Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Discuss the latest news and rumors in the magic world.
Terry
Posts: 1304
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Terry » May 25th, 2008, 7:50 am

Volume 2 arrived here Friday.

SteveP
Posts: 330
Joined: January 20th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby SteveP » June 2nd, 2008, 2:54 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:That's nice to hear. (And it's nice they read the Forum, too.)


We do read the forum and talk about the comments (good and bad).

I just got off the phone with Louis and there are less than 40 copies of Volume 2 left, so I would anticipate this volume being gone by the end of the month.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2008, 3:47 pm

The second volume seems much thinner. Don't have them side by side, though. What's the page count on each?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
David Prouty
Posts: 242
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby David Prouty » June 2nd, 2008, 3:51 pm

Volume 2 weighs in at 263 pages.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 2nd, 2008, 4:49 pm

Volume 1?
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

MitchSchneiter
Posts: 46
Joined: February 29th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: West Linn, Oregon

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby MitchSchneiter » June 2nd, 2008, 5:27 pm

409 pages in Volume one.

Green Skittle
Posts: 44
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: UK

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Green Skittle » June 3rd, 2008, 6:23 am

Volume One has 3 notebooks and Volume Two has only 2 notebooks, which is why Volume 2 in thinner.

James Patton explains the reasoning behind this in his introduction to Volume Two....basically that they wanted the books to be uniform in size and adding an extra notebook to Vol. 2 would make it too large. Another reason, of course, is they wanted to keep the price the same.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 3rd, 2008, 10:45 am

There are 100 fewer pages in volume 2, yet it still costs $200. Patton's explanation makes no sense whatsoever. They want to produce four volumes rather than three and make more money.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Patton
Posts: 78
Joined: January 27th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Jim Patton » June 3rd, 2008, 1:31 pm

Although I am by no means, nor do I pretend to be, knowledgeable in the book printing and binding profession, it is my understanding that books are bound in signatures. The standard signature consists of 32 pages. Signatures can be made smaller but must always be, of necessity, of a number that is divisible by eight.
The Castle Notebooks consist of 32 page signatures. Had notebook Six been included in volume Two, owing to the 32 page signature format, a substantial number of BLANK pages would have resulted. This was not desirable to either Linda or L&L Publishing.
Of course, the blank pages could have been padded with photos, etc. in order to flesh out content. This option was also eliminated as a possibility for what should be obvious reasons. Another possibility was to go with a larger font. This would have been an all too glaring example of page juggling as well as being an effrontery to the intelligence of the purchaser.
The goal was to present the maximum number of pages of original notebook text as was logistically possible.
With these considerations in mind, Linda and L&L made the decision not to include notebook Six in the second volume.
As a matter of style, I decided not to overburden my introductory remarks in volume Two with this sort of minutiae and technical explication. So, yes......as I stated in my introduction to volume Two, had notebook Six been included in volume Two, the overall page count would have been greater than volume One......albeit with substantially more blank pages.....

JP

User avatar
Eoin O'hare
Posts: 130
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Ireland
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Eoin O'hare » June 3rd, 2008, 2:12 pm

My understanding of "uniform in size" includes a third dimension.
Designer & Maker of The Stripper Jig Card Trimmer

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 3rd, 2008, 2:40 pm

Jim, you shouldn't write about publishing since you have no experience in the area.

While a full signature in a book is 32 pages, any division of 8 can be included. I fail to see why the second volume, which is 100 pages shorter, is the same price as the first. And why shouldn't volume 2 have had a few more pages than volume 1? For $200, by retail only, that would seem fair. Or do I need to do the math again: $200 x 500 copies = $100,000. Deduct $10,000 for printing and you have a profit of $90,000. I would think another $2,000 to $3,000 could have been spent on that extra 100 pages. Then the profit would have "only" been $87,000. And there would need to be no more than 7 blank pages if an 8-page signature was used.

