Title: Eisenheim the Illusionist Title Record # Author: Steven Millhauser Note: First published in Esquire, December as “The Illusionist”. Neil Burger’s adaptation of ‘Eisenheim The Illusionist’, a short story by Steven Millhauser, is exemplary of the pitfalls of literalising the. Steven Millhauser (born August 3, ) is an American novelist and short story writer. He won Possibly the most well-known of his short stories is “Eisenheim the Illusionist” (published in “The Barnum Museum”), based on a pseudo- mythical.

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Told in the third person, the reader is never granted direct access to Eisenheim.

Book vs. Movie: “Eisenheim the Illusionist”

We know nothing of his past save for a legend about his meeting a conjurer as a young boy, his speech is never direct and the nature of his illusions are never revealed. Almost as if we are a member of his audience, we are never quite able to peer behind the curtain to see what is really happening. Part of the appeal of watching a film about a magician is surely to watch some magic tricks, yet there are only a handful of brief sequences where this happens.


Leopold is clearly meant to embody the state that Eisenheim threatens, and so his death suggests the self-destruction of the nation state.

Instead, it ultimately represents nothing more than a narrative convenience to allow Eisenheim and Sophie to make their elaborate escape. In the story, Uhl pursues Eisenheim in the final days of his career because his performances represent a metaphysical threat to the state:. Art and life constituted one such distinction; illusion and reality, another.

Eisenheim deliberately crossed boundaries and therefore millhausrr the essence of things.

For where would the Empire be, once the idea of boundaries became blurred and uncertain? Working at the end of the century, he embodies the liminal space between the old and the new, the solid and the abstract.

Steven Millhauser – Wikipedia

His performances go beyond even the modern mechanical marvels of the nineteenth century and in the final days of European empire, herald an era of uncertainty where reality itself is under threat. You must be logged in to post a comment. Tumble over a cliff in pursuit of a cherished plaything. Stray into bear territory.


Scrape a drunk from the gutter. Ride the airstreams with a winged demigod.

Receive a letter from a stranger. Meet a woman with a bite mark on her face.

Assume the waters can be stopped. Survive the butterfly invasion. Sell twenty-four copies of dross. Succumb to your drug of choice. Watch helpless at the vanishing of the herd. Imagine the giant horses.

Story Playlist Eisenheim the Illusionist — New Haven Review

Add your eisenhejm address here to receive our monthly newsletter: Magazines Submit Newsletter Workshops. Symbolic Threats and Literal Perils. Symbolic Threats and Literal Perils” Adaptations: Symbolic threats and literal perils — CultCrack Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment. Newsletter Add your email address here to receive our monthly newsletter: Join Our Thriving Community.

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