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

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

Post by Zain A Blade » 02 May 2018, 14:17

After reading the book (or at least the review), are you convinced that the character, Duke Raynolds, is not a fraud? Do you believe that sword swallowing is a practice that can actually be taught and learned? I'd love to hear your take on this.

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Post by Vg345 » 03 May 2018, 05:27

I'm skeptical at best. I think that to teach and learn a skill, there has to be some accepted leeway for failure. Because that's what people do as beginners. They fail. In this particular case, failure has a high probability of being fatal. I'm not buying the point that a person who is allegedly skilled at this would get there without accidentally cutting his windpipe a couple dozen times.
So, I guess no. I don't believe that it isn't a trick.

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Post by PlanetHauth » 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.
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Post by Helpme71 » 03 May 2018, 08:14

I believe that it is a skill, as long as it is an actual sword and not a sword that is fake or collapsible. I have seen real sword-swallowers at circuses before and it is absolutely stunning how they are able to do that. I don't think Duke is a fraud, as long as he is "swallowing" real swords and not fake or collapsible ones.
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Post by meadhbh » 03 May 2018, 08:44

I would imagine that when sword-swallowers begin training, they probably don't use sharp swords to start off with, in order to prevent the risk should something go wrong. Then, once they're able to do it successfully, the likely move on to real swords. Even so, it seems incredibly dangerous.

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Post by gen_g » 03 May 2018, 09:43

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 liked your post a lot, as you definitely picked apart the questions, and provided your own definitions, which would help a lot in answering the question. Personally, I'm convinced that it is both an art and a trick – like you said, one has to practise to perfect it, which makes it art; it is also a trick in which to amuse and awe the audience. Thus, I would rather call sword swallowing a performance, in which the performer practises and showcases that effort of that practice in a bid to captivate the audience.

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Post by asmamia » 03 May 2018, 10:40

Albeit a dangerous act, I believe that sword swallowing is a real skill that can actually be performed. I say this because when we put a knife in our mouths, it does not automatically cut the inside of our mouths. So if you can play with a knife in your mouth, it means that it can safely go down your throat.

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Post by teacherjh » 03 May 2018, 11:08

meadhbh wrote:
03 May 2018, 08:44
I would imagine that when sword-swallowers begin training, they probably don't use sharp swords to start off with, in order to prevent the risk should something go wrong. Then, once they're able to do it successfully, the likely move on to real swords. Even so, it seems incredibly dangerous.
I agree. The way it's described in the book seems real and why wouldn't the author tell us if it was a trick? Still, I did find it a little over the top that he used 5 swords.

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Post by Rosebella » 03 May 2018, 14:10

My thoughts ,sword swallowing is a trick,I don't know how you can reorganize organs in your body :snooty: ,it's not possible.I am left to conclude its a trick.

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Post by grahase71 » 03 May 2018, 15:18

I haven't as yet read this book and was a bit queasy to my stomach just thinking about it (as far as the sword swallowing part). From reading the reviews, I may change my mind---once I get past my minds-eye-view of swallowing a sword. Whether or not it's real, I probably couldn't say. I have seen it done in the circus and I'm not convinced that it is real.
SEG

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Post by CommMayo » 03 May 2018, 15:57

I've seen sword swallowing live before and I'm convinced it is real. I'm sure there are a few people out there taking short cuts and using props, but they shouldn't detract for those who are actually doing the real thing.

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Post by Delioness » 03 May 2018, 19:41

I'm torn between the two. I don't really know if sword swallowing is an art or a trick, and yet Duke was able to swallow five swords at once. Well, one thing I'm sure of is that whichever category it falls under, I would not contemplate swallowing a pocket knife. A sword! That's definitely beyond limits.

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Post by matildasun » 03 May 2018, 19:55

I am torn between the two, i don't really know if swallowing a sword is an art or a trick,yet Duke was able to swallow five swords at once. Well one thing I am sure of is that whichever category it falls under, i would not contemplate swallowing a pocket knife. A sword! That is definitely beyond limits

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Post by PlanetHauth » 03 May 2018, 22:45

gen_g wrote:
03 May 2018, 09:43
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 liked your post a lot, as you definitely picked apart the questions, and provided your own definitions, which would help a lot in answering the question. Personally, I'm convinced that it is both an art and a trick – like you said, one has to practise to perfect it, which makes it art; it is also a trick in which to amuse and awe the audience. Thus, I would rather call sword swallowing a performance, in which the performer practises and showcases that effort of that practice in a bid to captivate the audience.
Thank you for your kind words! I thought it important to define art, because not everyone agrees on one single definition for it, or don't always agree on certain things being considered art. I figured giving a definition I agreed with would help others better understand what I was trying to say.
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Post by PlanetHauth » 03 May 2018, 22:49

Rosebella wrote:
03 May 2018, 14:10
My thoughts ,sword swallowing is a trick,I don't know how you can reorganize organs in your body :snooty: ,it's not possible.I am left to conclude its a trick.
Sword swallowing doesn't "reorganize" anything in your body. :) The sword goes in the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the stomach. Then it's pulled out.

Here are some links to websites discussing sword swallowing, if you or anyone else is interested.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_swallowing
https://entertainment.howstuffworks.com ... lowing.htm
http://www.swordswallow.com/faq.php
“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on the story.”
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