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question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 11:53 am
by marselmarsel
Hi i have read in gadner book: his biographi, is talking about a old trick with knife and you swallow a knife, and Gadner say Persi has a version take from a old magic french book, in the finish of the trick you take the knife from your back...┬┐what book is talking about?
thank you

mago_marsel@yahoo.es

Re: question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 3:48 pm
by Richard Hatch
That would be J. Prevost's 1584 book, La Premiere Partie des subtiles et plaisantes inventions, available in an excellent English translation as Clever and Pleasant Inventions, Part One from Hermetic Press. The item in question is titled (in the English version) "To make it appear that you have swallowed a knife, and to give it back from the nether region" and may be found (in that edition) on pp. 26-29. Persi Diaconis was the first to bring this French title to the attention of English speaking magic historians and I believe spoke about it at a the first or second Los Angeles Conference on Magic History.

Re: question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 4:39 pm
by Richard Kaufman
I don't believe that Mr. Diaconis would ever condescend to speak to an assembled group of magicians. I wasn't at the first History Conference, but it really seems so unlikely as to be virtually impossible.

Re: question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 7th, 2015, 5:32 pm
by Richard Hatch
Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't believe that Mr. Diaconis would ever condescend to speak to an assembled group of magicians. I wasn't at the first History Conference, but it really seems so unlikely as to be virtually impossible.

He is listed as a presenter at the first conference in 1989, along with Robert Lund, Alan Wakeling, and Ozzie Malini, according to an article by John Lovick about the 10th Conference in the December 2007 issue of MAGIC. I was also not at that first conference, but am pretty sure that Dr. Diaconis spoke about Prevost's work, which he was planning to translate.

Re: question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 8th, 2015, 6:50 am
by Max Maven
Pace Richard Hatch, but your message suggests that Persi Diaconis was the first to bring Prevost to the attention of English-speaking magicians. That credit is too broad. It is, however, fair to say that although many knew of the book, few had much knowledge of its contents, given that to understand the text requires much more than a facility with French.

Richard Kaufman wrote:I don't believe that Mr. Diaconis would ever condescend to speak to an assembled group of magicians. I wasn't at the first History Conference, but it really seems so unlikely as to be virtually impossible.
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Not impossible. I was there. Persi's lecture was really good, an exhilarating peek at the largely unknown contents of that book. One slide in particular, along with its methodological implications, produced audible gasps.

Today, the Piper translation, annotated and published by Stephen Minch's Hermetic Press, has made this information easily accessible, but no less remarkable.

Re: question about Persi and Gadner

Posted: October 8th, 2015, 2:38 pm
by Bill Mullins
I don't suppose you'd care to say more about that slide . . .