Saturday, 16 June 2007

Real magic

We talk about ‘real magic’ to distinguish it from ‘stage magic’, which, as illusion, is actually not magic at all: a ‘false magic’. But the irony here is that real magic is the kind of magic that can’t actually be done; where the 'unreal' stage magic is the kind that can really be performed. This is a nice irony, but it's more than that. It’s symptomatic of the way performance—under which rubric we might include stage, screen, book, song—upends the logic of actuality.

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