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Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Book for the Age of Information





Created in the late 1970s, the book’s blurb on the cover flap talks about Codex Seraphinianus being a book for the “age of information” where coding and de-coding messages is increasingly important in genetics, computer science and literary criticism. “The Codex presents the creative vision of this time…” goes on the blurb. If Serafini was so influenced by “information” in the 1970s to create this maverick art book, then what must he make of today’s information age featuring Facebook, Twitter, blogs and Google? Countless websites and blogs can be found pondering the meaning of Codex Seraphinianus or simply admiring a truly original piece of art/fantasy/imagination – call it what you will.

The cover alone is worth studying. The 1991 Abbeville edition features a couple having sex and being transformed into a crocodile. Shakespeare described sex as the “beast with two backs” but Serafini is operating on a different level to the Bard. The 1993 edition uses a different image for its cover – a man in very unpractical headwear appears to be riding a llama, which has an impressive set of antlers. They are both staring into a mirror outside a stone building that appears to be offering some sort of brightly colored food. Both covers are strange but the crocodile sex is more disturbing.

link: Codex Seraphinianus - See the World's Strangest Book on AbeBooks

1 comments:

Theo said...

Glad you mentioned this--reminded me to check the bookstore where I'd been watching it, and I discovered it was on sale! I have ordered it. At last, it will be mine! Mua ha ha ha ha.

http://www.ibs.it/code/9788817013895/serafini-luigi/codex-seraphinianus.html

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