Stewart James in Print - the First Fifty Years
Slaight, Allan
S. James (1989)
In Collection
Magic tricks
Hardcover 0-969417-40-3
Canada  eng
James, Stewart & Slaight, Allen: Stewart James in Print
©1989 Stewart James
Hdbk w/ DJ; 1,000 pages

This is one of the largest magic books ever published. It is a testament to the genius of one man. Stewart James In Print features more than 400 tricks and routines Mr. James has published or marketed over a fifty year span of incredible creativity.
In addition to scores of intriguing special chapters, each trick is prefaced by a fascinating introduction. It is here we learn much about the history of magic in this century, the evolution of these ground-breaking original mysteries and, indeed, Mr. James' own unique techniques to ignite the creative process.

This is a BIG book! Hard bounnd and 1,000 pages, there is a lifetime of information for the novice and the expert. This will definitely be a bookshelf centerpiece.
Illustrated, 1,000 pages

Book in very good condition, Dust jacket in poor condition....

Product Details
No. of Pages 1000
First Edition Yes
Personal Details
Read It No
Location Magic Library (Home) Shelf Top
Condition Very Good
Owner Bryan-Keith Taylor
Who is Stewart James?

I’m not interested in performing. I’m interested in developing something. I feel something like a playwright writing material for actors.

— Stewart James

This virtual exhibition is dedicated to one of the 20th century’s most prodigious inventors of magic tricks and one of the art form’s most prolific authors. Though he was a skilled magician as well – performing for the allied forces during his Canadian tour of duty in World War II – Stewart James is best known in the magic world for his uncanny ability to create. Throughout his 88 years of life, he conceived and published over 400 different trick “plots,” which have been adapted by countless other magicians for use in their performances. In short, he can be described as a mastermind who focused his energy on imagining new impossibilities at a table backstage instead of presenting them on-stage.

The majority of his vast oeuvre is collected in three publications:

1.Stewart James in Print – The First 50 Years [SJP] (1989);
2.The James File [JF] (2000); and
3.The Essential Stewart James [ESJ] (2007).
When combined these books total over 2,700 pages and represent a staggering amount of creative routines, reflections on deceptive principles and strategies for discovering new methods or magic effects. Despite the highly original quality of his creations, the modest Mr. James thought of himself as an explorer rather than an inventor. And this humble attitude may be one reason why the true significance of his lifelong contribution to the art of magic is only beginning to be more widely recognized.

How is it that one man who spent nearly his entire life in a small and rather isolated Canadian town has had such an extensive impact on modern magic? And if his thinking has been so influential, what kept him from relocating to one of magic’s cultural metropolises? What was the secret source of his creative inspiration?

To answer these questions and to grasp the unorthodox genius of Stewart James, a traditional biography would be insufficient. The events of his personal life and his moments of creative breakthrough are so deeply intertwined that it would be both disingenuous and practically impossible to separate them; for James, magic was more than a hobby – it was a way of life. In fact, it may have saved his life.

Therefore, this section of the exhibition is a trick-driven chronology of Stewart James’ life. It begins with the earliest significant trick he learned and ends with the revelation of a secret he nearly took to the grave. It is a series of carefully selected magic effects tinged with both triumph and despair. But above all, this exhibition hopes to provide the reader with a moment or two of mental escape similar to that exhilarating feeling James identified with his creative journeys. He described himself as experiencing a prolonged state of meditative focus when he concentrated on a particular trick. This sensation allowed him to reach an imaginary “Shangri-La” where solutions and new ideas appeared before him (SJP xxx). Of course, it is inconceivable that anyone but James could reach that exact same Shangri-La described. However, an in-depth look at his unusual life might just open a magical window and allow for a peek into his mysterious world.