Codex Seraphinianus

Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications, Incorporated

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Similarly, or perhaps oppositely: Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus. (Which, in fact, I learned about from a Hofstadter column.) This is a compendium of pure nonsense, an encyclopedia in an untranslatable language. The illustrations imply scenes of ordinary life -- plants, animals, insects, technology -- but the elements of the world are melded, rearranged, coagulated. One has the sense that they make sense, but on a level just out of one's grasp.

-- Andrew Plotkin

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