Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

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Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

Postby Guest » January 23rd, 2004, 11:18 am

Does anyone have any information on the material and quality of this book (Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo)? I am trying to expand my knowledge of card magic through the reading of European authors.
I can read Italian, so that would not be a problem. I just want to make sure I am not buying some entry-level book.

Any help would be much appreciated.


Edwin Corrie
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Re: Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

Postby Edwin Corrie » January 23rd, 2004, 1:49 pm

I don't know this particular book, but I did ask about Italian card magic books recently in Shaun Yee's magic shop in Milan, and was told there was really not a lot of serious material. The only Italian card books he had seemed to concentrate on tricks with lots of apparatus like houlettes. There must be more than this, though, and I'd be interested in any information too.

If you read Italian then I guess Spanish is no problem, and there of course you have books by Ascanio, Tamariz and lots of other top-class people. As for other European material, and as far as I know, there's not a great deal in German but quite a lot in French. Don't know about other languages.

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Re: Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

Postby luigimar » January 23rd, 2004, 2:25 pm

Why don't you try Aldo Colombini? He may have books in Italian and/or give you some advice on buying/getting books in Italian. His site: www.mammamiamagic.com There you can find his e-mail address.

If you would like to read in Spanish, there are some translations of books in English but there are also some books that were written in Spanish and have not been translated in www.librosdemagia.com

Hope this helps.


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Marco Pusterla
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Re: Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

Postby Marco Pusterla » January 24th, 2004, 1:10 pm

as an Italian (expat) magician, interested in cards and avid books collector, I think I can say a couple of words about Italian card magic books.

If we forget for a moment books going back to the XIV century (more on this later), in recent years Italy did not indeed produce many noteworthy books. The most important one is certainly "Magia Delle Carte" ("Magic of Cards"), written by Admiral Carlo Rossetti in the thirties. This was the first modern book on card magic in modern times, and it contained many, many good tricks. You should not to expect lot of original or novel material, though, as Adm. Rossetti was well-read, could speak fluent English, German and French, and was a subscriber (and wrote tricks for) to many foreign magic magazines. The tricks described in the "Magia Delle Carte" vary from the self-working ones, to mathematical ones, to tricks with special cards, to tricks with sleight of hand. Some material comes from Stanyon's "Magic", some from amateurs around the world, some from German magic magazines, and some is original. It is a post-graduate course on card magic, with a noteworthy section on sleight of hand (the pass, the palm, etc.). Don't expect the advanced card magic USA produced from the thirties, though, nor even material lifted from the Erdnase: none of that is present in that pages... more Hoffmann than Vernon ;)

However, "Magia Delle Carte" IS the first Italian card magic book you should seek if you want to start studying magic in our language. The book also has an interesting part on the history of magic and I suspect it may prove challenging for a foreigner ;) : it was written in fascist times, and therefore many words (for standard sleights) had to be translated into Italian, adding confusion (riffle shuffle is translated as "miscuglio all'americana", literally "American Shuffle" :confused: ) and some comments towards Italian magicians performing abroad may sound scathing today.

The book is still in print, in a reprint of the fifth edition (1958).

The book subject of this topic ("Enciclopedia Cartomagica", "Card-Magic Encyclopedia") was published in a first edition in 1958, and never re-published. The author was a priest, Padre Salvatore Cimo', who was a keen amateur magician and published in the sixties what is still now perhaps the equivalent of the Tarbell's. The "encyclopedia" was his first effort, and is does not contain very sophisticated magic. Ceschina (the publisher) was a publisher for the lay people, and the book was therefore short on the sleight-of-hand material and original material.

Unfortunately, Padre Cimo' was not an originator of material, rather a "collector". In his books he published many tricks that were... how to say... "lifted" from other authors, sometimes (it's an euphemism... ;) ) without permission. While this may (and is!) ethically wrong, these books gave at least a chance to Italian magic to grow, to find out how magic evolved elsewhere, and to provide Italian magicians with new ideas, new concepts.

You see, Italy has a long tradition of being a country which lives on its own, and the study of foreign languages (English, especially) has never been widespread. Still today, many Italians cannot speak English with the same fluency of other European countries (Germany, Holland, Sweden, etc.). This was even worst during fascist times, where the study of foreign languages was not exactly stimulated. This caused a whole generation (the twenty-year old budding magician in the 1960s) unable to read English, and having to study magic on the few resources in the only language they could read, Adm. Rossetti's books. I think, therefore, that Padre Cimo's books at least helped to open a gap for Italian magicians to grow further in the study of the art of magic.

Padre Cimo's encyclopedia, however, has been out of print for many years and is today a valued collector's possession... Another "enciclopedia" has been published, in many volumes, in the late eighties, pillaging material from the original encyclopedia, from other books and pamphlets that Padre Cimo' published in the meanwhile, and from foreign authors. The title, to add to confusion, is still "Enciclopedia Cartomagica" and, if I'm not wrong, is in 6 volumes, each in two separate books. I suspect this is still available.

No much card magic books, though, have been published in the meanwhile. Among these, however, the best one is a series, the "Trattato di Tecnica Cartomagica" (Treatise of Card Magic Technique), by Lamberto Desideri, from Rome. This has been published from the mid-seventies to the mid-eighties and was the time's "Card College". It did not contain many original techniques, but it explained for the first time in Italian language techniques from the Erdnase, the Expert Card Technique, and so on. It also had a good number of effects, and these are really worthy to the cardician: some are original, and most are really good. It was supposed to be published in three volumes, but only the first chapter of the third volume is available, due to the untimely death of the author, one of Italy's best cardician. The books (vols. 1 and 2, and first chapter of vol. 3) are still in print.

Tony Binarelli, Italy's FISM champion in card magic, also published a card-related book (actually, about gambling), for the lay audience: "Occhio al Baro" (Mind the Cheater). While this is interesting, especially on the "novel" side, I don't think any material in it will be new. Mr. Binarelly has currently many booklets in print for the magical audience, available either through him, or via Italian magic shops.

From the seventies, many pamphlets on card magic, single tricks, etc, have been published, mostly indipendently. I would suggest you investigate with Aldo Colombini, who has been very prolific in that period, sometimes with original material, sometimes with material from his friends.

Many of Italian card magic books now available are translations from other languages: the Erdnase and the Card College are, as far as I know, best sellers at the moment (and the Italian version of the Card College has some finesses and corrections not available in the English version... ;) ).

But, if you really want to go back to the source of original Italian card magic, your better choice would be to contact Mr. Vanni Bossi. Mr. Bossi is a noted collector and historian, and he rediscovered and published some books (one at the moment, to be totally honest) dating back to the XIV century. In this book, you will find described the FIRST card-magic ROUTINE ever published, and it uses what is currently known as the "Si Stebbins" stack. I know that Mr. Bossi is going to release other books like the above, and these may prove source for other surprises and discoveries.

Well, I think I may have bored my readers enough, so I think I will stop here.

All the best, ciao!!

-- Marco Pusterla
Marco Pusterla - http://www.mpmagic.com

Ye Olde Magic Mag: magic history and collecting magazine.


Re: Enciclopedia Cartomagica by Cimo

Postby Guest » January 24th, 2004, 1:25 pm

Thanks a lot to everybody for their help. In particular I would like to thank Mr. Pusterla for his treatise (esauriente a dir poco). I will look into the other books that have been mentioned, as well as the Spanish website.
I might try to contact Vossi or Colombini as soon as I have some free time from my "real job".

Thanks again to everybody.

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