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Luigi SerafiniAnmeldelser

Forfatter af Codex Seraphinianus

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The Italian Luigi Serafini (born 1949) wrote a book between 1976 and 1978 that on the first face forms a purely visual parody of the traditional compendia: endless paragraphs in fantasy writing, accompanied by colorful, apparently clarifying drawings in which realistic and conceived elements are mixed in a surreal way. However, closer consideration suggests that there is a system in this fantasy world.
petervanbeveren | May 31, 2024 |
An amazing mysterious codex by a wonderful artist.

I believe context into Luigi's life is useful to decode this masterpiece. Oddly meeting him, you would not be able to see into his thinking, feeling that this a world even he shared with few, but many inside jokes, dreams and nightmares.
yates9 | 29 andre anmeldelser | Feb 28, 2024 |
Though this isn't a book I can say I "read" in the traditional sense, the art is otherworldly and psychedelic and so full of life and color. I have to wonder if Serafini was heavily under the influence when he created some of these pieces, since they range from goofy to strange to almost grotesque despite the bright color schemes, but I'm so glad to have experienced it nonetheless - my favorite was the last chapter where he drew a bunch of different cityscapes that were as alien as they were beautiful, making me wish I could actually visit them. I also wish I had more of a background in cryptography so I could try cracking the code of the language he used; even though he claimed it's an imaginary language, it would still be fun to attempt and the script just looks so systematic and orderly.

In other words - I remember hearing somewhere that his goal with this work was to allow readers to feel the same sort of fascination they did as children when first coming across books. I'd say he definitely achieved that bit, because I found myself drawn into this strange fictional universe in a way I haven't encountered in a very long time. The atmosphere reminds me of the spell book owned by Coriakin in the Narnia chronicles, which goes over a number of incantations with beautiful illustrations and doesn't allow you to go back once you've turned the page. And the text itself makes me think of the unknown language of the Voynich Manuscript, which is next on my reading list. Definitely an unforgettable experience of a book and one I'll revisit whenever I'm looking for creative inspiration.
Myridia | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jan 19, 2024 |
This is one of those books that you keep out for a curiosity, for people to see on the coffee table and give it a look. The art is lovely, the "language" is interesting as you have zero clue what's being said (the author made up their own language here) but the art is off the charts. I love looking at this when I'm having an artistic slump and need something to jog the juices.
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Bunny20 | 29 andre anmeldelser | Sep 19, 2023 |
Couldn't actually read it. Just looked at the pretty pictures.
fleshed | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 16, 2023 |
The idea of this book was to recreate the feeling that children have looking at books they can't read yet. Serafini created an imaginary language and illustrations of an uncanny world that feels just out of the reach of comprehension.

Very fun to read; several puzzled looks in the physics department break room.
NickEdkins | 29 andre anmeldelser | May 27, 2023 |
BegoMano | 29 andre anmeldelser | Mar 5, 2023 |
interesting, indulgent artsy book. eh...
apende | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 12, 2022 |
Since the text which accompanies and (I guess) ‘explains’ this book’s wonderful illustrations is written entirely in a script that remains undeciphered, this is purely an art-book. The pictures themselves—beautifully done in ink and coloured pencil, then magnificently reproduced by the publishers Rizzoli—are so strange, the overall effect is like working your way through an encyclopaedia from a different universe altogether: there are peculiar plants, animals, tools and machines, costumes, food, architecture and other things not easy to even categorise. If you know the Voynich Manuscript (which may have inspired this) well, the Codex is a similar work, but done by a modern Italian surrealist.
justlurking | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 4, 2021 |
When I got this book in on hold, I just left it in my workroom and flipped through it whenever I was on break. I think it's the best way to read it, just open to random pages and see what you find. I love the gibberish text and how it was laid out. I love that the illustrations are done in pencil crayon.

