ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
El Harvey Oswald
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 15th, 2011, 11:37 am

"Sanders was not a miner, he was a mining engineer. One of his chief jobs was to figure out whether a particular deposit of ore was of sufficient quality that it could be profitably mined. He did have to "sniff out" the quality veins and seams of gold, silver, etc.

The construction is a figurative one, not a literal one, but it holds true because of Sanders' occupation"

yes, i understand there's not the actual contention that miners or engineers or anyone in the industry actually worked with their noses to the ground. but this particular word play is so "figurative" -- first requiring translation to German and then back to the English "sniff out" idiom -- as to not be meaningful evidence of Erndase's identity. it's just not compelling and its inclusion risks making the other far more plausible proposed word coding appear just as silly and attenuated.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ted M » August 15th, 2011, 11:39 am

Considering the important family/political reasons for hiding his identity as described by Marty D, might Sanders not also have protected himself by using a pseudonym during production of the book, rather than trusting the illustrator and/or publisher not to accidentally divulge his identity? (After all, it appears from the Sprong story that the publisher was willing to do just that.)

Might Sanders have first anagrammed himself to become E.S. Andrews -- a very natural-sounding name, neither suggesting fakery nor inviting scrutiny -- to deal with Drake and Smith?

If Drake then advised publishing Andrews' book under a pseudonym due to the Comstock laws... presto, enter Erdnase via simple reversal.

That could square with Drake believing that reversing Erdnase's name would reveal the author's real name, and could also allow for Smith responding to the name Andrews when suggested by Gardner.

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Ryan Matney
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ryan Matney » August 15th, 2011, 12:04 pm

That's very plausible Ted and it may have been just like that.

However, I tend to think that if someone delighted in word play and clues, then they probably intentionally started people looking for Andrews.

For this reason, I don't really think that he waited for Drake to suggest a pen name.

But yes, Drake may have ONLY ever known him as ES Andrews. That's likely and explains Drake's story.
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Magic Fred
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 15th, 2011, 12:24 pm

Ryan Matney wrote:It's third of fourth hand heresay evidence...


And yet still more direct and convincing than anything else that's been offered. Once you've decided that it was Sanders, there's an infinite number of seemingly logical ways to make the name fit.

Me? I'm still waiting for an Andrews with gambling experience...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 15th, 2011, 1:51 pm

Magic Fred wrote:


Me? I'm still waiting for an Andrews with gambling experience...

How about an E.S. Andrews living a few blocks from the shop in Chicago that remaindered all the first editions of EATCT?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 15th, 2011, 2:05 pm

"Once you've decided that it was Sanders, there's an infinite number of seemingly logical ways to make the name fit"

once you've decided it's lots of people there are lots of way to make the available evidence fit. sanders is plausible, and more probable than other candidates; but that doesn't necessarily make sanders more probable than not. it still feels a bit thin, and in need of more direct evidence. while it is perhaps entirely likely that there is noting putting sanders directly in a gambling setting - the best we seem to have is some seemingly illogical movement in his finances on the train trip to new york -- that feels like the still missing piece. similarly, had the the legerdemain section included the card trick that he's documented as performing and jotting the three-part latin name of in his journal, that would have been compelling. as it is, the exclusion is frustrating.

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Ryan Matney
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Ryan Matney » August 15th, 2011, 4:26 pm

El Harvey,

I think all of the little circumstanial details add up to better evidence than just the money situation on the train trip to new york. If anything that is a stretch to say as Marty did in the article that perhaps it was the beginning of Sanders leading a double life.

Perhaps it was, but I think that is making something fit your point of view. There's better evidence in the article but the best evidence is...all of the evidence, no single piece.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 15th, 2011, 7:52 pm

Actually, the best evidence is in the article that follows Marty's article in this issue of Genii (the 10 year old one).

It's the anagram work that David Alexander et al proposed which forms the core evidence, and provides any foundation to be had.