I was also puzzled by your remark in the introduction regarding Jennings' "Peripatetic Coins," which you manage, in an off-handed way, to suggest might be Bruce's routine simply because he put an alternate handling for the last coin in his notes. You go out of the way to say you're not making any attribution about it, but merely by bringing it up, and phrasing it the way you have, it suggests that Jennings stole the routine from Bruce, which is something even Bruce never suggested in his life--and he suggested a lot.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Jim Patton
Posts: 78
Joined: January 27th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon
Location: Aliso Viejo, CA

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Jim Patton » June 3rd, 2008, 5:04 pm

As I mentioned in my opening remarks in my reply, I am, self admittedly, strictly a tyro in the publishing profession. My reply should be taken strictly in that light.... As to the math on profit margins, this is none of my business,as I am not a principal in the undertaking.
As to the LJ Peripatetic Coins ending I have no doubt whatsoever that the routine is LJs....My remark in the introduction to Volume Two was directed to those who may believe that the in the spectators hand ending is LJs..in fact, they might absolutely insist that it is...The notebooks indicate that the idea is Bruce's, though I don't recall that he ever laid claim to it during our many conversations. His marginalia annotations don't reflect the accustomed "mine" or "LJ". Come to think of it, I don't recall LJ claiming the idea either. And, as you know, Larry and I had countless conversations over the years. In fact, LJ was the first to show the idea to me circa '73. I am certain that he didn't say it was his idea...nor did he mention Bruce's name in connection with it.
It certainly was not my intention to denigrate Larry or his memory by intimating that he had "stolen" it from Bruce. LJ was a friend as was Bruce. I hold both of them in the highest esteem.

JP

Joneseymagic
Posts: 36
Joined: June 3rd, 2008, 7:50 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Joneseymagic » June 3rd, 2008, 8:05 pm

According to a previous post on this thread, L&L have said that there will be four volumes of the Castle Notebooks.

Two volumes have now been published, covering notebooks 1-5, leaving eight notebooks to go.

Jim Patton says, in his Introduction to Volume 2, that the later notebooks are "greater in size" than the earlier ones.

How, then, will L&L publish the remaining eight (supposedly larger) notebooks in only two volumes while retaining a "uniform size"???

Does this mean that purchasers who want the "full set" will have to purchase more than four volumes?

Dave Jones

Mallakite
Posts: 64
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 1:50 am
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Mallakite » June 3rd, 2008, 8:06 pm

Why did the relationship become soo bad between Larry Jennings and Bruce Cervon during the later years? I thought they were the best of friends when The Magic Castle started.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 3rd, 2008, 10:33 pm

Jennings met Cervon at a magic convention in the early 1960s and they became friends. Jennings moved out to Los Angeles to be near Dai Vernon in 63 or 64. Jennings became fast and close friends with Vernon. Jennings told Cervon he should come out to LA because Vernon was there. So Cervon did. And he slept on Jennings' couch before he had a place to live.

Jennings couldn't spell and didn't enjoy writing, so he asked Bruce to start taking notes on all the things he and Vernon were coming up with nightly at The Castle, and thus was born the Castle Notebooks. An idea of Larry Jennings.

At first, Vernon despised Cervon (who even his friends will have to admit was an extremely arrogant man) and wouldn't have much to do with him. So Jennings would go to Bruce's, or call Bruce on the phone, and relate all the things Vernon had told him and Bruce would write it down in his notebook.

Eventually Vernon warmed up to Bruce and they also became friends. But Vernon was a sadist, and he like to pit Bruce and Larry against each other, baiting each of them with ideas the other one was coming up with. Bruce was also an opportunist; Jennings was also a drunk. Eventually Cervon came to loathe Jennings. Jennings did not hate Cervon, but he felt badly at the way things turned out.

Here's a story about an incident that was witnessed by a friend of mine who sometimes posts here. He has told it a number of times to different people, so if any of them are reading this, they will recognize him. I won't give his name since it has to be his choice to go public with it. Now remember that this isn't something someone else told him: he saw it. This was in the 1980s, I believe. Cervon was working at the Castle and Vernon was in the audience. After the show, Vernon offered Cervon some advice, and Cervon yelled at him something along the lines of, "You're just an old man--you don't know anything."

Says a lot about Cervon, and his relation to Vernon.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Denis Behr
Posts: 357
Joined: January 18th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Munich
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Denis Behr » June 4th, 2008, 5:44 am

Jim Patton wrote:Of course, the blank pages could have been padded with photos, etc. in order to flesh out content. This option was also eliminated as a possibility for what should be obvious reasons.

