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The End of Mindreading

Dean, Edward (2018) The End of Mindreading. Journal of performance magic, 5 (1). ISSN 2051-6037

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Advances in neuroscience have formally debunked Cartesian mind/body dualism, ending, in the process, the possibility of mind reading as it has long been depicted in popular culture (Moulton, 2008, pp. 182-192). Gone, now, are the tantalizing possibilities of mental radio waves, psychic vibrations, and disembodied minds, frequently brandished by the mediums, mind readers, and mesmerists of decades past. It is my contention that contemporary mentalists are reacting – both intentionally and unintentionally – not only to these anti-dualist realities, but also to the post-truth condition. This in turn, is giving rise to a new meta paradigm of wink-eye mentalism in which – in contrast to classical mentalism – the lies are less interesting than the lying. In this paper, I explore the relationship between mentalism and two theories advanced by Performance Studies: dark play and make-belief. I further examine the curious relationships between mentalists, professional wrestlers, rock stars, politicians, and method actors; paying specific attention to what is known in the sports entertainment industry as kayfabe.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mentalism, metamentalism, wink-eye mentalism, post-truth mentalism, kayfabe, dark play, make-belief, trickster, anti-character, anti-magic
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > The Institute for Health Citizenship
School of Music, Humanities and Media > Drama Research Group
School of Music, Humanities and Media > Magic Research Group
Depositing User: Megan Taylor
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 09:16
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 09:30


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