ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Bill Mullins
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 17th, 2018, 2:08 am

lybrary wrote: People don't change their character that much over time.

So when you write of "one other event in Gallaway’s life which may suggest a change of heart, away from cheating people, to a path of doing good and helping others," we should not believe you? And we should ignore the example of Erdnase himself, who had been a card shark but went straight?

Smith was in no position to have that intimate knowledge of Erdnase.

But we aren't relying on Smith for "intimate knowledge"; we are relying on him to report what he saw and heard. His account is first-hand. The DIL's is second hand, through Jay Marshall, and it isn't reporting events, but it is conveying impressions of a man who had died nearly 30 years earlier, and you are projecting the impressions 30 years prior to that.

My father in law died in 1999, and I knew him for about 2-1/2 years prior to that. What you are giving the DIL credit for would be equivalent to me making character judgments of my FIL ca. 1969. There's no way I could do this with the perception you are saying she has -- and this despite hearing stories of him on a regular basis from his widow and daughter for the past 18 years.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 2:16 am

There's no doubt Sanders is, and remains a strong candidate Bob.

I exchanged quite a few emails with David Alexander, and for a long while was quite taken by his incredibly complex analysis of Sanders, EATCT title page, and the rest of his work that eventually led him to Sanders.
It was quite mind blowing at the time actually!

But ultimately, I believe such complexity stretches into the areas I am now trying to avoid, endlessly massaging the information, almost working too hard to make a piece of information fit Erdnase.
Most importantly though, David came up with Sanders by essentially working backwards, and if he err'd in his choice of Sanders, then all the rest of the information we have on Sanders, however "interesting" - becomes moot.

Having said that, and although in my mind (amongst the known candidates) Sanders is in second place ... he's not there by very much.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 17th, 2018, 3:55 am

Roger M. wrote:There's no doubt Sanders is, and remains a strong candidate Bob.

I exchanged quite a few emails with David Alexander, and for a long while was quite taken by his incredibly complex analysis of Sanders, EATCT title page, and the rest of his work that eventually led him to Sanders.
It was quite mind blowing at the time actually!

But ultimately, I believe such complexity stretches into the areas I am now trying to avoid, endlessly massaging the information, almost working too hard to make a piece of information fit Erdnase.
Most importantly though, David came up with Sanders by essentially working backwards, and if he err'd in his choice of Sanders, then all the rest of the information we have on Sanders, however "interesting" - becomes moot.

Having said that, and although in my mind (amongst the known candidates) Sanders is in second place ... he's not there by very much.


Ok, fair enough. Though I find that with Sanders it's actually easier and less complex since various things just fall into place and seem right. It doesn't feel like a force fit requiring lots of intricate hypotheticals like other candidates do to me.

I guess the key point is that you find the double anagram to be more complicated and harder to believe than the reverse spelling. i.e. If Sanders name was E.S. Andrews instead (with everything else we know about him the same), then I suspect you'd put him at the top too.

For me, the double anagram theory is just an intriguing starting point. Not enough to be convinced, but enough to be interested. But what made it really convincing is that after coming up with the idea, David Alexander then discovers that Sanders played with anagrams etc on his name in his diaries. That's huge! Without the anagrams in the diaries, I'd agree it was on the speculative side. But having that additional information changes everything to my mind. And then the rest (writing style, gambling/magic links) just adds further weight.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 9:44 am

Roger M. wrote:There aren’t really any other negative elements to Andrews, at least such that they stand out as being worthy of note.
You forgot what I consider E.S. Andrew's biggest problem. He wasn't a writer. As far as we know he wrote nothing, besides a little thank you note. No letters, no articles, no editorials, no books, ... nothing. The best and strongest evidence we have of Erdnase is his writing which is very good. A good candidate must be able to demonstrate that he was a good writer.

Bill Mullins wrote:
lybrary wrote: People don't change their character that much over time.

So when you write of "one other event in Gallaway’s life which may suggest a change of heart, away from cheating people, to a path of doing good and helping others," we should not believe you? And we should ignore the example of Erdnase himself, who had been a card shark but went straight?
You should get out of your little engineering office more often. People aren't machines. They are much more complex than you seem to understand. I wrote may suggest. I don't know. You don't know. I am simply probing and interpreting the data I have. Of course people can change their career, and can change their character, but it doesn't happen that often and it usually requires some important event or experience in their life. The event that may have changed Gallaway's attitude towards cardsharking could have been his marriage and the start of building a family, or joining the Odd Fellowship. For many marriage is a life changing event that triggers other changes. However, there is no way of knowing if he kept his word not to gamble or cheat. Maybe a year later he was back at it. Or maybe not. Certain traits persist throughout ones life others don't. You seem to have no ability to deal with ambiguous facts and fuzzy information. The fact that the daughter-in-law volunteered this information about Gallaway is very revealing. It is not proof that he is Erdnase, but it paints Gallaway's character, which allows us to compare it to what we know about Erdnase. Not being able to hold on to the lots of money he made is very similar to Erdnase gambling away his winnings from cheating by playing Faro.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 9:58 am

lybrary wrote:You forgot what I consider E.S. Andrew's biggest problem. He wasn't a writer.


