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Lennart Green and the Modern Drama of Sleight of Hand

Tibbs, Geoff (2013) Lennart Green and the Modern Drama of Sleight of Hand. Journal of performance magic, 1 (1). pp. 19-46. ISSN 2051-6037

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The broad purpose of this essay is to suggest an approach to sleight of hand magic, which looks at its social resonances as a dramatic medium. I outline a modern tradition of sleight of hand, that is a form of sleight of hand that was self-consciously described as modern by magicians. This tradition takes shape in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, and its stylistic influence extends well into the twentieth century. I argue that this modern style had a specific set of social resonances, which help to explain the power of sleight of hand magic as a form of performance. In particular, modern sleight of hand was intimately intertwined with the relationship between magic and crime, and with a now-unfamiliar distinction between magic and juggling. The point of this exploration, though, is not purely historical. Through it, I want to lay some ground for cultural criticism of contemporary magic. In this, my subject and stimulus is the Swedish card maestro Lennart Green.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2013 15:23
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2015 00:24


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