Troublewit research en Français

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Edwin Corrie
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » December 29th, 2010, 4:53 pm

Interesting the Universal Self-Instructor is very similar to Cassells Book of Indoor Amusements referenced earlier, with identical illustrations but different text.

The Source unknown items from Flickr are the Troublewit pages in Kenneways Complete Origami.

Illustreret Legebog by Anna Erslev was new to me, but the cover can be seen here:

http://papirfoldning.dk/boeger/AlleAlder.html

and I think the description says it has instructions for 6 pleated objects ("6 plisserede genstande"). Another one for Andrews bibliography!

Just time for one more:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/peterjohn. ... oc95294133

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Andrew Pinard
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » December 29th, 2010, 5:08 pm

You guys are wonderful...

I also noted the Berg relationship to Cassell. Not surprising, there was quite a bit of reproduction in the early titles. I will be more scrupulous with the text knowing there are discrepancies.

I took my existing bibliography and created a chronology to compare the physical development of the prop. I have made some interesting observations and have begun documenting the variants... More on that later...

Thanks again to everyone helping out! (Travel safe Edwin...)

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Bill Mullins » December 29th, 2010, 5:12 pm

Edwin Corrie wrote: Illustreret Legebog by Anna Erslev was new to me, but the cover can be seen here:

http://papirfoldning.dk/boeger/AlleAlder.html

and I think the description says it has instructions for 6 pleated objects ("6 plisserede genstande"). Another one for Andrews bibliography!


And HERE are the 6 pleated objects.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » January 25th, 2011, 12:55 pm

I've finally managed to contact David Lister, who is a founder member of the British Origami Society and one of our distinguished origami historians. He is very interested in Troublewit and has done a lot of research on it, as have a number of other origami aficionados. He has an written an article on the subject, which is as yet unpublished. It's a bit long to post here, even though David stresses it's just the tip of the iceberg, but I can pass it on via PM to anyone who's interested (just let me know).

In answer to Andrew's original question about the origin of Troublewit, David says he has found no convincing evidence of it being invented in China or brought back to Europe by Pre Mathieu. He doesn't completely discount the possibility of a Chinese origin, but suspects it may have been a showman's ploy to add mystery to his performance.

One of the things David mentioned is that the ancient art of tablecloth folding has been revived just recently by Joan Sallas, a Spanish paperfolder who lives in Germany and has done a lot of research into old German paperfolding books. He has recreated some of the tablecloth folding designs described in the "Trincirbuch" and mounted exhibitions in Germany. The exhibition catalogue is still available here:
http://www.serviettenbrechen.de/frameset.html

If you enlarge the Contents page, you can see there's a short chapter on Troublewit.

David also mentioned some articles by Roberto Morassi in the Italian origami magazine "Quadrato Magico", from 1984. I happen to have these, and he goes into some detail about both Troublewit and tablecloth folding, with references to the Italian book that preceded the German "Trincirbuch". It would be rather a lot to translate, but I could summarise the information for anyone interested.

There's another origami book by Yoshizawa which has some pleated paper folding in it, called "Origami Sosaku" (Creative Origami). Not much, and it's his own version again, rather different from the standard Troublewit. For one thing, the figures are static (vases etc.). Available here for anyone interested:
http://www.origami-shop.com/en/akira-yo ... -1291.html

I also found some more Hofzinser pictures showing him with Troublewit:
http://www.hofzinser.com/hofzinserlife_en.html

Running out of time again. For anyone who's still with me, I hope it was worth the wait.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 25th, 2011, 1:33 pm

Interesting Edwin, thanks.
The Hatch translation of Hofzinser's Magic has some photos of him using the TroubleWit as well.
Odd about the fan configuration as that and paper are both of Asian (Chinese) origins along with books, kites and even paper hats and armor. One can well imagine someone playing the part of Marco Polo demonstrating the uses for this miracle stuff they brought back from the markets of the far east.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » January 25th, 2011, 5:42 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:The Hatch translation of Hofzinser's Magic has some photos of him using the TroubleWit as well.


There may well be something on Troublewit in Magic Christian's as yet unpublished third volume of his Hofzinser trilogy, though we may have to wait a while for the promised English translation.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 27th, 2011, 12:48 pm

For anyone who is still following, and to keep the list of references as complete as possible, I just found Troublewit in "Trsor des jeux" by Carlo Antonio (1759), pages 62-64.:

http://digital.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/ ... view/74236

The text and drawings seem to be the same as in Ozanam and others.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 1:44 pm

Thanks Edwin...

