Looking for magic quotes

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John Lovick
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Looking for magic quotes

Postby John Lovick » January 29th, 2014, 1:47 pm

I’m collecting quotes from pop culture and historical sources, etc. about magic and magicians. If you have favorite quotes, or things you’ve found in books, etc. Please send them to me at Jack@Handsomejack.com

Here are some examples of the kinds of quotes I’m looking for.


It’s in the very trickery that it pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein.
—Seneca the Younger, In his 45th Epistle to Lucilius
(4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.)

Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.
—Tom Robbins

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
—Albert Einstein

Thank you!

Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill Mullins » January 29th, 2014, 4:46 pm

"One of these days, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards
on which the seal is not yet broken.
Then this guy is going to offer to bet youthat he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear.
But, son, you do not accept this bet because, as sure as you stand there, you're going to wind up with an ear full of cider."
Damon Runyon

"The trick is told when the trick is sold."
Anon

"One man's "magic" is another man's engineering. "Supernatural" is a null word. "
Robert Heinlein

"Rosabelle believe"
Houdini

"Check this out."
David Blaine

" "
Teller

Pete McCabe
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Pete McCabe » January 29th, 2014, 6:21 pm

John,

I've been collecting quotes for Scripting Magic 2, so I have a few. Here are some of the not-said-by-a-magician ones. Some of them are not directly about magic, but I collected them because I thought they were relevant to the process of creating and/or performing magic. Or because I just liked them:


The underlying assumption of this is that the point of magic, the whole purpose, is to trick people. That is like saying the whole purpose of a dance is to move your muscles in challenging ways without losing balance, or that the purpose of singing is to vibrate your vocal chords at precisely-controlled frequencies. It is an absolutely integral requirement, but it sort of misses the point. The point is to give the observer an emotional experience of transcendent mystery, a feeling of wonder and joy.
—Kim Silverman

All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy.
—Lao Tzu

“Do you like card tricks?“
“No, I hate card tricks,“ I answered.
“Well, I’ll just show you this one.“
He showed me three.
—W. Somerset Maugham, “Mr. Know-All”

London was a better city, England a more advanced place, for its theaters. It was not wrong for people to be fooled by actors, or even by machinery.
—Neal Stephenson, The System of the World

Reality is merely an illusion, although a very persistent one.
—Albert Einstein

Set your course by the stars, not by the light of every passing ship.
—General Omar Bradley

It came to me in a flash that everything that ever has been always will be, and everything that ever will be always has been. Knowing that rather takes the glamour out of fortunetelling.
—Kurt Vonnegut, The Sirens of Titan

Huxley thought that evolution has designed our brains to serve as filters, screening out a lot of stuff that’s of no real value to us in our daily struggle for bread. Visions, mystical experiences, psi phenomena such as telepathic messages from other brains—all sorts of things along these lines.
—Robert Silverberg, Dying Inside

Tis in vain to find fault with those arts of deceiving wherein men find pleasure to be deceived.
—John Locke

In my view photography has not changed since its origins, except in technical aspects, and these are not my major preoccupation.
—Henri Cartier-Bresson

The moment when one thing turns into another is the most beautiful moment.
—Vik Muniz


These last two were from my students:

Magic is an act of entertainment covered up.
—Josh M.

Technology is like magic because you can do so much with a little box.
—Max A.

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mrgoat
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby mrgoat » January 29th, 2014, 6:41 pm

"My mate does williamson's striking vanish with his penis and then pulls back his foreskin producing the coin from his bell end." Alan Rorrison to me at the session 2012

Brad Henderson
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Brad Henderson » January 29th, 2014, 7:03 pm

what does he call the act?

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Q. Kumber » January 29th, 2014, 7:27 pm

"How the hell did you do that?"
- Erich Weiss to David Verner.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill Mullins » January 29th, 2014, 7:28 pm

mrgoat wrote:"My mate does williamson's striking vanish with his penis and then pulls back his foreskin producing the coin from his bell end." Alan Rorrison to me at the session 2012

Ellusionist has got a DVD for this, don't they?

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jeremy Greystoke » January 29th, 2014, 7:33 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:what does he call the act?


Why, "The Aristocrats!", of course.....:)

Jeremy

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bob Cunningham » January 29th, 2014, 10:07 pm

"It's not magic that takes us to another world - it's storytelling"

Val McDermid


“We are dreamers, shapers, singers and makers.

