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Thread: Why is Fulcanelli so popular?

  1. #11
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    I was about to create a new thread, but I remembered this one and I thought it was better to use it instead of creating a new one.

    O.K... I am not a rabid enthusiast of the path of Fulcanelli (I simply like how he somehow inaugurated a new way of perceiving art)... So I have a silly question that his most rabid enthusiasts will know:

    I saw several times quotes from some interviews to Fulcanelli... though they never explain which one is the source. However, if I saw "quotes", then I assume that they are published somewhere... which ones are the SOURCES of the "interviews" with Fulcanelli???

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    I was about to create a new thread, but I remembered this one and I thought it was better to use it instead of creating a new one.

    O.K... I am not a rabid enthusiast of the path of Fulcanelli (I simply like how he somehow inaugurated a new way of perceiving art)... So I have a silly question that his most rabid enthusiasts will know:

    I saw several times quotes from some interviews to Fulcanelli... though they never explain which one is the source. However, if I saw "quotes", then I assume that they are published somewhere... which ones are the SOURCES of the "interviews" with Fulcanelli???
    As far as I am concerned, seeing as the man's very own identity has been a matter of endless debates, in order for anyone to prove that they have access to an "interview" with him would also have to provide proof that the person being interviewed was in fact "Fulcanelli".

    Regarding the "path of Fulcanelli": there is no such thing. He simply follows an old method whereby the secret solvent is produced in a solid form, instead of the more common liquid form.

    Regarding how he "inaugurated a new way of perceiving art": Fulcanelli was not a very original writer. Even that whole idea that churches/cathedrals and other old religious or civil buildings have alchemical messages/knowledge in public display in the manner of pictographs/drawings/paintings/statues was already around since at least late antiquity. One of the earliest mentions of this I have found so far is in the alchemical dialogue between two (apparently Egyptian) Kings called Marqunis and Sanfaja, which appears to have been originally an Alexandrian or Byzantine text, but has only partly survived to our times in its medieval Arabic rendering. That text already refers to a woman alchemist who built a temple which she decorated with alchemical pictures/drawings so that aspiring alchemists would stop bothering her with questions and would go and learn the secrets of the trade for themselves. Incidentally, this same alchemical dialogue is also the thus far discovered oldest source that already mentions the solid form of the secret solvent. So Fulcanelli did not invent any of these key features (1. Solid form of the secret solvent 2. Alchemical meaning in paintings/drawings/pictographs/statuary found in old buildings) of his two books. The only thing that appears original in an alchemical setting is that whole "phonetic cabala" thing, which so far I have not been able to discover in any alchemical author before him (but Fulcanelli himself implies that he did not invent this, and he cites older authors who already used these kinds of "games" with words. But alas! none of the sources he cites regarding this are written by alchemists. I am talking about an actual alchemical author who makes this claim; so far I have not found any older than Fulcanelli.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    As far as I am concerned, seeing as the man's very own identity has been a matter of endless debates, in order for anyone to prove that they have access to an "interview" with him would also have to provide proof that the person being interviewed was in fact "Fulcanelli".
    Yes, that's right. Though I still keep the question... which ones are the sources of the "maybe fake" interviews?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Regarding the "path of Fulcanelli": there is no such thing. He simply follows an old method whereby the secret solvent is produced in a solid form, instead of the more common liquid form.
    Yes, that's what I don't like... It is surprising for me that such an elegant writer had chosen such a non-elegant path. This is an aesthetical consideration.


    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    Regarding how he "inaugurated a new way of perceiving art": Fulcanelli was not a very original writer.
    I think this one is his biggest contribution to alchemy (and Canseliet did it better, I don't care if he didn't make the stone). Of course, you can find sources in which such thing is done too (two novels I love and which clearly do it are the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and the Manuscript found in Zaragoza ... though they are novels, not essays). BUT I give him the credit of having a marvelous sense of association of ideas.
    I do believe that a LOT of his claims are simply the result of a pareidolia... BUT I love the pareidolia effect (same thing goes for Canseliet).
    I.e, I think that Moby-Dick is the perfect alchemical novel... but it can be my pareidolia and MAYBE Melville had no alchemical intentions at all... but does it matter?
    I am sure it has happened to you at least one time: you saw the book or painting or sculpture of a friend of yours who knows NOTHING about alchemy and you see in it something 100% alchemical... so does it matter if he didn't have an alchemical intention?

