The Sun – El Astro Brillante

Invitacion al mundo filosofico para reconocer al sol. verdadero iman conocido [Invitation to the philosophical world to recognize the sun. The true known magnet] found in: J.L.T. .., Historia sucinta de un feliz descubrimiento hecho en uno de los paises del Asia (Madrid: [Don Tomás Jordan, impresor de camara de S.M], 1836). Cover: Descubrimiento oriental, representado en una lamina fina. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

This small, obscure brochure has one engraving by Esteban Boix (born 1774) after a design by D. Domingo presenting Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727); Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier (1743-1794) Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) and others contemplating the sun with the author “J.L.T.”

The anonymous writer relates how “he grappled with the nature of light – its propagation, materiality, interaction with the eye etc. – by reading the theories of Lavoisier, ‘immortal’ Newton, Descartes, Huygens, Bernoulli, and Malbranche, but was left confused and dissatisfied.

So one night in summer 1832 he undertook to travel mentally into space to contemplate the sun (‘el astro brillante’), traveling for three quarters of an hour and being oblivious to a fire raging in his village. While the experience left him with a three-day headache, it revealed the sun to him as ‘elVerdadero Iman’, and a new science styled ‘Imanica’.”

This is the only recorded copy in the United States. Thanks to our dealer for the transcription/translation.