It’s a book that contains 360 pages, is based on an imaginary world and comes complete with pages upon pages of hand-drawn illustrations that are both surreal and abstract in nature. For example, there’s drawing of a couple in love that shape shift into an alligator and ripe fruits that dripping with blood.
The novel is called Codex Seraphinianus, an illustrated encyclopaedia of a mystical and as yet undiscovered world. To this day it remains a complete enigma to linguists, all of whom have been unable to identify or make sense of the alphabet used to construct its otherworldly tale.
But who is the creative mind behind such literature?
It’s actually the work of Luigi Serafini a noted Italian artist and industrial designer and it was first published in 1981. It took him around 30 months to start and complete the Codex during 1976 and 1978. When asked about the syntax used in the book, he replied by saying that much of it was the result of ‘automatic writing’, that he wanted to recreate that same feeling children experience when they see books they cannot yet read, but have a vague understanding of what the words might allude to.
Copies are certainly hard to come by, but thankfully you can download the entire work in PDF format here. In the meantime here’s a sneak peek inside one of the most mysterious and peculiar books in a generation.
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