When I was looking through it as an art book, I had a great time savouring all the little details. How much work must have gone into putting it together, and Serafini's weird imagination. But then I started thinking about it as a travel guide and it freaked me right out. I tried to imagine that I was planning a trip to this world, and I grabbed an encyclopedia to prepare. Everything got real uncanny valley for me pretty quick. I imagine I'd be delighted for a few days, taking in all the weird sights (and I'm sure, sounds and smells that aren't available in book form) and meeting the people who live there. But pretty soon, I'll hunger for something familiar, and everything I see will start to haunt me with its just-not-rightness. I kept thinking about that episode of Futurama where Fry's girlfriend ends up in the future and just can't handle all the new weird stuff that's happening. After a (probably pretty short) while, I'd want to just see or feel or eat or experience something comforting, and it would slowly destroy my psyche that I couldn't. It would be even worse than a place that is totally different from what I'm used to, because this world would tease me with familiarity. I would feel gaslighted by this vacation. I wouldn't be able to trust anything. Oh, ok, that animal looks like a hippo, that's pretty comforting but oh god its two halves are actually connected by wires ok ok I'll just look at this dog, it looks fluffy and normal and NOPE it doesn't have a head it's just a clear orb well that's fine, that's fine, we have clear orbs on Earth too, maybe I'll just have a bite of this juicy looking pear to calm me down AND IT'S BLEEDING THE PEAR IS BLEEDING INTO MY MOUTH OKAY I'm going to sit down here by this lake, lakes are nice and tranquil, though this lake is staring back at me with multiple pairs of eyes, which is unsettling, I think I'll go back to my room and lie down. I won't even be able to take comfort in making love for fear that my partner and I would turn into a crocodile. I mean I can't say I'm not intrigued by the idea of being one half of a crocodile for a short while, but I'd have to know that I could become human again and eat some food without it bleeding on me afterwards. Flipping through the pages of this book got slightly anxiety-inducing after thinking about going to visit. I'd have to get a room in the Earth Town neighborhood where people hold pens to write with instead of grafting nibs to the tips of their fingers and I can eat a banana that is banana all the way through and not partially made of tiny beads. Call me closed-minded but my tolerance for change is low.
katebrarian | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 28, 2020 |
Italian artist/architect Luigi Serafini barricaded himself inside his scriptorium for three years during which time he poured forth all manner of weird, imagined images and an invented text. The result is the Codex, a book that many have called the weirdest book in the world, a surrealist field guide to Serafini's unearthly world whose images are capable of drawing you in and holding you for hours. Rizzoli published this new edition in October. More here.
markflanagan | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 13, 2020 |
A nice guide to imaginary fictitious flora and fauna comprised of artichoke and umbrella-like growths, fanciful plumage, eggs, etc. Good but not $500 good or whatever.
uncleflannery | 29 andre anmeldelser | May 16, 2020 |
My gifts are the stuff of family lore, and given that COVID19 birthdays and Christmas are now moveable feasts, but this was just too weird for for my nephews, even by my standards -they thought it was in Latin! Gorgeous and disturbing, enthralling and automatically written, it is an almost totally cryptic book which takes one back to childhood when one examined adult books with pictures when you were just beginning to read.
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kencf0618 | 29 andre anmeldelser | May 3, 2020 |
Italian artist Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus is a gorgeous illuminated manuscript describing a world of the artist's imagining. One that's alien, yet familiar at the same time. The invented language he uses also recalls several all at the same time: Arabic, ancient Greek, and the Burmese alphabet. It demands that the reader take the time to carefully pour over each illustration and line of script in order to glean some insight into this unfamiliar world. Serafini's description of the creative process recalls a cloistered monk carefully transcribing the mysteries of the universe by candlelight.
petervanbeveren | 29 andre anmeldelser | Dec 5, 2019 |
Il libro più "non-libro" che sia mai stato scritto. Un libro surreale su di un mondo sconosciuto, scritto in una lingua sconosciuta, con significato sempre sconosciuto. Visto in questa nostra epoca fatta di Informazione Tecnologica, tra codificazione e decodificazione, critica letteraria, informatica, questo libro affascina, confonde ed incanta. Il messaggio è oscuro nella sua lingua inesistente. Un libro che è opera d'arte e libro oggetto, l'autore è un architetto, uno scultore, un ceramista, un disegnatore, un direttore artistico, uno scrittore, un critico e non si sa quante altre cose. La versione Kindle è gratuita, ma temo che non significa nulla leggere o sfogliare questo libro in versione digitale. Bisogna averlo tra le mani in versione cartacea, ma il prezzo è alto ...


Il Codex Seraphinianus è un libro illustrato scritto e illustrato dal designer italiano Luigi Serafini. Pubblicato per la prima volta nel 1981, il libro presenta un'enciclopedia immaginaria di un mondo fantastico e surreale, descritto in un linguaggio e in un alfabeto inventati dall'autore stesso.

Il Codex Seraphinianus è diviso in undici capitoli, che esplorano argomenti come la flora, la fauna, la tecnologia, la religione e la lingua del mondo immaginario descritto dall'autore. Le illustrazioni sono incredibilmente dettagliate e spesso mostrano creature strane e fantastiche, paesaggi surreali e oggetti impossibili.

Il libro ha guadagnato una grande popolarità tra gli appassionati di arte, design e fantasia, ma il significato delle immagini e del testo rimane in gran parte un mistero. L'alfabeto inventato dall'autore non è stato decifrato completamente, e il significato di molte delle immagini rimane aperto all'interpretazione.

Il Codex Seraphinianus è considerato uno dei libri più strani e misteriosi mai pubblicati ed è diventato un oggetto di culto tra gli appassionati di arte e di cultura popolare.

Il Codex Seraphinianus presenta una vasta gamma di creature strane e fantastiche, molte delle quali sono difficili da descrivere o catalogare. Tuttavia, ecco alcuni esempi di creature che appaiono nel libro:

Un essere umanoide con una testa di uccello.
Un uomo che sembra avere un albero al posto delle gambe.
Un animale che sembra una croce tra una tartaruga e un elefante.
Una sorta di dragone con una testa simile a quella di un coccodrillo.
Un insetto gigante con zampe a forma di forbici.
Un essere umanoide con un'enorme testa sferica e piccoli arti.
Un animale che sembra una croce tra una lucertola e un canguro.
Un essere umanoide con un corpo che sembra fatto di pietra.
Un animale che sembra una croce tra un leone e un unicorno.
Questi sono solo alcuni esempi delle creature strane e fantastiche presenti nel Codex Seraphinianus. Il libro è ricco di immagini sorprendenti e bizzarre che sfidano la nostra immaginazione e la nostra comprensione del mondo naturale.

Oltre alle creature strane e fantastiche, il Codex Seraphinianus presenta anche una vasta gamma di oggetti e tecnologie impossibili. Ad esempio, ci sono immagini di macchine volanti, strumenti musicali bizzarri, dispositivi meccanici intricati e strutture architettoniche impossibili.

Inoltre, il libro presenta anche un sistema di simboli e di linguaggio inventato dall'autore stesso, che appare in tutto il libro. Questo sistema di scrittura è stato chiamato "serafino" ed è stato ampiamente studiato e decifrato dagli appassionati del libro. Tuttavia, il significato esatto delle parole e dei simboli rimane in gran parte un mistero.

Il Codex Seraphinianus è stato anche oggetto di varie interpretazioni e teorie. Alcuni hanno suggerito che il libro rappresenti un mondo alternativo o una realtà parallela, mentre altri lo vedono come una critica alla società moderna o una riflessione sulla natura dell'arte e della creatività.

In ogni caso, il Codex Seraphinianus rimane una delle opere più strane, misteriose e affascinanti della letteratura fantastica e continua a ispirare artisti, scrittori e appassionati di tutto il mondo.
AntonioGallo | 29 andre anmeldelser | Oct 9, 2019 |
Adammmmm | 29 andre anmeldelser | Sep 10, 2019 |
Italian artist Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus is a gorgeous illuminated manuscript describing a world of the artist's imagining. One that's alien, yet familiar at the same time. The invented language he uses also recalls several all at the same time: Arabic, ancient Greek, and the Burmese alphabet. It demands that the reader take the time to carefully pour over each illustration and line of script in order to glean some insight into this unfamiliar world. Serafini's description of the creative process recalls a cloistered monk carefully transcribing the mysteries of the universe by candlelight. This is a must-have for fans of the unusual or those who want to add wonder to their lives.
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DarthDeverell | 29 andre anmeldelser | Feb 23, 2017 |
Didn't give the ' second world ' sensation as well as the ZORK games did.
Baku-X | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jan 10, 2017 |
I am assuming that any readers of this review are familiar with what the Codex Seraphinianus is, even if they have not read it themselves. There is a very good Wikipedia article on it, and that should convey better than I ever could just what lies between the deceptively plain cover of this book.

The Codex is a mystery. The author stated that he wanted to capture the feeling a child has when he or she is paging through a book way above their grade level. There are pictures, but the importance of those pictures is lost. And there is text, oh so much text, which seems to hold all of the answers, but which is impossible to comprehend.

He had done so, and then some. Because we read this book as an adult, we assume that the contents must be greater than what an adult brain can comprehend, and assign to it importance far more than it (probably) has. And yet, there is a level of depth which is susceptible to analysis. For example, the number system used in the book has, apparently, been decoded. (I understand that it is a base-21 system which shares certain traits with Roman numerals, though I have not verified this myself.) The fact that even a small part of the text has yielded to understanding forces the implication that there may be other secrets yet to be deciphered.

