ERDNASE

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
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lybrary
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 11:05 am

Bill Mullins wrote:You said "this thing doesn't exist" and I showed that it did.

It doesn't exist in an apples to apples comparison. I was assuming you would understand this tacit commonsense condition.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 11:16 am

Bill Mullins wrote:You've posited that the author used the reversal of a name that was not his own. Can you show an example of anyone else who has ever done this?

pen-name: Azorín (reversed Niroza which is a valid family name. Examples here https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q= ... nit=public )
real name: José Martínez Ruiz (and this author isn't some obscure person like your examples)

pen-name: Boz (reversed Zob which is a valid family name https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse ... b&uidh=000 )
real name: Charles Dickens

The last one is particularly interesting because Gallaway's favorite author was Dickens.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » February 7th, 2018, 1:03 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:pen-name: Boz (reversed Zob which is a valid family name https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse ... b&uidh=000 )
real name: Charles Dickens

The last one is particularly interesting because Gallaway's favorite author was Dickens.


"Boz" was the childhood nickname of Dickens' little brother. Originally "Mose", then "Boz", as in Mose pronounced with one's nose stuffed up from a cold. No connection with any surname.

yrs respectfully,

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 1:11 pm

observer wrote:"Boz" was the childhood nickname of Dickens' little brother. Originally "Mose", then "Boz", as in Mose pronounced with one's nose stuffed up from a cold. No connection with any surname.

Wikipedia states 'apparently adopted'. In other words they don't know for sure. Nobody knows if Erdnase created his name reversing it from Andrews. It is all speculation.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby performer » February 7th, 2018, 1:23 pm

I would find it hilarious if, after all this fuss and time spent on the matter, if it were to be discovered without all doubt that the author's real name was S.W. Erdnase all along!

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 7th, 2018, 1:27 pm

performer wrote:... if it were to be discovered without all doubt that the author's real name was S.W. Erdnase all along!


Just a few scraps of paper found in the right archives... ( have a look at Caleb Carr's story ;) )

Any clues to what was supposed to be a suitable beginner and basic schooling in the finer points of deception?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby jkeyes1000 » February 7th, 2018, 2:45 pm

lybrary wrote:
Bill Mullins wrote:You've posited that the author used the reversal of a name that was not his own. Can you show an example of anyone else who has ever done this?

pen-name: Azorín (reversed Niroza which is a valid family name. Examples here https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q= ... nit=public )
real name: José Martínez Ruiz (and this author isn't some obscure person like your examples)

pen-name: Boz (reversed Zob which is a valid family name https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse ... b&uidh=000 )
real name: Charles Dickens

The last one is particularly interesting because Gallaway's favorite author was Dickens.


The fact that Gallaway's favourite author was Dickens is much more solid grounds for your hypothesis than the suggestion that the author was either trying to hide his identity, or appeal to his fellow gamblers.

I would accept that as a distinct possibility, knowing the subtle and personal sort of reasons that writers have for choosing one word over another.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » February 7th, 2018, 3:56 pm

lybrary wrote:
observer wrote:"Boz" was the childhood nickname of Dickens' little brother. Originally "Mose", then "Boz", as in Mose pronounced with one's nose stuffed up from a cold. No connection with any surname.

Wikipedia states 'apparently adopted'. In other words they don't know for sure. Nobody knows if Erdnase created his name reversing it from Andrews. It is all speculation.


"... the signature of Boz. This was the nickname of a pet child, his youngest brother Augustus, whom in honour of The Vicar of Wakefield he had dubbed Moses, which being facetiously pronounced through the nose became Boses, and being shortened became Boz."

from The Life of Charles Dickens (1872-74) by John Forster. Forster was a long-time friend of Dickens, and I think he can be trusted rather better than whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 4:04 pm

observer wrote:"... the signature of Boz. This was the nickname of a pet child, his youngest brother Augustus, whom in honour of The Vicar of Wakefield he had dubbed Moses, which being facetiously pronounced through the nose became Boses, and being shortened became Boz."

from The Life of Charles Dickens (1872-74) by John Forster. Forster was a long-time friend of Dickens, and I think he can be trusted rather better than whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry.

