Lubor Fiedler Has Died

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Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 3rd, 2014, 10:58 am

Terrible news just conveyed to me by Mark Setteducati: Lubor Fiedler was found dead in his apartment. He was 81. A genius in our field has been lost.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby I.M. Magician » September 3rd, 2014, 11:27 am

Wow, that is terrible news. What a loss!

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby baabaablacksheep » September 3rd, 2014, 11:34 am

So sad. He had many great Tenyo. 4D Surprise was favorite by him.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Matthew Field » September 3rd, 2014, 11:37 am

I am so very sorry to hear this.

As Richard and Mark Setteducati know, I was very involved in a project with Lubor until I had to, sadly, withdraw.

But I worked with him for several months (via Skype) and what a joy that was. Lubor was in some ways like a small child, excited about what he was working on and impatient to show it off and share it.

The world of magic owed Mark a great debt of gratitude for his work with Lubor. It is because of Mark that Lubor's more recent contributions came to fruition.

His appearances at the International Magic Convention in London, MAGIC Live and the Magic Castle (accompanied by Mark) were wonderful opportunities for the world of magic to show its appreciation to Lubor, and he was most gratified.

I will always be grateful for our too-brief time together.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby MManchester » September 3rd, 2014, 11:41 am

Oh, that's horrible! To still be actively creating magic at an age when many are content to lounge around is a testament to his passion. He had so much yet to offer. So glad I was introduced to him through Genii.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Don Hendrix » September 3rd, 2014, 11:52 am

A terrible loss of a true magical genius. There will never be another mind quite like his.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Tom Frame » September 3rd, 2014, 12:33 pm

Sad news indeed. Lubor was a one-of-a-kind magical treasure. My condolences to his family.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby lybrary » September 3rd, 2014, 12:50 pm

Lubor Fiedler was by far the greatest magic genius in terms of bringing new principles into the world of magic. Last year I spent one day at his home in Brno. It was an adventure from dusk till dawn, finding his place, then being treated to around the clock magic - things I haven't seen before and probably several of these we will unfortunately never see again, and finally finding my way back to Vienna in the dark. A day unlike any other and one I will always cherish.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby AJM » September 3rd, 2014, 2:06 pm

Sad news
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 3rd, 2014, 4:19 pm

I am inconsolable right now and it is not the best time for me to write much; I will get to it when I am in a little better place. All I can say right now is that I have lost a friend and a hero, and magic has lost a giant and about that I am feeling sorry, guilty, and very pissed off.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby M.Lee » September 3rd, 2014, 4:56 pm

I Had the oppertunity to meet Lubor at the Hm of my friend Mark Setteducati, also with me was Jeff Sheridan , All I can say at the moment is what Lubor shared w/ us that evening was ...Real Magic ! His Ideas and approach to Magic were beyond Brilliant !

His passing is such a Major loss to the Magic community , Lubor , Thank you for those Wonderful and Magical Moments . May you Rest in Peace .

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Evan Shuster » September 3rd, 2014, 7:41 pm

I'm so sorry to hear this. He was a giant, to be sure, and I owe a debt of gratitude to his genius which inspired me throughout many years.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Joe Mckay » September 4th, 2014, 12:41 am

This is awful news.

I considered Lubor Fiedler to be the Albert Einstein of magic. He was my hero.

I am so glad I got to shake his hand in London a few years ago at the International Magic Convention.

It is such a shame this has happened after Fiedler made such remarkable progress in dealing with his mental health issues. He deserved a few more years in the sun after living through such a long night.

It feels such a lottery when people enter old age. And when somebody you love is 81 - you really hope they will live on for a few more years. Since 81 seems so young when you admire somebody so much. And when they have such a bright mind and positive outlook.

This reminds me of when Martin Gardner died. Some people are so talented and so special - that you imagine that God has give them a free pass to keep on living longer and longer.

I am very sad and I can only imagine how difficult it is for those who were lucky enough to be friends with Lubor Fiedler.

He was an incredible person. And whilst his life has just ended. His legend will continue to grow for as long as magicians are creating new tricks and discovering the occasional new principle.

My condolences to those close to him. I can't imagine what a loss this must feel like.

All of magic will be feeling this loss today.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby MManchester » September 4th, 2014, 3:25 am

Joe Mckay wrote: It is such a shame this has happened after Fiedler made such remarkable progress in dealing with his mental health issues.


I did not know this at all. Though there haven't been specific details mentioned here, it does cast a shadow on his passing which I assumed to be only age-related.

As someone who has struggled with depression for 20 years, and being familiar with the worst impulses that can manifest themselves as a result, if there is an indication of suicide I hope it will come out to bring more attention to the issue. It does nothing to diminish his life and extraordinary accomplishments.

