In Performing Deception, Brian Rappert reconstructs the practice of entertainment magic by analysing it through the lens of perception, deception and learning, as he goes about studying conjuring himself. Through this novel meditation on reasoning and skill, Rappert elevates magic from the undertaking of mere trickery to an art that offers the basis for rethinking our possibilities for acting in the modern world. Performing Deception covers a wide range of theories in sociology, philosophy, psychology and elsewhere in order to offer a striking assessment of the way secrecy and deception are woven into social interactions, as well as the illusionary and paradoxical status of expertise.
Brian Rappert provides a wonderful reflective and academic account of his journey towards mastering the art of magic. 'Performing Deception' also teaches us a lot about the inner workings of this secretive artform and the communities that produce it. This book will be of interest to anyone who would like to learn more about the mysteries of perception, deception and secrecy.
Dr Gustav Kuhn
Goldsmiths, University of London