ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2018, 1:50 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:It is unreasonable to demand evidence that nobody has any reason to believe exists.

In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous, so the "burden of proof" needs to slack off.
...


We have reason to believe the books first edition came from a specific printing company. After that it's ...
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » January 31st, 2018, 3:01 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous...

I'm not convinced we know this about the author's wishes.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » January 31st, 2018, 5:07 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous,


As I've said a couple times before (and Richard seems to be saying above), this is an assumption. We know the author used a pseudonym; what we don't know is why, or (specifically) if he cared if anyone knew what his real name was. Many authors have used pseudonyms without being too concerned if anyone figured out who they were. The best example is Samuel Clemens /Mark Twain. His identity may have been known to Roterberg and others of the Chicago magic scene ca. 1902, and it is simply an accident of history that it wasn't written down anywhere that we have access to today.

It has been suggested that the simplicity of reversing S. W. Erdnase to E. S. Andrews is evidence that he wasn't trying to hide his real name very hard.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » January 31st, 2018, 5:11 pm

Richard Hatch wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous...

I'm not convinced we know this about the author's wishes.
[/quote]

Believe me, I have no desire to engage in this complex discussion, but I would say that, taken logically, it is far more likely that an author by the silly name of S.W. Erdnase was toying with the reader, rather than truly trying to disguise his identity.

Therefore, it is probably his actual moniker, spelt backwards. Only if he were extremely afraid of discovery, would a man go to the length of both adopting a pseudonym and reversing it.

Indeed, it would be quite foolish, as there is no conceivable advantage in encrypting a nom de plume. The mere invention of an alias (and preferably a sensible one) would have been sufficient.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 1st, 2018, 7:51 pm

Bill Marquardt wrote:Forgive me for posting a non-contributory message, but I was just thinking how cool it would be if Erdnase and Jack the Ripper turned out to be the same person. Two mysteries solved at once some day, perhaps. I believe the chronology fits, assuming Jack emigrated to the States after his misdeeds in Whitechapel. Did he find a new and less violent way to pass the time?


Might this explain 'The Divining Rod" in EATCT? What we now call the Malini Card Stab.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 2nd, 2018, 11:28 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Bill Marquardt wrote:Forgive me for posting a non-contributory message, but I was just thinking how cool it would be if Erdnase and Jack the Ripper turned out to be the same person. Two mysteries solved at once some day, perhaps. I believe the chronology fits, assuming Jack emigrated to the States after his misdeeds in Whitechapel. Did he find a new and less violent way to pass the time?


Might this explain 'The Divining Rod" in EATCT? What we now call the Malini Card Stab.


It certainly explains the sleight, "Skinning the Hand".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby JHostler » February 3rd, 2018, 4:51 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous,


As I've said a couple times before (and Richard seems to be saying above), this is an assumption. We know the author used a pseudonym; what we don't know is why, or (specifically) if he cared if anyone knew what his real name was. Many authors have used pseudonyms without being too concerned if anyone figured out who they were. The best example is Samuel Clemens /Mark Twain. His identity may have been known to Roterberg and others of the Chicago magic scene ca. 1902, and it is simply an accident of history that it wasn't written down anywhere that we have access to today.

It has been suggested that the simplicity of reversing S. W. Erdnase to E. S. Andrews is evidence that he wasn't trying to hide his real name very hard.


I think the one thing we can deduce from the pseudonym is this: If the author was reasonably intelligent (as his/her writing tends to suggest), a simple name reversal wouldn't have been employed to mask their identity. So this is either (as has been suggested) an Andrews with nothing to hide OR someone whose name bears little - if any - relation to the anagram. I tend to believe the latter, as a genuinely viable candidate of the name Andrews - one making no diligent effort to remain anonymous - would almost certainly have been nailed long ago.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » February 3rd, 2018, 6:46 am

JHostler wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
In cases like this, the author wished to remain pseudonymous,


As I've said a couple times before (and Richard seems to be saying above), this is an assumption. We know the author used a pseudonym; what we don't know is why, or (specifically) if he cared if anyone knew what his real name was. Many authors have used pseudonyms without being too concerned if anyone figured out who they were. The best example is Samuel Clemens /Mark Twain. His identity may have been known to Roterberg and others of the Chicago magic scene ca. 1902, and it is simply an accident of history that it wasn't written down anywhere that we have access to today.

It has been suggested that the simplicity of reversing S. W. Erdnase to E. S. Andrews is evidence that he wasn't trying to hide his real name very hard.


I think the one thing we can deduce from the pseudonym is this: If the author was reasonably intelligent (as his/her writing tends to suggest), a simple name reversal wouldn't have been employed to mask their identity. So this is either (as has been suggested) an Andrews with nothing to hide OR someone whose name bears little - if any - relation to the anagram. I tend to believe the latter, as a genuinely viable candidate of the name Andrews - one making no diligent effort to remain anonymous - would almost certainly have been nailed long ago.


But if the author was merely "playing a game" with the reader, he might have neither confessed nor denied.

He might have secretly wished to be found out (and ultimately credited), but at the same time, didn't want to just give it away. I myself have done such "modest" things, hoping that someone would discover them without my having to boast.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby JHostler » February 3rd, 2018, 8:52 am

I just heard this portion of the Erdnase thread has been nominated for the Vizzini Award! :) But point taken...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 9:09 am

JHostler wrote:I think the one thing we can deduce from the pseudonym is this: If the author was reasonably intelligent (as his/her writing tends to suggest), a simple name reversal wouldn't have been employed to mask their identity. So this is either (as has been suggested) an Andrews with nothing to hide OR someone whose name bears little - if any - relation to the anagram. I tend to believe the latter, as a genuinely viable candidate of the name Andrews - one making no diligent effort to remain anonymous - would almost certainly have been nailed long ago.

This is one of the most clear-headed things I have read on this thread in a looong time. Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » February 3rd, 2018, 9:27 am

lybrary wrote:
JHostler wrote:I think the one thing we can deduce from the pseudonym is this: If the author was reasonably intelligent (as his/her writing tends to suggest), a simple name reversal wouldn't have been employed to mask their identity. So this is either (as has been suggested) an Andrews with nothing to hide OR someone whose name bears little - if any - relation to the anagram. I tend to believe the latter, as a genuinely viable candidate of the name Andrews - one making no diligent effort to remain anonymous - would almost certainly have been nailed long ago.

This is one of the most clear-headed things I have read on this thread in a looong time. Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.


David Alexander pointed this out in his January 2000 Genii article "New Light On Erdnase" three years before this thread began.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 11:12 am

JHostler wrote: a genuinely viable candidate of the name Andrews - one making no diligent effort to remain anonymous - would almost certainly have been nailed long ago.


I'm not sure this conclusion is as certain as is implied. It is very difficult to find out much about the vast majority of people who lived in 1902. We are biased to think otherwise because the people we do know about -- Edwin S. Andrews, W. E. Sanders, Gallaway, etc., are people that have left a wide trail in the archives that are searchable today. The more we can find out about them, the more likely we are to find something that looks like a connection to Erdnase.

But if someone doesn't have much written down about them (in formats or locations that we can search today), then we won't be able to build a case that they were Erdnase. It doesn't mean that they didn't exist, or that their lives weren't similar to what we think Erdnase's life was like; it just means we don't have evidence in hand to demonstrate it.

Here is a man named "E. S. Andrews" who was active in show business in 1906. This is all I know about him. He could have been Erdnase; it is impossible to know at this point.

Here is another man named E. S. Andrews, who worked in the circus in 1906. Is he the same guy as the previous? Is either of them skilled with a deck of cards? There's no way to know.

