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Distillations #166 – Alchemy After Dark

From the Distillations website:

Alchemists are known for equally dreamy and practical pursuits—trying to turn base metals into gold and achieve immortality while also conducting the experiments that would lay the groundwork for modern chemistry. But it turns out the alchemists had another trick up their sleeves: speaking the language of love—and lust. In this episode we sit down with historian Joel Klein to find out why so many alchemy texts are rife with blush-inducing romantic and sexual metaphors. Then CHF’s James Voelkel recites some of our favorite steamy passages.

 

Image from Symbola Aureae Mensae, by Michael Maier, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. Also available in CHF’s collections. 

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