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December 5, 2014 1:00 PM   Subscribe

Steven Millhauser is an American Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author known for his erudite, witty and surreal writing style that blends the magical and the real. Enjoy the full text of Eisenheim The Illusionist (pdf, 20 pages), the story that inspired the 2006 film The Illusionist.

An analysis of the story and its conversion into film: "Film Magic: Neil Burger's film The Illusionist and Steven Millhauser's Short Story 'Eisenheim The Illusionist' (pdf, 21 pages):

"In his interviews, Neil Burger, the director of the film The Illusionist, (2006), offers some fascinating insights into the making of the film, the connections between magic and film, and the challenges of film adaptation."

Jim Shepherd of BOMB Magazine interviews Steven Millhauser.

For a preview of more of his creative work, Strange Horizons reviews the book Dangerous Laughter: 13 Stories.
posted by quiet earth (5 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite
Stop what you're doing and read "The Invasion from Outer Space". I'll wait.
posted by Cash4Lead at 2:10 PM on December 5, 2014 [5 favorites]

Thanks. That was a great story.
posted by Sassenach at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2014

Really nice story but uncomfortably close to some ideas I've been developing for a novel, so now I'm all freaking out and worrying that I'll screw up and miss the chance to tell the story I want to tell. Ah hell, who'm I kidding anyway? I'm probably already a lost cause...

Thanks for the lead all the same! I'll have to check out more of Millhauser's work. I really like the idea of magical realism taking hold in (North) American literature. Can't get enough of the stuff, generally.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:34 PM on December 5, 2014

Previous discussion on the Invasion story.

On story similarity: one of Millhauser's stories in Dangerous Laughter (The Tower) is very similar to Ted Chiang's 1990 story "Tower of Babylon" - both based on the idea of a multi-generational attempt to build a tower to heaven. They find different things when they get there, however!

My favorite writer, by the way...
posted by zymoglyphic at 10:34 AM on December 6, 2014

saulgoodman: so what do you do? Give up on your idea and try something else? I'm curious because I am kind of in the same boat (not this particular scenario).
posted by lon_star at 10:59 AM on December 6, 2014

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