Are you convinced that sword swallowing is an art and not a trick?

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
Post Reply
User avatar
RedLetter
Posts: 27
Joined: 22 May 2015, 09:00
Currently Reading: The War Within, the Story of Josef
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-redletter.html
Latest Review: Toxic Side Effect by Sandy Magner

Re: Are you convinced that sword swallowing is an art and not a trick?

Post by RedLetter »

It appears that you have actually asked two separate questions between the title of this and what you actually ask in the body of the question.

For the first part "Are you convinced that sword swallowing is an art and not a trick? I would have to say yes, I do believe it is an art. Simply because the performer actually DOES swallow the sword. It is not a slight of hand like a magician showing a card trick.

That leads e into your second question, "Do you believe it can be taught?" Yes, it would have to be taught. And it would take lots and lots of practice, with numerous injuries, I suspect. So to practice and learn to be good at sword swallowing would have to be an art, because not everyone can do it.
Rosemary Okoko
Posts: 619
Joined: 31 May 2017, 05:12
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 89
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rosemary-okoko.html
Latest Review: The Sins of a Master Race by Matthew Tysz

Post by Rosemary Okoko »

I think in this case sword swallowing is a necessary art that is to be applied in the trick.
User avatar
Cardinalsparrow
Posts: 335
Joined: 29 Mar 2018, 10:09
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 34
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cardinalsparrow.html
Latest Review: Devil in False Colors by Jack Winnick

Post by Cardinalsparrow »

I think sword swallowing is an art. Even if it's a trick, it sure does require a lot of skill and concentration...
User avatar
MollyEnter
Posts: 98
Joined: 12 Feb 2018, 21:56
Currently Reading: The Altitude Journals
Bookshelf Size: 42
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-mollyenter.html
Latest Review: The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid by Gary Robinson

Post by MollyEnter »

My opinion is that sword swallowing is an art and a sport. It takes physical agility and a showman's performance to really capture an audience.
"There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner.”
– Diane Setterfield, The Thirteenth Tale
User avatar
Samy Lax
Posts: 1101
Joined: 30 Jan 2018, 01:40
Currently Reading: 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself
Bookshelf Size: 156
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-samy-lax.html
Latest Review: Chats with God in Underwear by Eduardo Chapunoff

Post by Samy Lax »

If you are able to play with a knife in your mouth, it surely means that it there's less risk in having it go down your throat. And you can't fake it. There's definitely art involved more than trick.
“...in principle and reality, libraries are life-enhancing palaces of wonder.”
― Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
User avatar
Job Njoroge
Posts: 177
Joined: 20 Jun 2017, 09:35
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 46
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-job-njoroge.html
Latest Review: We are Voulhire: Someone Else's End by Matthew Tysz
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Job Njoroge »

PlanetHauth wrote: 03 May 2018, 06:26 I believe your question in the title of the post and your question in the body of your post are two different questions, so I'm going to treat them as such.

I'll start with the question in the title:
Are you convinced that sword swallowing is an art and not a trick?
Wikipedia (and I'm in agreement with them) defines art as
a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art). So, I would say that, yes, sword swallowing is an art according to this definition.

The Google dictionary defines "trick" as
a cunning act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone.
and
a skilful act performed for entertainment or amusement.
(https://www.google.co.jp/search?rlz=1C1 ... dobs=trick). Based on this definition, sword swallowing could really fall under either category. If it's true, honest sword swallowing then it's just entertainment. If it's not actual sword swallowing, and the performer has every intention of passing it off as real sword swallowing (I'm not accounting for comedic acts here), then it is absolutely a deception.

So, if Duke is actually swallowing swords, then it could be considered an art and a trick. Granted, I think this particular performance being considered art could be debatable. However, if Duke is pretending to swallow swords with the express intent on deceiving his audience into believing he's doing the real thing, and not for comedic purposes, then it's just a scheme.

As for your question posed in the body of your post,
Do you believe that sword swallowing is a practice that can actually be taught and learned?
, it is in fact a skill that can be taught and learned. This Wikipedia page even gives a brief history on it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_swallowing). You can even Google the performance and read other sources about it. That said, Vg345 is absolutely correct. Sword swallowing is extremely dangerous and can result in injury, sometimes fatal. The Wikipedia page I linked above briefly covers injuries too.

P.S. I only reference Wikipedia, because it offers brief reading and sources for further perusal in one is so inclined.
I would not buy this as a genuine art . This is because it is almost impossible to do it hence a trick to me.
User avatar
TaaraLynn
Posts: 221
Joined: 01 Nov 2017, 08:05
Currently Reading: To Selena, With Love
Bookshelf Size: 113
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-taaralynn.html
Latest Review: Illustrated Short Fiction of William H. Coles: 2000-2016 by William H. Coles

Post by TaaraLynn »

I'm going with skill. That is something I believe since I was a young one. And honestly, it came from watching Aladdin. I always thought the sword swallower in that, though animated, just knew how to stretch and open his throat just so.
"Maybe the two different worlds we lived in weren't so different. We saw the same sunset." - Ponyboy Curtis, The Outsiders
GabbiV
Posts: 234
Joined: 10 May 2017, 17:20
Currently Reading: 50 Masterpieces you have to read before you die, vol 2
Bookshelf Size: 345
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-gabbiv.html
Latest Review: Of Illusions and Ink Spills by Divya Hirani
Reading Device: B00KC6I06S

Post by GabbiV »

Continually forcing your body to adapt to (multiple) swords, trick or not, is a testament to how much punishment human flesh can take. Look on with respect.
User avatar
PlanetHauth
Posts: 208
Joined: 31 Jan 2018, 12:06
Currently Reading: Celebrity
Bookshelf Size: 767
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-planethauth.html
Latest Review: Heartaches 2 by H.M. Irwing

Post by PlanetHauth »

Job Njoroge wrote: 20 Jun 2018, 07:23
PlanetHauth wrote: 03 May 2018, 06:26 I believe your question in the title of the post and your question in the body of your post are two different questions, so I'm going to treat them as such.