I don't believe that magic has tried to hide Annemann's suicide, even when it was less socially acceptable to discuss. There wouldn't be any reason to do differently here while at the same time respecting Lubor's privacy and legacy.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 4th, 2014, 4:27 am

The cause of his death is unknown at this time, but there is no reason to suspect anything other than natural causes. I suggest that you read the article about him in Genii where you will learn all about that specific period in his life. It is the March 2014 issue. You can purchase individual copies at Penguin Magic.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 4th, 2014, 4:37 am

An incredibly bright light of creativity has been extinguished. That is how the majority of magicians will always remember Lubor Fiedler; one of the most creative minds in the history of magic. There is little doubt that in his lifetime, Lubor created more principles in magic than anyone else; ever.

Until a few years ago, I was among that group. I’d met him once in the 1980s and then watched with great respect and admiration as he continued to create unique and new concepts of various levels of practicality, but always of a high level of wonder.

When I was reintroduced to him so I could work with him both on his Genii article and his book—besides the tremendous honor and responsibility I happily took on—I experienced what can only be described as life-altering. Lubor’s joy for life—likely because of the second chance he, out of sheer will of personality, was able to give himself—and for the magic he could find all around him could bring a smile to the face of any cynic. His unbridled curiosity about everything was infectious. It was impossible to be anything but happy when spending time with Lubor.

One day, at the Magic Castle, I met up with Lubor and Mark Setteducati—Lubor’s best friend who was always there for him. Well, Mark had an important meeting to attend and asked if I would “mind after” Lubor for a while. He didn’t need to ask twice. Mark told me to watch him close, “he can be like a child sometimes.” What I didn’t tell Mark (until now, if he’s reading this), so can I when I want to be; and I wanted to be that night and indeed we were. Where else but at the Magic Castle can two children of magic—who just happen to be of age—have a better time? But more than I ever possibly could, Lubor found more joy and magic in everything he saw and touched; it was a revelation that will remain with me to the end of my days.

Part of that night was a talk on posters given by Mike Caveney. Lubor wondered to me if Mike had one poster in particular. It was my intention to ask Mike if Lubor could come over and see his amazing house, but I didn’t have the chance: Mike asked Lubor over without needing any prompting. Lubor asked about the poster he had in mind and Mike assured him that he indeed had it. There was no containing Lubor’s anticipation. There was little containing Lubor! Where he found his energy is one of his secrets I would like to know.

A day or two later, Lubor’s child-like delight at taking in all the wonders in Mike and Tina’s home reminded me of seeing a youngster take in Disneyland for the first time. The pinnacle for him was seeing the original poster he had asked Mike about; one of Karlini, the illusionist Lubor saw in Czechoslovakia so long ago. The photo I took of him and Mike with that poster has now become a priceless treasure to me. For Lubor, he was reliving one of the happiest moments of his childhood, and you can see it in his face. He would still bring it up when I would chat with him (so Mike, if you are reading this, know what a big deal that was for Lubor).

The day moved into night and, at dinner, Lubor fooled the socks off all of us with one of his new (and still unpublished) miracles. None of us wanted the day to end. It was long, but it went by too fast.

My next personal encounter with Lubor was during MAGIC Live! where Stan Allen brought Lubor to speak in front of that huge and appreciative audience. But as great as that was, Lubor later enthralled an audience of one in his home. David Copperfield had met Lubor before, but it had been many years ago. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful to be a fly on the wall when the greatest magician and the greatest mind of our generation were together? Maybe one day Mark Setteducati will tell us about it.

During the convention, we spent time together working on his article and book. Wherever he was, that place was like a playground for him. His mind did not work like ours. At dinner he might find something on the table to create magic with. Watching how light reflected off a surface would send him into thought; about magic or perhaps a new toy. Indeed, life was Lubor Fiedler’s playground and from it he produced wonders.

Our last talk, just two weeks ago, was about his book. I have everything physical that I need, but I know that there was more to come from that mind of his, and we planned other talks. He was working to the end. In fact, he was found sitting at his computer. Whether it was for me, or Tenyo, or any one of his other projects will likely forever remain a mystery.

What is no mystery is that we all have experienced a tremendous loss. As hard as it has hit me, I cannot even fathom how hard it has hit Richard and Mark. I spoke with Mark, and he did a good job of making me feel better. I did a poor job in return. I wrote him later, but I do not know what good it could possibly do.

Mark is among a very few who were not just Lubor’s friend, but also loved him like family. Mark was there for Lubor at every step during an impossible time; a time when most might turn away not because of not caring, but because of the incredible difficulty in dealing with the situation. I believe in my heart that Lubor knowing that Mark was there for him was one of the reasons he pulled himself up and out of the hellish hole he was in.

And Richard, who I am still waiting to talk with (he’s in Asia), has been working with Lubor for the better part of two decades and has known him longer. I have little doubt that, while he is pleased that the article came out (and I know that it made Lubor extremely happy), he is disappointed that we could not finish Lubor’s book in time.

And there are others, like Matt Field, Chris Wasshuber, Ondrej Psenicka, and of course Lubor’s daughter and brother and other family—they are all in my heart and in my thoughts.

Besides the obvious, my only other wish is that I had something better to say to them and Lubor.

