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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » A turn of the page » » Opinion On Book; Essential Robert-Houdin (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ThSecret
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147 Posts

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I was considering getting the book "Essential Robert-Houdin". Is it worth the $100? Do you have it and what did you think of it? Did you find it to have a practical translation that you were able to use with your performances, or was it more of an interesting history read? Or maybe you didn't like it (is that even possible ;p)? Do you feel it is a possible collectors item, or just a general print book? (As to my understanding production was stopped, but they started reprinting it. I would not buy it with intentions of reselling, just to add to my library, but just curious.) I did google and search the forums so I have some idea of what to expect. However I wanted to get a current general consensus before purchasing it.

My interest in the book is to learn more about the history of magic, his conjuring book compiled in here seems to be a very good read, and I am interested in his stage illusions, psychology and performance aspect.
"A play does not take place on stage but in the minds of the spectators."
mcharisse
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Inner circle
York. PA
1218 Posts

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It's being advertised for $40 on the Café by a dealer. And I think it was worth the original $100.
Anatole
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Inner circle
1833 Posts

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Revisiting this post to ask ThSecret if he ever purchased and read _The Essential Robert-Houdin and if so, his thoughts about the book. It is basically these books collected in one title:
_The Memoirs of Robert-Houdin_
_The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic_
_Card-Sharping Exposed_
_The Priory_

Given that Robert-Houdin is regarded as the Father of Modern Magic, I feel that the first two books are must-read titles for any student of magic.

It is in _The Secrets of Conjuring and Magic_ that we find Robert-Houdin's famous (and oft misunderstood and misquoted) statement that (as Professor Hoffman translated it):
"A conjuror is not a juggler; he is an actor playing the part of a magician..."

The original French is:
"Un prestidigitateur n’est point un jongleur ; c’est un acteur jouant un rôle de magicien..."
and the whole chapter is devoted to defining what Robert-Houdin called "magie simulee"--"simulated magic" for entertainment purposes as opposed to "real magic" or "sorcery."

----- Amado "Sonny" Narvaez
----- Sonny Narvaez
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