The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Why all the hype about Hilliard's Greater Magic? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
Is it mainly because it's somewhat of a collector's item at this point, or is the material inside really that good? And is the material not made redundant by Tarbell and other books that followed? In other words, is there stuff in Greater Magic that can't be found elsewhere? Really, what is all the fuss about?
Thank you.

Todd
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
JimMaloney
View Profile
Inner circle
1184 Posts

Profile of JimMaloney
Greater Magic holds historical significance in that it was the largest collection of magic since Tarbell (which came before, not after, Greater Magic). It contains material from many top names of the period. For example, the "Card Stars of the USA" section has items from Annemann, Baker, Cardini, Horowitz, Judah, Leipzig, McCaffrey, Scarne, and Vernon. Other folks like Blackstone, Devant, Downs, Malini, Tarbell, etc. have material scattered about the book It, along with Tarbell, provides an essential source of information -- many tricks around today have their roots in one of those two collections.

The material is excellent and reflects the period. Much of it still holds up today. I'd say that the book is a essential; not just for collectors, but for the general education of the average magician.

Just to get an idea of what's in it, check out the table of contents: http://magicref.tripod.com/books/hilliardgreater.htm

-Jim
Books and Magazines for sale -- more than 200 items (Last updated January 17th, 2014. Link goes to public Google Doc.)
Rennie
View Profile
Inner circle
I think I have about
1784 Posts

Profile of Rennie
At the time Greater Magic was published it was the biggest book of its time. I believe (I am at work and cannot measure it) it is about 3" thick or more. It is loaded with all kinds of magic. Is it a collectible, yes it is. It should be on every magicians bookshelf along with Tarbell...The Kaufmann reprint is also rapidly becoming collectible..Highly recommended.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
boinko
View Profile
Elite user
Illinois
414 Posts

Profile of boinko
I suspect part of the fuss is the systematic ****ysis and breakdown of various methods and effects. Fact is, Hilliard is *packed* with information.

I'm no pro, so I don't know for sure, but I suspect there's much to be learned in Hilliard -- especially if one (and I'm not) into "fooling magicians." A few of the more esoteric card sleights in the first part of GM, for example, would baffle most contemporary magicians. Baffle, because while the methods aren't new, the methods have been *forgotten.* Or aren't used because they seem "simple" or "old fashioned."

Plus, Hilliard is one of the better magic *writers* around. His text is a pleasure to read -- not only for the sleights and the effects -- but because he can put together an interesting bunch of sentences. Me, I like that.

Find a decent used copy -- you won't regret it. (I routinely see copies around for $100 or so. More than worth it. Kaufman's reprint goes for much more -- but you can't go wrong with an old edition of GM.)

There's no real comparison, IMHO to Tarbell. Yes, they're both big and both comprehensive -- but Hilliard -- contextually and historically -- is not Tarbell -- and vice versa. Which is why you need Hilliard, you need Tarbell, you need Erdnase ...

BTW -- this may be an unpopular viewpoint, but I think magicians -- or anyone interested in "magic" -- has an obligation to seek out and contextualize everything for themselves. This means (to me, at least) making a deliberate (and usually expensive) effort to identify, acquire, and read the foundational texts.

Which is to say that my love of Hilliard may be mine alone -- but I can't imagine attempting to understand the history of magic and illusion without, at some point, reading Hilliard.
Larry Barnowsky
View Profile
Inner circle
Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
4866 Posts

Profile of Larry Barnowsky
It's one of great classics that every magician should have in their library. There were a lot of inventive magicians before our time who we could learn from. This is the source for that. Add to that Tarbell, Expert Card technique, and Expert at the Card Table.
mrunge
View Profile
Inner circle
Charleston, SC
3717 Posts

Profile of mrunge
I would say "just get it." It is really valuable to anyone interested in magic and will become a treasured addition to your library.

Mark. Smile
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
Wow. Some very eloquent elaborations on Greater Magic. I have to admit I started this thread to try to convince myself I didn't need the book (I have spent a small fortune this last month on many of the canonical magic books), but after reading all the preceding replies, it's inevitable that I must have it. Thank you all for helping me to understand the importance of this book.

Todd
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
Andy the cardician
View Profile
Inner circle
A street named after my dad
3370 Posts

Profile of Andy the cardician
Todd,
once you have it, please give us your feedback.
Andy
Cards never lie
pierredan
View Profile
Special user
Dai Vernon's birthplace
533 Posts

Profile of pierredan
Todsky,

What so you consider the "canonial magic books"?
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
Pierre, I'll give you a partial list of the canonical books I've acquired in the last month. You'll notice there is a lot on Mentalism and Theory, because that is the area I am currently interested in studying.

Tarbell's Course in Magic
Strong Magic by Darwin Ortiz
The Fitzkee Trilogy
Psychological Subtleties by Banachek
Magic and Meaning by Eugene Burger
Our Magic by Maskelyne and Devant
Peek Performances by Richard Busch
Theatre of the Mind by Barrie Richardson
Derren Brown: Pure Effect, Tricks of the Mind
Stunners Plus by Larry Becker
Mind, Myth and Magic by T.A. Waters
Mind and Magic by David Berglas
Kentonism by Kenton Knepper
A couple of Richard Osterlind's pamphlets (I forget the names)

These are added to some of the 'canon' I already have: Bobo's Modern Coin Magic, The Royal Road to Card Magic, Corinda's 13 Steps, Anneman's Practical Mentalism, Henning Nelms' Showmanship for Magicians, Henry Hay's The Amateur Magician's Handbook.

