jkeyes1000 wrote:If one has reason to believe that Sanders was dishonest, tending to exaggerate, then this opens up the proverbial "tin of worms".
I would rather suggest that you all adhere to the supposed facts, and do so consistently.
Of course, the truth is that neither method--taking the evidence at face value, or picking and choosing which bits work for you--is going to prove anything.
But if you are trying to be logical, you need to either accept the premise that nothing is a lie (until it is established), or anything could be a lie (unless it has been established).
That's a false dichotomy. Logic can be applied to at any level, including something as simple as pointing out unwarranted assumptions and self-contradictory statements. And it can apply when there's uncertainty.
Yes everyone should try to adhere to facts consistently.
Little to none of the evidence I'm aware of for Sanders knowledge (literary, historical, linguistic, scientific) relies on claims he made. Instead we can make reasonable inferences based on his background/education and the content and style of his writing. You can argue against those inferences; but you can't reject them as being false claims (on the supposition that if he exaggerated his height then all his claims are thereby suspect). So logic does apply here -- but it demands that the arguments be clearly drawn and fit the facts at hand.
I like your remark about Sanders' articles, which you say, "demanded a scholarly treatment". I think you are on the right track there.
But this only suggests that an author's choice of words and phrases may vary with the subject, and with the manner in which he feels he ought to address the reader.
The differences in tone and language between "Erdnase" and Sanders, or Gallaway, are not terribly important. Certainly not distinct enough to rule out the possibility of either of the two having written EATCT.
Right, different domains and genres put different constraints on the type of language and thoughts expressed. Sanders shows he can write about a variety of topics and adapt his style accordingly. There's quite a difference between his humorous/personable college reunion (and letter-to-the-editor) writing vs the more scholarly Montana article vs the technical, process/method-oriented mining articles. Despite the varied domains, there are stylistic overlaps between all those, and a common voice can be heard among the differences. Similarly, we can say that there's a unity in EATCT between the more philosophical- and opinion-oriented intro and the method-oriented sleights sections. And the Card Tricks patter, as you have pointed out is also very well crafted, while being written in a more performative oratorical style. These different aspects of EATCT have significant overlap with the corresponding samples of writing we have from Sanders.
Commonality in language, tone, and themes are very important, just as overall quality of the writing is very important. It's a large reason why Erdnase is of interest -- he's not only imparts knowledge (a wealth of card sleights), but does so in a very clear, incisive, and quotable manner. Sanders and Erdnase sound uncannily alike, and it's illuminating to explore why that is. We can identify what common themes and linguistic patterns emerge.
In contrast, Gallaway (to my ear) is a non-starter. His writing sounds clunky and amateurish, with ugly repetition of the same words within the same sentence; incorrect or missing punctuation; awkward pattern of addressing the reader as "you"; confusing/incorrect agreement between subject and verb; etc. While he seems earnest and intelligent and can structure his thoughts, he just doesn't have much facility with putting words on the page. It feels like a struggle.