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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » The "Smith Myth" (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Hushai
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Can anyone define for me what is meant by "the Smith Myth?" I have read explanations of a number of card effects in which "the Smith Myth" is referenced, but these effects all seem to be different enough from each other that I cannot quite make out what the basic principle is.
Rik Gazelle
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In Harry Lorayne's Apocalypse (vol 17, Number 18, July 1995) there is an effect by Wylee Packer called "Four-Way Smyth's Myth" which describes the original (credited to Hen Fetsch) as "The basic idea ... is that two thought-of cards fall at the same position in two halves of the shuffled batch of cards"
pnerd
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"Michael Ammar - The Smith Myth Performance": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9A2AaXvj78
Hushai
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Thank you, Rik Gazelle and pnerd, for your replies. I looked at Michael Ammar's performance of the Smith Myth to which pnerd directed me (thank you again!), and it certainly seems to answer to the description of the original Smith Myth effect found in Apocalypse (thank you, Rik). I purchased the explanation of Ammar's version of the Smith Myth -- and I have to say the principles he uses to bring about the effect are nothing at all like the principles I have read about under the heading of "Smith Myth!" See this description, for example: https://www.conjuringcredits.com/doku.php?id=cards:smith_myth: Is Ammar maybe simply using a different method to produce the same effect?

Alao: in John Bannon's trick "Cross Purposes" (in Destination Zero), he references the Smith Myth -- but, again, I can't see how Ammar's trick at all resembles Bannon's trick. Are there two different "Smith myths?"

I have asked this elsewhere on the Café, but: in Bob Longe's book World's Best Card Tricks, there are two tricks entitled "Tricky Transpo" and "Quaint Coincidence." Are these tricks examples of the Smith Myth as described on the Conjuring Credits website I referenced above?

So -- just sharing my confusion with anyone kind enough to read this! Thanks again, Rik and pnerd.
saxonia
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It looks as some authors refer to "Smith Myth" when they speak about the Rashomon Principle (a special case of dual reality), others refer to "Smith Myth" when they speak about the mathematical force, and again other authors refer to "Smit Myth" when they are referring to the coincidence between cards chosen by two spectators.

In fact, "Smith Myth" uses all those mentioned principles.

Note: The Apocalypse version is not the original. The original can be found in "New Pentagram" vol 1 no 6 (August 1969).
Hushai
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Quote:
On Aug 28, 2019, saxonia wrote:
Note: The Apocalypse version is not the original. The original can be found in "New Pentagram" vol 1 no 6 (August 1969).

When you say "the original," do you mean a version of the Smith Myth that is essentially the same as the one in the 1956 book Five O'Fetsch, by Hen Fetsch?

Thank you, saxonia! You have stated clearly and concisely the same conclusions I have come to in the last few days of my research into my questions about the Smith Myth. When John Bannon, for example, says his trick ("Cross Purposes") uses the Smith Myth principle he is talking about the mathematical method behind the effect, not the coincidence effect of two chosen cards appearing at once. Nor does the Rashomon principle play any part in Bannon's trick.

I think that the two tricks in Bob Longe's book which I mentioned above are indeed examples of the mathematics behind the force in the original Smith Myth.

There is a vast literature of magic. There is room for real scholarship in sorting out things like this.
saxonia
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Hello,

The introduction to the article "The Smith Myth" in "New Pentagram" says:
"The principle of the following card effect was first shown to the late “Hen” Fetsch by his good friend Fred
Smith of Buffalo. Through correspondence they developed the ‘Smith Myth’. This effect was scheduled to
appear in Hen’s forthcoming ‘Friends of Fetsch’ but he persuaded Fred to give it as a bonus with the series, “Five of Fetsch”.

So although I do not own the book "Five O'Fetsch", I suppose that it is the same description.
MikeBeaudet
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The Crusade is a good example of the Smith Myth application.
Do your best and forget the rest
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