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Magic by Misdirection

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Magic by Misdirection by Dariel Fitzkee

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This volume, book three in the trilogy, is all about the psychology in magic. Mechanics alone, a sleight or move, are not sufficient to produce a strong magic effect. Dexterity by itself is more like juggling. Only if misdirection, the psychological aspect of deception, is added into the mix, will one be able to create a truly magic experience.

There aren't many good works on misdirection. This is one of the must read ebooks, a classic in the theory of magic. A shorter but modern discussion of misdirection can be read in Pocket Power by Jarle Leirpoll.

  • INTRODUCTION
    • Which is the cart and which is the horse
    • Exposing the wheels
    • Made to measure tricks
    • Hand-me-downs in magic
    • Are the classics best?
    • What makes a trick great?
    • Life
    • Seven corpses
    • Peregrinating professors
    • A "classic" is born
    • Classics, capability and cads
    • Blockbusting old ideas
    • The spectator's think-tank
    • Seeing and believing
  • CHAPTER I - REAL SECRETS OF MAGIC
    • Taking up where we left off
    • New gods for old
    • Exposing the exposure
    • Skill or duffer
    • Giving the bird to the bird cage
    • Aren't we all duffers?
    • Ignoring the important
    • True skill
    • The real secrets of magic
    • False whiskers and attention
    • True or false
  • CHAPTER II - THE IMPORTANCE OF INTERPRETATION
    • More of the same
    • Exposure is impossible
    • Can you read a magician's mind?
    • The performer paints his own picture
    • Interpretation to confound
    • Conviction
    • By these signs ye shall know them
    • Acting
    • Diebox deception
  • CHAPTER III - CONVICTION AND NATURALNESS
    • The important ingredients
    • If you believe it, it's so
    • Convince yourself
    • Spectator instinct
    • Naturalness
    • How to convince without argument
    • Disguise and attention
    • Attention control comes forward
    • Reasons
    • The importance of convincing yourself
  • CHAPTER IV - WHAT ACTUALLY DECEIVES THE SPECTATOR
    • Money to burn
    • Marked and borrowed, but found in an impossible place
    • Behind the scenes
    • The plant
    • Pilferage
    • Disappearing rubber
    • No machinery necessary
    • All through psychology
    • The spectator's viewpoint
    • Disguise and attention
    • Money cheerfully refunded
  • CHAPTER V - THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EXPEDIENTS
    • Through the microscope
    • Simulation
    • Dissimulation
    • Interpretation
    • Maneuver
    • Pretense
    • Ruse
    • Anticipation
    • Disguise
    • Diversion
    • Monotony
    • Premature consummation
    • Confusion
    • Suggestion
    • Disguise plus disguise plus attention control
    • And more of the same
  • CHAPTER VI - REACHING THE SPECTATOR'S MIND
    • The attack on the spectator's understanding
    • External appearances and interpretation
    • Suggestion and implication
    • Danger in the direct statement
    • You can't force the spectator's conclusions
    • Inducement and persuasion
    • Confusion with a bank note
    • Deduction versus induction
  • CHAPTER VII - PROCESSES WITHIN THE SPECTATOR'S MIND
    • The spectator must be deceived
    • The spectator's perceptions
    • The mind, only, perceives
    • The spectator's consciousness
    • Magicians must attack the spectator's understanding
    • Mind stimuli and idea association
    • The spectator's mind is not a pushover
    • He is consciously intelligent
    • Details do the trick
  • CHAPTER VIII - THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NORM
    • How the spectator views the performer's appearance
    • The important norm
    • Discord brings damaging attention
    • Characteristic naturalness
    • Bewilderment not deception
    • Disguise
    • Dice and rabbits
    • Palming a card
    • Diversion
    • The importance of naturalness
  • CHAPTER IX - THE NORM IN SPEECH
    • Speech in deception
    • The norm in speech patterns
    • Variations "telegraph"
    • What as well as how
    • Subject matter norm
    • Undue emphasis
    • The strength of implication
    • An example with bonds
    • With tubes
    • The norm in attitude
    • What magic really is
    • Imitation magic
    • Speech in attention diversion
    • The scorched thumb
    • Any solution destroys deception
    • Things important to the magician
  • CHAPTER X - THE NORM IN PROPERTIES
    • Properties in deception
    • Familiar things accepted more quickly
    • Handling for deception
