Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 12:10PM
Dodd Vickers in magician

The magic community lost Ali Bongo almost two weeks ago now, but we're still being treated to reminiscences and articles on this former President of the Magic Circle. The Economist is the most recent with a very nice obituary. "The magician’s code of secrecy was something he took most seriously, long before he became vice-president and eventually president of the Magic Circle. Nothing must be divulged in public about how a trick worked. This would spoil everything for children, his favourite audience, who would have no tricks to show their friends. The books he wrote about his art were, he said, a different matter; the reader had to make an effort to find out the information. Ever fizzing on the subject, delighting in magicians’ conventions where tips and tricks were busily exchanged in corners, he dropped occasional hints about “metal gimmicks” in the rope trick and “tin tubes” that could make a coin disappear into a metal box inside another metal box inside an immense ball of twine—but listeners were none the wiser. He stressed that wide and deep study of chemistry, electricity, lighting and mechanics was needed to create illusions. But as he talked, you couldn’t help noticing his hands: the long, thin fingers fluttering, locking, unlocking, gesticulating, as if he could flip cards and slip knots in his sleep."

Article originally appeared on The Magic Newswire (
See website for complete article licensing information.