I didn't forget that Chris, indeed I see it as a positive for Andrews, and noted just that ... in my post I said:

"E.S. Andrews had never self-published anything before, which is reflected in the somewhat loose editorial work, spelling mistakes, and errors in instruction which are scattered throughout EATCT."

I believe that Erdnase has a quick wit and a sharp tongue, and those elements of his character are reflected in his writing throughout the book ... but I also think that parts of the book also demonstrate the work of somebody who has never written anything of substance before, certainly never self-published a book. I note those parts I believe support this thinking in my earlier post, repeated above.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 17th, 2018, 10:40 am

Bill Mullins wrote:...But we aren't relying on Smith for "intimate knowledge"; we are relying on him to report what he saw and heard. His account is first-hand...


Not sure what you mean by first-hand. Smith's attributed comments are as reported by Gardner.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 10:42 am

Roger M. wrote:
lybrary wrote:You forgot what I consider E.S. Andrew's biggest problem. He wasn't a writer.

I didn't forget that Chris, indeed I see it as a positive for Andrews, and noted just that ... in my post I said:
"E.S. Andrews had never self-published anything before, which is reflected in the somewhat loose editorial work, spelling mistakes, and errors in instruction which are scattered throughout EATCT."
He may have never self-published anything before, but he certainly wrote a lot before. The writing is too good to suggest a first time author. That is not only my opinion, many before me have made that observation. E.S. Andrews has no written record, not before, or after Expert. In other words, he is not a writer and thus is not Erdnase.

Roger M. wrote:I believe that Erdnase has a quick wit and a sharp tongue, and those elements of his character are reflected in his writing throughout the book ...
Where is the evidence that E.S. Andrews had wit and a sharp tongue? From Gallaway we have plenty of evidence for that.
Mr. Gallaway has been accused, and with justice, of being a ‘silver-tongued orator.’
Such a trio as Tom Quin, Theodore Regensteiner, and Edward Gallaway surpass anything in wit and humor that Flo Ziegfeld or Earl Caroll so far has produced.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 10:50 am

lybrary wrote:He may have never self-published anything before, but he certainly wrote a lot before.


I understand that you, and some others believe that Chris ... but it's not an opinion that I share.
The idea that Erdnase wrote a lot prior to EATCT is a mere guess, and I'm avoiding guesses at this point.

More importantly, I'd rather not get into a tit for tat exchange on points of reference that have already been dealt with dozens of times in this thread.
I'd appreciate it if you'd make your case on its own merits, and perhaps avoid the construct which has you attacking others who might disagree with you, or calling into doubt every single post which doesn't focus on Gallaway.

Thanks.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 11:10 am

Roger M. wrote:
lybrary wrote:He may have never self-published anything before, but he certainly wrote a lot before.

I understand that you, and some others believe that Chris ... but it's not an opinion that I share.
The idea that Erdnase wrote a lot prior to EATCT is a mere guess, and I'm avoiding guesses at this point.
It is not a guess when many people who deal with language professionally think so. Writing is a skill just as sleight-of-hand. One is not born with that ability. It is acquired and must be practiced in one way or another. E.S. Andrews does not display that practice. That is a serious problem for his case. Doesn't mean he didn't have it, but so far we have no evidence of it.

Roger M. wrote:More importantly, I'd rather not get into a tit for tat exchange on points of reference that have already been dealt with dozens of times in this thread.
I'd appreciate it if you'd make your case on its own merits, and perhaps avoid the construct which has you attacking others who might disagree with you, or calling into doubt every single post which doesn't focus on Gallaway.

Thanks.
I am merely pointing out your double standard. If you say Erdnase had wit and put this forward as a particularly noteworthy trait, but your favorite candidate doesn't show that trait, when others do, then you are opening up yourself to critique. Your argumentation is not sound.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 11:51 am

I take note that you believe my argumentation not to be sound.

To clarify though, I'm only seeking conversation, not an argument.

Believe me Chris, I DO know what your position is on Erdnase, as you no doubt know mine.
I'd prefer to engage strictly as gentlemen on a subject of interest to us both.

Thanks.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 17th, 2018, 12:01 pm

writing is a skill but card cheating is not?

if someone went to school they practiced writing. not so with cards (cheating or playing.) You have to be a great player to be a great cheat, and that takes time and experience to become either.

there are naturally talented writers - mainly
because writing is an extension of speaking and many get lots of practice with that.

I’m less worried about a lack of a published record then i am lack of evidence of card playing. Everyone has pens in their hands at some point. Not so with playing cards.

further, writing is a private act and gambling a public one. I’m unconvinced that no one never gambled with ‘erdnase’. Clearly there are people who would have seen the candidate with a pack of cards - even if he wasn’t wearing his mask and cape at the time.