    • A lesson from Kellar
    • Pulling the lesson apart
    • Applying the Kellar lesson
    • Tricky appearance destroys deception
    • A general idea satisfies the spectator
    • Strengthening deception by appearance of properties
  • CHAPTER XI - DISGUISE AND ATTENTION CONTROL
    • The magician has but two courses
    • Disguise and attention control
    • With a changing bag
    • How important does it seem to the magician?
    • Substituting a stronger interest
    • Disguise in many forms
    • Physical and psychological disguise
    • Frames, stocks, bottles and miscellany
    • The effectiveness of mixing the true with the false
    • A magician's tool does not deceive
    • Disguising the tool
  • CHAPTER XII - SIMULATION
    • Harping on an old obsession
    • The true spectator response
    • We can only baffle
    • Seeing versus thinking
    • Simulation
    • The necessary support to simulation
    • Bowls, egg bags, cigarettes, cards, ropes, turbans, billets, rings, eggs
    • Ultimately all is acting
  • CHAPTER XIII - DISSIMULATION
    • Dissimulation
    • Acting again
    • Special decks
    • Preparing for dissimulation
    • More rising cards
    • Bottles, clocks, production boxes, egg bags
    • Dissimulation with cards
    • Distinctions
    • Many disguises
  • CHAPTER XIV - MANEUVER
    • Maneuver for deception
    • An example with bottles
    • A routined series of movements
    • Maneuver with cards
    • Maneuver as used by Al Baker
    • The distinction
  • CHAPTER XV - RUSE
    • The ruse in deception
    • Purposes disguised
    • With billiard balls
    • With tied thumbs
    • Ruse with card sleights
    • In a divination effect
    • Illusions, cards, silks
  • CHAPTER XVI - SUGGESTION AND INDUCEMENT
    • Disguise in many forms
    • Suggestion and inducement
    • Disguised force
    • The hypnotic process
    • In mind reading
    • Breaking a pencil
    • Oranges, bills, bells, beads, pegs, balls
  • CHAPTER XVII - ATTENTION CONTROL
    • Attention control
    • Misdirection
    • Many forms of control
    • Anticipation
    • Premature consummation
    • Monotony
    • Confusion
    • Diversion
    • Specific direction
    • Anticipation with cards
    • Varied examples
    • Tricks and illusions with attention control
  • CHAPTER XVIII - ANTICIPATION
    • Spectator attention
    • The manner of controlling attention
    • To accomplish interest
    • Suspense
    • Animation
    • Detail on attention control
    • Anticipating the attention
    • Cups, balls, cards, running up decks
    • Fire and water
  • CHAPTER XIX - RELAXATION, MONOTONY, CONFUSION
    • Premature consummation and Kellar's use of it
    • Stephen Shepard and his bird cage
    • Stripped of all illusions
    • With six silk handkerchiefs
    • The performer must set the pattern for the spectator
    • Thought force is concrete
    • The language of the mind
    • Monotony
    • Examples by Leslie Guest
    • Confusion
    • Balls, finales, rings, pellets, coins
    • Confusion a la Blackstone
    • Keep it quiet
  • CHAPTER XX - DIVERSION AND DISTRACTION
    • Diversion for deception
    • With a handkerchief and a wine glass
    • Details
    • The power of suggestion
    • Specific detail
    • The most subtle stratagem
    • Its mechanics
    • Bowls, hat loads, cards, eggs, chickens
    • Leslie Guest again
    • With a rabbit
    • Distraction
    • Beware repetition
    • Clocks, girls, trunks
  • CHAPTER XXI - SAMPLES OF ATTENTION CONTROL
    • Attention control stratagems in action
    • Stephen Shepard and a tall glass
    • Madison with a pack of cards
    • An idea from seeing Tommy Martin
    • Cards to the pocket
    • Levitation
    • Switching the judge
  • CHAPTER XXII - REAL DECEPTION
    • Real skill in magic
    • Pulling levers
    • Banish the goofs
    • Psychology is the first requirement
    • Pulling the tricks apart
    • Planning the procedure
    • Misdirection covers weak spots
    • Misdirection aids interpretation
    • Multitudes of examples
    • Good deception is fundamentally good acting
  • CHAPTER XXIII - THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL
    • Strong support
    • Robert-Houdin
    • Why never to reveal in advance
    • H. J. Burlingame
    • Nevil Maskelyne
    • Why never to repeat
    • Underestimated intelligence
    • Repetition
    • The card sharper
    • Deception for keeps
    • Scarne's greatest skill
    • Learn from the real masters
    • The real secrets of magic

1st edition 1975; 221 pages.
word count: 71809 which is equivalent to 287 standard pages of text


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Monday 10 December, 2018
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