ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 30th, 2018, 9:31 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:2. "His authorship . . . is wonderfully supported by . . . photographic evidence." But I thought you based the photo ID on the authorship. Which came first? the Chicken or the Egg? Circular reasoning, chasing your tail . . .
Three independent pieces of evidence:

1) Unattributed re-use of several paragraphs.
2) Linguistic fingerprint of the "Monotype System" matches the one from "Estimating for Printers".
3) The photo of the person in the "Monotype System" closely resembles Gallaway's portrait (distances of eyes, nose, ears, chin, mouth all fit perfectly)

All three do independently support Gallaway's authorship of "The Monotype System".
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 30th, 2018, 9:47 pm

I've decided that all of the Monotype/Copyfitting literature was written by Joseph Hays, the typographical and advertising manager for Lanston, who died in May of 1920. Hays wrote the section on Monotype in Typecasting and Composing Machines, edited by A. W. Finlay, which was published by the United Typothetea and was one of their official textbooks. A picture of him on the cover of the June 1920 issue of the Monotype Journal shows a wedding ring, so it is him (not Gallaway - Chris has said Gallaway didn't wear a wedding ring) in the picture that is in Chris's ebook.

My evidence? Same as Chris's. I'm wishing really, really hard.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 30th, 2018, 10:13 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:I've decided that all of the Monotype/Copyfitting literature was written by Joseph Hays, the typographical and advertising manager for Lanston, who died in May of 1920. Hays wrote the section on Monotype in Typecasting and Composing Machines, edited by A. W. Finlay, which was published by the United Typothetea and was one of their official textbooks. A picture of him on the cover of the June 1920 issue of the Monotype Journal shows a wedding ring, so it is him (not Gallaway - Chris has said Gallaway didn't wear a wedding ring) in the picture that is in Chris's ebook.

My evidence? Same as Chris's. I'm wishing really, really hard.
Not at all the same. His face doesn't match the profile photo from the Monotype System book. You have no linguistic analysis that shows that Mr. Hays writes anything like the author of "The Monotype System", and neither have you shown that Hays uses sections from the book unattributed, or anything else that would suggest he wrote the book. And surely a biographical sketch in the Monotype journal would have mentioned that he wrote these Monotype books. But it doesn't mention anything. So you have nothing, just a person who worked for Lanston Monotype. For Gallaway we have three independent pieces of evidence that he wrote the books.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 30th, 2018, 10:20 pm

Chris -- I don't really think it was Hays. I was making fun of you.

But if I was serious, I would point out that I have an actual Monotype article with an actual byline, which is real evidence, and not speculation.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 30th, 2018, 10:24 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:But the magic section ironically gives us more fluent and more exuberant instruction on how to perform than does the gambling.


You literally have no idea what you're talking about.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » April 30th, 2018, 10:43 pm

lybrary wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:I think I could make a good case for Gallaway, based on the anagram idea. Now, "S.W. Erdnase" works out to be "Reads news"--yes? And Gallaway had been a proof reader. Not only that, but according to Chris, he had some sort of connection with a German-language newspaper.

Well? You've got to admit, that's cleverer than just scrambling one's own name!
Gallaway was a newspaper man. He learned the printer's art at the Delphos Weekly Herald starting with 15 years of age. At age 17 he already wrote editorials. Later he typeset for a German newspaper in Indiana. Then he planned to start a German newspaper in Delphos but instead started an English one in Fort Payne, AL, called the Payne Weekly People. Those are all things that happened before Expert was published. Gallaway was a newspaper man in the first part of his professional career.


I appreciate the info Chris, but I was trying to be funny. I don't really make much of the anagram theory.

The next time I tell a joke I will set my goal a little higher. I think my mistake was that I was attempting to be as amusing as Brad. Unfortunately, it appears that I was all too successful.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 30th, 2018, 11:06 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:But if I was serious, I would point out that I have an actual Monotype article with an actual byline, which is real evidence, and not speculation.
Evidence of what? That Mr. Hays could write?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » May 1st, 2018, 12:46 am

Zenner wrote:I must be missing something somewhere. Erdnase wrote an encyclopedia of card sleights, etc., added some card tricks, and demonstrated the contents to Marshall D. Smith so that he could illustrate the book.

Where is the evidence that Sanders was capable of all that?

What's the problem? The purchase of six decks of cards for a trip and details of a card trick in his notebooks is a pretty good indication that he was very serious about cards and that he did card tricks. We also know that he gambled (there are references to gambling debts in letters to him...plus references to gambling games in his own writing).

The main focus of the book is gambling sleights and card technique more generally, not performance magic. In fact, the orientation for the legerdemain section, in addition to the sleights, is towards impromptu magic done by an amateur. i.e. Tricks that can be done with an ordinary "family deck". He writes: "There is no branch of conjuring that so fully repays the amateur for his labor and study as sleight of hand with cards." It sounds like he's talking from personal experience as an amateur, himself. It would be surprising if the author was a full time or professional magician.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 1:08 am

Bob Coyne wrote:
Zenner wrote:I must be missing something somewhere. Erdnase wrote an encyclopedia of card sleights, etc., added some card tricks, and demonstrated the contents to Marshall D. Smith so that he could illustrate the book.

Where is the evidence that Sanders was capable of all that?