The Codex is like music. It has meaning without having semantic meaning. Ultimately, it is as meaningful as the way it makes you feel.
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shabacus | 29 andre anmeldelser | Oct 17, 2015 |
You have not seen bizarre until you have "read" this book!
aeromaxtran | 29 andre anmeldelser | Sep 17, 2014 |
A truly bizarre work which has often been described as the strangest book ever created, and which has to be experienced to be believed. The physical book is in itself a work of art, presented as a large format hardcover volume with countless colour illustrations printed on a high quality, thick, ridged paper, which make the coloured pencil and ink illustrations look as though they've been drawn directly on the page. The overall work has the aspect and organization of an encyclopedia, with clearly formatted pages of explanatory text and diagrams in a wholly invented language, presenting exquisite though illegible calligraphy throughout; the language of the book has defied linguists for decades, but one cannot help but try to make sense of it. Many "specimens" are shown in detailed drawings, from fantastical plant forms to local costumes, mechanical devices, architecture and landscapes, which could only exist in an alternate universe, the brain of someone on LSD, or as Serafini himself explained for this recent 2013 edition, from the mind of the cat who kept him company in the late 70s as Serafini worked feverishly on this project during 30 months, with the feline perched on his shoulders and transmitting his ideas to him telepathically. He in fact credits the cat as the true creator and himself merely as the scribe. Not surprisingly, Serafini himself is an Italian artist, architect and designer, who has, among other things worked with the famous surreal film director Federico Fellini, and his book has been compared to works by M.C. Escher and Hieronymus Bosch.

I find I cannot rate this book, for the simple reason that I was completely enchanted in the beginning, as well as astounded at the level of detail, sheer work and vivid imagination put into this huge volume, but perhaps my own mood coloured my perception as I kept turning the pages because I was at times delighted and enchanted, and on some days I felt as though I was seeing nightmarish visions. I'm glad I was able to borrow this book from our national library system and didn't go ahead and spend the $80 listed price on it, as I may want to pore over it again once or twice, but ultimately found it too disturbing to have in my permanent collection. But that's just me. Others I'm sure will be delighted to own this fantastic volume, and for good reason.
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Smiler69 | 29 andre anmeldelser | Jul 7, 2014 |
Let your imagination soar with this beautifully illustrated book, written in a code or language that has stumped codebreakers for years. These works of art illustrate a fantastical world the reader is left to interpret to the outer most realm of his/her imagination.
cameling | 29 andre anmeldelser | Mar 1, 2014 |
A wonderful sequel to the Voynich manuscript, amazing combination recipe book, travel guide, specimen catalog, architecture text and sex manual.

Luigi Serafini reveals many weird mysteries and secrets of existence; Meta-physicians HATE him.

Highly recommended. Font takes a little while to get your head around.
Achromatic | 29 andre anmeldelser | Feb 16, 2014 |
This book is a dream come true... literally. Ever since I saw it once on "world's weirdest books" list, I have wanted to possess it: however, the fact that it was very difficult to get hold of a copy and even if one was found, the price would very well drive it out of my reach forced me keep it on a very remote wishlist. Until Liz provided me with a pdf copy. Thanks, Liz!

It would be wrong to say that I have read Codex Seraphinianus - I haven't. In fact, nobody other than the author has. It is written in a totally incomprehensible and so far undeciphered language which the author, Luigi Serafini, has steadfastly refused to translate. The doubt remains that there is nothing to decipher - that it is all a giant hoax, meaningless scrolls and whorls meant to look like profound wisdom. This, we may never know.

The "Codex" is an illustrated encyclopaedia of sorts, with sections devoted to botany, zoology, anatomy, geography etc. - at least, so much we can infer from the layout and the pictures. But the country it describes is something imagined by Hieronymus Bosch and M.C.Escher on acid, with some liberal help from Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel. In some aspects, it is very much like our world: but as one looks closer, the weirdness begins to be apparent. Trees which uproot themselves and jump into the water like lemmings; chairs which are grown and harvested; human beings composed partly of firearms; a copulating couple who merge into a crocodile; human beings composed of balls of wool and umbrellas from the waist up... the eerie images can be enumerated ad inifinitum. The funny thing is that, we get a feeling that we just need to understand the language to make sense of this strange and wonderful world: being unable to do so frustrates us. I found myself constantly pondering... what meaning is hidden in those strange squiggles?

The author may have meant it as a joke, but I think this book illustrates one profound characteristic of language. Unless we infuse meaning into those lines and curves, and link them with sounds and meanings, isn't all language nonsense? For example, my son and wife can read Arabic, so they stop and read the signboards on the the roadside, but for me those beautiful snakelike markings are just decoration.

The highest recommendation for any connoisseur of the weird (like me!).
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Nandakishore_Varma | 29 andre anmeldelser | Sep 28, 2013 |