I trust Dickens even more. Here is what he wrote:
"Boz," Dickens himself says, "was a very familiar household word to me long before I was an author, and so I came to adopt it."

In other words, he first adopted this name. There wasn't anything with his brother. Foster then later interpreted it the way he describes, but that is not coming from Dickens himself.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 7th, 2018, 4:26 pm

lybrary wrote: . . . because Gallaway's favorite author was Dickens.

In looking this up in your ebook, I came across this line, which is immediately following the reference to Dickens in the Lakeside Press biography:

[Gallaway's] one great hobby is astronomy

He had one hobby, and it was astronomy. Not magic. Not playing cards. Not gambling.

(And FWIW, I think the Azorin/Nizora is a coincidence, and is not an example of Ruiz reversing a very scarce last name to come up with a much more common last name. He had once named a character in his writing Antonio Azorin, and then used that name as his pseudonym. No reason to think he was referencing "Nizora". Likewise, it doesn't appear that Dickens was trying to reverse anyone's name.)

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 7th, 2018, 6:27 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:He had one hobby, and it was astronomy. Not magic. Not playing cards. Not gambling.

Being a cardshark was business not a hobby. Admitting to gambling in a company newspaper back then would have been professional suicide. In case you didn't notice he also does not mention his employment at McKinney, something that has been verified by documents. Clearly he still wants to stay anonymous when it comes to his gambling pursuits, quite understandably so.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Larry Horowitz » February 7th, 2018, 10:36 pm

The book was published in 1902 and subsequently advertised for sale in magic publications. When is the earliest, or ever, the Expert was reviewed? Did the reviewer publicly ask, “Who is this guy? I never heard of him. Anybody know him?

I’m basically asking, how soon after publication might the author have been tempted to come forward?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby observer » February 7th, 2018, 11:00 pm

lybrary wrote:
observer wrote:"... the signature of Boz. This was the nickname of a pet child, his youngest brother Augustus, whom in honour of The Vicar of Wakefield he had dubbed Moses, which being facetiously pronounced through the nose became Boses, and being shortened became Boz."

from The Life of Charles Dickens (1872-74) by John Forster. Forster was a long-time friend of Dickens, and I think he can be trusted rather better than whoever wrote the Wikipedia entry.

I trust Dickens even more. Here is what he wrote:
"Boz," Dickens himself says, "was a very familiar household word to me long before I was an author, and so I came to adopt it."

In other words, he first adopted this name. There wasn't anything with his brother. Foster then later interpreted it the way he describes, but that is not coming from Dickens himself.


Nothing in the Dickens quote contradicts what Forster (not Foster) wrote. The nickname of his younger brother would certainly have been a very familiar household word to Dickens. Again: Forster knew Dickens very well. They met in 1836 (the year Sketches was published) and were friends until Dickens passed away in 1870 (Forster was an executor of the novelist's will). If you are seriously suggesting that Forster for some reason (how? why?) "interpreted" the source of the name Boz in some fanciful way to suit himself, rather than getting it from his friend ... I would suggest that that is not a very good example of one's grasp of probabilities.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 7th, 2018, 11:26 pm

Chris - I can see the rationale for being sub rosa with respect to advantage play, but half the book is magic. Where's the shame in that? The fact that he didn't practice magic as a hobby is one more reason to be certain that "The Magic Wand" and "bag of tricks" are figures of speech that have no literal connection with conjuring.

Larry --
The first mention of the book after publication was The Sphinx, Sep 1902, which said "A recent book on gambling tricks has been published by S. W. Erdnase,under the title "The Expert at the Card table." It contains a chapter on ledgerdemain." I'm not sure this is substantial enough to be called a "review".

