Austrian Magicians: Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser, Ottokar Fischer, Joseffy, Magic Christian

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.

Postby Jackie Huang » 09/13/10 05:24 PM

Just found this on Amazon. Does anyone know what this book is about?

Product Description

Purchase includes free access to book updates online and a free trial membership in the publisher's book club where you can select from more than a million books without charge. Not illustrated. Excerpt: Johann Nepomuk Hofzinser (June 19, 1806 March 11, 1875) was a minor employee at the financial department of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy. He was never a doctor of philosophy; there is no such title in his working descriptions. He used the name Dr. Hofzinser as a stage name after retiring in 1865. As a magician he was best known for his clever conjuring inventions and refined sleight of hand skills. Hofzinser is called the Father of Card-Magic by the most prominent representatives of modern card-artistry; magician Dai Vernon often mentioned Hofzinser in his books. In his day, Hofzinser's talents were famous throughout Europe. From 1857 on, under the name of his wife Wilhemine, Hofzinser presented illusions in their apartment (Salon) for an elite audience of invited guests three or four times a week. They called these gatherings Eine Stunde der Tuschung or "An Hour of Deception" and charged a relatively high price for admission. 1865 he went on tour with his show and was seen in Berlin, Munich and in most of the bigger cities in the Austrian Monarchy. Hofzinser is famous for his minimalistic approach to performing his illusions. Rather than presenting large-scale effects to impress his audience, Hofzinser focused on a simple setting using small props to demonstrate his skills. Playing cards were one of Hofzinser's specialties and he was one of the earliest performers to demonstrate card tricks. He invented many card manipulations, some of which continue to be used by magicians today. FISCHER spread the story that his death in 1875, Hofzinser's wife destroyed many of his manuscripts to honor her husband's instructions though there is some dispute about this. Even so, many of his mechanical plans and card-handling methods ma... More: http://booksllc.net/?id=2204773
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Postby Chas Nigh » 09/13/10 08:58 PM

If you look at the photo of Hofzinser the resemblance is not unlike a photo of Alex Elmsley. Weird.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/14/10 08:05 AM

"Just found this on Amazon. Does anyone know what this book is about? " -

The books (first two of three at least) are available from their author/publisher in German. No idea what timeframe is planned for their release in English.

For now there are two books in English for you to read - the old translation of the card book and Hatch's translation of his general conjuring work. I believe both are now available as ebooks.
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Postby Michel Andenmatten » 09/14/10 08:30 AM

In a recent e-mail, Volker Huber said he hoped to publish the third volume of Magic Christian's Hofzinser trilogy in spring next year.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/14/10 09:57 AM

"Chas Nigh: If you look at the photo of Hofzinser the resemblance is not unlike a photo of Alex Elmsley. Weird."
Maybe also like Lewis Caroll and H. P. Lovecraft - not sure - could be something for presentation.
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Postby Richard Hatch » 09/14/10 10:01 AM

This amazon.com offering appears to be a 20 page paperback compilation of biographies culled from wikipedia. Amazon says it is in stock (6 new, 1 used)though for some reason they also say that shipping may take 1 to 3 weeks to your default address. Probably a "print on demand" deal. Anyone care to spring the $14.14 to check it out an report back? The listed "creator" is "Books LLC". Anyone know anything about them?
Here's a link to the amazon offering (which includes the wikipedia link):
http://www.amazon.com/Austrian-Magician ... 533&sr=8-1
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Postby James Foster » 09/16/10 10:07 AM

Books LLC is a "print on demand" company that simply takes Wikipedia content and makes printed "books" from those entries. They also print some out of copyright books that come from The Gutenberg Project, etc.
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Postby Joe Pecore » 09/16/10 12:00 PM

Wikipeida has "create-a-book" feature now.

You can easily create books from any Wikipedia pages (or category) as a free PDF to download or to order it as a hardcopy via PediaPress.

To create the book above, go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Austrian_magicians and click "show book".
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/16/10 12:45 PM

Do they have a blow book option yet with tabs?
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