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Re: ERDNASE

Posted: March 29th, 2019, 7:27 pm
by Bill Mullins
Jonathan Townsend wrote:How does the sleight of hand in Sachs's book compare with what's described in erdnase?


They are both available online to read. You could compare them.

Erdnase included material that had been previously written about in Sachs, so he may have been familiar with it.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: March 30th, 2019, 4:50 pm
by Leonard Hevia
A first edition Expert, lot 35, sold for $14,000 in today's Potter & Potter Tom Blue auction:

https://auctions.potterauctions.com/mob ... ryid=16289

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: March 30th, 2019, 5:19 pm
by Bill Mullins
Counting buyer's premium, that was $16,800. I don't believe that a copy has ever sold for that much before.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: March 30th, 2019, 5:45 pm
by Brad Henderson
Don’t forget the extra 3% if paid with credit card and an additional 3 if the bid was placed through live auctioneers. It all adds up pretty quickly.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: March 30th, 2019, 5:50 pm
by Richard Kaufman
I REALLY REALLY should have waited to sell mine!

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 9th, 2019, 1:46 pm
by Bill Mullins
Another reverse-spelling pseudonym:

Comic book artist Will Eisner published some material under the name of Willis B. Rensie.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 9th, 2019, 3:37 pm
by Bob Coyne
Bill Mullins wrote:Another reverse-spelling pseudonym:

Comic book artist Will Eisner published some material under the name of Willis B. Rensie.

Good find, Bill! How many of these have you identified so far?

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 9th, 2019, 4:02 pm
by Bill Mullins
A couple dozen? I'd have to go back through the archives of the thread to see.

But while we are at it, artist John Severin worked as "Nireves".

Comics guys used anagrams, too.
Steve Gerber wrote as "Reg Everbest."

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 10th, 2019, 11:33 pm
by Bill Mullins
And Stevie Wonder recorded as Eivets Rednow.

Image

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 11th, 2019, 8:51 am
by Bill Mullins
Image
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Re: ERDNASE

Posted: April 11th, 2019, 12:42 pm
by Jack Shalom

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 6th, 2019, 6:44 pm
by Marty Demarest
I very much enjoyed reading the recent posts on Erdnase's use of language, particularly Chris Wasshuber's investigation into Erdnase's and Edward Galloway's similar deployment of the phrase "gift of the gab" (in Chris's newsletter, extended by others on this forum), and Bob Coyne's examination the phrase "palm off" as used in The Expert at the Card Table and the writings of W.E. Sanders. The manner in which the text of The Expert at the Card Table regularly uses common, vernacular phrases is one of its unique hallmarks, and I have mentioned some examples in a previous post about Erdnase's linguistic wit.

Another instance--which I have not seen discussed elsewhere with regards to its idiomatic character--occurs on page 116, as part of the section "The Player Without an Ally: The Short Deck." Erdnase writes:

With this arrangement, or depletion, an adversary enjoying ordinary luck, will find in summing up his points that he does not make 'cards' or 'spades' in a very long time indeed, and of course he credits his opponent with three points.


This is a play on an American idiom from the early 20th Century: to "give cards and spades." The phrase derives from the card game cassino, where "cards" and "spades" are two of the methods of scoring. It effectively means to give someone a handicap by awarding them an advantage in the final scoring.

Erdnase's use of the phrase is notable for several reasons. Erdnase only encloses the technical terms "cards" and "spades" in "scare quotes," (which was his general practice), instead of putting quotes around the entire idiom. This is consistent with most of his other manipulations of idiomatic language, such as "could not hit the side of a barn" (p. 23), "walk and stock" (p. 74), and "lightning don't strike in the same place often" (p. 79), which are usually incorporated into the text of The Expert without any separation or special indication. Additionally, Erdnase's use of the phrase exhibits a sophisticated sense of humor by returning the idiom to its literal source--the game of cassino--while inverting its sense to show how the cheater is unwittingly credited with what would be a common advantage.

To me, it is clear that the author of The Expert was in the habit of appropriating popular and vernacular words and phrases to lend a casual, slangy feel to his text. Much of the book's literary aesthetic derives from his juxtaposition of detailed instructions, a very Latinate and French vocabulary, and the regular deployment of a colloquial American voice. It is a unique and confident mixture of styles, and can serve as a literary fingerprint for Erdnase when assessing any authorial candidates.

The "'cards' or 'spades'" phrase came to my attention when preparing a new, hardcover edition of The Expert at the Card Table for publisher Charles & Wonder. Erdnase's play on the cassino idiom coincides with one of the book's technical errors, which has previously gone unremarked, and which I detail fully in the "Errata" of the new edition. (That edition is now available for sale on Amazon.) The latest edition brings my account of the book's technical errors up to 20. (By technical error, I mean errors that could result in readers not being able to accurately perform the maneuvers described in the book. Technical errors do not include typos, misspellings, errors in grammar and mistakes in naming/terminology, such as the author's habitual confusion of "sleight/slight" and referring to the Charlier pass as "the 'Charlies pass'.") I suspect Erdnase's error in "The Short Deck" section had gone unnoticed for much the same reason that his playful use of the idiom was not noted: Cassino is an uncommon game these days.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 6th, 2019, 11:06 pm
by Pete McCabe
Is the error that there's an extra "s" in Casino?