I have added it to the bibliography (98 entries and counting) and chronology... Just gave local talks on troublewit yesterday and last week with an emphasis on the search for Pre Mathieu. The earliest reference I currently have to him is 1896...

My current hypothesis is that when Felicien Trewey began touring in the United Kingdom (circa 1876) he caused a resurgence of interest in the performance of Troublewit. The chronology in print jumps from 1863 (The Magician's Own Book) to 1881 (Cassell's Book of In-door Amusements...) and from there we see an increase in publications (1883, 1887, 1888 culminating with the 1896 reference in The Strand to Pre Mathieu).

It would not surprise me if Trewey invented Mathieu as a way of laying French claim to its origination. This, of course, requires some confirmation...

Andrew

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Philippe Billot » April 27th, 2011, 4:45 pm

Thanks Edwin for the link to Trsor des jeux which is a copy of Tours de gibecire by Grandin in 1723.

Andrew, the story of Pre Mathieu is very curious because Flicien Trewey presented Troublewit as "Papier multiforme" which is a good translation in french for troublewit.

As you write it before, it is Stanyon who, the first, speaks about Pre Mathieu but, hlas, he did'nt give source nor why it was named like this.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 6:19 pm

Phillipe,

I have been taking college French courses this semester to aid me in my research and it has proved very helpful!

I am still trying to find a copy of Trewey's "Le Papier Uniforme" which was published in 1913 (although I have found a photo of the cover of one issue auctioned recently which is titled "Le Papier Multiforme and a friend believes he has a copy). I have also found that there may exist a short film of Trewey presenting Troublewit, but it is only viewable in the Bibliothque nationale de France. Time for a trip!

I have found yet an earlier reference to the elusive priest. In Trewey's "How It Is Done", the history section on page 18 contains the following sentence:

"His manipulation of what the French call "Le papier da papa Mathieu," by which he makes numerous familiar objects, is a revival of an old popular amusement."

Trewey is the presumed author, lending perhaps more credence to my hypothesis that Trewey may have created the character from whole cloth...

The fourth edition (from which I located this quote) can be found here: http://www.cineressources.net/images/ouv_num/297.pdf

Again, I have so far only been able to locate references to Mathieu in English-language manuscripts.

Curious.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 6:21 pm

Philippe Billot wrote:which is a copy of Tours de gibecire by Grandin in 1723.


Is this the "Grandin" who expanded Ozanam in 1725 (and why is there a discrepancy between 1723 & 1725)? Was there a separate published document ("tours de") that predated Ozanam? And who was Grandin anyway? Will have to chase this down...

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 6:43 pm

Another edition (perhaps later than the earlier link?) of "The Art of Shadowgraphy: How It Is Done":

http://ia600108.us.archive.org/21/items ... ewuoft.pdf

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 10:26 pm

It does occur to me that the Trewey translation is a little unusual. If Trewey spoke English (which I presume he did, at least enough to perform for lengthy periods in the UK) and wrote it in English, then the translation "papa" seems an odd choice, especially since all the other English references refer to "pre". Although this certainly can be translated as "father" ("papa") or "Father" ("Father" as in priest).

It seems unlikely that Trewey wrote the "background" information; but if he didn't who did? Were they accurate in their "translation"? Is the fact that this, the earliest print reference I have found thus far, indicative that the notion that Mathieu was not in the clergy another red herring? Is there a French language version of this manuscript that predates the English?

To be continued...

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 10:29 pm

Andrew Pinard wrote:I have found yet an earlier reference to the elusive priest. In Trewey's "How It Is Done", the history section on page 18 contains the following sentence:

"His manipulation of what the French call "Le papier da papa Mathieu," by which he makes numerous familiar objects, is a revival of an old popular amusement."


Meant to reference the date in the earlier post. This appears to have been published in 1894.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby amp » April 27th, 2011, 10:44 pm

http://www.britishpathe.com/record.php?id=84789
Here is a clip of Trewey performing . It's about 4.09

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 27th, 2011, 11:44 pm

Thanks amp! Leland Faulkner has an extended version of this clip and ran it at last November's Yankee Gathering prior to his performance of chapeaugraphy. Both were wonderful!

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Philippe Billot » April 28th, 2011, 3:19 am

Andrew Pinard wrote:
Philippe Billot wrote:which is a copy of Tours de gibecire by Grandin in 1723.


