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

Post by LaurenHaupt »

it's definitely a skill.
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Post by juliamenez »

I've seen x-ray videos of people swallowing swords and having to nudge different organs out of the way. In that sense, it is definitely happening and not done with a retractable sword.
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Post by Nditah »

The point is, Sword swallowing can be a trick but then every trick is an arts. It takes practice and mastery
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Post by pagesonfire »

I mean it must be...? There are people without a gag reflex and I'm sure it *is* physically possible, but the question would then be how many people actually *can* do it and how many are faking it, you know?
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Post by Mercy Bolo »

I think sword swallowing is a trick, but a hazardous one to say the least. The probability of things going wrong while performing is too high that only professionals who've mastered the art can execute it well.
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Post by sheeps44 »

Sword swallowing is an art to me for it requires skill, patience and a lot of dedication to perfect it. Simple tricks only need only two of those to be used effectively.
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Post by Fuzaila »

I believe sword swallowing is a skill, but one that requires a lot of practice and courage to attempt to do it. Because unlike other skills, practicing this form of art (yes I believe it is an art form) can prove to be fatal, much more than the likes of car racing, or snake-charming.
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Post by OloladeO »

I am not convinced it is an art. I believe it is a practiced trick that makes it look so real. Why would someone even want to be a trained at this? It's dangerous!
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Post by Nerea »

Sword swallowing an art? Not a chance. It's just a trick persons involved use.
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Post by amandathebibliophile »

This is such a great question. The naive reader in me wants to believe that sword swallowing is real because it makes the story all the more authentic for me. Still, the more jaded side of me thinks a person would literally have to be crazy to put a sword down his throat for a living-- let alone to do it for DECADES and survive. For me, this question is more interesting than the answer itself!
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Post by Anthony Martial Tata »

There is no such art as sword swallowing. It does not exist. It is more of an exaggeration.
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Post by ReviewerDiksha »

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.
Wow, this was good. The way you brought trick and art under the same umbrella. And I agree with yoir point. The thing with words is that they are very contextual. It depends on the circumstances hnder which you see it. Here, I suppose sword swallowing can be put under the category of art. And the definitions pretty much clear everything.
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Post by Anthony Martial Tata »

I think it is a trick. It is exaggerated.
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Post by xBibliobibulix »

I definitely think it is an art. I'm sure there are people who do it through tricks but there are others who are truly skilled who have practiced and slowly learned the skill. There have been x-rays done of sword swallowers that prove that at least some people can do it for real.
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Post by Sunnyroyish »

I do think it's an art. The amount of determination, perfection and body control needed to pull off a stunt like this is really appreciable. Some of us may differ but this is what I think.
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