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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Food for thought » » Subtext (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Michael Kamen
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Interesting. Somehow, I would not have expected folks dealing with such issues to be looking here for insights, let alone vice versa.
Michael Kamen
Michael Kamen
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One might say the subtext is the message, of the character in the context of some drama or of the author via the character, delivered in a more or less encoded manner.
Michael Kamen
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-09-05 15:01, Michael Kamen wrote:
One might say the subtext is the message, of the character in the context of some drama or of the author via the character, delivered in a more or less encoded manner.


Agreed. Art seems to offer messages that can resonate with us over centuries or millenia.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
Pop Haydn
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When magic is used for some other purpose other than art, then the rules change.

If you want to use magic to pick up women, you need to sublimate the Rules of Art in Magic to the needs of your purpose--the magic should first and formost serve the need of picking up women... Smile
Michael Kamen
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So, if the message is that of the character in dramatic context, that seems most useful to us. Once the author is delivering a message through a character, well, we have often called that propaganda.
Michael Kamen
Stellan
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Thus in street magic the rules are sublimated into the need to separate the audience from their money, making them stop, stay and pay. This will not affect the execution of the magic tricks so much, but it need to be addressed in the presentations and in between in both text and subtext. The text will contain an explicit request for money, the subtext can contain suffering, blame, gratitude and so on. It will always say: We have agreement: I entertain, you pay. This will be one of the differences from a stage show. There will also be text and subtext directed at making you stay. In a street show there will of course also be text and subtext belonging to the presentation of the magic tricks aiming to fascinate and entertain as in any magic show, where you already have paid and are likely to stay the whole show.
"There is no reality, only perception."
Pop Haydn
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I like that, Stellan.
tommy
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I was just thinking about something and it seems to me that subtext is that which appeals to the right brain and the overt to the left brain.

The left deals with abstract, spacial, relationships, intuition and subconscious as opposed to rational linear logic. Subtext is that which speaks to the heart rather than the head so to speak.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Pop Haydn
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This old thread is so full of great stuff.
landmark
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Well I enjoyed reading this, but wow, that one word "subtext" took a beating, being mangled and pounded into submission to fit a lot of conceptions.

As Jon said some nine years ago, it's a theater term, specifically as applied to scripts. It's what the character is thinking as s/he says the words. You can imagine it's the unsaid part that's in the parentheses:

"Of course I love you' (Now can I get back to my poker game?)
"Of course I love you' (You are the most wonderful person alive!)
"Of course I love you" (If you leave me, I'm going to kill myself)
"Of course I love you' (How can you be so stupid to doubt that?)

Words like intention, spine, objective, superobjective, justification, verisimilitude are also words that actors, directors and playwrights use to describe some of the same ideas discussed in this great thread. It's just nice to be aware of the theatrical vocabulary because these kinds of discussions have been going on for a long long time in the dramatic arts, and magicians don't have to re-invent the wheel, but can adapt as useful and necessary.
Bernice
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The subtext that belies all of my "magic" is that an actual deception. I want to convey that "this" (the magical event) wasn't me nor you, it was "us". I'm using magic to shortcut rapport by dropping a state of wonder into the interaction and labeling it as connection. The things we do to earn a living!
tommy
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My theory is that the entertainment and the magic are opposites and that it is the magician’s job to balance the two. It seems to me, the entertainment is explicit and the magic is implicit. Therefore the subtext is in the entertainment as opposed to the magic. The proposition, which part of the entertainment, is essentially incredible nonsense treated as if it is serious for amusement. The subtext is the opposite of the implicit meaning. The audience for fun believes the incredible nonsense true while knowing it isn’t. The magic is a string of brutal facts which leave nothing to the imagination and these facts in effect, prove the incredible nonsense true! The entertainment is or causes self-deception, while the magic is actual deception.

It is this nonsense subtext in the entertainment which distinguishes our magic from charlatanry, I think.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
tommy
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Correction:

It seems to me, the entertainment is implicit and the magic is explicit.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
Luke Wolf
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Pop Haydn thanks for ressucitating this old tread again! a treasure chest indeed!
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