It would be overstating the obvious to say that the recent circumstantial evidence, when taken by itself, would apply to millions of American men at the turn of the century.
All the "little circumstantial details" really don't add up to anything one could call evidence, outside of the full acceptance of Alexanders anagram positing.

First you do have to believe that David Alexander was 100% correct in his article, and if you don't fully and completely buy into Alexanders anagram proposals, then Sanders can't assume the title of Erdnase.

Further, you have to believe that the other strong candidate as proposed by Richard Hatch is supported by NO evidence worth considering further, and that he offers NO questions which require answers before one can erase him permanently from the candidacy list.

Until you can erase the Hatch candidate with 100% certainty backed up by hard facts and strong evidence (or any other candidate for that matter), then Sanders can't assume the title of Erdnase.

Marty has brought us a long way with his article, but as was pointed out earlier, Marty was careful not to make any declaration that this was all over.......Erdnase found......quit looking.

There's work to be done with all the candidates, and even if one chooses not to support any of the candidates named "Andrews", there's still work to be done documenting how they couldn't be Erdnase, at least before Sanders can assume the title.

And of course, as before, a smoking gun would end it once and for all........but that's been difficult to find, and suggests that continued consideration of all the evidence provided, and full examination of all the candidates remains the best course of action.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 15th, 2011, 8:04 pm

To assume the title of Erdnase. Interesting term. Thanks.

Those with a smidgen of historical insight have something to mull over.
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El Harvey Oswald
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 15th, 2011, 8:12 pm

"Until you can erase the Hatch candidate with 100% certainty backed up by hard facts and strong evidence (or any other candidate for that matter), then Sanders can't assume the title of Erdnase."

it's not at all clear why Sanders can't be considered (or "assume the title," whatever that means) until others, seemingly all others, have been eliminated, and to an impossible degree of certainty. perhaps you could elaborate on your prescribed methodology.

in any event, that doesn't sound like how history works. even widely accepted historical events -- e.g., "Caesar crossed the Rubicon," "Washington crossed the Delaware" -- are only probabilistic statements, often challenged by other, nearly as probable statements. at most, a "definitive" conclusion will be something like "55% probability Erdnase was Sanders, 20% Andrews, 25% someone else." under the circumstances, 55% would be enormously compelling.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 15th, 2011, 8:21 pm

Simply put, the Hatch candidate presents extremely compelling questions, questions that quite obviously require answering before discarding him as a primary candidate.
That's simply a fact.

My point was, Sanders can't legitimately assume sole position as the Erdnase candidate until all other candidates are resolved to some semblance of satisfaction to those doing the searching.

Considering my long term support of Sanders as the #1 candidate, it's tempting to just discard all other candidates and state "case closed".

But not only would that be "wrong", it's also an incredibly bad way to undertake historical research.
There's still answers needed on both the Andrews and Sanders front.

Take it or leave it, until those answers are found, there can be no final conclusion drawn.
.......and that's all just personal opinion of course........YMMV.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 16th, 2011, 12:57 am

"it's tempting to just discard all other candidates and state "case closed"."

Who is advocating this straw man approach?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 16th, 2011, 1:07 am

Roger M. wrote:It's the anagram work that David Alexander et al proposed which forms the core evidence, and provides any foundation to be had.


I agree. And it's not just the insight that SW Erdnase is a full anagram (as opposed to a simple reversal) but the crucial evidence that WE Sanders (whose name was one of those anagrams) had experimented with anagrams based on his name in his diaries. That was a truly amazing finding, which Marty seems to have added new instances of.

Roger M. wrote: First you do have to believe that David Alexander was 100% correct in his article, and if you don't fully and completely buy into Alexanders anagram proposals, then Sanders can't assume the title of Erdnase.


I don't agree with this. For example, I'm not convinced about the "and ruse artifice" = "andrews artifice" thing. The theory that a full anagram was used makes sense on its own (with the simple reversal being misdirection). And the evidence in Sanders' diaries about playing with anagrams also remains relevant without having to accept the "andrews artifice" part of his argument.