What's the problem? The purchase of six decks of cards for a trip and details of a card trick in his notebooks is a pretty good indication that he was very serious about cards and that he did card tricks. We also know that he gambled (there are references to gambling debts in letters to him...plus references to gambling games in his own writing).

The main focus of the book is gambling sleights and card technique more generally, not performance magic. In fact, the orientation for the legerdemain section, in addition to the sleights, is towards impromptu magic done by an amateur. i.e. Tricks that can be done with an ordinary "family deck". He writes: "There is no branch of conjuring that so fully repays the amateur for his labor and study as sleight of hand with cards." It sounds like he's talking from personal experience as an amateur, himself. It would be surprising if the author was a full time or professional magician.


That is your interpretation, Bob. But I have serious doubts about it.

First--there is the irony of a gambler supposedly performing (whether professionally or socially) not just magic tricks, but card tricks, using the very same skills that a cheater would surely hide.

Second--the fact that the legerdemain appears to be of secondary importance in the book.

Third--that despite its subservient position, this latter section is written far more eloquently than the gambling part, with more zeal and passion. This does not indicate to me that the author regarded magic as as mere hobby. It shows extreme dedication to patter, presentation and showmanship. Either Erdnase stole these zesty routines from a working magician, or he had been one himself.

That is my interpretation. If I were you, I might hypothesise that Sanders employed a pseudonym in order to get away with this sort of thievery.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » May 1st, 2018, 1:51 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:
That is your interpretation, Bob. But I have serious doubts about it.

First--there is the irony of a gambler supposedly performing (whether professionally or socially) not just magic tricks, but card tricks, using the very same skills that a cheater would surely hide.

Second--the fact that the legerdemain appears to be of secondary importance in the book.

Third--that despite its subservient position, this latter section is written far more eloquently than the gambling part, with more zeal and passion. This does not indicate to me that the author regarded magic as as mere hobby. It shows extreme dedication to patter, presentation and showmanship. Either Erdnase stole these zesty routines from a working magician, or he had been one himself.

That is my interpretation. If I were you, I might hypothesise that Sanders employed a pseudonym in order to get away with this sort of thievery.

We don't know under what conditions he did magic vs gambling/cheating. If it was Sanders, he traveled all the country around on his mining gigs and could easily do one or the other or both as he moved around. So I don't see much if any conflict. You're only speculating that it's a problem.

I disagree that the Legerdemain section is more eloquent. It's more of just putting on a show (so maybe that's the zeal you're referring to). The parts of the book that are most often quoted and that I think represent his most incisive and best writing are in the introduction and card table artifice sections. That's where his thoughts are most directly expressed, and it's where he's unhindered by the constraints of describing the details of technique or the somewhat silly style expected in the patter. Sanders, btw, would be ideally suited for writing that kind "bosh" and "palaver" in the tricks...it's similar to the humorous/ironic modes he adopts telling stories about his classmates.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » May 1st, 2018, 6:30 am

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Zenner wrote:I must be missing something somewhere.


Probably because you still haven't read Bob's essay on the writing similarities between Sanders and Erdnase.


Perhaps I should be speaking to the organ grinder rather than his monkey.

I read the Marty Demarest article in the Genii again last night. A very good biography but no evidence that Sanders could do ONE sleight or ONE trick from the book that he is supposed to have written. There is nothing to show that in Bob's essay either.

A note of a schoolboy mathematical card trick has nothing to do with sleight-of-hand and is a mere puzzle - not something that would prove entertaining to an audience. Just because he made a note of the words doesn't even mean that he ever did it!

Sanders "might have" seen magicians perform in Montana. He "could have" seen Houdini. He "possibly" met Del Adelphia. How are any of those things evidence that he "could have" written the most famous book on card magic ever? Thousands of people saw magicians work and thousands of people bought packs of cards. Only one was capable of writing The Expert at the Card Table.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Zenner » May 1st, 2018, 6:42 am

Just for a change from the quibbling about Messrs Sanders and Gallaway —

On April 12, 1900, an advert in The Chicago Tribune indicated that E.D. Benedict was operating from an office at 1050, The Monon Building. The Monon Building was at 320-326 Dearborn Street, according to Rand McNally’s Bird’s Eye Views and Guide to Chicago, page 80 — “4. The Monon Building. At 320-326 Dearborn Street, extends through to Custom House Place, with frontages of 75 feet. It is 67 feet deep and 160 feet high, in 13 stories and basement. It is one of the fine high steel buildings of New Chicago, and was built principally for the general offices of the ‘Monon’ Route. There are 4 stores, 125 offices, and 3 passenger elevators. The exterior is of brick and terra cotta, the interior, steel and tile. Patent lawyers and publishers fill the offices which are not occupied by the railroad company. The Monon was erected in 1890 at a cost of $285,000.” The building was demolished when Congress Street was widened and extended to become Congress Parkway.

In that same year’s Chicago Business Directory, Marshall D. Smith’s workplace was given as 1310, 324 Dearborn Street, and his home address as 5519 Monroe Avenue. (page 1768, e-page 64)

As indicated, 320-326 Dearborn Street was the address of the Monon Building; I wonder if the two men met in the elevator on their way to and from work?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 8:36 am

Bob Coyne wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
That is your interpretation, Bob. But I have serious doubts about it.

First--there is the irony of a gambler supposedly performing (whether professionally or socially) not just magic tricks, but card tricks, using the very same skills that a cheater would surely hide.