Out of maybe a dozen or so people named "E. S. Andrews" about whom I've found reference between 1890 and 1910, most of them are only a name that exists in the censuses or in newspapers. There isn't enough other information available to find about them that can indicate similarity between them and Erdnase to draw any conclusions about them.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 11:15 am

lybrary wrote: Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.


Here is a counter-example.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 11:37 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.


Here is a counter-example.

You gotta be kidding. From Wikipedia: "Trebor was a 14th-century composer of polyphonic chansons, active in Navarre and other southwest European courts c. 1380-1400." That is 500 years before the time we are talking. Of course, there is a lot less known about people 600 years ago, even without reverse spelled pseudonyms. That's a silly example.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 11:44 am

Per this web page, the identity of Canadian author Dr. Nostrebor ("Robertson") has never been determined.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 12:24 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Per this web page, the identity of Canadian author Dr. Nostrebor ("Robertson") has never been determined.

Somewhat less silly example, but still inadequate. i) Only one poem versus an entire book. ii) Published 1876 (not sure if that was its first publication, but let's assume it was). As anybody knows who has done historic research the drop off of available information going back just 10 or 20 years is dramatic around the early part of the 20th century. Finding information about somebody around 1870 is generally speaking many times harder than finding information about somebody around 1900. That is amplified by the fact that a single poem will arouse much less interest than an entire book with groundbreaking new information.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » February 3rd, 2018, 1:15 pm

lybrary wrote:Here is a counter-example.

You gotta be kidding. From Wikipedia: "Trebor was a 14th-century composer of polyphonic chansons, active in Navarre and other southwest European courts c. 1380-1400." That is 500 years before the time we are talking. Of course, there is a lot less known about people 600 years ago, even without reverse spelled pseudonyms. That's a silly example.[/quote]
........................

Crap. I was sure my theory that "Erdnase" was actually Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, was bulletproof. But I overlooked the chronological element.

Oh well, at least ol' Ed has all those plays to his credit.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 1:25 pm

Even if "Erdnase" is unique as a name-reversed pseudonym of an otherwise unknown person (it isn't, as I've shown), so what? It doesn't mean that Erdnase's real name was not E. S. Andrews. The name-reversal theory remains standing as the best explanation for why an author would use the highly-contrived pseudonym "S. W. Erdnase".

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » February 3rd, 2018, 1:30 pm

Pardon me for intruding again. I know that Logic is frowned upon as a poor substitute for evidence, but it can be an effective means of narrowing the field (a posteriori).

If the author's name was not Andrews, then his choice of the Erdnase anagram must be seriously questioned.

Either it was every bit as frivolous as it would have been if done by a man named Andrews (mere wordplay), or we must imagine a more sinister plot. Perhaps the author was trying to implicate someone called Andrews.

But as we have no support for this hypothesis (no historical record of an Andrews being "framed" or otherwise exposed for having written the book), this is an untenable suggestion.

Thus we are left with two possibilities. Either a man named Andrews authored it and gave his readers a simple puzzle to solve, or a fellow called Herschowitz decided to mislead them to believe it was Andrews for no good reason.

Again I say, if the author truly wanted to disguise his identity, he would not have made it enigmatic. He would have written anonymously, or chosen a more common and credible byline.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 1:47 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:If the author's name was not Andrews, then his choice of the Erdnase anagram must be seriously questioned. ... Thus we are left with two possibilities. Either a man named Andrews authored it and gave his readers a simple puzzle to solve, or a fellow called Herschowitz decided to mislead them to believe it was Andrews for no good reason.

You are leaving out the most likely possibility. Erdnase was an advantage player. Many advantage players use a pseudonym for obvious reasons, which I will not repeat here. Say that man was known among card players as E. S. Andrews, but his real name was different. He now decided to write a book on card advantage play. He wants weak anonymity with respect to his gambling pseudonym. So he reverses E. S. Andrews to S. W. Erdnase. But he wants strong anonymity to his real identity which his alter ego E. S. Andrews provides. This allows him to get the credit from people in the know (other cardsharks), because S.W. Erdnase can easily be linked to E.S. Andrews (particularly once pointed out), but protects him from consequences related to his non-gambling life.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 1:59 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:Even if "Erdnase" is unique as a name-reversed pseudonym of an otherwise unknown person (it isn't, as I've shown), so what? It doesn't mean that Erdnase's real name was not E. S. Andrews. The name-reversal theory remains standing as the best explanation for why an author would use the highly-contrived pseudonym "S. W. Erdnase".