Magic Fred
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 3:49 am

Roger M. wrote:
Magic Fred wrote:
Me? I'm still waiting for an Andrews with gambling experience...

How about an E.S. Andrews living a few blocks from the shop in Chicago that remaindered all the first editions of EATCT?


Convince me that he was a card player and I'd probably be ready to hammer the Gavel.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Richard Hatch » August 16th, 2011, 4:46 am

Magic Fred wrote:
Roger M. wrote:
Magic Fred wrote:
Me? I'm still waiting for an Andrews with gambling experience...

How about an E.S. Andrews living a few blocks from the shop in Chicago that remaindered all the first editions of EATCT?


Convince me that he was a card player and I'd probably be ready to hammer the Gavel.


Bill Mullins posted evidence that this particular candidate (Edwin Sumner Andrews) was indeed a card player on this very thread earlier this year. Does it prove he was Erdnase? Hardly, but it adds additional circumstantial evidence to his case.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 5:13 am

Richard Hatch wrote:
Magic Fred wrote:
Roger M. wrote:
Magic Fred wrote:
Me? I'm still waiting for an Andrews with gambling experience...

How about an E.S. Andrews living a few blocks from the shop in Chicago that remaindered all the first editions of EATCT?


Convince me that he was a card player and I'd probably be ready to hammer the Gavel.


Bill Mullins posted evidence that this particular candidate (Edwin Sumner Andrews) was indeed a card player on this very thread earlier this year. Does it prove he was Erdnase? Hardly, but it adds additional circumstantial evidence to his case.


In that case, I should obviously go back and re-read the thread properly before opening my big mouth.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 5:22 am

Just a quick half playful/half serious observation:

Mr Mullins said "There is no evidence that Andrews cheated, or knew any sleight of hand moves."

In my opinion, that strengthens, not weakens his case... ;)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rick Ruhl » August 16th, 2011, 6:42 am

[quote=El Harvey Oswald

at most, a "definitive" conclusion will be something like "55% probability Erdnase was Sanders, 20% Andrews, 25% someone else." under the circumstances, 55% would be enormously compelling. [/quote]

Would 55% be enough in a court of law for a civil suit for one of his family to be able to take control of the book?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 8:20 am

I'm at least fifty five percent sure a guy named Watson wrote the Sherlock Holmes stories. So maybe we should go looking for someone of that name and when found (must be dozens in the London area at the time) give his family the rights to the works unless the Doyle family can produce something more than a work for hire agreement. Hmmm?

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Bob Cunningham
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Cunningham » August 16th, 2011, 9:16 am

Think of the implications for the heirs of Francis Bacon!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Chris Aguilar » August 16th, 2011, 10:09 am

Rick Ruhl wrote:Would 55% be enough in a court of law for a civil suit for one of his family to be able to take control of the book?

No one can take control of the book. Like all books in the U.S. written before 1923, it's in the public domain.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rick Ruhl » August 16th, 2011, 10:24 am

Chris Aguilar wrote:
Rick Ruhl wrote:Would 55% be enough in a court of law for a civil suit for one of his family to be able to take control of the book?

No one can take control of the book. Like all books in the U.S. written before 1923, it's in the public domain.


I didnt mean in litterly, I meant it a court of law, could the 55% prove ownership by the decendants of the Sanders family.

I know the book is PD... but just wondering if 55% would be enough if it wasnt?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 16th, 2011, 10:37 am

Bob Cunningham wrote:Think of the implications for the heirs of Francis Bacon!


Except that Bacon didn't write Shakespeare's works...the actual author was Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford. :-)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 16th, 2011, 10:57 am

"Would 55% be enough in a court of law for a civil suit for one of his family to be able to take control of the book?"

it's enough to win a civil suit; the "preponderance of evidence" standard is 51% -- though of course how a particular judge or jury construes that can vary a lot.

as for "tak[ing] control of the book," that's not an option with this book, which long ago went into the public domain. the copyright laws are as they are in part to avoid the circumstance where, as here, the author didn't bother to renew the copyright or was dead, and then long after his "family" tries to claim a stake in something they had no part in creating.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 11:12 am

Folks, what you're doing is upping the standard for what one may consider a likely "candidate" based on available data. That's a good thing IMHO. Claiming any of the people proffered so far as the author of the work or talk of "the title of Erdnase" still looks like humor or foolishness.