Second--the fact that the legerdemain appears to be of secondary importance in the book.

Third--that despite its subservient position, this latter section is written far more eloquently than the gambling part, with more zeal and passion. This does not indicate to me that the author regarded magic as as mere hobby. It shows extreme dedication to patter, presentation and showmanship. Either Erdnase stole these zesty routines from a working magician, or he had been one himself.

That is my interpretation. If I were you, I might hypothesise that Sanders employed a pseudonym in order to get away with this sort of thievery.

We don't know under what conditions he did magic vs gambling/cheating. If it was Sanders, he traveled all the country around on his mining gigs and could easily do one or the other or both as he moved around. So I don't see much if any conflict. You're only speculating that it's a problem.

I disagree that the Legerdemain section is more eloquent. It's more of just putting on a show (so maybe that's the zeal you're referring to). The parts of the book that are most often quoted and that I think represent his most incisive and best writing are in the introduction and card table artifice sections. That's where his thoughts are most directly expressed, and it's where he's unhindered by the constraints of describing the details of technique or the somewhat silly style expected in the patter. Sanders, btw, would be ideally suited for writing that kind "bosh" and "palaver" in the tricks...it's similar to the humorous/ironic modes he adopts telling stories about his classmates.


Here is the problem, Bob--that, regardless of how "silly" you think the patter is, and despite how long it took Erdnase to develop his gambling sleights, the writing in the legerdemain section was more elaborate.

It is not mere opinion, it is the voice of experience, from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier. The big question is: Why would Erdnase go to the considerable trouble of being so literate if this portion of EATCT were mere "filler"? The amount of labour that was put into it indicates that these routines were devised by someone who was dedicated to the art of magic as a profession. And please don't bother to remind me that the author introduced them as "tricks you can do for friends and family". That doesn't negate my point. You still need to explain the motivation for such rich verbiage when you are trying to suggest that it was just a bit of fluff that he picked up somewhere and tossed in.

Which leads to another concern. Why would Sanders have thought it necessary to "pad" his book with magic? If he wasn't so much in need of the money, why should he care wether it seemed hefty enough to warrant the $2.00 price? Why not just write a pamphlet on gambling and be done with it?

It is obvious to me that either magic was of great importance to the author, or it was considered wise to add more pages in order to justify the cost of the volume.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2018, 8:58 am

It is not mere opinion, it is the voice of experience, from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier.


ha.

again the ignorance of the novice reveals itself. anyone can throw filigree and ornamentation on a basic structure with little effort. It takes years to trim something down to its essential components. and keyes is clearly ignorant of the amount of work required to make moves truly invisible and undetectable. One merely need
look at the techniques he has suggested to see this is true.

one need merely listen to keyes and his water and wine performance, or read his abortion of a presentation for the Hoy book test, to see that he is completely unqualified as to judge what is ether entertaining, eloquent, or meaningful. The idea that fancy is harder than simple is rooted in ignorance and INexperience.

He also here reveals his utter ignorance at the subtlety and depth of instruction contained in the gambling sections.

that doesn’t surprise me as he also regularly has advocated for unmotivated moves that would be both suspected and detected by a blind man.

so if we are evaluating claims based on expertise on the topics of those making them, i encourage all to look up keyes’s work and you will know that to listen to anything he says is senseless folly.

and to zenner: the trick recorded in sanders notes is more than a mere puzzle. it is a very well known magic trick that people have been entertaining each other with, in different forms, for decades.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 10:00 am

Brad Henderson wrote:
It is not mere opinion, it is the voice of experience, from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier.


ha.

again the ignorance of the novice reveals itself. anyone can throw filigree and ornamentation on a basic structure with little effort. It takes years to trim something down to its essential components. and keyes is clearly ignorant of the amount of work required to make moves truly invisible and undetectable. One merely need
look at the techniques he has suggested to see this is true.

one need merely listen to keyes and his water and wine performance, or read his abortion of a presentation for the Hoy book test, to see that he is completely unqualified as to judge what is ether entertaining, eloquent, or meaningful. The idea that fancy is harder than simple is rooted in ignorance and INexperience.

He also here reveals his utter ignorance at the subtlety and depth of instruction contained in the gambling sections.

that doesn’t surprise me as he also regularly has advocated for unmotivated moves that would be both suspected and detected by a blind man.

so if we are evaluating claims based on expertise on the topics of those making them, i encourage all to look up keyes’s work and you will know that to listen to anything he says is senseless folly.

and to zenner: the trick recorded in sanders notes is more than a mere puzzle. it is a very well known magic trick that people have been entertaining each other with, in different forms, for decades.


No, Brad. You are missing the point again. And I am not suggesting that you are failing to perceive it, only that you are unwilling.

I said above that, regardless of the experimentation and practice that preceded the writing of the gambling portion of EATCT, the actual setting down of the words was as simple as the chord changes in an instruction book on "How To Play The Guitar". It is only a matter of describing hand movements and fingering. The magic section qualifies as fiction. It has plots and characters, and it is not easy to think up scenarios that equate inanimate objects with sentient beings (kings, queens, cards that have been "trained" to obey commands, etc.).

Put simply--an author possessed of the knowledge and experience of cheating at cards could easily write of their mere manipulation. But coming up with a false premise, conceiving patter, choosing the right words to enhance the drama or the humour of the act, is a greater task. You are persuading nobody that it is harder to tell the reader how to hold the deck than to spin a yarn.

