Thursday, November 15, 2007

Magicians from Long Ago

If you take a look to the right—yes, that right, the one to the right of you—you might notice that I have expressed a mysterious interest in "magicians from long ago." Well. There is a good reason for that. And that is because I like to keep things a little bit mysterious.

But also:

I really am interested in magicians from long ago! Two years ago, I wrote my very first research paper of college on "The Cult of the Amateur Magician" at the turn of the twentieth century. To write this paper, I read many, many amateur magicians' magazines. I spent countless afternoons in the Harvard Theatre Collection, reading tricks and trivia and marveling at the ancient feel of nouns and verbs.

Since then, I've always kept "magicians from long ago" in the back of my mind. It was sort of an audacious paper to write—one that felt brave at the time, in a sitting-in-the-library kind of way. I especially loved the imagery; I have a poster of "Thurston the Famous Magician" hanging in my dorm room.

So imagine my delight at discovering The Magic Gallery online. The site claims to be a collection of "vintage magic posters and related items from the golden age of magic, 1890- 1930," but I'm pretty sure what they meant to say was, "Here, Diana. Go ahead and change your desktop background every day. You know you want to."

And after that picture? Come on. You know you want to, too.

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