Is this the "Grandin" who expanded Ozanam in 1725 (and why is there a discrepancy between 1723 & 1725)? Was there a separate published document ("tours de") that predated Ozanam? And who was Grandin anyway? Will have to chase this down...

ajp


Yes, it is this Grandin who expanded Ozanam's book. As I haven't the original, I don't know exactly if it's 1723 or 1725. If someone can help, thanks in advance.

Perhaps "Les Papiers du Pre Mathieu" comes from a magic dealer's ad ?

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 28th, 2011, 4:32 am

Andrew Pinard wrote:It does occur to me that the Trewey translation is a little unusual. If Trewey spoke English (which I presume he did, at least enough to perform for lengthy periods in the UK) and wrote it in English, then the translation "papa" seems an odd choice, especially since all the other English references refer to "pre". Although this certainly can be translated as "father" ("papa") or "Father" ("Father" as in priest).

It seems unlikely that Trewey wrote the "background" information; but if he didn't who did? Were they accurate in their "translation"? Is the fact that this, the earliest print reference I have found thus far, indicative that the notion that Mathieu was not in the clergy another red herring? Is there a French language version of this manuscript that predates the English?

To be continued...


The English edition of 1894 is probably not a reliable source. It reads quite well but a bit like a translation in places, and also it retains the French title and refers to "Le papier da papa Mathieu" (with "papa" in French and also "da" instead of "du"). The later edition you linked to (it must be later because it talks about him in the past tense and says he died in 1920) says "de" but still uses the word "papa". Yet other references we have say "du Pre Mathieu", which suggests a priest because Pre is capitalised and "du" = "de + le" (indicating a title?). I wonder if "papa" is perhaps simply a mistake.

It would be interesting to see the original French edition. Georges Proust seems to have it for sale here (see "Comment cela se fait"):

http://www.academiedemagie.com/componen ... tstart=630

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 28th, 2011, 8:19 am

Edwin, folks,

When did "proffessor" get popular among performers and magicians? By extension along that line of thinking: Were other such terms of "status" used? Aong them perhaps "friar/father/brother/clergyman/priest" used with a nod an a wink?

Just a first cup of coffee in the morning thought,

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Joe Pecore » April 28th, 2011, 8:43 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Edwin, folks,

When did "proffessor" get popular among performers and magicians?


Briefly looking through MagicPedia and AskAlexander, "professor" (in association with magicians) seems to have started in the late 1800s. Some of the early ones: "Professor Hoffmann (1839 - 1919), Professor Du Payne (1952 - 1919), Professor Herwinn (1861 - 1946)

There is also a reference to "Dr. Carlosbach, Conjuror and Professor of Mystification" in "The Memoirs of Robert-Houdin Volume I (1859).
Share your knowledge on the MagicPedia wiki.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 28th, 2011, 9:06 am

Joe, folks,

Going to the historical use of the term it would seem an almost natural adaptation to present ones amusing physics as a doctor of (un)natural philosophy.

A popular understanding of the term doctor (medical, philosophy, religious) among the educated would date back to the thirteenth century. This puts a conflation of the guild based "master" and the scholarly "doctor" into "teacher/professor" - which usually describes the way tricks are performed, as demonstrations.

Who put a spell on the coffee beans? :)

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 28th, 2011, 10:55 am

Edwin Corrie wrote:The English edition of 1894 is probably not a reliable source.

That may be true, but it is still the earliest source I have found that cites "Mathieu". I am looking for a stateside copy of "Comment cela se fait" to view. I may have to break down and order from Georges...

I agree with your analysis of "papa" vs. "Pre" though...

More later!

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 28th, 2011, 12:38 pm

Assuming the English edition of 1894 is a translation, its French predecessor will automatically be an earlier source. :)

I didn't mean to sound scathing when I said the English edition was probably not reliable. As a translator myself I can safely say that relatively few translations are totally reliable - there is usually some element that is lost, and it's always best to go by the original if you can.

By the way, did you get the David Lister article I sent you? I've been in touch with him and though he is unlikely to join the Genii forum he is quite keen to exchange notes on Troublewit.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Nick » April 28th, 2011, 1:17 pm

There are two copies of Trewey's "Papier multiforme" in the Library of Congress. Go to the LoC catalog page (http://catalog.loc.gov/) and do a Quick Search on Author keyword, Felicien Trewey. You should be able to get a copy by making a request through your local library.
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 28th, 2011, 3:09 pm

Edwin Corrie wrote:I didn't mean to sound scathing when I said the English edition was probably not reliable.
...
By the way, did you get the David Lister article I sent you? I've been in touch with him and though he is unlikely to join the Genii forum he is quite keen to exchange notes on Troublewit.