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 7th, 2019, 1:45 am
by Bob Coyne
Marty Demarest wrote: This is consistent with most of his other manipulations of idiomatic language, such as "could not hit the side of a barn" (p. 23), "walk and stock" (p. 74), and "lightning don't strike in the same place often" (p. 79), which are usually incorporated into the text of The Expert without any separation or special indication. Additionally, Erdnase's use of the phrase exhibits a sophisticated sense of humor by returning the idiom to its literal source--the game of cassino--while inverting its sense to show how the cheater is unwittingly credited with what would be a common advantage.

That's interesting about Erdnase's reference to making "cards" or "spades." I never knew what that was referring to!

Regarding his other idioms, you mention "walk and stock," but I don't find that in Erdnase. Perhaps you mean "stock and talk" ("a few repetitions of the same formula enables one to stock and talk at the same time")? But what's the actual idiom there? A variant of "walk and chew gum at the same time"?

The linking of an idiom or metaphor to its original source is something I've noticed elsewhere in Erdnase's writing. For example, he describes palming being done "in a flash" (idiom) without any "snap or crack" sound (literal) and then further ties these together by making the metaphor explicit by describing the palming as "lightning-like" (since lightning both literally flashes and makes a snap/crackling sound).

Sanders, tellingly, makes the same linkage between flash (used metaphorically) and lightning (its origin). He describes a professor whose "mirth and humor would FLASH and beam in him as FLASH the LIGHTNINGS of his beloved Physics."

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 7th, 2019, 9:22 am
by Marty Demarest
Bob Coyne wrote:Regarding his other idioms, you mention "walk and stock," but I don't find that in Erdnase. Perhaps you mean "stock and talk" ("a few repetitions of the same formula enables one to stock and talk at the same time")? But what's the actual idiom there? A variant of "walk and chew gum at the same time"?


That is my error, Bob--I did indeed mean "stock and talk" as I had correctly quoted in my other post about Erdnase's witty use of language.

To my mind, Erdnase is playing with the idiomatic expression "walk and talk at the same time" in the phrase that you quote from page 74.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 7th, 2019, 9:26 am
by Ray J

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 7th, 2019, 9:29 am
by Marty Demarest
Pete McCabe wrote:Is the error that there's an extra "s" in Casino?


That's not the error I point out and correct. For anyone interested, I detail the technical error in "The Short Deck" section, along with Erdnase's other 19 technical errors, in the "Errata" of the new hardcover edition of The Expert at the Card Table from Charles & Wonder.

As to the spelling of cassino, I've found the game spelled both with single and double "s"s. The author of The Expert at the Card Table actually uses both spellings: "casino" on page 93, and "cassino" on page 116. The author's inconsistency in the spelling of the game's name may well be another one of Erdnase's distinguishing literary quirks--or it could simply be a typo.

Notably, W.E. Sanders spells/misspells the game similarly in his diaries.

To my mind, what is perhaps most revealing about Erdnase is that cassino is one of the few games (along with faro) that he admits to having played (and lost). From pages 116-117:

S.W. Erdnase wrote:The idea of so many cards being withheld from the deck without being noticed, will doubtless cause certain Cassino players to smile. We don't think many shrewd players could be so imposed upon, but we regret the truth of the confession that once upon a time we were, and we marveled greatly and also sorrowed, over a continuous and very protracted run of "hard luck."


Again, W.E. Sanders is the one Erdnase candidate I am aware of who also confessed to playing (and losing) at cassino, but I would be very interested to hear of evidence for others.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 18th, 2019, 11:27 am
by Joe Lyons
A first edition Expert, just sold for $4,400 in today's Potter & Potter Auction.
Quite a drop from the last one.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 18th, 2019, 11:50 am
by John Bodine
Joe Lyons wrote:A first edition Expert, just sold for $4,400 in today's Potter & Potter Auction.
Quite a drop from the last one.


Indeed. That's quite the price swing, guess I should have got out of bed this morning to bid!

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 18th, 2019, 11:52 am
by Bill Mullins
It had water damage. Plus, the description indicated more damage and defects, but the pictures didn't allow you to see how bad it was, which may have scared some bidders off. (and with premium, it went for $5280).

The previous copy was in much better condition.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 18th, 2019, 6:22 pm
by Joe Lyons
Bill Mullins wrote:The previous copy was in much better condition.

True.
And “About the best copy we’ve seen” from Potter & Potter certainly didn’t hurt the bidding.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 20th, 2019, 12:15 pm
by Bill Mullins
Does anyone recognize where this photo
Image
was published? I'm drawing a blank.

Re: ERDNASE

Posted: May 20th, 2019, 1:26 pm
by Brad Jeffers
It's from Magicol magazine August 1951.
It accompanies an article by Martin Gardner entitled Editions of Erdnase.