I particularly like the sidebars about data from other magic texts filtered into the EACT text. Also recent/greater notice of a literary perspective for the palavar at the start of the text and the conjuring presentation given as example.

Are there clues in the text that the author has experience using the advantage play techniques - or those of the conjuring section? It's one thing to write about a topic, as Chris Priest did, and quite another to spend some time in its real world application.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 11:33 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:...Are there clues in the text that the author has experience using the advantage play techniques..


No clues. Solid evidence. Almost irrefutable. We've been over it before and the details are too intricate and plentiful to discuss fully here. For all intents and purposes it is fair to say that the author definitely had working knowledge and experience with the cheating techniques.

I defy anybody who has actually mastered the material to claim otherwise.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 11:49 am

Even today we don't have the modeling of "what do to", "when to do it" and "how to know when/what" for magic or card table stuff. Of course folks did not have the "how to know if, how to know if anything but" language back then but modeling is still criticial in transmitting expertise. The rest is, to be kind, literature. And the Chris Priest reference is not given lightly.

The only solid thing we have is a text. Let's not be muggles about it confusing statistical findings with solid narrative. Good palaver it may be, but not evidence of more than good writing IMHO.

I hold that 1: if you can cheat - you don't teach that way or in public. And 1a you don't expect to make as much from a book as from doing what you spent all that time learning to do. And 2: if you understand magic as a performer you don't teach "what to" but instead "how to".

If anyone who cheats at cards for a living and has taught proteges to cheat, or does magic for a living and has taught proteges wishes to go after the "what to"/"how to" matter I'm interested.

@Fred: Asking others to call you on that line seems less than useful. The claims in the palaver at the start of the text are about paying for the card table experience are not the same as claims to functional expertise under fire. Same for conjuring.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bob Coyne » August 16th, 2011, 11:56 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote: I particularly like the sidebars about data from other magic texts filtered into the EACT text.


I like this too. Maybe someone has already done it, but it would be interesting to see a list for each item (trick/sleight/subtlety) in Erdnase what possible sources it came from.

The same sort of research into sources is done with Shakespeare and is used to argue for/against candidates in that authoring controversy (as well as shedding light on the meaning of the texts themselves).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 12:02 pm

I refer not to any claims made by the author.

Mastering the material requires the student to go through a process. It is that process which will convince those knowledgable in the subject that the author is indeed talking from experience.

The evidence ranges in category and is entirely convincing. From the abstract to concrete, the indications of practical experience are so compelling that it is just not reasonable to entertain the idea that the author was writing from the sidelines.

As for the magic section, I would agree that the author seems to be but a hobbyist. A gambler with an interest in card tricks, if you will.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 12:09 pm

By the way, I hope you don't take it too personally if I suggest that you might learn a little from his prose. He had mastered the knack of employing elegant, correct language whilst still conveying his meaning with crystal like clarity...

;)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 12:30 pm

I understand, respect and yet disagree with the claim of recognizing expertise in this case. Here's where I get a "no go" gage on the card cheat veracity: the want of "when to" and full discussion of the spread and other effective resources in use at the time. The focus on unprepared and unassisted methods also seems restrictive for a book that purports to explore the calendar of available resources. This is just my feeling - that of being toyed with by an author rather that taught by an expert. Exactly the opposite of what I found looking through Aristotle, Newton, Eco (on semiotics) or even when trying to read Dirac's book on Relativity. Again, my perspective and gut feeling when looking at this area as an outsider. I am interested in the perceptions of an expert card cheat on this matter and the text.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Magic Fred » August 16th, 2011, 12:35 pm

There are logical and justified reasons for the omissions you cite. Both explicitly given by the author and easily inferred.