We study the mysteries of laser, circuit, crystal and scanner, holographic demons and invocations of equations. These are the tools we employ and we know many things, we know the true secrets and the important things.

We know 14 words to make someone fall in love with you forever, 7 words to make them go without pain, how to say good bye to a friend who is dying. How to be poor, how to be rich. How to rediscover dreams when the world has stolen them from you.”

Babylon 5 - The Geometry of Shadows

R.E.Byrnes
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby R.E.Byrnes » January 30th, 2014, 8:26 pm

At Magic Cafe, a dozen people would have posted the played-out Arthur C. Clarke comment about magic/technology.

Edward Pungot
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Edward Pungot » January 31st, 2014, 10:59 am

Image

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2014, 12:19 pm

R.E.Byrnes wrote:At Magic Cafe, a dozen people would have posted the played-out Arthur C. Clarke comment about magic/technology.


The quote from the technomages in the prior post ... :) the writer "got" the Clarke line.
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Andrew Pinard
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Andrew Pinard » January 31st, 2014, 12:36 pm

While this paraphrases Proust, he is quoted as having said, "The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

And is not our job to help our audience see the world with "new eyes"?

For more accurate citation and the original quote see here: http://www.age-of-the-sage.org/quotatio ... _eyes.html

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2014, 12:54 pm

Andrew Pinard wrote:While this paraphrases Proust, he is quoted as having said, "The real voyage of discovery consists, not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."

And is not our job to help our audience see the world with "new eyes"?


selling new eyes at the back of your shows?

I got new eyes at...
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Bill McFadden
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill McFadden » January 31st, 2014, 2:56 pm

A quote which I remember, yet cannot attribute goes something like this: "A gentleman is an individual who professes to know a good many card tricks but does not offer to demonstrate any."

Who the bloody hell said it?

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » January 31st, 2014, 3:11 pm

Lemony Snicket
“Everyone should be able to do one card trick, tell two jokes, and recite three poems, in case they are ever trapped in an elevator.”

― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid
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Pete McCabe
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Pete McCabe » January 31st, 2014, 3:50 pm

Bill McFadden wrote:A quote which I remember, yet cannot attribute goes something like this: "A gentleman is an individual who professes to know a good many card tricks but does not offer to demonstrate any."

Who the bloody hell said it?


I don't know but it sounds a bit like Chesterton to me.

Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill Mullins » February 2nd, 2014, 8:44 pm

Bill McFadden wrote:A quote which I remember, yet cannot attribute goes something like this: "A gentleman is an individual who professes to know a good many card tricks but does not offer to demonstrate any."

Who the bloody hell said it?


A couple of internet acquaintances chase down quotations, and have found variants of this going back a century or so. It usually is of the form "A gentleman is one who knows how to play the cornet/accordion/bagpipes/etc., but won't."

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill McFadden » February 3rd, 2014, 3:58 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:
Bill McFadden wrote:A quote which I remember, yet cannot attribute goes something like this: "A gentleman is an individual who professes to know a good many card tricks but does not offer to demonstrate any."

Who the bloody hell said it?


I don't know but it sounds a bit like Chesterton to me.


Or Conan Doyle?

Marty Demarest
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Marty Demarest » February 3rd, 2014, 7:27 pm

Error is opposed to truth as deception of reason; illusion is opposed to reality as deception of understanding. --Arthur Schopenhauer, The World as Will and Representation, tr. E.F.J. Payne

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Richard Kaufman » February 3rd, 2014, 8:36 pm

"Use your head."
Dai Vernon
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Tom Stone
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Tom Stone » February 4th, 2014, 8:18 pm

“Any fool could be a witch with a runic knife, but it took skill to be one with an apple corer.”
― Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum

Curtis Kam
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Curtis Kam » February 5th, 2014, 3:41 am

If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it beyond where it has ever been before, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic. (Tom Robbins)


A work of art is one of mystery, the one extreme magic; everything else is either arithmetic or biology. (Truman Capote)


Unable to perceive that the sky is an illusion the child thinks that he cannot reach it when he holds it in his hand. (Manuel Bandeira)

Ross Hironaka
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Ross Hironaka » February 10th, 2014, 10:59 am

"All magic is 'Here’s a quarter, now it’s gone. You’re a jerk. Now it’s back. You’re an idiot. Show’s over.'"