But here is a question that might get me kicked out of the cool kids club: can we say erdnase was a great writer?

I don’t know about you but at least the first few times i tried to read the book it made no sense to me. It took years before i was able to really see the valuable information inside there. And that information is there. But as an instructional manual he doesn’t always make it clearly obvious.

Magicians spend years going through it and finding more revelations

So - is that the quality of great writing?

sure we can mythologize it and believe that these lessons were intentionally obscured so only the true student could find them when it was the right time - but who does that for a book to the public, especially if we accept as true his predatory statement??.

Sure he has a way with words and a distinctive voice - but was he a skilled writer? Can we say that the information in erdnase is presently carefully, clearly, and concisely?

i don’t think it is.

I think erdnase had an incredibly - incredibly - deep understanding of card cheating and used his gift of word management to convey it as best he could - but if he were truly a great writer would we have the need for annotations and revelations and commentary?

Erdnase was clearly intelligent, but just as we can pose possibilities to justify anything now - can we not pose the possibility he was just naturally good with words?

why not, if that’s the standard of evidence we have sunk to.

but no one gets to the level of understanding the psychology of cheating without doing it and thinking about it for years. expert is great not because of the writing but because of his knowledge about cheating.

show me the cards

everyone has a pen.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 17th, 2018, 1:18 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:...But we aren't relying on Smith for "intimate knowledge"; we are relying on him to report what he saw and heard. His account is first-hand...

Not sure what you mean by first-hand. Smith's attributed comments are as reported by Gardner.

The Gardner-Smith Correspondence reproduces letters from Smith.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 1:25 pm

The concept that Erdnase had to have written books before EATCT is (IMO) flawed, and it's worth noting that the world is full of "first time authors" who have written brilliant books as their first effort:

    "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austin was a first time effort.
    "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly was a first time effort.
    "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens was a first time effort.
    "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - the same
    "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
    "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells
    "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce
    "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
    "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler
    "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury
    "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Sallinger
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
    "V" by Thomas Pynchon
    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson
    "A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
    "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone" by J.K. Rowling

And there are dozens (if not hundreds) more brilliant efforts by authors who had never before published anything at all.

There is certainly no requirement whatsoever for Erdnase to have written anything prior to EATCT, as the list above demonstrates many authors who generate brilliant works right out of the gate.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 1:34 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
But here is a question that might get me kicked out of the cool kids club: can we say erdnase was a great writer?

I think Erdnase is a profoundly knowledgeable writer on the subject matter he's writing about (to be expected, as he invented most of what he writes about from scratch), but I think too it would be too much of a stretch to call Erdnase a "great writer".

EATCT is very densely written, , often confusing, and often unfocused. It is really only comprehended after many (dozens?) of readings.
This isn't really as as much a demonstration of a great writer as it is a demonstration of a writer who is profoundly intimate with his subject matter ... often with details down to the atomic level.

I think it's quite easy to be fooled into thinking you're reading a masterful bit of writing, when in reality you're simply reading a book written by somebody who knows more than anybody else on earth about the subject matter they're writing about.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 17th, 2018, 2:44 pm

lybrary wrote: You seem to have no ability to deal with ambiguous facts and fuzzy information.

I don't? I'm not the one who always, invariably, and without fail resolves any ambiguity with respect to facts surrounding Gallaway by saying they point in the direction of him being Erdnase, and I'm not the one who always, invariably, and without fail resolves any ambiguity with respect to Sanders, Edwin Andrews, E. S. Andrews, and others by saying they point away from the candidate being Erdnase. The ambiguity associated with all of the candidates means that there are good arguments in favor of the ones who are not named Gallaway, and there are good arguments against Gallaway. Admit that for once, why don't you?

The fact that the daughter-in-law volunteered this information about Gallaway is very revealing.

What it reveals to me is that the DIL may not have known what she was talking about. One the one hand, we have a second-hand account of her opinion that a man she was associated with for a short time near the end of his life decades before was a spendthrift; on the other hand, we have documented facts that he owned a house worth $5000 in 1930 at 5420 Harrison, he bought it sometime before 1920 and it remained in his family until after 1940; that he had a vacation property in addition; that his income was sufficient to support leisure activities like astronomy and book collecting. When they first were married, in 1910, his wife worked outside the home. But later, as he became more successful, she did not. He ran his own company, and was apparently respected in his field. The known facts of his life aren't consistent with her opinion, and don't sound like someone who let money slip through his hands.

Why would the people who invested in companies with him in the 1890s do so if he gambled money away?

We don't know what her words were to Marshall. You've criticized Gardner's interviewing skills as not sufficient to elicit the truth, but accept Marshall's account at face value. The DIL may have had an agenda of her own; may have fought with Edward over money; may have been stringing on someone whom she knew from show business.

