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 Eisenheim deliberately crossed boundaries and therefore disturbed the essence of things.” p. 235

Millhauser’s “Eisenheim The Illusionist” is a fantastic story of an illusionist who crosses boundaries between reality and magic. Further into the short story, we discover how some of his tricks seem to have a fantastic presence instead of being mere tricks that have reasonable explanations. Millhauser describes hoUnknown-1w the audience eventually couldn’t understand how his performances worked, as in the mirroring mirror in which the identical image of the person stabs themselves and dies and their ghosts float up. It begins to get extremely clear later on that this is a fantastic story that cannot happen in our reality , especially when Eisenheim conjures up the first girl from thin air then the two younger children who charm the crowds and create an obsession with them. Eisenheim concentrates for a while until a black fog appears, and then he turns into the form of the children. It is even said how the boy’s parents died long ago, and that he did, too. The audience members reach out to touch them, but their hands go through them. At the end, when Eisenheim is being arrested, Herr Uhl’s hands go right through him, Eisenheim now a ghost-like, magical being as his creations were. After that, his entire being becomes darker and disappears into nothingness. The surrealness of the story in which he performs these illusions that are utterly impossible and does the impossible to himself, as well, is very fantastic. The character Eisenheim  is himself quite fantastic with what he does, but also his personality is very wild as he masks himself, creating a rival for himself, against himself, and at the end, revealing it is actually him. I love how this story steps across the line between reality and the fantastic, just as magic tricks do, but this story is on a real magic level, crossing the line into completely fantastical.

Millhauser tells this story as an imagined past and imagined history from a third person view. The narrator is very distant and informative, teaching the readers the full history of Eisenheim and the events that occurred long ago. This informative, knowledgeable voice of the narrator is very persuasive and powerful in making the reader believe that the events described are true and the narrator is credible. This style of writing works extremely well for such a fantastical story because it helps the audience become immersed in it.  

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