Tag Archives: Literature

The Book of the New Sun

Gene Wolfe’s “Book of the New Sun” tetralogy is said to be rife with alchemical symbolism. I have not read it yet, although it has been on my to-read stack for years. Nonetheless, here is a diagram for you, partly because it’s an easy post, but also for me, so that I can add interesting links as I might find them.

  • The Shadow of the Torturer
  • The Claw of the Conciliator
  • The Sword of the Lictor
  • The Citadel of the Autarch

Of course, there are a few other tetralogies that exist, although they are not as common as trilogies. One already mentioned on this blog is the Aeygpt Tetralogy by John Crowley.

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_the_New_Sun

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetralogy

An Analysis Of The Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part I: Urth, Ushas, And Unus Mundus

An Analysis Of The Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part II: The Solve et Coagula of Terminus Est

An Analysis Of The Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part III: The Piteous Gate and A Dark Albedo

An Analysis of the Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part IV: Hethor, Typhon and the Temptation of Severian

An Analysis of the Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part V: The Aestivation Hypothesis and the Hierodules

An Analysis of the Alchemical Tradition Behind BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Part VI: Tzadkiel and the Mystery of Yesod

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Ægypt Tetralogy

AEgypt is a literary work by John Crowley consisting of four novels published over a period of twenty years. Each of the four books is divided into three parts, and the twelve parts are named after the astrological houses.

Many occult, alchemical, and esoteric themes run through the novels, and one might describe the work as being “magical realism”. Many of the magical elements are told as “a book within the book” about British occultist Doctor John Dee and Italian heretic Giordano Bruno. Even though some of the magical events occurring in the past and described within the novels seem to be actually magical, by the time the novels end the age of magic is now over, and the last magical event seemed to erase the fact that magic ever was.

The ending of the last book makes several references to Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.

Further Reading:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C3%86gypt

Some very useful reviews of the first three books can be found below.

http://watershade.net/wmcclain/jc-index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_%28astrology%29

http://www.latimes.com/features/la-bkw-park7oct07,0,4224148.story#axzz2lmoAGKzp

http://www.latimes.com/features/la-bkw-park4nov04,0,6059163.story#axzz2lmoAGKzp

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