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Harry Houdini: the sum of all amazements | Stage | guardian.co.uk

 

 

Harry Houdini inspired genuine belief in the dangers he faced, displaying a level of technical ingenuity that remains a benchmark for illusionists. Photograph: AP

Happy birthday, Harry Houdini: you’d have been 137 today (if you hadn’t died of a ruptured appendix at 52). But you are not forgotten. Indeed, you’re front page on Google and the Twitterocracy are tweeting their greetings even now. The question that inevitably arises is simply: why? Was he more astounding than David Copperfield, more daring than David Blaine, more memorable than Penn and Teller? His real magic is that we shall never know. Apart from a few grimy clips of film a century old, there’s no means of judging how or why Houdini became the supreme, enduring icon of escapology and illusion. But it is enough to register that he did. He was the wonder of the world in an old world hungry for wonders.

via Harry Houdini: the sum of all amazements | Stage | guardian.co.uk.

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March 24, 2011 - Posted by | entertainment, history

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