It demonstrates that it is highly unlikely that E.S. Andrews was his real name. I don't think anybody categorically denies the possibility that E.S. Andrews could potentially be the authors real name, it just is extremely unlikely. Given the reasoning John Hostler has so nicely and succinctly put into words, the chances that the author's real name was NOT E.S. Andrews is a lot bigger.

This does not mean that going from S.W. Erdnase to E.S. Andrews is a bad idea. It is an obviously good explanation, albeit not the only good explanation that has been put forward, but where some disagree is to stop there and claim that E.S. Andrews was the author's real name. It is much more likely it wasn't.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » February 3rd, 2018, 2:37 pm

lybrary wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:If the author's name was not Andrews, then his choice of the Erdnase anagram must be seriously questioned. ... Thus we are left with two possibilities. Either a man named Andrews authored it and gave his readers a simple puzzle to solve, or a fellow called Herschowitz decided to mislead them to believe it was Andrews for no good reason.

You are leaving out the most likely possibility. Erdnase was an advantage player. Many advantage players use a pseudonym for obvious reasons, which I will not repeat here. Say that man was known among card players as E. S. Andrews, but his real name was different. He now decided to write a book on card advantage play. He wants weak anonymity with respect to his gambling pseudonym. So he reverses E. S. Andrews to S. W. Erdnase. But he wants strong anonymity to his real identity which his alter ego E. S. Andrews provides. This allows him to get the credit from people in the know (other cardsharks), because S.W. Erdnase can easily be linked to E.S. Andrews (particularly once pointed out), but protects him from consequences related to his non-gambling life.


I accept the possibility that the reasoning you give for the pseudonym might br true. Simply because we cannot know the author's motive. But it seems to me that if he were in any way afraid of discovery, he would have chosen another name. And if he wished to impress the card players, he would have little cause to change it.

I'm afraid I don't see the advantage of compromising in any case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » February 3rd, 2018, 4:56 pm

The problem with the ES Andrews as a gambling alias theory is that I would think that that is exactly the character who he wouldn't want to get credit--not so nice to be known as the bean spiller among peers. Calling Val Valentino...

Here's another (though unlikely) scenario: the author's real name is in fact ES Andrews. But for reasons unknown, he never uses it; he goes by another name entirely in everyday and professional life. It's his private little joke again.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 5:25 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:The problem with the ES Andrews as a gambling alias theory is that I would think that that is exactly the character who he wouldn't want to get credit--not so nice to be known as the bean spiller among peers. Calling Val Valentino...

That is why he reversed it to S.W. Erdnase. It prevented the situation where he sits at a gambling table, introduces himself as E.S. Andrews, and is immediately associated with the book.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 3rd, 2018, 6:58 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:Even if "Erdnase" is unique as a name-reversed pseudonym of an otherwise unknown person (it isn't, as I've shown), so what? It doesn't mean that Erdnase's real name was not E. S. Andrews. The name-reversal theory remains standing as the best explanation for why an author would use the highly-contrived pseudonym "S. W. Erdnase".

It demonstrates that it is highly unlikely that E.S. Andrews was his real name. I don't think anybody categorically denies the possibility that E.S. Andrews could potentially be the authors real name, it just is extremely unlikely. Given the reasoning John Hostler has so nicely and succinctly put into words, the chances that the author's real name was NOT E.S. Andrews is a lot bigger.