But like I said, you resolve ambiguities to support Gallaway.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » April 17th, 2018, 2:49 pm

Roger M. wrote:The concept that Erdnase had to have written books before EATCT is (IMO) flawed,


Likewise the concept that someone with knowledge of self-publishing is more likely to have been Erdnase. Is it not obvious that anyone who had a manuscript who walked into McKinney's shop had all the knowledge necessary? McKinney was in the business of printing books. He had all the contacts necessary to turn the manuscript, however polished (or unpolished) it may have been, into the book -- all else that was necessary was that the author "had the price."

Further, in 1901, Gallaway never had published a book, so he can't be privileged above Sanders or Andrews or any other non-published authors on that basis.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 3:10 pm

I agree Bill, and would have to believe that in 1901, as in 2018 ... if I were to walk into a printing and publishing facility and ask to speak to somebody about having them print and publish my book ... but that I'd never had any experience before printing and publishing a book ... I'd only hear "absolutely sir, have a seat and I'll have somebody talk to you ... we can take care of everything you need to get your book onto the shelves".

I think a person can paint almost anything as being incredibly complex, even if it's nothing of the sort.
In reality, I think getting EATCT onto a few bookshelves, and into a few mail order houses was not at all complicated.
Indeed it was probably quite easy, with McKinney taking care of everything up to and including presenting Erdnase with boxes of finished books to do with as he pleased ... which is, in effect, exactly what would happen if one were to do the same thing today.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 3:21 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:What it reveals to me is that the DIL may not have known what she was talking about. One the one hand, we have a second-hand account of her opinion that a man she was associated with for a short time near the end of his life decades before was a spendthrift; on the other hand, we have documented facts that he owned a house worth $5000 in 1930 at 5420 Harrison, he bought it sometime before 1920 and it remained in his family until after 1940; that he had a vacation property in addition; that his income was sufficient to support leisure activities like astronomy and book collecting. When they first were married, in 1910, his wife worked outside the home. But later, as he became more successful, she did not. He ran his own company, and was apparently respected in his field. The known facts of his life aren't consistent with her opinion, and don't sound like someone who let money slip through his hands.
Since we do not know how much the head of the Estimating Department at R.R. Donnelley made, nor what his prior employments made, you have no way of knowing how much of his income slipped through his fingers and how much he could save. All we know is that his DIL volunteered the slipping of money through his fingers aspect of his character.

Bill Mullins wrote:Why would the people who invested in companies with him in the 1890s do so if he gambled money away?
How do you know they knew?

Bill Mullins wrote:But like I said, you resolve ambiguities to support Gallaway.
I resolve ambiguities based on what I think is the most likely explanation taking everything I know into account. The only way I have seen you resolve an ambiguity is to dream up the most silly and unlikely explanation for it.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 3:29 pm

Roger M. wrote:The concept that Erdnase had to have written books before EATCT is (IMO) flawed, and it's worth noting that the world is full of "first time authors" who have written brilliant books as their first effort:

    "Sense and Sensibility" by Jane Austin was a first time effort.
    "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelly was a first time effort.
    "The Pickwick Papers" by Charles Dickens was a first time effort.
    "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte - the same
    "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte
    "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells
    "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" by James Joyce
    "The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien
    "The Big Sleep" by Raymond Chandler
    "The Martian Chronicles" by Ray Bradbury
    "Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Sallinger
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee
    "Catch 22" by Joseph Heller
    "V" by Thomas Pynchon
    "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson
    "A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams
    "Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone" by J.K. Rowling

And there are dozens (if not hundreds) more brilliant efforts by authors who had never before published anything at all.

There is certainly no requirement whatsoever for Erdnase to have written anything prior to EATCT, as the list above demonstrates many authors who generate brilliant works right out of the gate.
These authors continued to write. Where is E.S. Andrews continuing to write? What else has he written after Expert? Nothing, because he is not a writer. And if you dig into the bios of the authors you have listed you will find that many have evidence of writing before they released their debut novel. The key is not necessarily writing a book before Expert. The key is to display that the candidate was a writer. After all he turned to write a book to make some money. That is the decision of a writer. And somebody who can write that well will likely continue to apply his writing skill to other projects. Gallaway wrote a lot before Expert, and a lot after Expert. He is a writer, of high quality. That is why he was asked to write the course at R.R. Donnelley. That is why he was asked to write for Lanston Monotype. E.S. Andrews is not a writer. He is not Erdnase.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 3:42 pm

lybrary wrote:These authors continued to write. Where is E.S. Andrews continuing to write? What else has he written after Expert? Nothing, because he is not a writer.


