book. Great job to all involved.

Now I've got to buy one of Regal's playing card auctions so I have enough decks to get through the book.
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Postby caveman » 06/26/08 08:35 PM

Answer to Donal.
It's impossible to know how many and how fast books will sell in Louisville. I will have copies at the MAGIC Magazine booth and if you find me before David Ben's lecture on Vernon (Tuesday night I believe) you will surely get one.
See you there.
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Postby Don Hendrix » 06/26/08 09:45 PM

Revelation has landed on the EAST COAST? I am still waiting by the mailbox in Arizona. Seems like I am a lot closer than the East Coast. Do the books have to go through the Panama Canal? On wait, I forgot! They are being sent through the US mail. That probably has something to do with it.
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