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“This Rough Magic I Here Abjure” Performativity, Practice and Purpose of the Bizarre

Corrigan, Brian Jay (2018) “This Rough Magic I Here Abjure” Performativity, Practice and Purpose of the Bizarre. Journal of performance magic, 5 (1). ISSN 2051-6037

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Abstract

This paper argues that through the theatrical application of defamiliarization (ostranenie) the performer of 'bizarre' magic seeks to achieve an 'illusion of reality' which transcends the traditional performance-magic desire to deceive and rather create a long-lasting impression in the minds of the spectator that artistically confabulates, instilling a realistic memory spawned of a pretended reality. The article distinguishes 'presentational' from 'representational' theatrical approaches to argue that the 'bizarre' magician performs within a hyper-representational mode that the author terms 'paratheatre', meaning theatre and performance that the audience fails to recognize as such. Tracing the history of magic from its application among, inter alia, the priestly classes through stage magicians, this article discusses the 'bizarrist' aim to remove magic from the expectation of deception and any willing suspension of disbelief, and, via convincing storytelling, re-situate the magic moment into an atmosphere of genuine acceptance and even belief.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bizarre Magic, Bizarrist, History of Performance Magic, Robert-Houdin, Maskeleyne, Vaudeville, Illusion of Reality, Defamiliarization
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Schools: School of Music, Humanities and Media
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 09:25
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 09:30
URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34496

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