The following authors only wrote one book, indicating that indeed an author need not ever write more than a single book in order to be considered the author of a book, in other words ... a writer:

    Emily Bronte wrote only one book in her life - "Wuthering Heights"
    Anna Sewell only wrote one book in her life - "Black Beauty"
    Margret Mitchell only wrote one book in her life - "Gone with the Wind"
    Boris Pasternak only wrote one book in his life - "Doctor Zhivago"
    Sylvia Plath only wrote one book in her life - "The Bell Jar"
    J.D. Sallinger only wrote one book in his life - "The Catcher in the Rye"
    Oscar Wilde only wrote one book in his life - "Dorian Gray"

So there's that.
More accurate though might be to note (and I'd agree with you) that we haven't yet discovered any additional writing by E.S. Andrews - perhaps we will discover such writing one day (not that it's actually required for him to be the author of EATCT, as the list above notes).

I'll note in advance that some of the above authors indeed wrote poetry, articles, etc ... but all only wrote a single book.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 3:48 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:further, writing is a private act and gambling a public one. I’m unconvinced that no one never gambled with ‘erdnase’. Clearly there are people who would have seen the candidate with a pack of cards - even if he wasn’t wearing his mask and cape at the time.
While the act of writing is a private one, most of it is meant for the public to read. Most writers write for others to read, the more the better. That is why we typically know if somebody was a writer or not. The information is generally speaking public and meant for the public. With card advantage play it is the opposite. While it does happen with others around (not really public but not totally private either) it is a hidden activity. Nobody should see or know about it, except any confederates. With this we expect to have some record of writing if somebody was indeed a writer, but we might not find any proof of sleight-of-hand if somebody was a cardshark. That means you cannot directly compare these two traits and the type of evidence we can expect to find.

Brad Henderson wrote:Sure he has a way with words and a distinctive voice - but was he a skilled writer? Can we say that the information in erdnase is presently carefully, clearly, and concisely?
I think we can. Please compare his descriptions with the descriptions in other books around that time or earlier. Erdnase is more precise, more detailed, and thus much clearer than other books. He is also a much more interesting writer in the less technical parts. Of course it is dense information and therefore needs to be parsed carefully, read slowly and repeatedly. Conveying how fingers and cards need to move is not a simple matter and not easily done. And it is even harder for the reader to parse it and comprehend it all in one reading.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 3:50 pm

Roger M. wrote:I'll note in advance that some of the above authors indeed wrote poetry, articles, etc ... but all only wrote a single book.
And that was exactly my point. We are talking about writers. Doesn't matter if it is newspaper editorials, or technical articles, legal opinions, advertisement copy, or whatever else. A writer writes. I am in no way limiting it to books. E.S Andrews has written nothing. Therefore he is not a writer and had no reason to turn to writing to make money.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 4:20 pm

lybrary wrote:
Roger M. wrote:I'll note in advance that some of the above authors indeed wrote poetry, articles, etc ... but all only wrote a single book.
And that was exactly my point. We are talking about writers. Doesn't matter if it is newspaper editorials, or technical articles, legal opinions, advertisement copy, or whatever else. A writer writes. I am in no way limiting it to books. E.S Andrews has written nothing. Therefore he is not a writer and had no reason to turn to writing to make money.


You missed the word "some" in my post Chris, additional research will demonstrate that nearly half the authors on my list wrote only the book I noted ... and nothing else.
You also skipped over the part of my post that accepts that we haven't found any of E.S. Andrews writing to date (if indeed there is any), but that certainly doesn't preclude him from having written something in addition to EATCT (to date undiscovered).

I have shown authors of note that have only written a single book. In my effort not to massage information to fit through a hole, I choose to leave it there.
If there is indeed additional writing (as yet undiscovered) by E.S. Andrews, then that too supports the theory that E.S. Andrews could be Erdnase.

I get that you don't agree with my point of view Chris, and we've both now made our points clear to each other ... so there's no particular need to now get into a repetitious back and forth on this specific issue. I am crystal clear on your position ... and simply choose not to agree with it.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 17th, 2018, 4:22 pm

you can’t be a card cheat unless you’re playing cards and unless your playing solitaire you are doing that in public.

while the act of cheating should remain sub rosa - any likely candidate will have encountered thousands of people who would know him as a card player.

if you can’t put a deck of cards in his hand, he’s not a truly serious candidate.

And you seem to be speaking for the motivations of thousands of people who you do not know. how can you say most people who write do so to distribute it widely? Are college papers meant to be distributed widely? Letters to friends? diaries?

your position chris is that people who write must be doing so in the hopes others read it, because we don’t see any evidence of people who wrote without the intention of sharing their words with the public.

you see the flaw in that?

and you also seem to be engaging in poor thinking to suggest that the existence of poorly written instructions proves erdnase must have been a writer, and not just more deeply aware of the subject than any who had tried before.

would the existence of a more carefully crafted instructional manual thereby disprove that erdnase was or wasn’t a writer? of course not. so why would inferior offerings.