If you really believe this, you are showing your ignorance. But I'm not asking you to take my opinion. Ask any writer you want. All other things being equal--in other words, being in either case prepared to write, it is beyond doubt that fiction requires more creative effort than explaining facts.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2018, 10:58 am

ah - i see.

not only have you zero knowledge of what it takes to perform a gambling move deceptively - and it’s much more than mere manipulation of the cards - you have never read what erdnase has written, or are too naive to see that there is SO much more in the gambling section than just technical descriptions of moves.

The entire practice of cheating requires all that you suggest is in the magic section and more, for unlike with magic these subjects must remain invisible in execution.

erdnase explains how to do that.

that you don’t know this reveals your lack of qualifications.

perhaps you should read the book before commenting on it. if you did you would see the first section is not merely chord changes and fingerings.

thank you for proving all that i claim about you - and establishing you either haven’t read the book or are too young in your magical studies to be capable of comprehending it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » May 1st, 2018, 10:59 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Here is the problem, Bob--that, regardless of how "silly" you think the patter is, and despite how long it took Erdnase to develop his gambling sleights, the writing in the legerdemain section was more elaborate.

It is not mere opinion, it is the voice of experience, from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier. The big question is: Why would Erdnase go to the considerable trouble of being so literate if this portion of EATCT were mere "filler"? The amount of labour that was put into it indicates that these routines were devised by someone who was dedicated to the art of magic as a profession. And please don't bother to remind me that the author introduced them as "tricks you can do for friends and family". That doesn't negate my point. You still need to explain the motivation for such rich verbiage when you are trying to suggest that it was just a bit of fluff that he picked up somewhere and tossed in.

Which leads to another concern. Why would Sanders have thought it necessary to "pad" his book with magic? If he wasn't so much in need of the money, why should he care wether it seemed hefty enough to warrant the $2.00 price? Why not just write a pamphlet on gambling and be done with it?

It is obvious to me that either magic was of great importance to the author, or it was considered wise to add more pages in order to justify the cost of the volume.


You're distorting what I said.

I didn't say he "padded" the book with magic "filler". You're arguing with your own strawman there.

Also, I don't know why you insist on speculating about largely irrelevant matters, but the magic section made the book appeal to a whole other set of readers. And apparently he enjoyed performing. Smith mentions that he did a few card tricks before posing for the drawings. There's really no issue or contradiction here.

Elaborate writing, as Brad mentions, isn't necessarily better writing. In fact, paring things down to the essentials is one of the hardest tasks. That's true even in prose meant to entertain. For example comedy writers spend forever honing single sentences to connote exactly the right tone, etc. Frilly verbiage ("bosh" and "palaver" as Erdnase terms it) is comparatively easy. Also, the sleights sections don't just describe the technical aspects of the moves; they also describe the nuances and context and philosophy behind them. And Erdnase does that masterfully. You're also completely ignoring the Introduction and initial sections of Card Table Artifice that are not move oriented at all. They contain some of his best and most incisive writing. His patter for the tricks, where he gives it, is entertaining and very much long the lines of how Sanders' wrote at times. But that doesn't make it more important or better.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 11:19 am

Bob Coyne wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:
Here is the problem, Bob--that, regardless of how "silly" you think the patter is, and despite how long it took Erdnase to develop his gambling sleights, the writing in the legerdemain section was more elaborate.

It is not mere opinion, it is the voice of experience, from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier. The big question is: Why would Erdnase go to the considerable trouble of being so literate if this portion of EATCT were mere "filler"? The amount of labour that was put into it indicates that these routines were devised by someone who was dedicated to the art of magic as a profession. And please don't bother to remind me that the author introduced them as "tricks you can do for friends and family". That doesn't negate my point. You still need to explain the motivation for such rich verbiage when you are trying to suggest that it was just a bit of fluff that he picked up somewhere and tossed in.

Which leads to another concern. Why would Sanders have thought it necessary to "pad" his book with magic? If he wasn't so much in need of the money, why should he care wether it seemed hefty enough to warrant the $2.00 price? Why not just write a pamphlet on gambling and be done with it?

It is obvious to me that either magic was of great importance to the author, or it was considered wise to add more pages in order to justify the cost of the volume.


You're distorting what I said.

I didn't say he "padded" the book with magic "filler". You're arguing with your own strawman there.

Also, I don't know why you insist on speculating about largely irrelevant matters, but the magic section made the book appeal to a whole other set of readers. And apparently he enjoyed performing. Smith mentions that he did a few card tricks before posing for the drawings. There's really no issue or contradiction here.

Elaborate writing, as Brad mentions, isn't necessarily better writing. In fact, paring things down to the essentials is one of the hardest tasks. That's true even in prose meant to entertain. For example comedy writers spend forever honing single sentences to connote exactly the right tone, etc. Frilly verbiage ("bosh" and "palaver" as Erdnase terms it) is comparatively easy. Also, the sleights sections don't just describe the technical aspects of the moves; they also describe the nuances and context and philosophy behind them. And Erdnase does that masterfully. You're also completely ignoring the Introduction and initial sections of Card Table Artifice that are not move oriented at all. They contain some of his best and most incisive writing. His patter for the tricks, where he gives it, is entertaining and very much long the lines of how Sanders' wrote at times. But that doesn't make it more important or better.


