CODEX SERAPHINIANUS. LUIGI SERAFINI. Visual Writing /ubu editions. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4. Page 5. Page 6. Page 7. Page 8. Page 9. Page 10 . Ever since the Codex Seraphinianus was first published in Publisher: Rizzoli; Multilingual, New, Updated edition (October 29, ); Language: English. Codex Seraphinianus mystery has a breakthrough, and you can use our free You can translate from English-Spanish-French-German-Italian.

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Incidentally, yesterday i was checking Storie Naturalia new book that he illustrated for Jules Renard.

Well not so new, they actually launched it in Rome the week we moved here, though unfortunately i didn’t learn of the event until afterwards. I didn’t find this book nearly as interesting, at least not worth it’s 70 euro pricetag.

Decoding the Decodex: demystifying Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus

The opening frontpiece is then a letter from the publisher: Other publishers have the “Atlantic Codex” by Leonardo da Vinci in their catalogs; I’m very proud to have in my collection the signs of man the “Codex Seraphinianus. My first intention was to propose a “glossa” [ from the greek, tongue, or constructed language? Storming a monastery, meeting the basic needs of food and plunder, whatever Hun or other barbarian ignorant of language could certainly penetrate the library, and there he would unravel a wonderful illuminated manuscript.

I want the reader flipping through the “Codex Seraphinianus” to be like this warrior, or a child who has not yet learned to read, but rejoices in dreams or the fantasies the images suggest. At times i’ve thought to reprint, in a facsimile edition, the eleven thousand volumes of “Ch’in-ting Ku-chin, T’u-shu chi-ch’eng” “Collection of paintings and writings of the ancient and modern period compiled by imperial order” but I feared the members of my club would be frustrated, not knowing ancient Chinese.

The two comprehensive volumes of this “Codex Seraphinianus,” written in a smooth cursive of a semitic footprint [ ‘un agevole corsivo di impronta semitica ‘], will be easier and more transparent for everyone. Like how, in seeing two quatrains and two triplets, it is not difficult to recognize the sonnet, the reader shouldn’t find it hard to recognize an encyclopedic metric in the “Codex Seraphinianus,” with a first volume devoted to the natural sciences botany, zoology, teratology, chemistry, physics and mechanics and a second dedicated to human sciences anatomy, ethnology, anthropology, mythology, linguistics, cooking, games, fashion and architecture.

Looking at the pages, the reader might perhaps have the sensation of listening to music without words of knowledge. The plates in the Codex Seraphinianus reflect a science and a world both similar and dissimilar from ours, like items of one declination in itself. These pages do not need an introduction, but a sort of accompanying bubble. But if we parsed the word decodex as dec-o-dex, then we could perhaps say that this twisted 3-looped strand stands for the syllable o.

And given the other words, including his name as Jordan Hurder points out in the above article, though this doesn’t have the correct amount of syllables you might at least be able to come up with a map of serafinian characters to syllables spelled by the roman alphabet. Regardless, i’m curious enough to know what this Decodex has to say about it.

So without further ado, here’s my translation of the Introduzione by Alessandro Riva note his run-on paragraphless style is his own: The secret strength of some inventions lies in their ability to persist in our deep memory, even against our will and independently of the passage of years, and together with the vague awareness that one will never completely understand or, in any case, fail to embrace the whole, from A to Z, to archive in our memory as accomplished fact, in short, to make it epistemologically one’s own—almost as if, to them, it could never have reason at all, as a force that attracts itself in virtue of its capacity to subtract, to steadily escape, surprising us, every time, with new inventions, new tricks, or new, unexpected plays on language, which constantly constrain us to reexamine everything, and what this implies the world it describes with its own value systems, its language, etc.

One of these is the Codex Seraphinianusa mysterious hybrid of more than a thousand heads, whose year old ghost from when it was first published in Italy, by Franco Maria Ricci’s press wanders with unassuming lightness between passionate, scholars, bibliophiles, critics, writers, linguists, historians, mystics, artists, fantastic herbalists, scientists, pseudo-alchemists and even experts in the occult, cryptologists, esotericists, conspiracy theorists [ complottologi ], UFOlogists and so on, cataloging and fantasizing, with the involvement of traversing every aspect—even the most unexpected—of humanistic-scientific culture, as well as mass culture, not excluding the most bizarre and obscure.

See, to believe, the dozens and dozens of Internet sites dedicated to this omnivorous and comprehensive creature, the numerous unofficial sitesdedicated to the vain attempt albeit pursued with a consistency and determination matched only by their absolute and total futility to decode and transcribe into one of the many known languages, complicit in the many false leads internally built ad hoc by the author, such as the famous but unreadable pseudo-Rosetta stone, with wicked fun, and of the the same magnitude.

