If ever there was a book that deserved to be called the most incredibly bizarre book in the history of writing, the “Codex Seraphinianus” would certainly qualify to be it. Looking at this strange tome, one might believe it comes from sometime during the middle ages, but nothing could be farther from the truth. This intriguing and beautifully illustrated book was actually, strangely enough, written in modern times.
So what makes this book so strange? Not much, other than that it’s written in a language that no one understands and is filled with illustrations of surreal, impossible things. The book was published in 1981 by Italian architect Luigi Serafini. But one has only to take a look at the outlandish collection of images included in the book to realize that it is in no way a scientific tome.
The only thing scholars have come away with is that they’ve figured out that “Seraphinianus” is just a variation of Serafini’s name.
Moreover, the language of the book, which has an alphabet of about two dozen characters, is impossible to decipher, and has no relation whatsoever to anything else ever created by humanity.
The entire book is written by hand, and painstakingly illustrated with hand drawn images that were colored by Serafini himself, a labor of love that took him over two years to complete. Even though scholars are still trying to decipher the book, the only thing scholars have come away with is that they’ve figured out that “Seraphinianus” is just a variation of Serafini’s name. Serafini, himself, maintains that it has no meaning whatsoever.
But one has to wonder, why would anyone spend all this time to create an absolute masterpiece of nonsense if it had no meaning at all? Many of the images are quite imaginative, and could well have come from a mind the likes of Lewis Carrol or Jules Verne, often seeming to be part of a story set in some fantastic world. Perhaps they did make a certain sense to Serafini himself, no matter what he maintains.