    Quote Originally Posted by JDP View Post
    The only thing that appears original in an alchemical setting is that whole "phonetic cabala" thing, which so far I have not been able to discover in any alchemical author before him (but Fulcanelli himself implies that he did not invent this, and he cites older authors who already used these kinds of "games" with words. But alas! none of the sources he cites regarding this are written by alchemists. I am talking about an actual alchemical author who makes this claim; so far I have not found any older than Fulcanelli.)
    I think he coined the term and maybe no other author speaks about it, but it's quite obvious in several texts. Some medieval treatises written in Spanish use a lot the "concept" that Fulcanelli describes (the ones I know are more "funny" than "deep", in most cases written as poems)... and several French authors do it in a very hilarious way. It doesn't always work as Fulcanelli wants it to work, but some texts use techniques which get VERY close to what he describes. The Rosicrucian texts (I know you are not in love with them) contain a lot of the same "effect".

    His theory of the horse is a bit hilarious though...

    Hmmm... do you have the "Alchemy Forums Anthology"? If not, then I'd like to send you a copy for free as to show you an essay about language (I wrote it and I would like to know what you think about it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    I was about to create a new thread, but I remembered this one and I thought it was better to use it instead of creating a new one.

    O.K... I am not a rabid enthusiast of the path of Fulcanelli (I simply like how he somehow inaugurated a new way of perceiving art)... So I have a silly question that his most rabid enthusiasts will know:

    I saw several times quotes from some interviews to Fulcanelli... though they never explain which one is the source. However, if I saw "quotes", then I assume that they are published somewhere... which ones are the SOURCES of the "interviews" with Fulcanelli???
    I think you might be referring to "The Morning of the Magicians" by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, written in 1960. See:

    https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Magic...P6WP3A3JWNB9TQ

    BTW, a close friend saw someone who claimed to be Fulcanelli at the famous Chateau Heuroville in Paris in June 21, 1971, during a recording session. Fulcanelli had just come from an exhibit of the late Jean Cocteau's work at his home. He gave my friend a signed colored pen and pencil drawing of Le Table Ronde by Cocteau.
    Last edited by Illen A. Cluf; 02-23-2017 at 04:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    I think you might be referring to "The Morning of the Magicians" by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier, written in 1960. See:

    https://www.amazon.com/Morning-Magic...P6WP3A3JWNB9TQ
    Oh, yes, I know that book.... So that's the source. I once had it, but I only read the first part and then hated it so much that I gave it to a friend. Thank you! So that's the source.

    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    BTW, a close friend saw someone who claimed to be Fulcanelli at the famous Chateau Heuroville in Paris in June 21, 1971, during a recording session. Fulcanelli had just come from an exhibit of the late Jean Cocteau's work at his home. He gave my friend a signed colored pen and pencil drawing of Le Table Ronde by Cocteau.
    Well, that's nice... I'm glad to hear that when he got older he understood that contemporary art is by far more interesting than medieval art!
    Is it even possible not to ADORE Jean Cocteau?

    (now in my imagination his famous third part of the unfinished trilogy, Finis Gloriae Mundi, was all about Dadá and Surrealism and explaining that there's more worth in the works of Duchamp than in the whole cathedrals of the world... but decided that the world was not ready to understand such a higher truth).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    Is it even possible not to ADORE Jean Cocteau?

    (now in my imagination his famous third part of the unfinished trilogy, Finis Gloriae Mundi, was all about Dadá and Surrealism and explaining that there's more worth in the works of Duchamp than in the whole cathedrals of the world... but decided that the world was not ready to understand such a higher truth).
    You (and others on the forum) might enjoy this surrealistic play called: "Fulcanelli's Shoes" which delves into the relationship between the artisitic and the alchemical worlds of Fulcanelli and Jean Cocteau.

    https://vimeo.com/20105017

    Here's a description of the play:

    Reconsider your histories. We live in an age of holocaust deniers and the Da Vinci Code, the information age has become the age of fabricating the past. Reality has become something malleable, flexible to the needs and whims of whomever happens to be recalling what has already been.