At the beginning, Luigi Serafini even wanted to omit his name from the frontpiece and cover of the Codex: But the desire to be part of a work, to be literally camouflaged inside, far from being motivated by a snobbish posturing of modesty or from one of those witty conceptual types often characterizing the biographies of artists more of the book page than actual life, this was in reality the first, and already firmly structured, manifestation of an attitude of inevitable distraction and disregard for what we call “real,” of natural mimesis and confusion between life lived and imagined, between physical existence and mental experience, imagined, dreamed, between work and biography: They are testimony—even if worth something—biographies listing some of his rare catalogs or in some of his interviews, which state roughly thus: For several years he carried out various preliminary activities in Villa Borghese, in the area that goes from Pincio up to Parco dei Daini, and that includes the Museo Borghese and the Zoo.


On October 6,while playing ball, he falls on glass and cuts his hand: Between and he copies more than six hundred images from books, encyclopedias, lecture notes, newspapers.

After school in a college of Scolopi [ Piarists ] now in decline, he enrolls in Architecture, where he became interested in pentominoes, golden sections and applied labyrinths. Inafter closing the doors of his house, he decided to write an encyclopedia that he inadvertently stopped in Sincehe lives sometimes in Rome and sometimes in Milan. For example, it reads as the artist telling of the moment of his birth, in an interview with Armando Adolgisol. The biographies are exemplary, in a general way, in trying to understand the image he gives himself, or wants to give himself as the artist: Again, in short, they should be distributed, to understand the work, from serafinian paratext, you may as well say that sometimes you speak more and more clearly when you don’t speak of the—generally illegible—texts.

Only the paratext in fact, constantly camouflaged the clues to the origins of his work, to his approach to the work and the same relationship with the real as with the formation of his poetic universe.

We are once again aware of the overthrow, and yet no less clearly hallucinating, in terms of what we would call, today, reality and fiction we should remember this when we return to address question of the Codex.

Part of a statistical glance that then removes the paralysis of convention and introduces surprise and derision. The world is not seen as a frozen place, but as a space of imploded emotions, and therefore able, in whatever way, to produce alterations of high temperature glow.

He built it at home with a cathode ray tube, screen and everything. I followed the construction of this mechanical monster, with trepidation and a bit of distress.

It was—it is worth emphasizing— and the first experimental television broadcasts had reached the Milan Fair, then Turin, and Rome: So for a bit,’ we had to watch the TV backwards.

After all, even today, all we can ask, like the Serafini child: Ehglish it doesn’t so much as try to deny reality, but to apply an alternate point of view, alienating with respect to the traditional view shared by us all. Is it not in the depths, even this, a perfectly understandable poetry, though written in an apparently eccentric language, with respect to ours?

And is this language, serafinian, syntactically and structurally consistent, in addition to being perfectly logical, any different from ours? It is only a matter of displacement: It is this creation and as a consequence, recognition of another real point of view, that is the fundamental question, that allows us to understand the genesis of works considered “visionary” Calvin “fantastic” Sgarbi, Zerior “hallucinatory” Peter Schwengerlike these we are dealing with.

And this is what the story of the upside-down TV reveals—on a symbolic level—in understanding the genesis eenglish the Codex: And to this young Serafini, even then, perhaps, he began to not regret having a little anarchistic madness in his blood, very fin de siecleeccentric yet highly inventive and above all mechanical —the kind of mechanical craft that was a bit codrx at heart, in a period in which there more inventorsnot just engineers that were a bit obtuse but that had credentials and degrees of specialization from abroad—in short, he’d already assimilated their DNA with a dose of bizarre and seraphimianus the top madness that englisy mixed, as a karst river, his family.

It was not an accident even then to the young Serafini—or the subsequent reconstruction of his childhood by the adult Serafini in the end of little importance that the everyday was a receptacle of all kinds of highly symbolic adventures, real or irreal, whatever they may be: Only legend can express it in a way that embraces the entire world ,” it reads in the epigraph of the serafinian catalog Il teatro della pittura.

So, with remarkable ease and a touch of ‘guasconeria’ [ Gasconian relating to the region of Sersphinianus which i suspect after englsh for other contexts on the englizh, perhaps means parody ], the real and the imaginary seem to merge in Serafini’s biography—in a sort of vague terrainin a no man’s land where it’s difficult to retrace simple biographical data—historical anecdotes and reversals, all serafinian, in real terms.

He knew how to describe it very well, this continuous mixing of true ennglish and imagined reality. Pino Corrias, in a beautiful article published serapginianus “La Repubblica” for the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Codex: He flips englush alphabets, and plays in the clouds, like characters penned by Raymond Queneau, in Fiori blu. In a long surreal night, lasting thirty-months, he imagined a writing system that perhaps could not be read and a world that perhaps could not seen, with men that become forceps, eggs that fly, upside-down trees, zoological plants, insects and crocodiles.

He made a fantastic Encyclopedia, surprising and useless, that appears to the real world like a dream of mysterious mirages. The very entertaining adventures seeraphinianus Luigi Serafini. Born an architect of imaginary homes, but then he becomes an artist and traveler of three trips, like three waves of fate, America, the Orient, Africa “—and here I leave it for you to read later, Corrias’ articlewhich precisely tells the “very funny adventures” of Luigi Serafini by land and sea, that begins with a trip across America as he himself englisb he was searching for Utopia Utopia a word that I saw for the first time with my own eyes during a long American trip in the early seventies.