You and Brad are talking either from ignorance or diffidence when you say that it's more difficult be simple than to be complex. That is rubbish.

I have seen videos of Brad doing trade shows. He has himself written patter in accordance with a particular product or service. I think he is being disingenuous to proclaim that it would be harder for him to explain the method for a given trick than to sit down and think of a presentation that might appeal to potential customers.

Here is a little challenge for both you and Brad. You pick out any particular passage from the gambling section of EATCT (meaning any description of a sleight) that you believe to have been a challenge to put into words. And I will choose a passage from the legerdemain.

Then we can all judge which we suppose took more forethought and energy to express on paper.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2018, 1:40 pm

you have an entire century of writing examples, that have gotten progressively better, from which to work. But even then i’m unsure of what you claim. For me, personally, writing custom presentations is easy. To hone it down to the bare essentials is more difficult. To meld that into a performance piece where the actions and words become one another. And to do that whole controlling an audience . . .

But to come up with words to go along with a trick and describe the moves of the trick isn’t all that difficult.

When we look at the legerdemain section we see good advice, but hardly the depth and subtlety of information that is conveyed in the gambling section. that the author had a way with words is obvious. Does that indicate a greater
or deeper understanding of magic over gambling?

i don’t see how the text makes that case.

The value in erdnase comes not from the descriptions of the ‘fingerings’.

But if you don’t know what you are looking at, i could see how you might think so.

that’s the problem with erdnase - it’s secrets are not revealed on the surface. The novice will be blind to them.

Even now i am only starting to truly see what he had to say - and only then because i had amazing guides who helped me find the bread crumbs on the path.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » May 1st, 2018, 8:06 pm

Zenner wrote:
Leonard Hevia wrote:
Zenner wrote:I must be missing something somewhere.


Probably because you still haven't read Bob's essay on the writing similarities between Sanders and Erdnase.


Perhaps I should be speaking to the organ grinder rather than his monkey.

I read the Marty Demarest article in the Genii again last night. A very good biography but no evidence that Sanders could do ONE sleight or ONE trick from the book that he is supposed to have written. There is nothing to show that in Bob's essay either.

A note of a schoolboy mathematical card trick has nothing to do with sleight-of-hand and is a mere puzzle - not something that would prove entertaining to an audience. Just because he made a note of the words doesn't even mean that he ever did it!

Sanders "might have" seen magicians perform in Montana. He "could have" seen Houdini. He "possibly" met Del Adelphia. How are any of those things evidence that he "could have" written the most famous book on card magic ever? Thousands of people saw magicians work and thousands of people bought packs of cards. Only one was capable of writing The Expert at the Card Table.


You still haven't spoken to the organ grinder--you wanker! The evidence that he could have written The Expert is in Bob's essay. You have yet to provide any writing examples from Benedict nor have you proven that he at the very least stepped into a gambling establishment. That is not good...keep looking.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » May 1st, 2018, 8:11 pm

Zenner wrote:Just for a change from the quibbling about Messrs Sanders and Gallaway —

On April 12, 1900, an advert in The Chicago Tribune indicated that E.D. Benedict was operating from an office at 1050, The Monon Building. The Monon Building was at 320-326 Dearborn Street, according to Rand McNally’s Bird’s Eye Views and Guide to Chicago, page 80 — “4. The Monon Building. At 320-326 Dearborn Street, extends through to Custom House Place, with frontages of 75 feet. It is 67 feet deep and 160 feet high, in 13 stories and basement. It is one of the fine high steel buildings of New Chicago, and was built principally for the general offices of the ‘Monon’ Route. There are 4 stores, 125 offices, and 3 passenger elevators. The exterior is of brick and terra cotta, the interior, steel and tile. Patent lawyers and publishers fill the offices which are not occupied by the railroad company. The Monon was erected in 1890 at a cost of $285,000.” The building was demolished when Congress Street was widened and extended to become Congress Parkway.

In that same year’s Chicago Business Directory, Marshall D. Smith’s workplace was given as 1310, 324 Dearborn Street, and his home address as 5519 Monroe Avenue. (page 1768, e-page 64)

As indicated, 320-326 Dearborn Street was the address of the Monon Building; I wonder if the two men met in the elevator on their way to and from work?


What is your point? That working in close proximity to Marshall Smith is circumstantial evidence? You certainly are following the herd mentality that the author had to be someone that worked in that small section of Chicago.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » May 1st, 2018, 8:17 pm

from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier.


This is nonsense.
It's very difficult to write precise technical instructions involving sleight of hand well.
Among modern writers, Richard does it well, Stephen Minch does it well, but a whole lot of writers do it poorly.
It's much easier to write narrative.

But even in contexts apart from magic, it's a huge mistake to confuse simplicity with ease of execution. I'm surprised that anyone who calls himself a writer could say this.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » May 1st, 2018, 9:42 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:I said above that, regardless of the experimentation and practice that preceded the writing of the gambling portion of EATCT, the actual setting down of the words was as simple as the chord changes in an instruction book on "How To Play The Guitar". It is only a matter of describing hand movements and fingering.


This is a joke ... right?
You're some kind of professional troll?