    "Fulcanelli's Shoes" is a response of sorts to this cultural phenomenon, by artist, composer and writer Ergo Phizmiz. Weaving a tale with one foot paddling in truth, and the other firmly embedded in lies, the piece presents a rewritten cultural history of the 20th century, presenting the relationship between the artistic and alchemical worlds at the beginning of the century as the catalyst for the creative, scientific and political revolutions of the proceeding times.

    Discover how Jean Cocteau could travel in time; the secrets of the Large Hadron Collider; hear a genuine alchemical transmutation of base metal into gold; find out how anagrams built the universe; learn how to fix anything that is broken .....

    Part lecture, part opera, part documentary, this is a uniquely 21st century artwork, bringing together strands of forms into a unified but scattershot form. Collaborating with film-maker Martha Moopette and performer Vulnavia Vanity, Ergo Phizmiz has created a truly experimental piece of anti-art, with the feel of something akin to being kicked in the face with a Ferrero Rocher boot.

    Recorded live at Soundart Radio, Dartington, UK, February 5th 2011.
    Written, Composed, Narrated & Produced by ERGO PHIZMIZ
    Shadow-Puppets, Animation, Video editing, Consultancy by MARTHA MOOPETTE
    Music based on themes by
    ERIK SATIE
    CAMILLE SAINT-SAENS
    CLAUDE DEBUSSY
    MAURICE RAVEL
    CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI
    EDVARD GRIEG
    FRANCIS POULENC
    IGOR STRAVINSKY
    GIOVANNIA BATTISTA PERGOLESI
    GEORGES AURIC
    With film extracts from
    JEAN COCTEAU
    KAREL ZEMAN
    HANS RICHTER
    JOSEF VON BAKY
    MICHAEL POWELL & EMERIC PRESSBURGER
    SERGEI EISENSTEIN
    JACQUES TATI
    ORSON WELLES
    ALEXANDER CALDER
    FERNAND LEGER

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    Illen!!!!!

    I saw the first part and I couldn't finish the last part because I'm a bit sick (fever).

    But YES... this play is pure gold to me. Satie & Debussy!!! The two musicians associated with Joséphin Péladan into the creation of an occult avant-garde (I have a love-hate relationship with Péladan... he had so many negative traits, and yet he is, for me, the true inventor of the avant-garde art).

    And a marvelous selection of the best Dadá & Surreal filmmakers... and a few classics who are beyond those movements, but fantastic (monsieur Tati!!!).

    NOW this is pure gold to me... it is EXACTLY what I adore and love. You are not wrong at all when you say that I may enjoy it.... I am speechless! (I have a web that is solely devoted to contemporary artists doing these things).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post
    Illen!!!!!

    I saw the first part and I couldn't finish the last part because I'm a bit sick (fever).

    But YES... this play is pure gold to me. Satie & Debussy!!! The two musicians associated with Joséphin Péladan into the creation of an occult avant-garde (I have a love-hate relationship with Péladan... he had so many negative traits, and yet he is, for me, the true inventor of the avant-garde art).

    And a marvelous selection of the best Dadá & Surreal filmmakers... and a few classics who are beyond those movements, but fantastic (monsieur Tati!!!).

    NOW this is pure gold to me... it is EXACTLY what I adore and love. You are not wrong at all when you say that I may enjoy it.... I am speechless! (I have a web that is solely devoted to contemporary artists doing these things).
    I knew you would enjoy it! It's synchronistic how it combines Fulcanelli, Cocteau, Satie, Debussy, and your fascination for this type of surrealistic anti-art form. Hope you improve soon and can view the rest of this insane play!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Illen A. Cluf View Post
    I knew you would enjoy it! It's synchronistic how it combines Fulcanelli, Cocteau, Satie, Debussy, and your fascination for this type of surrealistic anti-art form. Hope you improve soon and can view the rest of this insane play!
    Yes! It seems to be an artist who shares my obsessions. I will try to contact him as to see if he wants to display some of his works at my web.
    But you perfectly understood what I like!

    His play made me remember a LOT of my favorite Theater Play, which is "Artaud Remembers Adolf Hitler and the Romanische Café" by the Berliner Ensemble* (which is not truly related to alchemy, but the contradictions of the avant-garde).

    *The theater company created by Bertolt Brecht and later re-shaped by the GENIUS Heiner Müller...

