The book is called Codex Seraphinianus, and it is an illustrated encyclopedia of a secret and unexplored world.
It consists of 360 pages and describes a fantasy world with highly bizarre and surreal hand-drawn illustrations. For example, you can find the depiction of a couple of lovers turning into an alligator or a ripe fruit dripping blood…
What Is Codex Seraphinianus about?
Codex Seraphinianus is full of odd illustrations of plants, creatures, and vehicles that seem to be taken right from someone’s crazy dreams or hallucinations.
All the depicted images have something alien about them as if the person who designed them traveled to a different planet or dimension and is trying to capture what they saw.
Even today, the book is an enigma for linguists, who cannot figure out the way to decipher the alphabet used for this spooky tale.
Who wrote it?
The person behind this weird book, which was issued in 1981, is called Luigi Serafini and is an Italian artist and designer. It took him about 30 months to develop and complete the coded language used in the book.
When asked about the used syntax, Serafini said that much of the written text was the result of “automatic writing“. At the same time, he wanted to recreate the feeling experienced by children who do not fully understand what they are reading and thus, perceive the text in their own unique way.
Despite its striking weirdness, the book seems to have been praised by recognized writers like Italo Calvino, who wrote positive comments about Serafini.
The book editions are very rare, and it has become difficult to find a copy.
Have you ever heard about Codex Seraphinianus? What do you think, is it just a product of the author’s crazy imagination or something beyond it?
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