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The Life & Magic of Stewart James (1908-1996)


The Grafter & The Tree Of Knowledge (Part 2)

The source of a newly grafted branch would be different trees in the orchard representing other types of knowledge (mechanical, mathematical, physics-based, etc.) possessed by James.  This transplanted branch would be his unique contribution to an already-established organism and might create a breakthrough -- it might cause the tree to bear new fruit.  As he says:

You are developing a new strain, a variation.  You nurse it so it becomes bigger and stronger.  Think of a thought as a living thing that has the ability to grow from the moment it is born.  Who says everything worthwhile in magic has been discovered?  (SJP 843)

Obviously, certain frustrated magicians who had given up on inventing their own routines had internalized the cliché there is nothing new under the sun.  But these were not the magicians with whom Stewart James discussed his thoughts or his thought-starters.

Instead he kept up a lively correspondence with inquisitive magicians from around the globe.  A letter to one such correspondent prompted an early, detailed description of his creative strategy system.

Thanks to the support of the Conjuring Arts Research Centre, and their Ask Alexander database, you may virtually peruse the original letter sent to Francis Haxton on January 25, 1959 . . .








Copyright © 2007 Joe Culpepper and Magicana. All rights reserved.