Magic Moments. "Modern Enchantments: The Cultural Power of Secular Magic" by Simon During. [review]
During's discussion of magic lanterns, photography and film is extremely suggestive and stimulating, but at the same time it remains rather fragmentary: a series of suggestions, rather than a continuous argument. During disarmingly admits to this process: 'my argument as presented so far [this on page 277!] skips and swerves and depends upon a number of coincidences and loose connections.' He then advances, in the last pages of his book, his overarching argument about modernity's intertwining with the history of secular magic. Rather than 'argument', one might call this a richly illustrated suggestion that sums up a stimulating, clearly written, rich, but slightly frustrating book.