Mistrz Twardowski wśród egipskich mumii
Master Twardowski Among Egyptian Mummies
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“Pan Twardowski” is a half-legendary character of a Polish Renaissance alchemist, referred to in more than a dozen literary works. A man who sold his soul to the forces of evil in return for superhuman physical or mental abilities (and as a consequence – magical mastery of nature: Aarne-Thompson 756B) is also the theme of Goethe's "Faust". A little-known poet Aleksander Groza published an extensive work, "Twardowski", in 1873. It is a rather poor literary work, however, it does provide an excellent exemplification of multiple threads in the Orientalist discourse of the 19th century and many speculations revolving around it: “Egyptian” alchemy (and speculation relating to the achievements of that civilization), misconceptions surrounding the Egyptian eschatology (reincarnation, metempsychosis, etc.), the ethnogenesis of ancient Egyptians and their alleged relationships with India, theosophy or Gnosticism.
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