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Alchemical MercuryA Theory of Ambivalence$
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Karen Pinkus

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804760324

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804760324.001.0001

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(p.31) § 1 Visibilia
Alchemical Mercury
Stanford University Press

This chapter discusses how alchemy's relation to “visibilia” extends beyond the extremely rich field of images that appear in alchemical manuscripts to embrace vision, transmutation, and ambivalence. To speak of alchemical images as content without considering the materiality of their forms is to strip them of a vital life force that is not something ineffable, but rather, something at the limit of language, in the realm of the pathosformel.

Keywords:   alchemy, alchemical images, materiality, life force, pathosformel

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