Over the past couple of years, I have begun to practice coin and card tricks to amaze my friends and thwart my enemies. Alas, like Dunstan Ramsay in Robertson Davies' Deptford Trilogy, it is slow and clumsy going for me, and I daresay that at this stage I don't know how far I will ever get.
Like many, I enjoyed magic as a child, and actually knowing how many tricks work hasn't diminished my admiration. Indeed, the difficulty and work it takes to be a bad magician is now so apparent to me that watching a simple card or coin trick is a source of genuine pleasure, a kind of pleasure that vastly more exotic looking things, like CGI animated movies, never achieve.
I take my enjoyment of magic, as a sign, a sign of maturity, when one can embrace the artifice and the con for what they are - a glimpse into mystery. Now we all know that modern stage magic is very much a science, indeed a virtually positivist affair, but is there anything so rigorous so devoting to hiding it's trial and error origins?
I like the following card trick for a few reasons. It's relatively simple and it's all out in the open, there's no automata here, it's just legerdemain.