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Thread: Esoteric writings

  1. #1
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    Esoteric writings

    In the vein of Sir Thomas Browne's peculiar investigations and Robert Burton's recondite divagations, preferably from late middle ages up to the age of enlightening, but in all fairness, period is not too relevant here, what matters most is subject and, above all, the style in which that very subject is being encircled and attacked. I'm not interested in things made abstruse by dint of their abstract nature, so I'm not seeking obscure philosophies that could be found in the Neoplatonic writings or in some scholastic ones, although the writings I'm looking for could very well incorporate these as well. I'd like these writings to have, more or less, the structure of an encyclopedia or, better put, and more realistically, of a dictionary. Of what exactly? Not important in the least, although it would be nice if they would speak about everything: the highly polished and dully supervised phrases resulting from the effort of a polymath. This is why I think the Rennaisance has the best chances to possess such writings. Those men interested in everything, with knowledge about everything, with limitless abilities and indefatigable enthusiasm about the world, and all its perplexitiesI. But, as I said, I'm mostly interested in the style. The style is everything. The lexicon, the syntax, the punctuation! I want these writings to have an arcane character, to be intricate and hermetic, to be written in such a manner that it would attract a rather small number of readers. A remark partaking to biology, a medical research, a study of witchcraft a mathematical point, an alchemical investigation, an astrological theory, any scientific opinion, a metaphysical thought, an experiment in prosody, a spiritual idea, an artistic analysis, an anecdote, a confession, an epigram--anything, as long as it is expressed in an occult style that would permit access only to those initiated (I am referring to the readers of those times) in these domains. I'm interested in a very particular mysterious flavor, as when you open The Anatomy of Melancholy or Religio Medici, the feeling of that work having been elaborated in seclusion, with no intent to reveal too much to the common folk. It must have a hidden aspect, to be redolent of the clandestine.

    Any ideas?
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    If you want something mysterious but probably true, try Deepak Chopra's "The Way of the Wizard".

    If you want something true but probably mysterious, try Nagel and Newman's "Godel's Proof".

  3. #3
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    Awful recommendations.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

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    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I didn't think you would like them. I have read both of them at least twice.

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    rat in a strange garret Whifflingpin's Avatar
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    Isaac D'Israeli - "Curiosities of Literature" etc.
    Voices mysterious far and near,
    Sound of the wind and sound of the sea,
    Are calling and whispering in my ear,
    Whifflingpin! Why stayest thou here?

  6. #6
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    This emerges as rather very interesting indeed. I adore discovering the looks of these otherwise obscure and partially or totally consigned to oblivion men of letters, scholars, polymaths that had a certain sophistication about their quill.
    I also think Borges mentioned a handful of those somewhere in his inkhorn scribblings and bookish essays, I'll have to look over his recommendations.
    Last edited by EmptySeraph; 07-07-2017 at 07:10 PM.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

  7. #7
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I found this book on Borges, Haven´t read it, but might be useful to distinguish the real authors from the ones he invented.

    http://93-yv313qt.newslon.com/category/7821/

    The pdf version is supposed to be free.
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    I just want to read. chrisvia's Avatar
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    It's from twentieth-century American literature, but I suggest Alexander Theroux's Darconville's Cat.

    Also, these two books--The Anatomy of Melancholy and Religio Medici--are among my all-time most enjoyable experiences. I read Burton's masterwork as my 2017 kick-off.
    "J'ai seul la clef de cette parade sauvage."
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  9. #9
    Gerardo 7 Reyes
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    M. A. Screech's english translation of Michel de Montaigne's essays may meet such criteria... I hope.

    Check Penguin Classics' edition:
    Michel de Montaigne
    Essays
    Translated by M. A. Screech

  10. #10
    Registered User EmptySeraph's Avatar
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    It's the translation precisely that have conferred Montaigne a hue of esotericism? You mean the style which the translator has attributed to his writings is bordering on the arcane? That's very interesting, I'll check this translation.
    Et ignotas animum dimittit in artes.

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