The Hermetic and Alchemical Zines [7 Zines], by Brian Cotnoir.
From the Introduction:
“Re-reading this collection I’m in thrall to its tactility and analogue affect. I get a palpable sense of Cotnoir handling an incredible range of texts, of his having a muscle memory of those texts’ enduring value as well as a haptic appreciation of their potentiality, of him scissoring extracts to remix and reconfigure, handwriting and drawing elements that augment his visionary archive. I’m drawn to the elements of cut-up chaos, outsider-art graphology, polylingual sampledelia. The book’s pages feel remind me of a New York that once flourished – noisy, sometimes illicit, heterogeneous – and that still looms large in my dreams. The books wears its deep learning lightly but it never talks down to readers; its bibliography will steer them in directions both intimidating and exciting.” Sukhdev Sandhu (NYU)
Features these 7 Zines:
On The Homunculus: The Homunculus (Latin: little man). An artificial, created “rational animal,” or human being that, according to Paracelsus, “has all the limbs and features of a child born of woman, except much smaller.” This ‘zine is a collection of excerpts from a range of texts and images, from Aristotle to the 17th century, dealing with the generation of life both natural and artificial. Included are translations from The Book of the Cow, and Jabir ibn Hayyan’s Book of the Concentration. This small work is more or less a little reader on the homunculus. (28 pages).
Dream: The Lunar Realm of Alchemy: Is a collection of quotes, primary sources, notes, and random comments regarding the role of dream and vision in alchemical practice. Alchemy, most broadly defined, is the art and science of bringing something to it’s final completion — completion in the sense of a finished work of art. Included is my essay “…saying these things I went to sleep…” It first appeared in “Brooklyn Rail” June 2014. (24 pages).
On the Animation of Statues: Is a collection of quotes, primary sources, notes and comments on the late-antiquity practice of “ensouling” statues in order to commune with the gods. Drawing from Iamblichus, Proclus, Greek Magical Papyri, Corpus Hermeticum, hymns, poetry and music, although the practice is never explicitly described, a hazy outline emerges. One thing, the composition of statues and talismans is, like alchemy, a hieratic art. Included is a translation Michal Psellos’ Epistle 187 a text on the animation of statues. (34 pages).
Alchemy and the Timing of Things: This zine is a meditation on time and its relation to alchemy and by extension any creative act. Through a collection of primary sources, quotes, etc, Kronos (linear chronological time) and Kairos (the “now” that opens onto eternity) are explored in light of practice. Several timing systems are presented and included is a centerfold Lord of the Hours Time Snail. A very useful tool for determining planetary hours. (26 Pages).
The Alchemical Wedding: The Alchemical Wedding, or the union of opposites, is the sought after moment, the turning point in the process to perfection. This is often depicted as a King and Queen in sexual union, or as a “Rebis,” a hermaphroditic being with two heads. This zine looks at this union in relation to ideas of perfection, the “place” of this union, and ideas of perfectibility through human action both on an inner personal level and in the social political sphere. (12 pages).
The Golem and How He Came to Be: A golem is a man of clay brought to life through the power of the word – the written word. Of all the legends and stories of golems, perhaps the most famous is the story of Rabbi Loew and the Golem of Prague. Rabbi Loew, as the story goes, in the 16th century during the reign of Rudolph II, in Prague using secret practices from the kabbalah, brought to life a clay man to defend against anti-Semitic attacks. This story has resonated for generations and has been retold many times in a variety of media. What truths are there in this story, how did this Golem come to be? This zine looks into the mystical practices of Judaism that are at the heart of the legends and examines how this story evolved over time and was re-told in a variety of media, such as Paul Wegener’s silent film Der Golem, the play The Golem by Leivick and Julien Duvivier’s 1936 Le Golemfilmed in Prague and in the Altneu synagogue. Included in the zine are some of the earliest legends and stories of the golem. Most notably, translated here for the first time, is Franz Klutschak’s 1841 Der Golam Des Rabbi Löw, one of the earliest versions of the Rabbi Loew and Golem story. (24 pages).
On the Hieratic Art: or the Alchemy of Talismans: The Hieratic Art, or Priestly Art, is the art of composition for affecting change in the world. The composition is of symbols. These may be material things, images, words, letters, or elements. The Hieratic Art is also concerned with the ascent of the soul to the one, the divine, as is alchemy. Starting from first principles this zine explores this non-discursive way of thinking, speaking, writing in affecting change. The aim of all art. (20 pages).
The Hermetic and Alchemical Zines [7 Zines]
¶ 7 Zines:
The limited-edition boxed set The Hermetic and Alchemical Zines is now sold out, however, “The 7 Zines” is presented and sold here as a loose collection.
$65 CAD (Approx. $52 USD)
These are only made available via the North-American store, however, we ship worldwide (except to countries still under postal 'lock-down' due to the Covid-19 situation).
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