No offense taken, I understood 100% and took it at face value. :O) I'm trying to get copies from the McManus-Young Collection at the Library of Congress right now (thanks Nick!), but it will take some time as they are "rare books" and will have to be scanned in (at an additional charge of course).

I did get the Lister article, with many thanks! I hope to contact him soon. I just initiated contact with Steve Biddle last night and we have already tossed a few emails back and forth (he had nice things to say about both you and David). I hope to email David later in the week.

Keep an eye out on your email for an updated bibliography and a few other goodies...

Thanks to all of you for keeping this thread alive!

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Nick » April 28th, 2011, 3:39 pm

It turns out that the Smith Collection at the John Hay Library at Brown University has both "Papier multiforme" and "Comment cela se fait." (Smith-John-Brown: sounds as if the library should be on Main Street, Pleasantville, USA). Just look up "Felicien Trewey" in "Special Collections - John Hay Library" at http://josiah.brown.edu/search/

If you're interested in driving down to Providence one day, you need to set up your visit with a librarian, since they'll need a few days to retrieve the books from offsite. I can email you a contact name if you want.
Nick

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 28th, 2011, 3:52 pm

Nick:

I had them through WorldCat and requested them through Inter-Library Loan through my university. I have a friend who works as a research librarian there and she often is able to get scans/copies of the books for me...

Thanks for chasing them down though! We need to set up a time for the Editorial Review Board to get together to discuss our next issue (it's never too early)...

Andrew

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » April 28th, 2011, 4:43 pm

Philippe Billot wrote:Thanks Edwin for the link to Trsor des jeux which is a copy of Tours de gibecire by Grandin in 1723.


Philippe,
Im relatively new to this and find the whole history of the different editions of Ozanam and Guyot (and other similar books from this period) quite complicated and hard to follow. There was another thread on this forum a while ago, with some interesting information on them provided by yourself and others.

http://www.geniimagazine.com/forums/ubb ... 489&page=1

Andrew,
The original French edition should be worth checking good luck in finding a copy. If its of any interest (even though we have it online) I see that you can get a cheap modern reprint of The art of shadowgraphy; how it is done from Amazon.
Meanwhile, Ive been investigating a bit more and found the article on the Eventail magique from the Grande encyclopdie mthodique illustre de jeux of 1888, as referred to in Dominique Buissons origami book:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k1105156/f343.image

I cant check easily at the moment, but the article looks a lot like those in some of the English indoor amusement books weve mentioned in this thread (e.g. Cassells). Wed have to check the dates to see where it appeared first.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 28th, 2011, 6:32 pm

Edwin:

Thanks for continuing to look!

I have found a couple of copies that I may be able to get through Inter-Library Loan or from the Library of Congress...

As to the link, I had located those pages already and you are correct, it is basically a translation of the earlier "amusement" book (Cassell's 1881) using the same illustrations:

Moulidars, Th. de. Grande encyclopdie mthodique, universelle, illustre, des jeux et des divertissements de l'esprit et du corps... Paris: Librairie illustre, 1888, pp. 330-332. Lventail magique Uses Cassell (1881) illustrations.

Getting ready to email you some stuff!

Thanks,

Andrew

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » April 28th, 2011, 7:10 pm

Joe, Bill, Edwin, Philippe, Nick, Richard, amp & Jonathan:

I must confess my deepest appreciation for all of your help. This project continues to move forward in no small part due to your contributions. Be forewarned that this will not be the only time I express my admiration and appreciation for your efforts!

Andrew

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » May 6th, 2011, 12:04 pm

Thanks to the generosity of Bill Kalush and the Conjuring Arts Research Center I have gotten access to the French version of "How It Is Done" (Comment cela se fait). We're not sure on the year, but it is possible that it was published in 1893.

Here is the pertinent text:

Et s'il lui prend la fantaisie de vous donner un petit concert, soyez srs d'avance que ce sera sur des instruments de son invention. Il est trs habile a crire rebours tout mot choisi par son audience et dessine un paysage en un clin d'oeil. Il a empreint d'un cachet tout nouveau, le vieux passe-temps connu du vulgaire sous le nom de. "Le chapeau de papa Mathieu"; et l'on a de lui quelques scenes: "Le pianiste perscut," " On ne recoit pas." " Ici, L, Partout," et Boum! Servez qui eut un grand succs Paris et dans les Provinces.