That you wilfully fail to demonstrate comprehension of any kind as it relates to EATCT is obvious ... the real question is why you're here populating the thread with your pointless and utterly uninformed drivel?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » May 1st, 2018, 10:23 pm

"...actual setting down of the words was as simple as..."

perhaps for some folks. I wish it were so for me.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 11:13 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:
from a writer's point of view, that the magic routines required more time and effort to compose, simply because they were fancier.


This is nonsense.
It's very difficult to write precise technical instructions involving sleight of hand well.
Among modern writers, Richard does it well, Stephen Minch does it well, but a whole lot of writers do it poorly.
It's much easier to write narrative.

But even in contexts apart from magic, it's a huge mistake to confuse simplicity with ease of execution. I'm surprised that anyone who calls himself a writer could say this.


I am not arguing something that is a matter of opinion. My point is not that instructional writing is "easier" than fiction, in the sense of aptitude. That depends on the individual. What I am saying is that describing technicalities requires a fraction of the literary skill that fiction does. Right now, we are corresponding. We are merely expressing what we perceive to be the truth.

But if we needed to stretch and mould that truth (like Brad tends to), we would be expending far more creative energy. We would have to put more thought into our posts than we do when simply "telling it like it is".

Conceiving of plot lines, inventing characters, and especially being mindful of continuity or consistency (to render a spiel credible) are disciplines that factual writers have nothing to do with. Their job is to analyse what is before them and choose the best words to convey it.


Take any example of a magic trick. Say, a card trick employing a turnover pass. Describing the method, the technique, the "move" is only a matter of accurately explaining how to manipulate the deck. I'm not saying that some folks might find that a challenge. But it is not the masterful process of making things out of whole cloth.

Either sort of writing can be easy or difficult. But there is much more to wield with fiction--more plates to spin. When you sit down to write the facts, you organise them neatly. When you write fiction, you are often overwhelmed by your unlimited imagination, and frequently at a loss to come up with anything satisfactory.

Now, "hacks" can write rubbish either way. But relatively speaking, good fiction takes more dedication (time, effort, etc.) than good reporting.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 1st, 2018, 11:19 pm

dude. erdnase was a card cheat. that means his life was a fiction - he was never who he represented himself to be to others. Every action had to have a motivation - and every person he ever encountered was a puzzle to be figured out.

Again you reveal your utter ignorance in this matter. It’s easy to pretend to be something you aren’t when you announce to everyone that you are pretending to be someone you aren’t. Your stories can be fanciful and bound by no restraint or need for consistency.

the magician has it easy.

The cheat must compose an utterly believable tale, anchored to key data points, and impenetrable to inconsistencies. And he (or she) has to do so in a manner that passes for real - not a character.

you have no idea what you are talking about.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 1st, 2018, 11:28 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:I said above that, regardless of the experimentation and practice that preceded the writing of the gambling portion of EATCT, the actual setting down of the words was as simple as the chord changes in an instruction book on "How To Play The Guitar". It is only a matter of describing hand movements and fingering.


This is a joke ... right?
You're some kind of professional troll?

That you wilfully fail to demonstrate comprehension of any kind as it relates to EATCT is obvious ... the real question is why you're here populating the thread with your pointless and utterly uninformed drivel?


Pointless and utterly uninformed drivel? Then why has nobody taken up my challenge, to select a passage from the gambling section of EATCT that we can all agree took more time and more effort to write than a passage from the magic section? That, I firmly believe, is quite pointed and well informed.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 1st, 2018, 11:45 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:and to zenner: the trick recorded in sanders notes is more than a mere puzzle. it is a very well known magic trick that people have been entertaining each other with, in different forms, for decades.

At the first Genii Convention, Jim Steinmeyer lectured on a version of it. It's published in the Aug 2011 Genii.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » May 2nd, 2018, 1:16 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:Pointless and utterly uninformed drivel? Then why has nobody taken up my challenge, to select a passage from the gambling section of EATCT that we can all agree took more time and more effort to write than a passage from the magic section? That, I firmly believe, is quite pointed and well informed.

What would be the point? Comparing passages from the two parts of the book would not prove or disprove that Erdnase was either a card shark or a magician. Nor would it provide proof as to which section was more demanding to write. All taking up your challenge would do is provide food for a troll.
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Gilbert » May 2nd, 2018, 6:12 am

As Brad discussed the difference between a magician and a gambler for Mr. Keyes... Boils down to the fact if a magician screws up he looks foolish and may get laughed at, if a cheat messes up, a whole different story is likely.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 2nd, 2018, 9:12 am

Jackpot wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:Pointless and utterly uninformed drivel? Then why has nobody taken up my challenge, to select a passage from the gambling section of EATCT that we can all agree took more time and more effort to write than a passage from the magic section? That, I firmly believe, is quite pointed and well informed.

What would be the point? Comparing passages from the two parts of the book would not prove or disprove that Erdnase was either a card shark or a magician. Nor would it provide proof as to which section was more demanding to write. All taking up your challenge would do is provide food for a troll.


I knew someone would go there. This thread is notorious for the pursuit of trivia in an exhaustive attempt to demonstrate this point or that.

It is remarkable that in my case, not a soul is motivated to do so. Just a hunch, mind you, but I strongly feel that if anybody had the capacity to lift a finger in order to put my argument to rest, they would have quoted chapter and verse by now. I will even go so far as to infer from the lack of direct participation in this contention, that virtually everyone concerned has tried and failed to discover evidence in support the opposite view.