of course one thing erdnase clearly had had was enough cash to get the book printed. people who wrote for their own enjoyment probably wouldn’t. so they don’t get published.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 5:35 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:you can’t be a card cheat unless you’re playing cards and unless your playing solitaire you are doing that in public.
And how exactly is that recorded in the historical record? Nobody went from club to club and place to place to record who was playing cards. It is the exception that we find some note somewhere that mentions that somebody plaid cards. However, if somebody was a writer then we generally do have the records, because they are published. And even private writing, because it is fixed on paper, often does see the day of light. See the Sanders notebooks, or various collections of letters, etc. You fail to understand the difference. Card playing and particularly those of a cardshark leave a very small footprint of historical records to discover. Being a writer leaves a big footprint. Thus the likelihood of finding evidence of each is dramatically different. Therefore the lack of finding something written, which should be relatively easy, is much more problematic, than not finding card play activity, of which there is generally little evidence.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 6:22 pm

Roger M. wrote:You missed the word "some" in my post Chris, additional research will demonstrate that nearly half the authors on my list wrote only the book I noted ... and nothing else.
Below is the evidence that ALL not some had substantial writing experience BEFORE they had their 'one hit' wonder. I am copying snippets from Wikipedia. You can read their entire bio to find out the details

Roger M. wrote:Emily Bronte wrote only one book in her life - "Wuthering Heights"
Emily and her siblings had access to a wide range of published material; favourites included Sir Walter Scott, Byron, Shelley, and Blackwood's Magazine. ... In their leisure time the children began to write fiction at home. [Note: Poetry, diary papers, and a novel predate the 'debut' work.]

Roger M. wrote:Anna Sewell only wrote one book in her life - "Black Beauty"
The daughter of a successful children’s book writer, she helped edit her mother’s manuscripts from an early age but was not published herself until she was 57. ... Her mother expressed her religious faith most noticeably by authoring a series of evangelical children's books, which Sewell helped to edit,...

Roger M. wrote:Margret Mitchell only wrote one book in her life - "Gone with the Wind"
... a collection of Mitchell's girlhood writings and a novella she wrote as a teenager, Lost Laysen, ... Reporter for The Atlanta Journal ...

Roger M. wrote:Boris Pasternak only wrote one book in his life - "Doctor Zhivago"
Pasternak's first book of poems, My Sister, Life (1917), is one of the most influential collections ever published in the Russian language. Pasternak's translations of stage plays by Goethe, Schiller, Calderón de la Barca and Shakespeare remain very popular with Russian audiences. ... Following My Sister, Life, Pasternak produced some hermetic pieces of uneven quality, including his masterpiece, the lyric cycle Rupture (1921).

Roger M. wrote:Sylvia Plath only wrote one book in her life - "The Bell Jar"
At age 11, Plath began keeping a journal. ... in the evening sat in on creative writing seminars given by poet Robert Lowell ... Plath published her first collection of poetry, The Colossus.

Roger M. wrote:J.D. Sallinger only wrote one book in his life - "The Catcher in the Rye"
Salinger was raised in Manhattan and began writing short stories while in secondary school. Several were published in Story magazine[1] in the early 1940s before he began serving in World War II. In 1948, his critically acclaimed story "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" appeared in The New Yorker magazine, which became home to much of his later work.

Roger M. wrote:Oscar Wilde only wrote one book in his life - "Dorian Gray"
After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London's most popular playwrights in the early 1890s.

As you can see, and as anybody can verify themselves, none of your examples are true. They all had substantial writing experience of one kind or another before they wrote the one book that got published.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Brad Henderson » April 17th, 2018, 6:54 pm

the authors you list who had one book all had books that were of note, so people took steps to find and preserve their early works.

so you want us to compare the keepsakes of renowned authors to those of someone who self published a vanity text that was largely unknown in his lifetime.

that seems desperate.

and the fact is, we do know that individuals played cards based on the historical record. or are you going to claim that there were no poker players in the early 1900’s.

if someone spent enough time around card tables to be a good as erdnase, there is a very good chance someone would have made a notation of it in regard to said person.

but why would anyone save the writings of someone whose only book was unknown?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 17th, 2018, 8:18 pm

Bob Coyne wrote:Here's what I think about the points:

I don't put much if any stock in the "having lots of free time because he was a train agent" argument. Some free time is surely needed, but it would be hard to rule anyone in or out based on that. About a third of your points are just different restatements of that same comparatively vague criterion.

The reversed name is very important. I think every candidate needs to reckon with that. However, I actually think Sanders anagram is quite a bit more compelling, given that we also know that he was interested in such things and had played with re-arranging the letters of his own name. Not to mention the "Erdnase" = "earth nose" = "mining engineer" aspect.

I don't know how to evaluate either of their potential Dalrymple connections.

The pippins thing, while better than nothing, seems very minor on the cards/gambling/magic front compared to Sanders where I think Sanders is an extremely good fit. We know a) he received letters related to his gambling debts; b) he has references in his diaries to card games mentioned by Erdnase (cassino...misspelled same as in Erdnase, whist, euchre); c) he used gambling slang/terminology in his writings; d) he purchased a half dozen decks of cards for a trip; e) he referenced details about a card trick in his notebooks; f) he wrote in his diaries about seeing through a magic performance; g) Erdnase was known to be seen with Del Adelphia, a fellow Montana resident and magician.

