Willing suspension of ... what?

Discussions of new films, books, television shows, and media indirectly related to magic and magicians. For example, there may be a book on mnemonics or theatrical technique we should know or at least know about.
Jonathan Townsend
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Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2016, 12:22 pm

A text - it's ideal reader - authorial intent - ... fooling ourselves?

But here’s the thing. I do not give a stuff who Ferrante “really” is. If I have a right to know, as Gatti argues, I don’t wish to exercise it. Gatti, as far as I’m concerned, has violated my right not to know, while Ferrante protected it. I was more than willing to play my small part in giving this writer the space she needed to write as she does, and gratefully accept my reward – her books and the pleasure they give to me.
from here:
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/ ... udio-gatti

What are the ideal audience and "author" for our tricks?

By contrast - what if the Appleton's were long time friends of the Swift family and those books are only slightly less than factual stories?
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby performer » October 4th, 2016, 1:43 pm

I don't have any opinions about the subject matter but I do admire the author of that article for her writing ability. For a moment I thought I had written it myself.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2016, 2:25 pm

What do you think of the phrase "my right not to know"?
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby performer » October 4th, 2016, 3:50 pm

I have read the article more thoroughly and I think I agree with it. But what does it have to do with magic?

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Q. Kumber
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Q. Kumber » October 4th, 2016, 6:15 pm

People are always going on about the right to free speech.

But I must equally have the right to not listen if I so choose.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 4th, 2016, 9:32 pm

[Fingers in ears.]
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 4th, 2016, 9:56 pm

performer wrote:... what does it have to do with magic?


The author claims a right "not to know". That notion, when applied to magic trick methods, gets interesting. That's way beyond spoilers or exposure - a "right". ???

I think it's awkward to repeat information when complaining about being confronted with that information. For example writing "I did not want to know Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's [spoiler removed] when reading that movie review. :) But that could well be a different discussion.

Back to our right "to not know" :D
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby performer » October 4th, 2016, 10:55 pm

I have a right to not know what this thread is supposed to be about. Alas I am being reluctantly forced to exercise that right.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Bill Mullins » October 4th, 2016, 11:40 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote: Darth Vader was Luke Skywalker's [spoiler removed]


I hardly think revealing something that has been common knowledge amongst those who give a damn for 36 years counts as a "spoiler".

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 5th, 2016, 2:54 am

The article is about a performer's created persona. I can't think of anything more boring than to encounter a magician's "real" self in performance. Even when a master like Whit Haydn seems to allow Pop's mask to drop for a moment and we see Whit--it's a very selected, brief, constructed moment.

To reveal Ferrante's terrestrial identity is to strip her work of its particular artistic context--a context carefully crafted by her. The readers have been cheated out of the chance to construct in their imaginations, her identity.

As to magic methods, the same. It's naive to think that spectators will not imagine method. But by providing the answer, the spectator is now deprived of the joy and frustration of imagining methods far beyond what the performer could possibly provide.

A right not to know? Let's just say that the adults in the room don't tell the birthday girl that she's about to have a surprise party. It's about not being an a-hole.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 5th, 2016, 9:00 am

Let's say instead the article revealed the authorship of the books is attributable to a team of three men writing under that pen name - but leaves out that one is transgendered and only coyly mentions that one is biracial and not a native French speaker. What then of the works? Or more to my point - of the article author's opinion about having a right not to know? Is it okay to offer false or incomplete information in the name of that right?

Do you have the right to not now?
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby performer » October 5th, 2016, 9:01 am

I dunno. People see MY real self when I perform. And in fact I have several real selves. I can assure you that NONE of them are boring!

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 5th, 2016, 9:54 am

performer wrote:I dunno. People see MY real self when I perform. And in fact I have several real selves. I can assure you that NONE of them are boring!

poetic that - recalls a song :)
...we were never being boring, we had too much time to find for ourselves.
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 5th, 2016, 12:58 pm

Is it okay to offer false or incomplete information in the name of that right?

Authors have been doing that for centuries. Particularly women. Nothing new. A researcher is one thing, a reader another.

Is this about the word, "right"?

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 5th, 2016, 1:16 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:Is this about the word, "right"?


We usually discuss the "right" of the inventor to keep his secrets - using copyright or art-work-rights.
This time it's about an audience's "right" to be ignorant - and a claim that right has some moral protection.

what do you think?
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Jack Shalom
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 5th, 2016, 1:57 pm

What do you think?


Objects of the imagination can wither when exposed to the harsh air of reality;

Objects of reality wither when exposed to the lies of imagination.

See Santa and Snowden.

Less cryptically: a child has the "right" not to be exposed to Santa's underwear; in that sense she has a right not to know. We indulge the fantasy. We have a right not to be told the ending of a mystery story by some blabbermouth (See Kramden, Ralph).

On the other hand, to insist on the right to not know about, say, the reality of a massive illegal warrantless surveillance program is a decidedly unhealthy trait for a society to indulge in.

Two different realms, two different answers. That's what I think.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 5th, 2016, 4:06 pm

Jack, the article's author (and others who cry spoilers) are extending the notion of "a willing suspension of disbelief" as pertains to imbuing a text or object with sentimental attachment and contextual relevance - beyond their own ignorance and into the realm of protected social space as a right.

inner self with beliefs / perceptions / language / social transaction / public-social space / agreed upon rules for acting in public-social space
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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby performer » October 5th, 2016, 7:19 pm

I must say this is a terribly intellectual and useless discussion. I suppose I should follow the advice from Ireland and choose to ignore it. And yet there is something fascinating about it and trying to figure out what all the big words and obscure phrases are about. Somewhat like doing a crossword puzzle.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jack Shalom » October 6th, 2016, 12:16 am

the realm of protected social space as a right.

I think you're getting too exercised by the word "right."
It's being used in the common sense, colloquial manner which I outlined above.
No new Constitutional Amendment is imminent.

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Re: Willing suspension of ... what?

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 6th, 2016, 2:52 pm

This goes beyond the notion of rights in terms of actions , or "right to", into a realm we work in - the inner mental construct of the reader as audience.

here's a quote from another article on the matter:
An appalling, pompous private investigator claims to have found her through examining the financial and real estate records of a translator who lives in Rome. This literary doxxing by this self-appointed arbiter of “truth” is a nasty violation. Claudio Gatti has no right to unmask this author. His excuse is that because Ferrante had said she may “lie on occasion”, she has relinquished the right to disappear behind her books. He goes as far as to suggest that this woman’s husband writes her books. Who is this man with no grasp of literature, imagination or respect for privacy who says politicians should not lie and therefore he can do this to a bestselling author? He is just an idiotic bin rummager. And what is the New York Review of Books doing publishing this detritus?

Those who love Ferrante’s work are appalled, partly of course because she writes so well about the ways in which men humiliate women. “Male power, whether violently or delicately imposed, is still bent on subordinating us.” Indeed.

Folks might be having a different freak-out if the revealed author were male, transgendered, from a different culture, a literary club group work...

The claim of a right as regards the writer of a work as defined by the reader ... that's getting interesting.
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