Meg (megkips) wrote in fm_alchemist,

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Homunculus in 'Faust' + Assorted Historical Alchemy Related Things

I recently grabbed a copy of 'Faust' by Goethe the other day, and while reading the book, I found a very intruiging bit of dialouge.

From my edition

2. Laboratory, in the medival style with elaborate and clumsy machinery for fantastic purpose.(Lines 6819-7004 in the text)

Wagner: A glorious product you soon shall see.
Mephisto: What will it be?
Wagner: We make a human being.
Mephisto: A human? And what pair in passion
Have you locked in the chimney pipe?
Wagner: Forbid! While procreation used to be the fashion
We think of that, pardon, as tripe.
The tender point from which life used to slide,
The gentle force that issues from inside
And took and gave, first to become existent
Then to absorb the near, and then the distant
That is divested of its ancient rank:
If animals still like that kind of prank,
The human being with his gift must win
Henceforth a purer, nobler origin.

A few lines later 'Homunculus' comes to life within his test tube and then leaves. (I don't want to spoil Faust for anyone, so you guys will have to go pick it up!)

Anyway, I've surfed around and taking a real shine to alchemical history, but I did find some information that also included information about homunculi. I forget where I found the article (or even the article itself, which bothers me to no end), but the article discussed that some viewed a homunculus to be above man because it was not created by procreation. (See above quotation of Wagner.) If I recall correctly, this belief was held by the first person to create a homnuculus, Paracelsus. (I'm really upset that I'm having such a problem finding this website. Blarg.)

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