    This other play is about an actor playing the role of Artaud, who remembers to have seen Hitler at a pub and gives a radio message to him (which is the whole of the play).
    Artaud is at a "radio station" broadcasting with the hope that Hitler will listen and will help him to reshape art by labeling the whole of the art of the past as "degenerate art" and create a new vital art, but explaining again and again how the past must be destroyed, that there is a destructive work that has to be done.

    It is a marvelous play because the Berliner Ensemble is certainly opposed to Nazism and it is an avant-garde theater company... but this play makes a comparison between Nazism and the logic of the avant-garde art... which is very cruel, but clever. A very cruel criticism of the avant-garde by an avant-garde theater company (probably the best company in the world).

    Several years ago I wrote an essay about Duchamp and Alchemy in Spanish... I will translate the introduction, because it's quite related to how I think:

    We constantly fall into an error: Where is the genuine alliance between Alchemy and Art? "In the Gothic Cathedral" echoes the chorus with Fulcanelli.

    But when did the choirs have said something sensible, genuine or honest?

    The confluence of Alchemy and Art will occur at each time in the place where the culture is boiling; In the place where the Royal Art can subvert our culture.

    If the quintessential site of prehistoric culture is the cave, the Alchemical Art will show up there with a bird-headed man with an erect phallus who stings a bull using a lance.

    If the Temple and the funeral rites are the two great spheres of the classical culture, that is where Alchemy will find its vehicle of manifestation through art.

    Clearly in an era of ecclesiastical rule, the Cathedral will be the justified canvas.

    When there is a bourgeoisie that likes to change its place of living from Palazzo to Palazzo according to the mood of the day, the need for a new transportable format like the painting will make the disciples of Marsilio Ficino choose this as the new way to immanentize the eschaton.

    In an age where culture finds one of its main paths in the galleries and museums, it is not surprising then that these ones will become the battleground of the new Farmers of Heaven.
    I used to be by far more "punk" when I wrote such thing... nowadays I like both classical and avant-garde art... BUT I still think that if we get obsessed with the gothic cathedrals, then we are losing some 800 years of our tradition (I also find it odd when I see persons talking about alchemy and always using the past tense... "The alchemists were...", "Alchemy was...", "The old alchemists transmuted...", etc... I LOVE the classics, I even think that there's no way to go further without them... But speaking about it always in the past tense? It does not make sense at all to me.)

    So I love this work that takes out Fulcaneli from the Cathedrals and brings him to the XX century early avant-garde movements. If not, we are always trapped into something that looks almost like the myth of the "noble savage"... and the idea that the future is in the past (holy nostalgia... well, we don't live in the past, we have to deal with such thing... and nothing is uglier than living in the past***).

    *** These new modern medieval festivals with a weird cosplay are the most silly thing I saw in my life. I think that people who goes to pokemon cosplay meetings are even more clever than those who get into medieval cosplay... even if the two things are absurd to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoas23 View Post

    (I also find it odd when I see persons talking about alchemy and always using the past tense... "The alchemists were...", "Alchemy was...", "The old alchemists transmuted...", etc... I LOVE the classics, I even think that there's no way to go further without them... But speaking about it always in the past tense? It does not make sense at all to me.)

    So I love this work that takes out Fulcaneli from the Cathedrals and brings him to the XX century early avant-garde movements. If not, we are always trapped into something that looks almost like the myth of the "noble savage"... and the idea that the future is in the past (holy nostalgia... well, we don't live in the past, we have to deal with such thing... and nothing is uglier than living in the past***).
    Interesting comment. I think that the reason why some refer to the past alchemists is that they regard them as the more legitimate source of alchemical understanding. In more recent times, these people (myself included) feel that alchemy has come off the tracks and has completely distorted what the past alchemists were trying to say. For the most part, alchemy doesn't modernize. It is a specific process that only works in a specific way. So alchemy doesn't really relate to past or modern trends. Thus, for these people, we revere the past and find the writings far more valid than the more modern writings.

    But for other things, I agree. We all seem to think that the past was better. Sure, things were more romantic then, and much more honorable, but today's society is so much better off than the past society. Health, education, science, medicine, technology, have all improved immensely. The only major things that have not changed for the better are politics and religion. Those are the two past Demons that we seem unable to ever improve upon.

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