By Karen Pinkus
How do we account, in a rigorous approach, for alchemy's ubiquity? we expect of alchemy because the transformation of a base fabric (usually lead) into gold, yet "alchemy" is a notice in extensive movement in lifestyle, known as upon to meet a metaphoric responsibility because the magical transformation of fabrics. nearly each tradition and time has had a few kind of alchemy. This e-book seems at alchemy, now not at anyone specific example alongside the historic timeline, now not as a convention or thought, no longer 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 most 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 paintings, to substitute fuels, preventing to imagine with writers resembling Dante, Goethe, Hoffmann, the Grimm Brothers, George Eliot, and Marx. Eclectic and wide-ranging, this can be the 1st examine to think about alchemy on the subject of literary and visible conception in a entire approach.
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Commitment desk of Contentsii--iv Prefacev--xi half 1 Anglo-Saxon England: Backgrounds and Beginnings Political historical past 1--11 Ecclesiastical heritage 11--21 Linguistic heritage 21--26 Literary historical past 26--29 Traditions: oral and literate 29--32 A word on courting Anglo-Saxon texts 33--35 half 2 The Anglo-Saxon prose culture The writings of King Alfred the nice 37--38 Alfred's translation of Pope Gregory the Great's Pastoral Care 38--47 Alfred's translation of Boethius's comfort of Philosophy 47--53 Alfred's translation of St Augustine's Soliloquies 53--58 Alfred's translations of the Prose Psalms of the Paris Psalter 59--62 Alfred's preface to Waerferth's translation of Pope Gregory's Dialogues 62--63 The Vercelli Homilies 63--70 The Blickling Homilies 70--76 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle 76--83 The outdated English Orosius 83--89 Bede's Ecclesiastical background of the English humans 90--100 Apollonious of Tyre 100--106 The previous English Martyrology 106--110 The lifetime of St Guthlac 110--113 Wonders of the East, Letter of Alexander, lifetime of St Christopher 113--120 Bald's Leechbook 120--125 The writings of Aelfric of Eynsham125--133Aelfric's Catholic Homilies133--138 Aelfric's Lives of Saints 138--141 Aelfric's Colloquy at the Occupations 141--144 Aelfric as writer 145--149 The writings of Wulfstan, Archbishop of York 150--157 half three Anglo-Saxon poetry The Anglo-Saxon poetic culture 158--170 Caedmon's Hymn 170--176 Bede's demise track 176--177 The Junius manuscript 177--179 Genesis A 180--182 Genesis B 182--188 Exodus 188--194 Daniel 194--199 Christ and devil 199--205 The poems of the Vercelli booklet 205--207 Andreas 207--217 Fates of the Apostles 218--222 Soul and physique I 222--227 Homiletic Fragment I 227--228 The Dream of the Rood 228--234 Elene 234--240 The poems of the Exeter ebook 240--242 the appearance Lyrics (Christ I) 242--245 The Ascension (Christ II) 246--249 Christ in Judgement (Christ III) 250--254 lifetime of St Guthlac 254--255 Guthlac A 255--258 Guthlac B 258--262 Azarias 263--265 The Phoenix 265--270 Juliana 271--276 The Wanderer 276--281 The presents of fellows 281--282 Precepts 283--284 The Seafarer 284--287 Vainglory 287--290 Widsid 290--293 Fortunes of guys 293--296 Maxims (I) 296--298 The Order of the realm 299--300 The Rhyming Poem 300--303 The Panther, The Whale, The Partridge (The OE Physiologus) 303--306 Soul and physique II 306--307 Deor 307--310 Wulf and Eadwacer 311--313 The Exeter publication Riddles 313--316 The Wife's Lament 317--320 Judgement Day I 320--323 Resignation (A and B) 323--326 The Descent into Hell 326--328 Almsgiving 328--329 Pharaoh 329--330 The Lord's Prayer I 330--331 Homiletic Fragment II 331--332 The Husband's Message 332--335 The Ruin335--338 The poems of Cotton Vitellius A.
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Additional info for Alchemical Mercury: A Theory of Ambivalence
Hoarding, as Goux suggests, represents a solution, however temporary, awkward, and “unresolved” in a psychoanalytic sense, between this qualitative boundlessness of gold and its quantitative limits. The hoarder is one who refuses to allow gold to circulate. Before the stabilization of the gold standard, when coins were minted in gold, their exchange would cause them to become abraded, and their value would be literally worn away by ﬁngers. Since gold became a standard, it has been ﬂowing through the world in the form of bullion.
As long as the prince is pure in his intentions, alchemy is good for society. It relieves Christian subjects from heavy head and ground taxes as it provides a potential new source of movable wealth. Naturally, the prince must regulate alchemy, because otherwise everyone would do it and there would be no one left for trades and other forms of production. Many have written about alchemy, but few have balanced alchemy as a discourse about production (whether the product is gold or spiritual renewal) with the facts of real conditions of production in the world.
In Marx’s terms, “a coin acquires a political title, and talks, as it were, a different language in different countries” (1857, 226). If melted down, gold and silver are no longer symbols, but quantities, universal commodities. Money is the negation of the medium of circulation as such—that is, of the coin; but it holds the potential to be turned into coin. Money, as coin, inhabits a realm of anomie. As money, it has value only as gold and silver, but the face that the state impresses on it has no importance.