You have all no doubt referred to your copies of EATCT and, upon scrutinising each passage in the gambling section, come to the sad conclusion that they were written as simply as a golfing lesson.

I will further elaborate my point later. Right now, I need to get my garbage out.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » May 2nd, 2018, 9:29 am

jkeyes1000 wrote:
I am not arguing something that is a matter of opinion. My point is not that instructional writing is "easier" than fiction, in the sense of aptitude. That depends on the individual. What I am saying is that describing technicalities requires a fraction of the literary skill that fiction does. Right now, we are corresponding. We are merely expressing what we perceive to be the truth.

But if we needed to stretch and mould that truth (like Brad tends to), we would be expending far more creative energy. We would have to put more thought into our posts than we do when simply "telling it like it is".

Conceiving of plot lines, inventing characters, and especially being mindful of continuity or consistency (to render a spiel credible) are disciplines that factual writers have nothing to do with. Their job is to analyse what is before them and choose the best words to convey it.

The hard part of writing is not the words but the thoughts. Muddled or empty thoughts almost by definition imply bad writing. When there are clear and original thoughts, the language can follow. This applies to fictional scenarios (like patter) as well as instructional writing. It took skill, years of experience, and an extraordinary mind to be able to write the Introduction and Card Table Artifice sections of EATCT. No one but him could have written it.

When Erdnase explains the sleights he has done the hard work of structuring the concepts so they are true and complete. For example, when describing a simple blind shuffle, he points out its weaknesses and how to correct it:

"The weak point about the foregoing blind is that the last movement is a throw, or under cut, and it may be noticed that only part of the deck is actually shuffled. This objection is entirely overcome by the use of the break, which is illustrated in the following blind shuffle."

Or this: "The action of both players must be rapid and careless in appearance, but not hurried. The irregularity of the side edges made necessary by the jog does not attract attention or expose the ruse, as in ordinary play the deck is rarely perfectly square when given to cut. "

The unfolding of ideas can be just as compelling as the unfolding of a story. After all, stories are just conceptual structures too. In both cases, a narrative is propelled forward where one thought complements and leads to another. Erdnase does this throughout the sleights sections. And he'll often step up to a higher, more philosophical, level and describe how to change the moment a sleight is executed to make it more deceptive and unnoticed.

I don't think it's possible to make the sort of generalizations you're trying to make without a better understanding of its contents. And ultimately that involves being able to perform the material.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » May 2nd, 2018, 10:30 am

Describing the method, the technique, the "move" is only a matter of accurately explaining how to manipulate the deck. I'm not saying that some folks might find that a challenge. But it is not the masterful process of making things out of whole cloth.


Moving the goal posts here. We're not talking about writing The Grapes of Wrath. We're talking about scripting a card trick where the Court cards get together.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 2nd, 2018, 11:35 am

Jack Shalom wrote:
Describing the method, the technique, the "move" is only a matter of accurately explaining how to manipulate the deck. I'm not saying that some folks might find that a challenge. But it is not the masterful process of making things out of whole cloth.


Moving the goal posts here. We're not talking about writing The Grapes of Wrath. We're talking about scripting a card trick where the Court cards get together.


What I am suggesting is that, whoever wrote the routines in the magic section, he cared enough to conceive a full-fledged "act", as thoroughly as anyone with an ambition to perform on stage.

Given the relative dearth of advice on how to comport oneself during a card game in the gambling section (nothing on wagering, or bluffing, or "reading" one's fellows' expressions), why would the author suddenly wish to provide examples of the all-important presentation in the legerdemain section? Why did he elect to go that far? Why did he not simply Illustrate the mechanics of the tricks?

It would seem to me that the material in the latter portion had been written by someone with a true understanding of the art of magic, borne of experience (including how to play to the crowd). That, if the magic were a mere addendum, it must have been so well rehearsed as to be the proverbial Old Hat. The repertoire of a retired prestidigitator. Like Benedict.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » May 2nd, 2018, 12:51 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:......Given the relative dearth of advice on how to comport oneself during a card game in the gambling section (nothing on wagering, or bluffing, or "reading" one's fellows' expressions)......


In EATCT, Erdnase makes note of Whist, Hearts, Cribbage, Euchre, Coon Can, Penuckle, All Fours, Piquet ... and also poker.
But he certainly makes no effort to put any focus or emphasis on poker over any of the other games he mentions.
Erdnase was an experienced Faro player as well.

All this to say that your post focuses on poker skills (although retroactively you will now pivot and claim is does not, and that you meant something else) ... but some of the games Erdnase mentions in EATCT do not require or allow things like flexible or strategic wagering, don't require any "bluffing", and thus a player would have no need to "read" the expression on any of the other players faces.

Thus Erdnase would have no reason to mention the three things you think might be missing (wagering, bluffing, reading tells).

You really should read the book in order to at least become marginally proficient in the subject matter.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 2nd, 2018, 1:21 pm

he should also try to do some of the shifts and deals and then write them up but without relying on the text erdnase has provided as a guide.

the fact is we have tens of thousands of books on card tricks containing hundreds of thousands of examples - and yet everyone serious about cheating at cards turns first and foremost to erdnase.

if it were merely a book on fingering this would not be so. If the descriptions of the chord changes were so easy to write, magicians would have spent decades of their lives laboring over each sleight and filling volumes with annotations.

