At 10:17 PM -0500 1/16/99, Gustavo Eulalio wrote:
>On: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 16:21:58 -0800
>Peter Clark wrote:
>> written in an invented language, and someone on the list said that it
>> has some artwork in it as well.
>        "Codex Seraphinianus" by Luigi Serafini.
>        This is the only "Codex" I found in the past few months.

This is probably the one. It's become hard to find (a friend saw a used
copy for $300 on the net a while ago... I got mine for 8.95 on a remainder
table!). "Some artwork" does not do it justice. Serafini is an archotect
and designer, and has created astonishing surrealistic illustrations for
what is clearly an encyclopedia of some other universe. While the headings
and tables of contents match up, and the numbering system is real, if a bit
peculiar, the best guess is that the text is meaningless. Jacques Guy did
some statistics that more or less proved this (because the frequency
information is so inconsistent). I wonder if the chapter headings (in the
"Capital Letters" of the script) might be meaningful, but if they are, no
one has cracked it.

This is the closest object I've ever seen to the "First Encyclopedia of
Tlo"n" as described in Borges' great short story "Tlo"n, Uqbar, Orbis


At 9:43 PM -0500 1/16/99, Josh Roth wrote:

>Could it be that Voynich Manuscript (I think that's what it's called)?  It's
>written in some conlang that hasn't been deciphered.

The Voynich manuscript is very cool, but it's still open to question
whether it's in a conlang, or is a cipher, or is an imposture using an
invented alphabet, but containing no meaningful text.

There's a lot of good info available on the net. The Voynich Manuscript
mailing list (write to [log in to unmask] to join) hsa a lot of


   -- David
David Durand              [log in to unmask]  \  [log in to unmask]
Boston University Computer Science        \  Sr. Analyst   \  Dynamic Diagrams
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