Gibeciere Vol. 1 Winter 05
The information on magic and magicians within the English speaking territories is grotesquely disproportionate to those outside that constricted perimeter. Conjuring has deep roots in all cultures and societies, from the most primitive to the most decadent. The development of effects and methods, and both their containment and dispersion, are topics begging study.
This will be one of the underlying purposes of this journal. With the world ever more rapidly becoming a "global village," and with people and information made ever more accessible through the Internet, researchers into conjuring history in many countries, and speaking many languages, are becoming known to each other and are banding together with the purpose of assembling a truer, more comprehensive picture of how magic began, developed and was shared during our history on this planet.
We intend to publish the findings of these researchers, and to become a small but vital nexus in the community of those striving to illumine the roots of our craft. We take our first step in this direction with this, the initial issue, where we draw from researchers in Germany, Italy and the U.S.A. Volker Huber contributes an article on the long and prominent history of the Yawning Mouth principle, known widely to today's conjurers as the means underlying the operation of the "Himber" z-fold wallet. Vanni Bossi shares his research on the related topics of secret arrangements and mnemonic systems applied to playing cards. Prof. Robert Jütte provides a history of that section of early organized crime devoted to gambling cheats, in which he explores their argot, society and methods. And Ricky Jay closes the issue with the story of a late, brief collaboration between the Ira Davenport and William Fay. We present the credentials of these contributors and the quality of their contributions as a fair sample of what we intend Gibecière to be. A more scholarly tone will be found here than is assumed in conjuring journals, and as an aid to other researchers, bibliographic notes are included. This comes with the territory, but we will strive to keep the material accessible to all readers interested in the subjects presented. Having made clear our intended goals and hopes, we now leave it to you to evaluate the first attempt.
Stephen Minch Editor
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