Codex Seraphinianus

Imagine a book, vividly and somewhat bizarrely illustrated, written in a language for which there is no known translation. Imagine further that the pretext for the book is a travalogue or scientific study of an alien world … one that is a perverse reflection of our own!

You would have imagined Codex Seraphinianus, a collection of original artwork by Italian artist Luigi Serafini.

In the book, the evoked topics are: gardening, anatomy, mathematics, geometry, hairstyles, cards, machines to be flown, transport, chemical analyses, labyrinth, Babel, costumes, foods…

This topic very much reminds me of the work of Borges, in the sense of how they could both work the edges of absurdity in such a brilliant manner! There has been at least one effort to to rationalize and interpret the text, but it didn’t get very far.

There is even a website that is nominally wriitten using the language of the Codex Seraphinianus, which has some images from the book on display. There’s something evocative of the tenuous connections we have with others in real life reflected in the intriguing image below:

Codex Seraphinianus Park View

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