Marlo's Prediction

By Andi Gladwin - Sunday, January 24, 2021

It's fashionable to say that magic is dying, deteriorating, or just not as good as it used to be. It has never been a viewpoint that I could connect with because in my mind, magic is better now than it has ever been. That's why this uncharacteristically positive paragraph from Marlo's Off the Top (1945) jumped out at me:

Ed Marlo

"Predictions in card tricks are well known, and so are predictions amongst magicians. They usually run something like this: 'Magic is dead. Magic is dying. The good old days are gone and with them the best in magic. We'll never see their like again.'

That's true - as far as it goes. The type of magic that the oldsters knew is passing out. But there's a glorious new modern type of magic moving in. The war has given it a great push onward, with magic being used on every front, in every service, in hospitals, in rehabilitation centres, etc. etc.

The modern magic is clever — it has to be, because people are smarter these days ... People demand fun. The modern magician is going to have to work a little harder to become a good magician, because push-button magic will not win him all the acclaim he wants. But skill and ability will always claim their reward and magic based on these factors will never die. Magic's great future lies ahead of her — scorn the traitor who predicts otherwise!"

Reader comments:

Marco Batista

Tuesday, 02 February 2021 21:29 PM - Reply to this comment

As a great magician Marlo was, I think he was absolutely right!


Thursday, 04 February 2021 02:51 AM - Reply to this comment

Marlo’s works have had a significant impact on my enjoyment of and approach to magic. In many ways Marlo was one of Magic’s greatest thinkers, along with Wonder, Slydini, Vernon, and a host of others.
If anything can be said of Marlo, the least that could be said is that he loved innovation. There is likely to always be a better method, or approach, than what we are currently using.

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