Jerry Seinfeld


My favorite passage from JURASSIC PARK doesn't mention magic, but I can't help but think about magic whenever I read it. It'’s the part of the story where Malcolm, the mathematician, tells Hammond, the creator of Jurassic Park, what is wrong with scientific power and wrong with Jurassic Park:

"“You know what'’s wrong with scientific power?” Malcolm said. “It'’s a form of inherited wealth. …Most kinds of power require a substantial sacrifice by whoever wants the power. There is an apprenticeship, a discipline lasting many years. Whatever kind of power you want. President of the company. Black belt in karate. Spiritual guru. Whatever it is you seek, you have to put in the time, the practice, the effort. You must give up a lot to get it. It has to be very important to you. And once you have attained it, it is your power. It can’'t be given away: it resides in you. It is literally the result of your discipline. Now, what is interesting about this process is that, by the time someone has acquired the ability to kill with his bare hands, he has also matured to the point where he won'’t use it unwisely. So that kind of power has a built-in control. The discipline of getting the power changes you so that you won'’t abuse it. But scientific power is like inherited wealth: attained without discipline.”"

-- from page 306 of Michael Crichton’'s JURASSIC PARK.

Tom Frame
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Tom Frame » February 10th, 2014, 11:51 am

Here are a few more from my favorite author:


“The trickster's function is to break taboos, create mischief, stir things up. In the end, the trickster gives people what they really want, some sort of freedom.”

“Logic only gives man what he needs. Magic gives him what he wants.”

“Using words to describe magic is like using a screwdriver to cut roast beef.”


- Tom Robbins
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

Riversky
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Riversky » February 11th, 2014, 12:03 am

I don't recall just where I copied this one sometime ago,
but I found it had meaning for me...

Beautiful quote by S.H. Sharpe:

"Words on Wonder" (1984):''The underlying purpose of Magic in its many aspects,is not to deceive people,
but to encourage them to approach Life and the Cosmos in a state of Wonder."

In Linking Ring, Vol. 66, N. 1, January 1986 he wrote:
"The underlying purpose of the Mysteries was to help in waking up the sleeping divine in man"
(which is similar but not the same)

Jonathan Townsend
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 11th, 2014, 8:41 am

John Lovick wrote:I’m collecting quotes from pop culture and historical sources, ...

Here are some examples of the kinds of quotes I’m looking for.


It’s in the very trickery that it pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein.
—Seneca the Younger, In his 45th Epistle to Lucilius
(4 B.C.E. - 65 C.E.)

D


If you're going to quote the Seneca item - get it in context:
From his discussion of Sophistry (recall that's what Aristotle complained about in his Rhetoric) - Moral letters to Lucilius "...the man who is asked whether he has horns on his head is not such a fool as to feel for them on his forehead, nor again so silly or dense that you can persuade him by means of argumentation, no matter how subtle, that he does not know the facts. Such quibbles are just as harmlessly deceptive as the juggler's cup and dice, in which it is the very trickery that pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein. And I hold the same opinion about these tricky word-plays; for by what other name can one call such sophistries? Not to know them does no harm, and mastering them does no good." (italics added -JT)
Which is, IMHO, not so flattering.

Quoting Robbins (student of Bandler - NLP which is a form of magic proper) is like citing a pundit on 4chan - not likely the best if you're looking for primary sources as they don't often cite as they are not usually writing for scholars.
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Pete McCabe » February 11th, 2014, 12:21 pm

Riversky wrote:''The underlying purpose of Magic in its many aspects,is not to deceive people,
but to encourage them to approach Life and the Cosmos in a state of Wonder."



This reminds me of my favorites:

"My main goal is to fascinate the audience into thinking that they are dreaming, even if this is only for a few seconds."
—Juan Tamariz

R.E.Byrnes
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby R.E.Byrnes » February 12th, 2014, 6:12 pm

"If you're going to quote the Seneca item - get it in context:"

Or not. It has coherent, independent meaning removed from the original context, much as most of the "popular quotes" from Shakespeare or Milton or Donne have different meaning as stand-alone aphorisms than in the context of the play or a poem they originated in. Put differently: Meaning isn't confined to a single, immutable, original context.

There's also this one, with universal context: "Show me your ambitious card."