This is the result of putting the cart before the horse. You are assuming the author wouldn't use his real name, for reasons, and therefore his real name must not be E. S. Andrews. But we don't know enough about the author to categorically make that assertion. He may have been an advantage player with an interest in magic, but he may also have been a magician with an interest in advantage play.

The starting point is "Name= S. W. Erdnase", and the question to ask about it is "what kind of person would use that name?" You approach it as "this is what I believe the author was like" and ask "How do I get from that kind of person to the pseudonym S. W. Erdnase?" Answering the first question gives "E. S. Andrews would use S. W. Erdnase via name reversal, as many other authors have done"; answering the second leads to unproven (and unprovable) assertions like "he used E. S. Andrews as a fake name while gambling" or "as a German speaker, he might have been called this as an insulting nickname".

Earlier you seemed to suggest that there weren't any authors who used a name-reversed pseudonym whose identity was unknown, as if this implied that Erdnase couldn't have done so. (it turned out that a few minutes of googling showed the suggestion wasn't so) Let me offer a similar counter-suggestion: There are no authors who have used a name-reversed pseudonym in which the name being reversed was created to hide the author's identity, as you are implying that Expert's author did. Is this suggestion false?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby AJM » February 3rd, 2018, 7:21 pm

It's starting again...
Corner-boy Begrudger

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 3rd, 2018, 8:38 pm

Nobody knows how the author derived his pseudonym. We are merely offering various possible explanations. I agree with David Alexander, John Hostler, and others, who came to the conclusion that it makes little sense, for a number of very good reasons, that E.S. Andrews would be his real name.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jwjmcd » February 4th, 2018, 3:39 am

Another anagram of S.W. Erdnase is the word “answered”.

If you look at the top and bottom of the page well....

Image

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » February 4th, 2018, 7:54 am

lybrary wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:The problem with the ES Andrews as a gambling alias theory is that I would think that that is exactly the character who he wouldn't want to get credit--not so nice to be known as the bean spiller among peers. Calling Val Valentino...

That is why he reversed it to S.W. Erdnase. It prevented the situation where he sits at a gambling table, introduces himself as E.S. Andrews, and is immediately associated with the book.


But your whole point was that reversing a name wasn't a serious disguise. In that event, it wouldn't be long before ES Andrews could not sit down to a game.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 4th, 2018, 11:15 am

AJM wrote:It's starting again...


As Al Pacino once said . . . .

link

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby JHostler » February 4th, 2018, 11:39 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
AJM wrote:It's starting again...


As Al Pacino once said . . . .

link


As Wallace Shawn once said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2y40U2LvKY
It's a Firkin great day at http://www.absurdulous.com!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » February 4th, 2018, 12:06 pm

I have been thinking about what Chris said, about why the author would choose a pseudonym, and while I admire his diligent research and sober opinions, I feel I have reason to disagree.

Let us indeed suppose that a man invented the alias of "E.S. Andrews" for the purpose of gambling and keeping his real name out of it.

Reversing the letters does nothing to distance himself from "E.S. Andrews", as both his gaming rivals and his personal associates could easily interpret the code.

The only benefit to his reputation as a decent citizen would have been to mask it as "E.S. Andrews" (or "Joseph P. Smith", or anything), and deny connection with that name.

Therefore, the inversion of the spelling, if it were meant to deceive at all, must have been done solely to protect his anonymity amongst those that had never heard of him.

Yet this would only serve to stimulate their curiosity, and lead to the kind of investigation we are conducting now.

If his reason for using "E.S. Andrews" or "S.W. Erdnase" was exclusively to give a wink to his gambling fellows, it would seem unlikely. Not out of the question, but rather dubious.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Jeffers » February 4th, 2018, 3:08 pm

lybrary wrote: It prevented the situation where he sits at a gambling table, introduces himself as E.S. Andrews, and is immediately associated with the book.

I have played poker five days a week for over ten years and not once has anyone ever introduced themselves by anything other than their first name.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » February 4th, 2018, 3:47 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:
lybrary wrote: It prevented the situation where he sits at a gambling table, introduces himself as E.S. Andrews, and is immediately associated with the book.