And with Sanders we also have:

- a well educated, polished, published writer. Capable of writing at the level of Erdnase.

- knowledge/experience with publishing (both as clerk for his father and on his own). Experience with getting work published as well as understanding the limitations/problems involved in getting something out. ("The mechanical part of the work leaves much to be desired, but it is something to have gotten out the work, so that we can afford to overlook such an item as that.")

- uncanny similarity of voice/style with Erdnase. This includes frequent and effective use of colloquial language/dialects, parenthetical question marks, and scare quotes. Both writers make clever puns, including one instance where they both have a pun pivoting on the same word: "shift". Aside from the stylistic quirks and many linguistic and thematic matches in their writing, the same personality and "voice" shines through. And just as Erdnase adopts different styles within Expert, from precise/analytical (e.g. the descriptions of the sleights) to humous/ironic (e.g. parts of the introduction) to grandiloquent/oratorical (eg the patter in the Card Tricks) so does Sanders range through those same styles in his various writings.

- similarity in the themes of two of Erdnase's most distinctive patter/tricks "Exclusive Coterie" and "Divining Rod" to Sanders' background in private salons/clubs and as a mining engineer.

- a strong reason for a pseudonym (father was senator) and evidence in other ways of hiding aspects of his identity (pages torn from diary), references to his "other life".

- Good match with most of Smith's recollections/descriptions: physically (age, size); socially (unmarried; not from chicago); personality (polite/gentlemanly/refined manner -- we can assume based on his upper class background, education, and the quality/polish of his writing).


Great post Bob! These are the very reasons why I believe it has to be Sanders. The Sanders/Dalrymple connection is simply the idea that his father might have been depicted in that Puck cartoon. Sanders may have told Smith that Dalrymple drew a relative in one of his cartoons and 45 years later we get a conflation by Smith of "related to Dalrymple." We also know that Sanders frequented a private club in Butte, Montana that hosted gambling. He is the only candidate known to have walked into a gambling joint.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 8:26 pm

I quite clearly said book Chris ... and I quite clearly said it more than once.
Your examples are examples of plays, novellas, poems, edits, etc ... none of which are books.

My examples stand as authors of a single, outstanding book.

(BTW Chris, please think about it for a moment before telling me something I've posted "isn't true". I'd rather read that you heartily disagree with what I've posted ... especially when what I've posted is indeed quite true ... thanks)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 8:50 pm

Roger M. wrote:I quite clearly said book Chris ... and I quite clearly said it more than once.
Your examples are examples of plays, novellas, poems, edits, etc ... none of which are books.
Why limit it to book? That makes no sense for your argument. You tried to argue that there are several authors without prior writing experience who wrote a great debut book. I have shown that this is not at all the case. All of your examples had significant writing experiences before their one book was published. That proves that Erdnase must have had prior writing experience as well.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 9:05 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:and the fact is, we do know that individuals played cards based on the historical record. or are you going to claim that there were no poker players in the early 1900’s.
We know that generally speaking, but not specifically for anybody. With authors we not only know that people wrote generally speaking, but we know who wrote what, except for the occasional unattributed writing. With writings we therefore know fairly accurately who wrote what and when. With playing cards we don't. Or do you have any historically relevant lists of names who played what game where and when?

Brad Henderson wrote:if someone spent enough time around card tables to be a good as erdnase, there is a very good chance someone would have made a notation of it in regard to said person.
Who would have made a note about somebody appearing as the typical and average gambler? Nobody. The clever cardshark blends in, doesn't make it known he is a winner, avoids to stick out like a sore thumb. And the few who knew Erdnase as a cardshark are too few to make it likely that such records survived. For a 100 years people are searching for Erdnase and no such records were unearthed. But his book was continuously published and sold tens if not hundreds of thousands of copies over the decades. That example alone should tell you that there is a huge difference between the amount of information about the two, writing and gambling/cardsharking.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 10:01 pm

lybrary wrote: That makes no sense for your argument. You tried to argue that there are several authors without prior writing experience who wrote a great debut book. I have shown that this is not at all the case.


No, I was the one to have shown that Chris ... when I wrote a few posts above:"I'll note in advance that some of the above authors indeed wrote poetry, articles, etc ... but all only wrote a single book".

(BTW Chris, I'm not arguing ... I'm chatting in an online forum!)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » April 17th, 2018, 10:05 pm

To lybrary
In order to be intellectually honest you need to exclude from your rebuttal to Roger M.'s post any references to poetry. On a number of occasions you have disparaged any and all comparisons of poetry and prose, evening going so far as to state "Also comparing poetry with prose is a joke."
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 10:25 pm

Roger M. wrote:No, I was the one to have shown that Chris ... when I wrote a few posts above:"I'll note in advance that some of the above authors indeed wrote poetry, articles, etc ... but all only wrote a single book".