In November, it was advertised in The Sphinx by Vernelo.

The first the book was advertised after publication (that we know about) outside the magic press was in The Police Gazette, in March 1903.

By 1905 it listed in Jessel's bibliography on books about cards, and was being regularly and widely advertised in magic and non-magic press.

Hoffmann was discussing the book in private correspondence within a few years after publication, and started his in-depth discussion in The Magic Wand in Sep 1910.

Leo Rullman, in a Nov 1928 column, mentioned Erdnase in an article and immediately followed it with "E. S. Andrews" in parentheses, this being the first association of the two names in print. In Feb 1929, he is more explicit, pointing out the reversal. (Note that in Nov 1929, he placed the first edition into a list of "scarce" conjuring books.)

Take your pick as to which of these, if any, would have tempted the author to reveal himself.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 8th, 2018, 8:56 am

Bill Mullins wrote:The fact that he didn't practice magic as a hobby is one more reason to be certain that "The Magic Wand" and "bag of tricks" are figures of speech that have no literal connection with conjuring.

Sleight-of-hand with cards was his business not his hobby. Why would he belittle it as mere hobby? It was way too important to him.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2018, 9:11 am

Are you suggesting he did card magic at a professional level in 1923? Odd that there is no record of it, then.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Jonathan Townsend » February 8th, 2018, 9:17 am

Bill Mullins wrote:Are you suggesting he did card magic at a professional level in 1923? Odd that there is no record of it, then.


What sort of record/publicity would a working card shark desire?
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2018, 12:09 pm

Well, that's kinda the point, Jon. He wasn't a working card shark in 1923, nor had he ever been. Gallaway didn't have any special interest in cards, as either a gambler or magician, so when the Lakeside Press wrote a bio of him, they didn't mention cards as being either a recreational or professional interest of his.

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 8th, 2018, 12:43 pm

Bill Mullins wrote:He wasn't a working card shark in 1923, nor had he ever been.

How would you know that? And we are really interested in the time before 1902 not 1923.
Bill Mullins wrote:Gallaway didn't have any special interest in cards, as either a gambler or magician, ...

Except we know he had magic and gambling books in his library including "The Expert at the Card Table".
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Tom Gilbert » February 8th, 2018, 2:20 pm

Chris, you mention he had magic and gambling books in his library. What else did he have besides EATCT?

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby lybrary » February 8th, 2018, 3:59 pm

Tom Gilbert wrote:Chris, you mention he had magic and gambling books in his library. What else did he have besides EATCT?

This is what Jay Marshall wrote to Martin Gardner on that subject:
On a recent excursion into a used book salon he asked for magic card and gambling books, as was his wont. The proprietor had several gambling books on hand, that he was holding for Rufus Steele. When Bill Griffiths told him that Rufus Steele was dead, the shop owner then offered the books to Bill. There was a first edition of Erdnase in the lot and Bill bought it and gave it to me. There was nothing odd about the copy BUT there was a bookplate: Library of Edward Gallaway. In a couple of the other gambling books was a similar bookplate.
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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 8th, 2018, 9:12 pm

So it would be more accurate to say he had "A magic book [Expert] and a couple other gambling books" than to say "He had magic and gambling books", in which the number of magic books is ambiguous. (and which ambiguity I believe you are taking advantage of, to the benefit of your theory).

And as to whether this implies interest in playing cards, he could have owned these for other reasons -- Expert because he worked on it at McKinney's, and the others because he liked playing the horses, or because they were things he worked on at Bentley Murray (or elsewhere).

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Re: ERDNASE

Postby Bill Mullins » February 9th, 2018, 9:37 am

Some academics have recently decided that Shakespeare had read and was influenced by an obscure manuscript, "A Brief Discourse of Rebellion and Rebels," by George North, written in the late 1500s.

They came to this conclusion by running the Bard's plays and the North manuscript through some anti-plagiarism software which is primarily used by teachers to ferret out cheating students.


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