No doubt I've forgotten several, but that's the gist of it.

Jim: I just checked out the index you referred to for Greater Magic. Wow! That's a tome!
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
Feral Chorus
View Profile
Elite user
CA
470 Posts

Profile of Feral Chorus
Greater Magic was a long time in the making. In Jinx no. 8 in May, 1935, Ted Annemann included Greater Magic in his now famous five foot shelf of must have magic publications. That was four years BEFORE the book was even published or had a title. After publication, Annemann had this to say about Greater Magic:

"Greater Magic is not so much a sequel to "The Art of Magic" as a continuation of the Professor Hoffman books, of which "Modern Magic" still stands as a bulwark against magical mediocrity. "Greater Magic" was a dream of Hilliard's and is a galaxy of dreams for the modern magician...Now, in the cold light of day, looking at the 1030 pages and reading the 715 tricks so carefully written, we realize that our perversities and temperament would never have allowed us to even closely approach what Jean Hugard has accomplished. I truly believe that Angelo Lewis and John Hilliard are together in some temperate clime and sagely saying, "Only we could have done better." Harlan Tarbell's 1120 illustrations are perfect for technicians. My lowest bow to you Mr. Jones, for making John's dream a reality. My heartfelt regrets, to you, dear reader, if you don't possess "Greater Magic."

A canonical work? Yeah, I'd say so.
Rennie
View Profile
Inner circle
I think I have about
1784 Posts

Profile of Rennie
Todd,
I have to repeat Andy's basic question, what is a "canonical" book ? I have a really large magic book collection and you just mentioned a word I am totally unfamiliar with...
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
Rennie, that was actually Pierre's question, although I thought he wanted me to elaborate on what I considered to be the contents of my canon. A 'canon' is a group of work that is considered essential in a particular artistic discipline. For instance, in literature, the books Ulysses, Don Quixote and The Iliad would be considered a part of the great canon of literature throughout the ages.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
sethb
View Profile
Inner circle
The Jersey Shore
2700 Posts

Profile of sethb
I had two thoughts about "Greater Magic" after reading this thread. First, I believe that more than half the book is devoted to card magic. Maybe it's because I'm not a card guy (except for the Svengali Pitch), but to me, the book seems a little one-sided.

Don't get me wrong, there are some wonderful things in "Greater Magic," it's definitely worth your while, and there's no question that it was and is a great achievement. But you may be disappointed if cards aren't your thing.

Secondly, I'm not sure I agree with Mr. Annemann's quote that "Greater Magic is not so much a sequel to "The Art of Magic" as a continuation of the Professor Hoffman books . . . ." My understanding is that "Greater Magic" was not released to the public at large, and was made available primarily to the magic fraternity. I don't believe this was the case with "Modern Magic" and the other books by Professor Hoffman, which were designed for popular consumption and were widely available in bookstores at the time.

So, "Greater Magic" is a textbook for magicians, while "Modern Magic" was sort of the 19th century equivalent of the Fox Network's "masked magician." Note that I'm not demeaning the material in "Modern Magic," which is very well described and presented -- I'm just placing this book and "Greater Magic" in their proper historical contexts as I understand them. SETH
"Watch the Professor!!" -- Al Flosso (1895-1976)
"The better you are, the closer they watch" -- Darwin Ortiz, STRONG MAGIC
Rennie
View Profile
Inner circle
I think I have about
1784 Posts

Profile of Rennie
Quote:
On 2006-11-30 11:12, todsky wrote:
Rennie, that was actually Pierre's question, although I thought he wanted me to elaborate on what I considered to be the contents of my canon. A 'canon' is a group of work that is considered essential in a particular artistic discipline. For instance, in literature, the books Ulysses, Don Quixote and The Iliad would be considered a part of the great canon of literature throughout the ages.

todsky,
Thanks for the explanation. I must say one thing, I learn something new every day.
Rennie
The effect is the important thing, how you achieve it is not.......
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
As do I, Rennie, especially on this Café. Very helpful people here.
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
pierredan
View Profile
Special user
Dai Vernon's birthplace
533 Posts

Profile of pierredan
Todski,

Thank you for the list. You and I are the same page as I have most of the books you listed.

A few of them are out of print. Where did you find a copy of Our Magic?
todsky
View Profile
Inner circle
www.magicstore.ca
2354 Posts

Profile of todsky
Our Magic was definitely hard to find. I think I found it at http://www.joyalstack.com
Todsky's Magic Shop: over 15,000 tricks, books, DVD s and Card decks. www.magicstore.ca
oagwood
View Profile
Veteran user
Pleasant Hill, CA
377 Posts

Profile of oagwood
Bang for the buck, the amount of quality material for the price it's a great deal. there are many fundamental priciples which hold strong today.

and while it is card heavy, there is enough other material (about 400 pages) to tickle just about anybody's fancy.

I'd say juxtaposed with tarbell some of the material may be redundant and if you put some of the other works you metnioned above into the mix it probably all gets covered to some extent. however, the historical significance of this book coupled with the mass of tricks in this single volume make it worthwhile (for me).

if you are satisfied not owning it, don't buy it.
Larry Barnowsky
View Profile
Inner circle
Cooperstown, NY where bats are made from
4866 Posts

Profile of Larry Barnowsky
There is also a very good section on standard apparatus and illusions. A beginner would find a wealth of information in this large tome.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Books, Pamphlets & Lecture Notes » » Why all the hype about Hilliard's Greater Magic? (0 Likes)
 Go to page 1~2 [Next]
X
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2021 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.2 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL