Announcing: The Hermetic Recreations
RUBEDO PRESS is pleased to announce the publication of the Hermetic Recreations (Les Hermétiques Récréations).
Translated into English for the very first time, the Hermetic Recreations is a uniquely lucid masterwork of French Hermetic philosophy. Set down in an anonymous hand at the turn of the Nineteenth Century, it provides critical insights into the operative arts of the western alchemical tradition. Illuminating both the traditional mediæval practices of which it was the inheritor, and those of the Parisian alchemical revival that would succeed it, this rare text forms an influential bridge between two alchemical epochs.
“Life, such as we wish to consider it, is but a struggle between two substances, or a continual exchange of light and darkness. One of these substances alternatively takes the place of the other, sometimes taking the male function and sometimes the female. And in a manner pleasing to the divine author, everything either changes into a pure light, or returns to the Cimmerian darkness, which shows that light and darkness are but one and the same thing, changing in form and value by the expansion or contraction of the substance”.
THE HERMETIC RECREATIONS
Although the identity of the author remains a mystery, the text appears to have been composed sometime between the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Preserved in the manuscript collection of Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris, it was first brought to the attention of Bernard Husson by his friend, Eugène Canseliet (1899–1982), a French alchemist and the only direct student of Fulcanelli. This eventually resulted in the first publication of Les Récréations hermétiques in 1964. Gilles Pasquier published a corrected edition in 1992, also in French, which included the Scholium or commentary. The text of the Scholium is a particularly revealing addition, for it presents 150 Hermetic “aphorisms” encapsulating the core principles of the alchemical process.
Both texts, which clearly form a single work, are presented here in a handsome dual language edition, in French and in English, with copious scholarly annotations by Christer Böke, John Koopmans, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, and Aaron Cheak.
The first edition is scheduled to appear in a limited release of 222 hardbound copies, available exclusively through Rubedo Press. Currently available for pre-sale, the hardback edition will be shipped from Rubedo’s antipodean offices as soon as they are printed and bound. We estimate that this will be sometime in November. [Update: as of February 2018, the hardback edition is now available].
Once the hardback edition is sold out, a trade paperback edition will be made more widely available. (Please note that the images that accompany this post depict the softcover edition). [Update: please see here for images of the hardback edition]