Dustin

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 4th, 2014, 8:27 am

I had the pleasure to be at David Copperfield's home with both Lubor and Mark. It was something to watch David get fooled repeatedly.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Thurston » September 5th, 2014, 10:44 am

Incredibly sad news. His passion for magic and his creations were clearly visible at his lecture at Magic Live. Thanks for those glimpses Dustin, the big book is definitely in good hands.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 5th, 2014, 12:52 pm

Last April was Lubor's 81st birthday. His good friend Ondrej Psenicka made a nice video for him. I hope he does not mind my posting it here (I have asked, just no answer yet--this whole time thing you know). I think that it is quite appropriate. Please to enjoy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62k205N3bZI

PS: After watching it, I realized that I left an important name of my list above: Max Maven. Max was very close to Lubor, so Max, if you are reading this, I'm sorry and I hope you are doing well.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby MManchester » September 5th, 2014, 1:03 pm

Dustin, just delete the letter s in https and the video will embed.


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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Max Maven » September 5th, 2014, 7:48 pm

Dustin, no need to apologize. Lubor knew, and that's more important than being mentioned on a list that was written when you were reeling from this unwelcome news. I'm still stunned.

That said, I'm in Spain, having just spent three days visiting Juan in Cadiz; now in Madrid, surrounded by wonderful magicians, so life goes on, and parts of it are very good indeed.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 5th, 2014, 8:16 pm

Thanks Max. I hope they have Navan in Spain. If so, please present a toast to Lubor for me.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Bill Mullins » September 5th, 2014, 11:45 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:I have little doubt that [Richard] is disappointed that we could not finish Lubor’s book in time.


Was enough work done that a book can be published? Or does Lubor's death mean that it likely won't ever be seen?

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 5th, 2014, 11:59 pm

We have everything we need, so the book will be published. In fact, the last words I spoke to Lubor were (something like), "I seem to have everything I need. If there's anything else I'll email you or we'll cover it the next time we talk."

He too felt that I had everything. I just think that it was likely that he would come up with something else new during my work.

I cannot say when it will be published, but we have a goal in mind and I will do my damnedest to meet it.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Joe Mckay » September 6th, 2014, 4:36 am

The project is in safe hands. I am so glad that such a passionate fan is working on this.

I am not sure if Lubor ever discussed this? But I was interested in the effect that his mental problems had on his creativity.

After he recovered and came back to magic - he seemed to reach new creative peaks. And I wonder if his nervous breakdown somehow unlocked some more doors in his creative process?

Anyway - we should be grateful that this book got finished in time. For many years it seemed as if there would never be a comprehensive work detailing Lubor's life and creativity.

I am just pleased that Lubor shared his remarkable brain with our little field. There will never be another like him.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Dustin Stinett » September 6th, 2014, 4:26 pm

Joe, thanks for the kind words.

As for your primary question, Lubor did not look at it in those terms and he really would not confirm (but neither did he deny) that his output was stronger afterward. Mark Setteducati's observation was that it did, but he couldn't get Lubor to "come clean" on the subject. Such was the humility of the man coupled with a very real desire to put that period completely behind him.

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby lybrary » September 6th, 2014, 6:08 pm

It is my opinion that Lubor did discover most principles in his earlier years around the 60s and 70s. However, for many he had no really good application. In some cases it would take him decades to revisit his ideas and experiment until he did discover a new trick that could be made from those principles. Take for example the Lubor lens. That was something that dates back to the early 60s. Most of his chemical concoctions he sold for decades.

When one reads his contributions to the Zauberkunst magazine in the 60s you can clearly see his creativity shine. I think it was perhaps his most productive period.

When I visited him in Brno I also got the sense that he was going back through his notebooks and rediscovering and applying ideas he had recorded many years ago. Of course, it can take as much ingenuity to take a raw principle and turn it into a great magic trick, as it takes to discover the principle itself. Lubor was sharp, inquisitive and creative until the very end. For example, he showed me a YouTube video by some other magician and dissected his performance second by second, move by move, with an insightful brilliance like I have not experienced anywhere - inside or outside of magic.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 6th, 2014, 6:39 pm

[quote="M.Lee"]...Lubor , Thank you for those Wonderful and Magical Moments ..../quote]

Even better when said to the living. Let folks know while they can appreciate it.
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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby Joe Mckay » September 6th, 2014, 7:05 pm

Luckily - Lubor would have being in no doubt as to how much he was loved in magic.

As for praising people whilst they are still around to appreciate it. I agree.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Nobody has done more for magic than Richard Kaufman.

Nobody.

I am in awe at how much he has shaped the world of magic over the past 35 years.

Here is to the next 35 years!

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Re: Lubor Fiedler Has Died

Postby MManchester » September 6th, 2014, 7:24 pm

Nobody has done more for magic than Richard Kaufman.


Couldn't agree more. I'm the same age now as RK was when he first bought Genii and he already had an enviable magic career. He accomplishes more in one day than I do in a week. While I lament what might have been, I'm grateful he has provided the opportunity for me to participate in some small way. I've said it before - don't ever leave Richard.
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