With my rough translation:

And if he takes a fancy to give a concert, be confident in advance that it will be on instruments of his invention. He is very clever to write down any word chosen by the audience and draws a landscape in the blink of an eye. It marked a whole new character, the old pastime known as the ordinary. "The hat of Papa Mathieu" and it has some scenes of him: "The Persecuted Pianist," "One receives not," "Here, There and Everywhere" and Boom! Serves up a great success in Paris and the provinces.

Here it seems likely that the writer was not referring to Troublewit, but more likely to Chapeaugraphy...

Hmmm... Chasing down some more leads.

(Thanks again to Bill and CARC for granting me access...)

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » May 6th, 2011, 1:25 pm

That's strange. Both the English editions said "His manipulation of what the French call "Le PAPIER da papa Mathieu"". If the original French said "chapeau", I wonder how it got changed. Also, in the English editions Chapeaugraphy is mentioned separately, several paragraphs after the bit about "le papier da papa Mathieu".

On the subject of "papa/pre" and "priest", it occurs to me that "pre" can also be a more or less affectionate term for an elderly person, as in Balzac's novel "Le Pre Goriot" (complete with the definite article and a capital "P"), which is normally translated as "Old Goriot" and is definitely not about a priest. But earlier in the thread we saw that the idea of a priest seems in any case to have been introduced by Stanyon in "Conjuring for Amateurs", and presumably he got it from a French source.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » May 6th, 2011, 3:13 pm

Edwin Corrie wrote:But earlier in the thread we saw that the idea of a priest seems in any case to have been introduced by Stanyon in "Conjuring for Amateurs", and presumably he got it from a French source.


I have found another source that predates the Stanyon reference (thought I mentioned this later on in the thread). In The Strand (December 1896) there is a reference:

"A century or so ago the pastime was known as 'Trouble-wit,' and much earlier even than this we hear of a French Priest--Pre Mathieu--introducing the pastime into France."

This predates the Stanyon publication but the source for this is not known...

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Philippe Billot » May 7th, 2011, 1:06 pm

It seems there is a confusion because in Comment cela se fait, the reference seems to be about chapeaugraphy and as write Eddie "papa" makes reference to an old man or a countryman.

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Andrew Pinard » May 7th, 2011, 8:16 pm

I believe in Chapeaugraphy there is a form that represents a "country bumpkin"; there may be a name associated with it... Also, I have found a number of French plays in the 1800s with characters named Pre Mathieu. I am trying to determine if this may have been a "stock" character whose name was appropriated for Troublewit...

ajp

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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Edwin Corrie » May 8th, 2011, 3:53 pm

The idea of a stock character is an interesting one that bears further reseach. But the references to Pre Mathieu, if they are to be believed, are quite clear about him being a priest, and about China as the place or origin. I did a quick search and found there was an Italian Jesuit priest by the name of Matteo Ricci, who was a missionary to China in the 16th century. French accounts refer to him as Pre Mathieu (or Matthieu). Interestingly, Trewey also trained as a priest, and the chapeaugraphy section in Lang Neil's "Modern Conjurer" shows him in one photo as a Jesuit priest.

I must say though that I tend to agree with David Lister, who feels that the story of Pre Mathieu was probably invented because so far no evidence has been found other than these few references. After all, magicians often make up stories about having learned a particular trick from "an old Chinaman" or "my old Uncle Henry". But maybe it's just a matter of digging a bit deeper.

Regarding Trewey, I found a short chapter about him in Selbit's "Magician's Handbook " (1901), but nothing about Troublewit.

Philippe Billot
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Philippe Billot » May 9th, 2011, 3:15 am

Edwin Corrie wrote: After all, magicians often make up stories about having learned a particular trick from "an old Chinaman" or "my old Uncle Henry". But maybe it's just a matter of digging a bit deeper.



There are some magicians who seriously assert that "The Chinese Sticks" was an old chinese invention (or Hindoo when they write The Hindoo Sticks).

Bill Mullins
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Bill Mullins » June 17th, 2011, 2:20 pm

The Winter 2011 (v6n1) issue of Gibiciere contains both a facsimile and English translation of the magic portion of vol 4 of the 1735 version of Ozanam's "Mathematical and Physical Recreations", including the Troublewit.

"The Influence of Ozanam" by William Kalush and Stephen Minch, p. 69
"Ozanam's Magic" translated by Lori Pieper p. 79


Bill Mullins
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Re: Troublewit research en Français

Postby Bill Mullins » July 6th, 2011, 12:39 am

Stanyon's Magic V3N3 Dec 1902 p. 24 has a short excerpt from Neil's The Modern Conjurer including 3 photos of Stanyon performing Troublewit.


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