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 12th, 2014, 6:21 pm

While I am all for textual and contextual reframing, why give the judicious cause to grieve? IMHO such malapropisms mark the writer as ignorant or ill intentioned. It's about like citing the line from Mr. Know All without also knowing how the story ends. To put it as someone fictional who took elocution lessons often says:

"that's nice"

;)
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill Mullins » February 12th, 2014, 8:56 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote: (recall that's what Aristotle complained about in his Rhetoric)


I'm sorry, I wasn't taking notes that day in classical history. What did Aristotle's complaint about sophistry?

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2014, 8:17 am

Bill Mullins wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote: (recall that's what Aristotle complained about in his Rhetoric)


I'm sorry, I wasn't taking notes that day in classical history. What did Aristotle's complaint about sophistry?


IIRC it was a complaint about pandering to accepted lies using the forms of reason as opposed to being persuasive by appeal to pertinent accepted truths. Not much for those who don't regularly need to distinguish right, correct and true.

I'll turn the card over and place it down here. :roll:
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Bill Mullins
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Bill Mullins » February 13th, 2014, 11:34 am

So how does not knowing that lessen the Seneca quote?

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2014, 2:13 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:So how does not knowing that lessen the Seneca quote?

Seneca did not express a favorable opinion about magic or the skills we use in those lines. The words "knowing them (our skills) does no good" were key in my interpretation. He compares our work to verbal trifles and associates us with the sophists who were held in ill repute at the time.
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2014, 2:23 pm

What graces our art is a bargain kept with our audiences, that what we seem to show will stay in the show. We give magical thinking an ecological niche, a social time and place for the fantastic no matter now absurd. Offering a place and time to safely wonder about the rest of the story which would make sense of what just happened.

Was that a truck full of Pop's Magnetic Water that just went by?
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R.E.Byrnes
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby R.E.Byrnes » February 13th, 2014, 3:25 pm

A strong case to be made that Seneca wasn't referring to anything like "our work."

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2014, 3:51 pm

R.E.Byrnes wrote:...Seneca wasn't referring to anything like "our work."


The cups and balls guys then? How so?

Also
A strong case to be made
did you forget to post your case?
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Pete McCabe » February 13th, 2014, 5:16 pm

If you want Byrnes to make a case for you, you'll have to pay his hourly rate.

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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 13th, 2014, 5:27 pm

Pete McCabe wrote:If you want Byrnes to make a case for you, you'll have to pay his hourly rate.


whether or not the argument proffered merits consideration ...

:)

so are lucky charms really magically delicious?
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Kent Gunn
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Re: Looking for magic quotes

Postby Kent Gunn » February 13th, 2014, 11:06 pm

Jon,

Seneca's talking about some other stuff here:

Then, too, the man who is asked whether he has horns on his head is not such a fool as to feel for them on his forehead, nor again so silly or dense that you can persuade him by means of argumentation, no matter how subtle, that he does not know the facts. Such quibbles are just as harmlessly deceptive as the juggler's cup and dice, in which it is the very trickery that pleases me. But show me how the trick is done, and I have lost my interest therein.

It's a magic quote though. Thinking it holds any sort of wisdom for a juggler of cups and dice in 2014 is just misplaced educational snobbery. It's from a famous guy. If Smiling Jack likes it, good for him. It's never wrong to bust out Seneca, never.

Let's just not put too much weight on the line. There really is no deeper meaning there for us, I promise. He's using the magician as a bottom-end example of harmless deceptiveness. Not even I set my sights that low.

Oh, and as a personal favor to me, Jon, please quit using the, currently in vogue, shorthand in your writings. If you're going to make allusions to two-thousand-year-dead playwrights, leave out the FWIWs and IIRCs.

(I could toss off FYGB, ((Think Triumph)), but not knowing its meaning detracts from my message).

For those with a library and a few brain cells, your mixing of untenable connections with Internet newspeak is jarring. It detracts from an already difficult to follow writing style bereft of commas, clauses and regular spelling.

If you think I'm being too picky, you could pull out my favorite Seneca (the younger) quote and use it against me.

When an author is too meticulous about his style, you may presume that his mind is frivolous and his content flimsy.

With love and a touch of irritation,

Kent

PS. Herr Lovick, Kudos on busting out the Seneca, I'd never read the quote and it made me dig out the Moral Letters. Thank you.


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