Teller – on how magic works

24 February, 2012    

In its most fundamental form, magic is about what happens when what you see differs from what you know. You seem to be seeing something that is really happening, you know it can’t be happening, and those two forces come into collision. That purely intellectual element of magic, where what you know about the world is being challenged by what you think you’re seeing, is, I think, a very pure intellectual form. It’s one of the reasons why even bad magic still entertains people. Even if you see someone producing a chicken out of a hat, if you believe that the hat is empty and suddenly someone is able to remove a chicken from it, there is a level of entertainment there, whether the person has any wit, any taste, any ideas or not. So a lot of bad magic exists because the form itself is intellectually so strong.

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