Those reasons are not obvious to me.

Joneseymagic wrote:Jim Patton says, in his Introduction to Volume 2, that the later notebooks are "greater in size" than the earlier ones.
How, then, will L&L publish the remaining eight (supposedly larger) notebooks in only two volumes while retaining a "uniform size"?

That's what I was wondering, too, when I read this.

Denis

El Mystico
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby El Mystico » June 4th, 2008, 10:12 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:
Jennings couldn't spell and didn't enjoy writing, so he asked Bruce to start taking notes



given Cervon's spelling in the notebooks, this line is rather funny!

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » June 4th, 2008, 10:17 am

Jennings always kept anything he wrote out of sight except from his closest friends because he was embarrassed about his spelling, which is far far worse than Cervon's. FAR worse. If I was helping Larry sell stuff at the end of a lecture and people wanted something signed, he would constantly ask me how to spell "wishes" just to be sure he didn't misspell it in someone's book.

Some people who didn't like Larry, and those who didn't know him well, thought he was illiterate. But of course that wasn't true--he was an avid reader (science-fiction novels) and extremely articulate. He had a really poor education in the public schools in rural Georgia and Detroit.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Darryl Harris
Posts: 81
Joined: February 3rd, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: I admire the best!
Location: Woodbridge, NJ
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Darryl Harris » June 4th, 2008, 11:00 am

Hmmm! That being said, I wonder if Mr. Jennings suffered from dyslexia? It occurs, in varying degrees, in about 10% of the population. Poor spelling is one of the symptoms.
Live with honor
Act with integrity
No regrets

SteveP
Posts: 330
Joined: January 20th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby SteveP » June 10th, 2008, 5:41 pm

I just spoke with Louis and Volume 2 is now sold out. The last one was sold a little while ago.

No details on Volume 3 yet, but you'll have a few months to work through V2.

El Mystico
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby El Mystico » January 10th, 2009, 12:49 pm

In the Castle Notebooks volume 3 on p85 is a reference to Bill Gusias' "double ended bug".
I have to plead ignorance.
can anyone enlighten me about bugs - and the value of a double ended bug in particular?

Thanks

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » January 10th, 2009, 1:00 pm

A bug is a device for secretly holding a card prior to it being palmed and introduced into play. I would assume a double-ended bug holds two cards.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

El Mystico
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby El Mystico » January 11th, 2009, 2:41 am

thank you!

PapaG
Posts: 213
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby PapaG » August 10th, 2019, 11:22 am

Over a decade on, did these books prove to be the priceless gems they were marketed as?

eBay and the lack of any mention of them would suggest not.

User avatar
Christopher1979
Posts: 413
Joined: January 23rd, 2017, 10:46 am
Favorite Magician: Ricky Jay, Dai Vernon, Darwin Ortiz, Ed Marlo
Location: Phoenix AZ
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Christopher1979 » August 10th, 2019, 11:32 am

PapaG wrote:Over a decade on, did these books prove to be the priceless gems they were marketed as?

eBay and the lack of any mention of them would suggest not.


eBay?...... I don't think that means a thing!. I have the set and if you take the time to decipher the notes, which can be hard, there is some truly wonderful material.

PapaG
Posts: 213
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby PapaG » August 10th, 2019, 11:36 am

Christopher1979 wrote:
PapaG wrote:Over a decade on, did these books prove to be the priceless gems they were marketed as?

eBay and the lack of any mention of them would suggest not.


eBay?...... I don't think that means a thing!. I have the set and if you take the time to decipher the notes, which can be hard, there is some truly wonderful material.


Care to elaborate?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 10th, 2019, 11:43 am

The Castle Notebooks were an information dump. They were literally dumped on the market, without the care and work necessary for readers to appreciate what's in them. They were grotesquely overpriced to begin with, so that colors people's perception of their value.
Are they worth it? Absolutely. But you have to dig hard to get the information, an ability that most people no longer have.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

User avatar
Christopher1979
Posts: 413
Joined: January 23rd, 2017, 10:46 am
Favorite Magician: Ricky Jay, Dai Vernon, Darwin Ortiz, Ed Marlo
Location: Phoenix AZ
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Christopher1979 » August 10th, 2019, 11:47 am

After spending $800 on the set and spending many MANY hours reading between the lines I think the only elaboration I can give is...... Buy a set and do the same!. The Castle Notebooks are not for everyone. If you want to grab a quick trick then the set is not for you... like anything.. you reap what you sow!

