February 28, 2007
The magician’s notebook is very important. In it are drawings, and notes about the trick. (The Illusionist has a detail drawings of the ‘Orange Tree’ trick.) The use of the notebook visually in the film is a device.
Alfred and, I assume, most magicians writes theirs in a secret code. Robert, Alfred’s rival, tries to get the code to steal the trick. Later on Alfred gives Robert the code “TESLA”, which reveals that the notebook is actually a diary Alfred has been keeping about his affairs with the beautiful Oliver, Robert’s former assistant. A very cleaver form of deceit.
My research into: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prestige
“The novel is structured essentially into two halves. Both are first-person accounts of the lives of the two protagonists, first Alfred Borden, then Robert Angier. There is also an interlude between the two sections, a prologue and an epilogue, which are all set in the modern day and involve a meeting between the only two remaining descendants of the characters.
The novel is epistolary in structure; that is, it purports to be a collection of real diaries that were kept by the protagonists and later collated”.
“Alfred Borden and Robert Angier rise to become world-renowned stage magicians. Early in their careers, they meet and a bitter feud develops as they constantly try to out-do, and even sabotage, the other’s acts. The frame story involves the great-grandchildren of Borden and Angier and their investigations into how their own lives have been affected by their ancestors’ conflict. The events of the past are revealed primarily through each of the magicians’ diaries.”