Theseus by Nathan Colwell

Theseus - Nathan Colwell - Vanishing Inc. Magic shop

“Nathan offers a fascinating plot of truly Fulvesian quirkiness. It combines a topologically flavored impossibility with an existential philosophical question in a unique way. I loved reading the stages of its development and exploring the different solutions.”Denis Behr

Chicago-based magician, Nathan Colwell‘s new book is themed around a card plot adapted from the thought problem “The Ship of Theseus.” Theseus addresses the age-old question: If something has each of its parts replaced, and each replacement is negligible, does its identity stay the same through this process of change? He teaches the concept, and multiple handlings in four parts:

Part I, Logbook, explains the history, general ideas, and overarching concepts which will be explored herein. This includes the Ship of Theseus thought problem, the Theseus plot, the script actively used by the author, and the history of the plot and solutions.

Part II, Open Sea, contains the methods considered fit for public consumption. They are numbered in the order originally developed; numbered versions not included are skipped. This section includes solutions Three, Five, Six, and Ten.

Part III, Adrift, contains discussions about some of the methods that did not meet the author’s standards for performance. They are included to explain ideas considered necessary for a complete explanation regarding his thoughts on the plot. It also includes an interesting one-phase effect that follows Theseus’ lead-in style.

Part IV, Fellow Travelers, contains versions of the plot from two known card magicians highly respected by the author: Harapan Ong and the late Simon Aronson. Both versions are also worthy of study.

“Nathan Colwell’s Theseus is a model of how to simultaneously explain and inspire—not only its uniquely mysterious subject, but also the meticulous process of how its creative components came into being. In the ’60s such books were considered “trippy,” because they expanded one’s consciousness in evolutionary ways, revealing differences that actually make a difference. In that regard, Colwell’s debut book is both an exciting journey and a destination.”Jon Racherbaumer

“I met Nathan Colwell one afternoon at Magic, Inc. and was instantly impressed by his clever ideas and flawless execution, in an unassuming style. I also sensed he was very well read and had a deep respect for the good magicians and creators of the past and present. In Theseus, I am pleased to see that Nathan is also a fine writer and analyst, with a deep conceptual thinking. Aside from the quality of the material, this book is also a master class on making choices when putting a routine together.”Rafael Benatar

112 pages, gorgeous hardback, with illustrations.

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