Net of Magic: Wonders and Deceptions in India

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Scholar and magician, Siegel uncovers the age-old practices of magic in sacred rites and rituals and unveils the contemporary world of Indian magic of street and stage entertainers. Siegel's journeys take him from ancient Sanskrit texts to the slums of New Dehli as he explores India's remarkable magical tradition.
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Editorial Reviews

Siegal (religion, U. of Hawaii), a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, intersperses travelogue, history, ethnography, and fiction in a fascinating account of both traditional magic in sacred rites and rituals, and contemporary street magic and stage entertainers. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226756875
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2009
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 455
  • Sales rank: 1,350,525
  • Product dimensions: 6.63 (w) x 9.38 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Lee Siegel is professor of religion at the University of Hawaii and a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians. His books include Laughing Matters: Comic Tradition in India, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
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Table of Contents

The Code: Elements of Magic
On the Street Now: Birds and Fire
Scene One: Diving Duck
Traveler's Journal 1: Delhi
Scene Two: Soaring Pigeon
Traveler's Journal 2: Kashmir
On the Street Then: Ropes and Air
Scene Three: Knots
Historian's Notebook 1: Wandering Magicians
Scene Four: Cut-and-Restored
Historian's Notebook 2: The Indian Rope Trick
On the Stage Now: Mirrors and Water
Scene Five: East/Spring: The Reflections of Professor M. T. Bannerji
Traveler's Journal 3: North/Summer
Scene Six: West/Fall: The Reflections of Professor M. T. Bannerji
Traveler's Journal 4: South/Winter
On the Stage Then: Bones and Earth
Scene Seven: The Skull of Vishvasiddhi
Historian's Notebook 3: Magicians at Court
Scene Eight: indrajalasutra: A Skeleton of Magic
Historian's Notebook 4: Field Notes on Magic
The Coda: Words and Ether
List of Illustrations
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