This commentary to the famous Mutus Liber was written by Eugène Léon Canseliet and bears the title Alchemy and its Mute Book. It concerns an exegesis that is extraordinary in terms of both its content and style. Canseliet’s diction is unique and his writing style could be described as a sophisticated form of logographic acupuncture. He delicately examines one location, then carefully touches upon another and before the point has quite sunk in, he has already switched to a different area to carefully place another illustrative needle. Canseliet writes: ‘It is a fact that it was the custom, if not the rule, among ancient authors to write their treatises in such a way that all parts of teaching were scattered and jumbled around, like the disconnected pieces of a puzzle that one must apply oneself to in order to reunite.’ As the reader will discover, Canseliet faithfully continues this tradition and delivers his pinpricks in an almost random manner.
At first this may lead the reader to a state of bewilderment about the gist of the story and the overarching aim of Canseliet’s delicate observations on the imagery. Slowly but surely though, the treatment starts to have its effect. Gradually the meaning of alchemy’s web of images and symbols starts to seep out of the woodwork and the more experienced student of alchemy will appreciate the sincerity with which Canseliet wrote. Whereas the existence of this language of images may have seemed unlikely at first, and their meanings far-fetched, this book slowly warms the reader up to this evolved and noble language that was spoken by so many respected authors. As one warms up to the idea of this language of images, the reality of a most outrageous concept — the existence of the Philosopher’s Stone, the essential subject of the Mutus Liber — may gradually appear less of a vain chimera.
Magophon was the first to write a masterful commentary to the Mutus Liber. Canseliet, however, took the research and the revelations about the book to the next level. In addition to the work from Canseliet two other commentaries on the Mutus appeared in the second half of the 20th century, one by the hand of Serge Hutin and another by Jean Laplace. The work of Canseliet, however, stands head and shoulders above the other two. The work of Hutin relies all too heavily on quotations from Magophon’s foundational work and that of Laplace in turn relies on the work of Canseliet. The reader therefore now has in his or her hands the most profound commentary on the Mutus Liber; a commentary of a book that is considered one of the finest examples in the tradition of the wordless book and which lends itself to multiple layers of analysis that go well beyond propositional knowledge.
This book is not an easy read, but it is a must for the advanced student of alchemy.
Eugène Canseliet (December 18, 1899, Sarcelles – April 12, 1982, Savignies), was a French writer and alchemist. He was the first and one of the few students of the mysterious alchemist known as Fulcanelli and had a pivotal role in the transmission of the art of alchemy in the 20th century.
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Legendary Edition: (5 pieces)
|Title:||Alchemy and its Mute Book|
|Author:||E.L. Canseliet F.C.H.|
|Publisher:||Inner Garden Press|
|Pub. date:||December 2015|
|Binding:||Finest quality Harmatan, naturally tanned leather, both base and onlay, moon in parchment|
|Gilding:||Three layers 24K gold|
|Doublure:||Leather onlay and gilded edge, Fabrioni paper with secret key in braille|
|Sewing:||Recessed on 4 cords|
|Paper:||Arches 130 gsm, Byron-Weston Resistall, 130 gsm, Fabrioni Tiziano (doublure), 160 gsm|
|Fonts:||Plantin MT, Sabon|
|Layout:||Van der Graaf|
|Case:||Half-leather clamshell, Hand-marbled paper by Geert van Daal|
|Certification:||Page V, handnumbered and certified with editor's embossing stamp and mark of the Green Guild|
|Stockists:||Inner Garden Press|
|Delivery:||8 months + shipping|
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