There is absolutely no reason, for example, to assume that the author would be conversant with "the spread" or any other stratagem that we now know to have been in use at the time.

The author, remember, was astute in not claiming to know it all...

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 12:37 pm

Back to the center of this topic - the Sanders discussion interests me as he was also a writer. That background looks promsing for peripheral details that could give further clues/match elements in the text.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Marty Demarest » August 16th, 2011, 2:12 pm

W.E.'s status as a writer is a crucial detail.

We can plausibly debate and question M.D. Smith's testimony, the provenance of first edition copies, Erdnase's actual gambling skills, etc. But anyone who holds a copy of The Expert has two irrefutable pieces of evidence in hand: The author was a writer, and a self-publisher.

Before any candidate can be considered, the questions must be asked: Is this person a writer? Does this person have self-publishing skills?

As I explain in "Unshuffling Erdnase," the answer for W.E. Sanders is "yes" on both counts.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Joe Mckay » August 16th, 2011, 3:17 pm

Can someone fill me in a bit more on E.S. Andrews? I am guessing this is Richard Hatch's suggestion?

Somebody mentioned there was an E.S. Andrews who lived round the corner from a shop selling a bunch of remaindered first-editions. That is pretty neat. Just curious if anything else is known about this character?

Also - if Richard is reading this - do you still stick by E.S. Andrews - or are you swinging towards Wilbur?

Sorry for all the questions!

Joe

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Rick Ruhl » August 16th, 2011, 3:33 pm

Joe Mckay wrote:Can someone fill me in a bit more on E.S. Andrews? I am guessing this is Richard Hatch's suggestion?

Somebody mentioned there was an E.S. Andrews who lived round the corner from a shop selling a bunch of remaindered first-editions. That is pretty neat. Just curious if anything else is known about this character?

Also - if Richard is reading this - do you still stick by E.S. Andrews - or are you swinging towards Wilbur?

Sorry for all the questions!

Joe


it was Todd Karr

http://www.miraclefactory.net/mpt/view. ... e=articles

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » August 16th, 2011, 4:25 pm

Rick Ruhl wrote:
Joe Mckay wrote:Can someone fill me in a bit more on E.S. Andrews? I am guessing this is Richard Hatch's suggestion?

Somebody mentioned there was an E.S. Andrews who lived round the corner from a shop selling a bunch of remaindered first-editions. That is pretty neat. Just curious if anything else is known about this character?


it was Todd Karr

http://www.miraclefactory.net/mpt/view. ... e=articles


No, it was not Todd Karr. It was Edwin Sumner Andrews. See Richard Hatch's post of 3/11/2011:

[Edwin S. Andrews] is transferred to yet another gambling center, San Francisco, in February 1903, the very month that an obscure magic company, the Atlas Novelty Company, which was on the same street he lived on, just a few blocks north of him, begins to sell the book for half price.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Roger M. » August 16th, 2011, 4:53 pm

E.S. Andrews with a deck of cards in his hands such that he has to "escape from the card table".......a set of matching dates to those required to place him in geographically correct locales,........and a stack of remaindered First Editions just around the corner from his domicile.

Pretty compelling stuff.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » August 16th, 2011, 4:56 pm

Roger M. wrote:E.S. Andrews with a deck of cards in his hands such that he has to "escape from the card table".......a set of matching dates to those required to place him in geographically correct locales,........and a stack of remaindered First Editions just around the corner from his domicile.

Pretty compelling stuff.


For a set up patsy? Maybe. Did the guy write?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby El Harvey Oswald » August 16th, 2011, 5:00 pm

theatrically compelling, perhaps; but being able to encapsulate this experience in a phrase that's similar to the book's title has no persuasive force. lots of people - but not me - live around the corner from stores with remaindered copies of my book. that's a coincidence without implications about authorship. by contrast, the matching dates are persuasive; likewise for sanders, though.


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