Download e-book for kindle: Alchemical Mercury: A Theory of Ambivalence by Karen Pinkus

By Karen Pinkus

ISBN-10: 0804760322

ISBN-13: 9780804760324

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 broad move in lifestyle, referred to as upon to meet 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 at alchemy, now not at anybody specific example alongside the old timeline, no longer as a tradition or thought, no longer as a style of redemption, yet as a theoretical challenge, associated with genuine gold and actual creation on the earth. 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, during 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 contemplate alchemy when it comes to literary and visible idea in a accomplished means.

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But as long as the iustitium lasts, they will be absolutely undecidable . . beyond the sphere of law” (2005, 50). The iustitium is a period of mourning, as for a dead king or pope—the nine days prior to the conclave to elect a new pope, for instance. During this time, in theory, nothing happens. But this very idea—nothing happens—is as paradoxical as it is impossible. ” But anomie is not simply anarchy, it is also boredom and sloth in common usage. Durkheim suggested anomie as social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; personal unrest, alienation, lack of purpose or ideals.

Typically, the Dutch paintings in the uroscopy classification are said to contain a moral subtext. The woman patient may be pregnant by her lover, so the news delivered by the doctor is not exactly welcome. Or she may be suffering from lovesickness, and elements in the painting may highlight the vanity of impossible desire. Critics sometimes see these paintings as indictments of quack doctors with false credentials or of the gullibility of patients. The lover or husband is rarely present for the visit, so the “doctor visit” paintings normally portray an intimate interaction between a man and a woman who is not his wife.

3 The vodka advertisement is most certainly inspired—even if indirectly—by any number of early modern genre paintings, especially from the Lowlands of the seventeenth century, the most intense temporal and spatial confluence of alchemical visibilia. In particular, the two popular genres that the ad evokes are (a) a doctor (or, in some variants, a quack) analyzing a urine sample of a patient, and (b) the alchemist in his 31 32 Visibilia laboratory. In the first instance, a doctor may hold a clear vessel containing the urine of a female patient up to the light, as in the advertisement.

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Alchemical Mercury: A Theory of Ambivalence by Karen Pinkus

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