A New “Renaissance” in Magic

magic and renaissance

It is a widespread prejudice of modern, scientific society that “magic” is merely a fanciful amalgam of recipes and methods derived from primitive and erroneous notions about nature. This book by Ioan Couliano challenges this view, providing an in-depth scholarly explanation of the workings of magic and showing that magic continues to exist in an altered form even today.

Renaissance magic, according to the author, was a scientifically plausible attempt to manipulate individuals and groups based on a knowledge of motivations, particularly erotic motivations. Its key principle was that everyone (and in a sense everything) could be influenced by appeal to sexual desire. In addition, the magician relied on a profound knowledge of the art of memory to manipulate the imaginations of his subjects. In these respects, Couliano suggests, magic is the precursor of the modern psychological and sociological sciences…

Just as science gives the present age its ruling myth, so magic gave a ruling myth to the Renaissance. Because magic relied upon the use of images, and images were repressed and banned in the Reformation and subsequent history, magic was replaced by exact science and modern technology and eventually forgotten. But with recent episodes of leading T.V. shows like “America’s Got Talent”, magic has enjoyed a kind of 21st century “Renaissance”. There is nothing manipulative in my magic: just good, clean fun. Join Katrina and I at State of Mind… and experience the “magic”…

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A member of The Academy of Magical Arts in Hollywood, California, and the Association of Canadian Magicians, when not delighting audiences Robaire is a lawyer and partner in a well respected law firm in Ottawa and Halifax, Canada.

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