Mammon In Three Acts


Our own good from ourselves, and from our own

Live to ourselves, though in this vast recess,

Free and to none accountable, preferring

Hard liberty before the easy yoke

Of servile pomp. Our greatness will appear

Then most conspicuous when great things of small ,

Useful of hurtful , prosperous of adverse,

We can create…

As he our darkness, cannot we his light

Imitate when we please?”


Paradise Lost

 Book I I, 251-270


Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts.

The first part is called “The Pledge”. The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course… it probably isn’t.

The second act is called “The Turn”. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you’re looking for the secret… but you won’t find it, because of course you’re not really looking. You don’t really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn’t clap yet. Because making something disappear isn’t enough; you have to bring it back.

That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call “The Prestige”.

-Cutter, “The Prestige” (2006)


“The Restoration”

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