We are Monday morning. Everything is terribly normal. Yet it is still possible to discover things outside the norm, and the effect is enormous. Some consider this book to be the strangest ever. A unique, superb, disconcerting... and above all indescribable art book! The Codex Seraphinianus, by the Italian artist-architect Luigi Serafini, is a journey into unknown land, against a backdrop of science fiction, a whimsical encyclopedia, some would say extra-terrestrial. In this universe, even the alphabet is not describable, even less decipherable.
It was in 1981 that the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in two volumes. The illustrations in this article are taken from the 1983 edition published by Éditions Abbeville, in 370 pages. There is also a single volume edition from 1993 and an author-revised Italian edition with new background remove service illustrations from 2006. used from 200/300€. The Codex Seraphinianus is designed as an encyclopedia about an extra-terrestrial universe, which is obviously the absurd reflection of our own world. It is composed of chapters describing in turn the fauna, the flora, the sciences, the architectures, the machines, the games, the inhabitants, the customs.
The flowers are floating, the bananas are piled high with medicines, the cars covered with flies and as many beings strangely dismembered or decked out in strange or marvelous costumes. The mystery Does the mystery come from the whimsical illustrations or from the perfect coding of this writing? Artists have looked at the illustrations, philosophers have tried to unravel the enigma of its deep meaning, and a few irreducible linguists or mathematicians have tried (in vain) to decipher the text. The only certainty, science fiction fans swear by it! Yet all the ingredients of the mystery are there.