Art Is Magic Delivered From The Lie Of Being Truth

1432 Words Nov 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Notable philosopher, Theodore W. Adorno once said that, “art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.” Through this dualistic metaphor which describes the paradoxical qualities of veracity and deception, it can be reasoned that if art is magic, then the artist as the ‘maker’ is similarly a magician who possesses the ability to control the illusions of creation. This metaphor is one that easily extends to author Christopher Priest in his novel, The Prestige (1995). In Priest’s artistic role as a fantasy writer in this work, and markedly, in his ability to provide and misrepresent information to the reader, his own position as being ‘magician-like’ firmly cements itself. The incorporation of this thematic concept of truth and lies in storytelling and Christopher Priest as the illusionist who facilitates it, exists within the novel through the “categories” that all magic tricks fall under, most notably, that of transformation (Priest 65). Moreover, it is also seen through the recurring pattern of action of misdirection, and the novel as a mechanism to suspend belief. As such, it is Priest’s clever exploration of stage-magic elements and their unfolding integration into the story, that the novel becomes a complex narrative performance of plot and character for the reader. In the text, central protagonist Alfred Borden, outlines the term ‘transformation’ as “the apparent changing of one thing into another” (Priest 65). This notion is one that due to its implications of…
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