👓 Ricky Jay’s Magical Secrets | The New Yorker

Read Ricky Jay’s Magical Secrets (The New Yorker)
Jay’s deft illusions flout reality, and he rejects the notion that his magic is a suitable entertainment for children.

A great set of stories about Ricky Jay.

Highlights, Quotes, Annotations, & Marginalia

I once asked Mamet whether Jay had ever shared with him details of his childhood.Mamet replied, “I can’t remember.”I said, “You can’t remember whether you discussed it or you can’t remember the details?”He said, “I can’t remember whether or not I know a better way to dissuade you from your reiteration of that question without seeming impolite.”  

November 29, 2018 at 12:44PM

Magic is about working hard to discover a secret and making something out of it. You start with some small principle and you build a theatrical presentation out of it. You do something that’s technically artistic that creates a small drama.  

November 29, 2018 at 12:48PM

Jean Prévost’s “La Première Partie des Subtiles et Plaisantes Inventions,” the earliest known important conjuring book, printed in Lyons in 1584.  

November 29, 2018 at 01:15PM

The main thing that dissuaded him, he says, is that “I wouldn’t want to sell a book to a philistine, which is what every bookseller has to do.”  

November 29, 2018 at 01:18PM

Two automatons stood on the table. One, called “The Singing Lesson,” was the creation of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, the nineteenth-century watchmaker-turned-conjurer, who is considered the father of modern magic. The other was a Chinese cups-and-balls conjurer built by Robert-Houdin’s father-in-law, Jacques Houdin.  

November 29, 2018 at 01:34PM

Two automatons stood on the table. One, called “The Singing Lesson,” was the creation of Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, the nineteenth-century watchmaker-turned-conjurer, who is considered the father of modern magic. The other was a Chinese cups-and-balls conjurer built by Robert-Houdin’s father-in-law, Jacques Houdin.  

November 29, 2018 at 01:34PM