I have played poker five days a week for over ten years and not once has anyone ever introduced themselves by anything other than their first name.

I'm not sure we can extrapolate from your playing experience today to what was common poker experience more than 100 years ago, but it does raise the question, what would have been common card table etiquette then? I can imagine the players might be mostly anonymous or last name only at that time. First names seem a modern familiarity, but I could be very wrong about that. I imagine many gamblers were known by their nicknames: "the mysterious kid" (aka "Dad" Stevens), "Slip the Jit" Harry, Old Snakey Davis, Rod the Hop, etc. Of course, I doubt they would have introduced themselves using those monikers (since it seems to characterize them as cheats!) but how would they have self-identified? Milton Franklin Andrews was known to have used several aliases. Any gambling historians care to comment?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 5th, 2018, 3:58 pm

lybrary wrote: Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.


A couple more examples:

Nal Rafcam ("Macfarlan[e])"

Eth Natas ("The Satan")

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 5th, 2018, 4:18 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: Supporting this line of thought is the fact that all the other historical 'name reversal' authors have been found out rather quickly. I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, which has not been solved.


A couple more examples:

Nal Rafcam ("Macfarlan[e])"

Eth Natas ("The Satan")

I don't think 'The Satan' would qualify as plausible real name, and strictly speaking it is not a simple reversal. But let me rephrase what I said, before you have more sleepless nights trying to come up with counter examples: I don't think there is any other pseudonym, which reverses to a plausible real name, from 1900 or later from an author who has written an important work (entire book not just a poem) people care about, which has not been solved. (All your examples are from authors nobody cares about.)

Let me remind you that Expert was reviewed and advertised shortly after publication, was reprinted just a few years after original publication, was kept in print continuously up to this day for more than a hundred years, and people have speculated about the reverse name theory as early as the 1920s in print, and likely much earlier not in print.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 7th, 2018, 2:03 am

The number of people who truly consider Expert to be important, I fear, could fit in a medium-sized conference room (in fact in 2011, they fit in a bed and breakfast in Helana, Montana). It is a big deal in magic circles; elsewhere it is just old book printed on brittle paper, which was fortunate to have been championed by Dai Vernon. We obsess over it (you and I and a few others), but the depth of our interest shouldn't be interpreted as breadth.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 8:09 am

Bill Mullins wrote:The number of people who truly consider Expert to be important, I fear, could fit in a medium-sized conference room (in fact in 2011, they fit in a bed and breakfast in Helana, Montana). It is a big deal in magic circles; elsewhere it is just old book printed on brittle paper, which was fortunate to have been championed by Dai Vernon. We obsess over it (you and I and a few others), but the depth of our interest shouldn't be interpreted as breadth.

Erdnase has received a lot more attention than all your examples combined. Books and articles have been published about Erdnase, the book itself has easily seen a total print run of over 100,000 copies over the decades. There were even articles on Erdnase which were published in what one could call mainstream media. None of your examples has garnered anywhere near the attention Erdnase has. They are merely obscure names on some list with half a paragraph of information.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 7th, 2018, 8:53 am

[quote="jwjmcd"]Another anagram of S.W. Erdnase is the word “answered”.
...
That appears to get us "W. ERDNASE" - missing an S
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 7th, 2018, 9:28 am

Chris -- I guess I am missing your point. You said "this thing doesn't exist" and I showed that it did. (I'm happy to admit that the examples I gave were of minor authors, but in the grand scheme of things -- in the real world that most people live in -- Erdnase was a minor author.)

People make up and use all sorts of pseudonyms. Erdnase, whoever he was, made up a pseudonym that is the reversal of a "normal" name. Most (all?) people who have also done so that we know about used their own name for the reversal. So the most likely explanation for Erdnase is that it is the reversal of the author's real name.

You've posited that the author used the reversal of a name that was not his own. Can you show an example of anyone else who has ever done this?


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