Member Blogs > Gothica BooksCodex Seraphinianus: History's Most Bizarre and Beautiful Encyclopedia, Brought Back to Life | Brain Pickings

  • Thu, 19 Dec 2013 03:10:12    Permalink

    Codex Seraphinianus

    In 1976, Italian artist, architect, and designer Luigi Serafini, only 27 at the time, set out to create an elaborate encyclopedia of imaginary objects and creatures that fell somewhere between Edward Gorey’s cryptic alphabets, Albertus Seba’s cabinet of curiosities, the book of surrealist games, and Alice in Wonderland. What’s more, it wasn’t written in any ordinary language but in an unintelligible alphabet that appeared to be a conlang — an undertaking so complex it constitutes one of the highest feats of cryptography. It took him nearly three years to complete the project, and three more to publish it, but when it was finally released, the book — a weird and wonderful masterpiece of art and philosophical provocation on the precipice of the information age — attracted a growing following that continued to gather momentum even as the original edition went out of print.

    via Codex Seraphinianus: History’s Most Bizarre and Beautiful Encyclopedia, Brought Back to Life | Brain Pickings.

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