(BTW Chris, I'm not arguing ... I'm chatting in an online forum!)
So you agree that you have no example of an author who wrote a really good first book without any prior writing experience. I am happy you finally agree. Consequently it is silly to argue that Erdnase had no prior writing experience.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » April 17th, 2018, 10:34 pm

Jackpot wrote:To lybrary
In order to be intellectually honest you need to exclude from your rebuttal to Roger M.'s post any references to poetry. On a number of occasions you have disparaged any and all comparisons of poetry and prose, evening going so far as to state "Also comparing poetry with prose is a joke."
My statement you quoted was in the context of a linguistic comparison, like stylometry, or other linguistic authorship attribution methods. BTW, this isn't my insight, it is the generally agreed on reality by linguists who research authorship attribution. You can't mix genres. In other words, you can't take a poem, compare it to prose, and conclude it is or isn't from the same author. However, if you take two samples of prose you may be able to do that. But even if you have two samples of prose, if they are about a different subject all known methods lose a lot of their effectiveness. That is why stylometry is so hard in the Erdnase case, because the text samples we have of the different candidates varies so much by subject.

But when we are speaking of writing experience all writing matters, poetry, novels, short stories, letters, notebooks, articles, editorials, ads, legal opinions, etc. They are all writing and they all help to develop ones writing.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » April 17th, 2018, 10:40 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Bob Coyne wrote:Here's what I think about the points:
I don't know how to evaluate either of their potential Dalrymple connections.

The Sanders/Dalrymple connection is simply the idea that his father might have been depicted in that Puck cartoon. Sanders may have told Smith that Dalrymple drew a relative in one of his cartoons and 45 years later we get a conflation by Smith of "related to Dalrymple."


Right, the cartoon was the initial Dalrymple connection that Marty mentioned in his Genii article. But I was thinking of another more direct and/or genealogical connection that he uncovered. It's briefly referred to in the Montana article -- namely that the Sanders and Dalrymple families had connections since the late 18th century. And Marty elaborated on it a bit in 2014 in this thread:

Sir John Dalrymple is a prominent a surname in and around the same areas occupied by Sanders and their kin and at a minimum the families new, traded, bought and sold property to and from each other and in one instance have likely produced offspring together from legitimate unions. On 18 Feb 1790, Elizabeth Dalrymple, of Stair, Cumberland, England married Sir. Myles Sandys of Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. This is significant because the likelihood of this being a direct family link to today's Sanders and Dalrymple is fairly high

https://forums.geniimagazine.com/viewtopic.php?t=1240&start=2720

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Leonard Hevia » April 17th, 2018, 10:48 pm

I forgot about Bob! Great catch!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jack Shalom » April 17th, 2018, 11:18 pm

I agree that Erdnase must have had prior writing experience; but the lack of available writing evidence doesn't disqualify a candidate--it may just mean that that evidence hasn't been found yet. But until it *is* found, candidates such as E.S. Andrews must be further down the list of candidates in my estimation.

The same is true of card-playing experience: lack of available evidence doesn't disqualify a candidate, as we do not know what may turn up in the future; but until it *is* found, it pushes that candidate further down the list.

That's why for me, Sanders at this point makes the most sense.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » April 17th, 2018, 11:44 pm

lybrary wrote:So you agree that you have no example of an author who wrote a really good first book without any prior writing experience. I am happy you finally agree. Consequently it is silly to argue that Erdnase had no prior writing experience.


Whether I personally can satisfy your need to view a list of writers who may or may not be excellent writers and yet had written only one book (or otherwise fulfil any of your requirements) ... has nothing at all to do with whether EATCT was the single book Erdnase wrote during his life.

I've given you two lists of authors who wrote only one book.
You have not shown that E.S. Andrews hasn't got previous or further writing to his credit, writing that hasn't been uncovered to date.

You're fabricating your guesses into facts in order to suit your narrative Chris.

Anyway, the conversation has (despite my attempting not to participate in such) become circular and repetitive, and I've made my point. Thanks for the exchange Chris.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jackpot » April 17th, 2018, 11:50 pm

lybrary wrote:You can't mix genres. In other words, you can't take a poem, compare it to prose, and conclude it is or isn't from the same author. However, if you take two samples of prose you may be able to do that. But even if you have two samples of prose, if they are about a different subject all known methods lose a lot of their effectiveness. That is why stylometry is so hard in the Erdnase case, because the text samples we have of the different candidates varies so much by subject.

But when we are speaking of writing experience all writing matters, poetry, novels, short stories, letters, notebooks, articles, editorials, ads, legal opinions, etc. They are all writing and they all help to develop ones writing.


Therefore, to this point, the literary analysis which you have provided cannot rule out any candidate. The examples of poetry penned by Sanders's which others have provided cannot be dismissed just because of the limitations of the analytical process which you have relied on.
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