Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck

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9781593720308: Dice: Deception, Fate & Rotten Luck
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A classic small celebration and meditation on dice through the ages; both brilliant and beautiful.

"Jay's writing is exactly what one would expect from the extremely erudite, witty and decent author of Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women and Jay's Journal of Anomalies. There is an explanation of the etymology of "craps," and there are various tales of armless dicers, ingenious hustlers, and Scandinavian kings of the Middle Ages who diced for islands. Dice turn out to be rich subjects for Purcell's photography. She presents them as, in a way, monumental ruins on a Stonehenge-type of scale relative to the book. Their forms are enriched by their disintegration and are bathed in light that their varying translucence seems to contain for a moment before releasing it to the lens . . . The book itself is, like a die, a modest object, small for a book of photography and, with a short text, casually organized."—Crispin Sartwell, Los Angeles Times 21 color photographs.

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About the Author:

Ricky Jay is one of the world's great sleight-of-hand artists and an expert in the world of fantastic entertainment. His award-winning one-man shows were directed by David Mamet, in whose many films Mr. Jay has appeared. He is the author of New York Times Notable Books Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women and Jay's Journal of Anomalies and most recently Dice: Deception, Fate, & Rotten Luck with photographs by Rosamond Purcell, the latter two published by The Quantuck Lane Press. He lives in Los Angeles. Rosamond Purcell is known for her collaborations with Stephen Jay Gould, often in conjunction with natural history museums, including Illuminations, Finders Keepers and Special Cases. Her work has been exhibited at major museums nationwide, and is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, The National Academy of Science, and The Victoria and Albert in London, among many others. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts.

From Publishers Weekly:

Ricky Jay knows his dice. A sleight-of-hand-performer who is appearing on Broadway in On the Stem, a one-man show directed by David Mamet (in whose movies Jay has appeared frequently), Jay here presents a light, digressive history of dice, from "astragali" (or "heel bones," as mentioned in an Indian epic poem) to how they are loaded for cheating. Dipping into everything from Viking allegory to the 1820 writings of the Rev. Charles Caleb Colton (an eventual ruined gambler and suicide), Jay's anecdotes are colorful but meandering: a description of a 1501 Florentine gambler named Antonio Rinaldeschi eases into a recollection of the outcry at the Brooklyn Museum over Chris Ofili's dung-festooned Holy Virgin Mary. Chapters such as "Dice and Death" and "The Palengenesis of Craps" are complemented by Rosamond Wolff Purcell's 13 color photographs of beautifully decayed dice (when dice age, they can be chipped and crusted, appearing to be made of salt or ice). These portraits of chance's end reveal visually what Jay tells us verbally: dice are as inherently complex and frail as people.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780971454811: Dice: Deception, Fate, and Rotten Luck

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Published by Quantuck Lane (2007)
ISBN 10: 1593720300 ISBN 13: 9781593720308
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