You don’t see magicians arguing over their various interpretations of the 10 card trick. This is because everything you need to know is there because it’s much easier to teach a trick then it is a difficult move which must be performed invisibly - and to do that requires understanding not only of the mechanics of the move but everything that is happening in that moment.

Keyes sees the magic section and thinks the tricks are great, but one need merely look at his work and you see that bar is not placed very high. The fact erdnases’s patter has an ending automatically makes it better than the drivel keyes tortures his audiences with. He sees something somewhat better than what he has ever done and it becomes an example
of greatness in his eyes.

As he has no experience with the gambling sleights let alone the context they are in and cannot ‘see’ the depth of information contained therein. As he can’t do any of the moves prevents any understanding of whether or not they were difficult to describe in print.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 2nd, 2018, 1:22 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote: This thread is notorious for the pursuit of trivia in an exhaustive attempt to demonstrate this point or that.

It is remarkable that in my case, not a soul is motivated to do so. Just a hunch, mind you, but I strongly feel that if anybody had the capacity to lift a finger in order to put my argument to rest, they would have quoted chapter and verse by now. I will even go so far as to infer from the lack of direct participation in this contention, that virtually everyone concerned has tried and failed to discover evidence in support the opposite view.

I can't speak for anyone else, but the reason I haven't done so is that I don't think it will do any good -- you have made up your mind, and aren't willing to be convinced otherwise. If I offer any examples, or make any arguments, I fully expect you to reject them (as you are rejecting the arguments being made currently). It would be a waste of time. It is not an indication that I couldn't do so, or that the evidence does not exist.

I'm willing, however, to rebut Chris's arguments because he also makes them elsewhere -- his ebook, and his newsletter -- and I think it is good that their flaws be documented "on the record". I fear that at one time, he had some credibility on the subject (and he may still, with people who are otherwise uneducated about Erdnase) and that if his statements are left unopposed, some poor soul may come away believing that Gallaway was Erdnase. In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal, but to a few of us it matters.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » May 2nd, 2018, 1:25 pm

Roger M. wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:......Given the relative dearth of advice on how to comport oneself during a card game in the gambling section (nothing on wagering, or bluffing, or "reading" one's fellows' expressions)......


In EATCT, Erdnase makes note of Whist, Hearts, Cribbage, Euchre, Coon Can, Penuckle, All Fours, Piquet ... and also poker.
But he certainly makes no effort to put any focus or emphasis on poker over any of the other games he mentions.
Erdnase was an experienced Faro player as well.

All this to say that your post focuses on poker skills (although retroactively you will now pivot and claim is does not, and that you meant something else) ... but some of the games Erdnase mentions in EATCT do not require or allow things like flexible or strategic wagering, don't require any "bluffing", and thus a player would have no need to "read" the expression on any of the other players faces.

Thus Erdnase would have no reason to mention the three things you think might be missing (wagering, bluffing, reading tells).

You really should read the book in order to at least become marginally proficient in the subject matter.


So now you are nit-picking--after a period of silence--because you at last have something that you think you can criticise. Just as I suspected.

I gave examples of comportment, Roger. I didn't say these were the only subtleties that the author failed to address. All you have done is underscore the fact that he doesn't make much of an effort to share his gaming expertise.

Your logic is flawed as usual. I am not suggesting there was a "need" for such strategical wisdom. I am questioning the disparity between the two sections of EATCT. Why, if Erdnase is adept at gambling, does he not lend the reader his insight, as he so profoundly does in the magic portion? Why, if the legerdemain is of lesser importance in the book, of lesser importance to the author, does he go to greater lengths to explain the presentation of it?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » May 2nd, 2018, 1:31 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:Given the relative dearth of advice on how to comport oneself during a card game in the gambling section

Holy cow, have you even read the book? Spend some time with pp. 22 and 23. And it's not a "gambling" section, it's "Card Table Artifice". Which doesn't include wagering, bluffing, reading one's opponents, etc.

Display of Ability.-Excessive vanity proves the undoing of many experts. The temptation to show off is great. He has become a past master in his profession. He can laugh at luck and defy the law of chance. His fortune is literally at his finger ends, yet he must never admit his skill or grow chesty over his ability. It requires the philosophy of the stoic to possess any great superiority and refrain from boasting to friend or foe. He must be content to rank with the common herd. In short, the professional player must never slop over. One single display of dexterity and his usefulness is past in that particular company, and the reputation is liable to precede him in many another.

[N.B. the reference to "common herd" -- a phrase which also appears in the patter of Exclusive Coterie. Call-backs like this are a note from Erdnase that the Legerdemain section builds on the Card Table Artifice section -- it is all of one piece.]

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » May 2nd, 2018, 1:46 pm

did keyes just claim there was no content regarding. comportment at the card table?

hey keyes - try reading the book before commenting on it.

there is a reason magicians started pursuing gamblers as models to emulate - they understand things like consistency of action and character far greater than magicians do

what magician hasn’t been influence by the advice regarding changing the moment?

who doesn’t hold their technical bar to lack of suspicion and not mere detection?

Bill Malone once shared that meeting steve forte changed everything for him - that the level of work done by the card cheats far exceeded any in the magic world on multiple fronts, not just technical.

keyes, you don’t know this.

not knowing this disqualifies you from being considered informed in your opinions.


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