I saw the “organic” architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, as the inherent utopian dimension of American society, in the permanent swing between space and opus, nature and artifice.

Codex Seraphinianus

Since I learned how Utopia is a food, an essential nutrient” and we return later to the basic meaning of covers, for Serafini, the very concept of Utopiaand ends with Serafini’s arrest by a troop of Congolese soldiers, until swraphinianus released because they though he was crazy: What is certain is that Luigi Serafini start writing the Codex at age It isand the artist is in Rome, in fifth-floor attic on a dirt street called Via Sant’Andrea delle Frate, number 30, in the heart of Baroque Rome, where even the streets and buildings have preserved the names and memories engllsh the Popes’ counter-reformation: Around there is a crossroads of streets that bear names and suggestions of a strange serafinian bestiary ‘The names have to do with us, in the world that reacts with our subconscious,”the artist says ocdex, not surprisingly, in an interview with Giacinto di Pietrantonio: Enblish del Tritone, Via della Salamandra, Palazzo del Bufalo, on the door of the latter, there still stands the head of a buffalo that seems straight out of a page from coxex Codex: From his attic, then, Serafini lorded over this crossroads reminiscent of his childhood in the neighboring house, at number 24, he lived the rest of his life, and when he got married he moved next door: In the meantime, Serafini got sreaphinianus degree in architecture and travelled around the world as we discussed earlier.

From his attic then, and the roofs, where he sometimes brought girls to drink tea as in a wacky adventure worthy of Mary Poppins, Serafini dominated this crossroads: A singular coincidence but are there, then, coincidences?

Or is even this herd of amphibious cows a figment, without knowing it, of the young Serafini’s imagination? The iconography, of the cow and his male counterpart, the bull, that on the other hand has a long tradition, starting for example with Greek mythology: At the time Serafini conceived of the Bovindi series, Europe had taken on a collective phobia, that of the so-called “Mad Cow,” on which the artist played, jokingly and irreverently, the public was invited to join in, like in a ancient tragedy, hiding behind a mask in the shape of a cow: To get back to us, or rather to the Serzphinianus anti-codex: He begins, almost by chance, to design and write the Codex, that undoubtedly will become his visual and philosophical Grande Opera xodex, his poetic summa: Enylish I, without knowing why, said: And when I put the phone down, I really begin to draw.

The Codex Seraphinianus UPDATE: The Probability is that this is Not Meant to be solved

It began with a man, then a screwdriver, a leaf, a gear. And I wrote row after row of imaginary captions, slipping into automatic: One plate after another, without ever missing a day, for weeks, months. Certainly, in analyzing the Codex, the first approach, the most obvious and immediate, is that is has the structure serzphinianus a canonical Encyclopedia, i.

Flora, fauna, physics, mechanics, anatomy, mythology, writing, food, clothing, architecture: It is a world that is certainly bizarre, and equally surprising and unexpected, this of Serafini, where fish take the shape of eyes surfacing from the sea like submarine periscopes, where plumage can have three heads or tails the shape of a lance to pierce eggs but in the subsequent development of serafinian art, in which the simple design and teratological design gives way to creation, increasingly bizarre and metamorphic beings, but in three dimensions, the theory of strange birds pictured in the Codex takes the form of real rooster chickens, i.

Serafini, in fact, perhaps makes the best self-organizing and complicated machinery, or sometimes animal-machines, or machine-human beings, whose complexity is always directly proportional to their uselessness, the emptiness, the stupidity of their end purpose: All machines with their own autonomous existence, of their own condition, we say, psychologically, like those serapphinianus “each has its own special personality,” Munari said, in describing his useless machines: And it is not really going out on a limb to compare these machines, although, for now, only projects, by Serafini, with those of cpdex mad creator of visionary and highly unnecessary machines, with all their kit conception, design implementation, and then the actual realization, and even promotion and publicity, or even a fake marketing launch, and so on: Moreover, in his complex and absolutely useless machines according to the rules of our universe: In his fictional universe Serafini seraphhinianus able to give imaginary universes something they were sorely lacking: Here then, this Codexappears really like a big, inexhaustible, multilayered and complex anthem, not only of utopian dimension, of fantasy, of the creation of other realities parallel to commonly accepted ones, caused by simple shift of perspective on what we call real, a continuous sdraphinianus incessant remixing on many levels, generative and lingually ambient and scientific; but also a hymn to the infinite possibility of language—whatever it is—to reinterpret reality, to bend and shape functionally to its needs and to a proper vision of the world.

Thus, under the banner of ccodex this utopia that over time Serafini learned to consider seraphiniznus food, a fundamental nutrition” and ambiguity, the serafinian circle seraphiniauns to close itself. Serahinianus Derek White.