I'll start with the question in the title:
Are you convinced that sword swallowing is an art and not a trick?
Wikipedia (and I'm in agreement with them) defines art as
a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts (artworks), expressing the author's imaginative or technical skill, intended to be appreciated for their beauty or emotional power.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art). So, I would say that, yes, sword swallowing is an art according to this definition.

The Google dictionary defines "trick" as
a cunning act or scheme intended to deceive or outwit someone.
and
a skilful act performed for entertainment or amusement.
(https://www.google.co.jp/search?rlz=1C1 ... dobs=trick). Based on this definition, sword swallowing could really fall under either category. If it's true, honest sword swallowing then it's just entertainment. If it's not actual sword swallowing, and the performer has every intention of passing it off as real sword swallowing (I'm not accounting for comedic acts here), then it is absolutely a deception.

So, if Duke is actually swallowing swords, then it could be considered an art and a trick. Granted, I think this particular performance being considered art could be debatable. However, if Duke is pretending to swallow swords with the express intent on deceiving his audience into believing he's doing the real thing, and not for comedic purposes, then it's just a scheme.

As for your question posed in the body of your post,
Do you believe that sword swallowing is a practice that can actually be taught and learned?
, it is in fact a skill that can be taught and learned. This Wikipedia page even gives a brief history on it (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_swallowing). You can even Google the performance and read other sources about it. That said, Vg345 is absolutely correct. Sword swallowing is extremely dangerous and can result in injury, sometimes fatal. The Wikipedia page I linked above briefly covers injuries too.

P.S. I only reference Wikipedia, because it offers brief reading and sources for further perusal in one is so inclined.
I would not buy this as a genuine art . This is because it is almost impossible to do it hence a trick to me.
It isn't impossible, or near impossible to swallow swords, though. It's quite possible, and the links I've provided show as much.
“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”
-Bilbo Baggins
User avatar
Nanig83006
Posts: 130
Joined: 14 Feb 2018, 06:51
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 44
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nanig83006.html
Latest Review: Apollo's Raven by Linnea Tanner

Post by Nanig83006 »

I'd like to hope it's a trick. Logic would suggest it has to be, considering the length of the swords used, but practice is suppose to make perfect. I'm sure one could teach themself (or others) such a skill, but there is no room for error in something like this. It is likely to be fatal if there is any accident, which I hope there never is.
Ayomaamianda
Posts: 58
Joined: 13 Nov 2017, 14:08
Currently Reading: Burn Zones
Bookshelf Size: 10
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-ayomaamianda.html
Latest Review: Twisted Threads by Kaylin McFarren

Post by Ayomaamianda »

How they do it is a mystery to me but i don't think sword swallowing is a trick. Its a skill that can be learned.
User avatar
Abiba Alice
Posts: 45
Joined: 01 Jun 2018, 23:45
Currently Reading: McDowell
Bookshelf Size: 234
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-abiba-alice.html
Latest Review: Twisted Threads by Kaylin McFarren

Post by Abiba Alice »

Sword swallowing is a complex and dangerous act. I believe one has to get training to learn how to relax their throat enough and allow the blade to slide down....I'm convinced it's an art
User avatar
Kmykel
Posts: 34
Joined: 18 Jun 2018, 08:59
Favorite Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 14
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kmykel.html
Latest Review: Toni the Superhero by R.D. Base
fav_author_id: 3525

Post by Kmykel »

Why can't a trick be artful? There's beauty in deception, and it's definitely a skill to pull the wool over people's eyes. One has to be a good showman, while not letting onto the illusion they're conveying. I consider it to be a fine art.

Sword swallowing is definitely a performance art. It's grotesquely beautiful.
User avatar
KatSims92
Posts: 204
Joined: 21 Jun 2018, 13:01
Currently Reading: The Beauty Myth
Bookshelf Size: 451
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-katsims92.html
Latest Review: From Drift to SHIFT by Jody B. Miller

Post by KatSims92 »

There are stranger things and activities in this world, so I do think sword swallowing can be both a magical illusion and a trick to learn. Albeit it's an incredibly odd trick, and I don't see its appeal, but I suppose it may be possible.
User avatar
Cotwani
Posts: 2180
Joined: 01 Nov 2017, 16:12
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 200
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cotwani.html
Latest Review: The Fisherman and his Foundlings by Phillip Leighton-Daly

Post by Cotwani »

Logic would make me think it is a trick. But the way Duke carries on through the book, the fact that many of his colleagues died in the act, and the fact that he himself was injured, makes me reluctantly think, it is a dangerous art!
There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island!
-Walt Disney
Post Reply

Return to “Discuss "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson”