The Spell, by William Fettes Douglas, 1864. © National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, The Bridgeman Art Library.

Magic Shows

Volume V, Number 3 | summer 2012


In 1891 Erik Weisz began using the stage name Harry Houdini—the first name deriving from his nickname “Ehrie” and the surname from the great French magician Jean-Eugène Robert-Houdin, who himself had taken the surname from his wife, Josephe Cecile Eglantine Houdin, in order, he wrote, “to distinguish me from my numerous homonyms.”

The mind is led on, step by step, to defeat its own logic.

—Dai Vernon, 1994


Man and Woman Being Chased by Bees (detail), by Honoré Daumier. The New York Public Library, Art and Picture Collection.


The Perfect Swarm


The NYPD beekeeper vacuums up a swarm of bees on a hot dog stand in Times Square.


Bees take over a Los Angeles street as spectators watch.


The World in Time

Jim Holt

Lewis H. Lapham talks with Jim Holt, author of When Einstein Walked with Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought. More