confusion de confusiones

(confusion de confusiones) via 911.jpg mailinglist came the link to a recent wire interview with author Neil Stevenson on Confusion Volumne two of his Baroque Circle:

Stephenson: To fuse means to melt; “con-fuse” means a melting together.
When you say “I’m all mixed up” you’re saying the same thing in simpler words. At least as far back as Chaucer, “confused” was being used in its current sense of being muddle-headed. The older, technical meaning of melting things together has become obsolete, but alchemists of the 17th century would have been comfortable with it.

.. is it just the alchemistic method .. or do times becoming allegorical …

Starting around the mid-1650s, things settled down and there was a time of astonishing creativity and flux, which I attempted to capture in the first volume of this series, Quicksilver. What I’m trying to depict in The Confusion is its aftermath: a time when so much has changed, so fast, that things are all unsettled and out of whack, and settling, in a chaotic way, toward a new quilibrium.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email