1. "All this is nothing better than the jargon of a conjuror, who picks up phrases he does not understand to confound the credulous people who come to have their fortune told. Priests and conjurors are of the same trade."
- Thomas Paine, The Age of Reason
2. "In those days we saw every sort of object as though it were one of those tiny handkerchiefs from which a conjuror can produce silk scarfs, streamers, flags, and yards of ribbon. A cup of coffee became a kaleidoscope in which we could spend ages watching the mutable reflections of ceiling or chandelier."
- Simone de Beauvoir, Prime of Life
3. "Those people who leap from personal bafflement at a natural phenomenon straight to a hasty invocation of the supernatural are no better than the fools who see a conjuror bending a spoon and leap to the conclusion that it is 'paranormal'."
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion
4. "But like so many others nowadays, poor Julian wanted to believe that man's life is profoundly more significant than it is. His sickness was the sickness of our age. We want so much not to be extinguished at the end that we will go to any length to make conjuror-tricks for one another simply to obscure the bitter, secret knowledge that it is our fate not to be."
- Gore Vidal, Julian
5. "In the controversy that followed the prince's remarks, his most staunch defender was professor John Taylor, a scholar whose work I had last noticed when he gave good reviews to the psychokinetic (or whatever) capacities of the Israeli conjuror and fraud Uri Geller. The heir to the throne seems to possess the ability to surround himself—perhaps by some mysterious ultramagnetic force?—with every moon-faced spoon-bender, shrub-flatterer, and water-diviner within range."
- Quote by Christopher Hitchens
6. "Galder Weatherwax, Supreme Grand Conjuror of the Order of the Silver Star, Lord Imperial of the Sacred Staff, Eighth Level Ipsissimus and 304th Chancellor of Unseen University, wasn’t simply an impressive sight even in his red nightshirt with the hand-embroidered mystic runes, even in his long cap with the bobble on, even with the Wee Willie Winkie candlestick in his hand. He even managed to very nearly pull it off in fluffy pompom slippers as"
- Terry Pratchett, The Light Fantastic
7. "Seances occur only in darkened rooms, where the ghostly visitors can be seen dimly at best. If we turn up the lights a little, so we have a chance to see what’s going on, the spirits vanish. They’re shy, we’re told, and some of us believe it. In twentieth-century parapsychology laboratories, there is the ‘observer effect’: those described as gifted psychics find that their powers diminish markedly whenever sceptics arrive, and disappear altogether in the presence of a conjuror as skilled as James Randi. What they need is darkness and gullibility."
- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
8. "I'm not going to tell you much more of the case, Doctor. You know a conjuror gets no credit when once he has explained his trick; and if I show you too much of my method of working, you will come to the conclusion that I am a very ordinary individual after all." "I shall never do that," I answered; "you have brought detection as near an exact science as it ever will be brought in this world." My companion flushed up with pleasure at my words, and the earnest way in which I uttered them. I had already observed that he was a sensitive to flattery on the score of his art as any girl could be of her beauty."
- Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet
9. " average Russia of history but a specific world imagined and created by individual genius. The admirable reader is not concerned with general ideas; he is interested in the particular vision. He likes the novel not because it helps him to get along with the group (to use a diabolical progressive-school cliche); he likes the novel because he imbibes and understands every detail of the text, enjoys what the author meant to be injoyed, beams inwardly and all over, is thrilled by the magic imageries of the master-forger, the fancy-forger, the conjuror, the artist. Indeed of all the characters that a great artist creates, his readers are the best. (Russian Writers, Censors, and Readers)"
- Vladimir Nabokov, Lectures on Russian Literature