User avatar
Christopher1979
Posts: 413
Joined: January 23rd, 2017, 10:46 am
Favorite Magician: Ricky Jay, Dai Vernon, Darwin Ortiz, Ed Marlo
Location: Phoenix AZ
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Christopher1979 » August 10th, 2019, 11:49 am

Richard Kaufman wrote:The Castle Notebooks were an information dump. They were literally dumped on the market, without the care and work necessary for readers to appreciate what's in them. They were grotesquely overpriced to begin with, so that colors people's perception of their value.
Are they worth it? Absolutely. But you have to dig hard to get the information, an ability that most people no longer have.


Totally agree!

PapaG
Posts: 213
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby PapaG » August 10th, 2019, 12:01 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The Castle Notebooks were an information dump. They were literally dumped on the market, without the care and work necessary for readers to appreciate what's in them. They were grotesquely overpriced to begin with, so that colors people's perception of their value.
Are they worth it? Absolutely. But you have to dig hard to get the information, an ability that most people no longer have.



I agree about the dump and cash-grab.

Unfortunately I am one of those people who gave up trying to decipher the jottings. Life's too short.

I just find it extraordinary that nothing seems to have been brought to the surface, in any media. Unless the content, once deciphered, has been deemed too precious to even mention. I'm not talking about disclosure, simply awareness.

One would have thought that, given the fastidious application of some in the magic community, the Notebooks' legendary status would have been elevated, not forgotten.

(It's just an observation Brad, no need to go the usual 10 rounds...)

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4174
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby erdnasephile » August 10th, 2019, 12:18 pm

I have hopes that the Cervon video project will be more accessible.

El Mystico
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby El Mystico » August 10th, 2019, 12:44 pm

It will be. And it contains many gems. Linda wants it to be the best possible tribute to Bruce. That takes time.

Leonard Hevia
Posts: 1894
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Dai Vernon, Frank Garcia, Slydini, Houdini,
Location: Gaithersburg, Md.

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Leonard Hevia » August 10th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Those that are working hard paging thru the Notebooks and deciphering great material aren't going to share it. There's no reason to give away the harvest that required time and hard work to plant and grow. In hindsight maybe it was a good idea to release the books raw. Many of its secrets continue to stay hidden.

PapaG
Posts: 213
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby PapaG » August 10th, 2019, 1:01 pm

The question I'm asking is that very one: are people deciphering great material?

I'm not asking for the secrets to be revealed.

El Mystico
Posts: 996
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Leamington Spa
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby El Mystico » August 10th, 2019, 1:15 pm

I'd say, yes, there is great material.
But to make sense of it, you need to know a lot about close up magic; Vernon, Daley, Baker etc.
It is not a short-cut to the 'inner secrets'.

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 10th, 2019, 2:20 pm

Yes, there are lots of people deciphering it. But they're not talking about it.
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

PapaG
Posts: 213
Joined: March 13th, 2008, 2:57 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby PapaG » August 10th, 2019, 2:26 pm

What kind of things have you dug up?

User avatar
Richard Kaufman
Posts: 25112
Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Richard Kaufman » August 10th, 2019, 4:12 pm

:)
Subscribe today to Genii Magazine

Joneseymagic
Posts: 36
Joined: June 3rd, 2008, 7:50 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby Joneseymagic » August 10th, 2019, 4:43 pm

Don't forget that much of the material that appeared in The excellent 'Vernon Chronicles' series came from the Cervon notebooks, so if you want a painless introduction to them, you should get these.

User avatar
erdnasephile
Posts: 4174
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm

Re: Bruce Cervon's Castle Notebooks Volume 1

Postby erdnasephile » August 10th, 2019, 6:58 pm

El Mystico wrote:It will be. And it contains many gems. Linda wants it to be the best possible tribute to Bruce. That takes time.


That is terrific to hear, and I think it's great that folks are taking the time to do it up right! Very excited! Thanks!


Return to “Buzz”