Download Alchemical mercury : a theory of ambivalence by Karen Pinkus PDF

By Karen Pinkus

How do we account, in a rigorous means, for alchemy's ubiquity? we predict of alchemy because the transformation of a base fabric (usually lead) into gold, yet "alchemy" is a observe in huge circulate in daily life, known as upon to satisfy a metaphoric accountability because the magical transformation of fabrics. nearly each tradition and time has had a few type of alchemy. This e-book seems to be at alchemy, now not at anybody specific example alongside the ancient timeline, now not as a convention or concept, now not as a method of redemption, yet as a theoretical challenge, associated with genuine gold and actual creation on this planet. What emerges because the least universal denominator or "intensive estate" of alchemy is ambivalence, the very unlikely and paradoxical coexistence of 2 incompatible components. Alchemical Mercury strikes from antiquity, throughout the golden age of alchemy within the Dutch 17th century, to conceptual artwork, to substitute fuels, preventing to imagine with writers equivalent to Dante, Goethe, Hoffmann, the Grimm Brothers, George Eliot, and Marx. Eclectic and wide-ranging, this is often the 1st examine to contemplate alchemy on the subject of literary and visible conception in a finished way.

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The text is impossible and infinite. Once again, Agamben’s writings on language illuminate the paradox: The thing itself is not a simple hypostasis of the name, something ineffable that must remain unsaid, and hence sheltered, as a name, in the language of men. . The thing itself is not a quid that might be sought as an extreme hypothesis beyond all hypotheses, as a final and absolute subject beyond all subjects, horribly or beautifully unreachable in its obscurity. We can, in truth, conceive of such a nonlinguistic thing only in language, through the idea of language without relation to things.

The text is impossible and infinite. Once again, Agamben’s writings on language illuminate the paradox: The thing itself is not a simple hypostasis of the name, something ineffable that must remain unsaid, and hence sheltered, as a name, in the language of men. . The thing itself is not a quid that might be sought as an extreme hypothesis beyond all hypotheses, as a final and absolute subject beyond all subjects, horribly or beautifully unreachable in its obscurity. We can, in truth, conceive of such a nonlinguistic thing only in language, through the idea of language without relation to things.

15 In Dutch painting light is of paramount importance. 16 The transformation is not something hidden or suppressed. Rather, it seems to be a key theme that is being worked out—alchemically, if we wish—in the interplay between paint, canvas, and perception. Visibilia 49 Goethe must have had the alchemist’s laboratory in mind when he wrote the lines cited at the beginning of this chapter, and he chose one of Rembrandt’s scholars (referred to either as Faustus or an alchemist in the eighteenth century) for the title page of Faust (Figure 6).

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