Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Codex Seraphinianus

Share |

This has to be one of the most fascinating, mysterious, and beautiful books of all time. It’s an imaginary encyclopedia of an imaginary world, one not that far removed from our own, but just enough so that its alien images provoke reflective consideration about the nature of our own categories, classes, and distinctions between nature and culture. Luigi Serafini wrote the Codex Seraphinianus in the 1970s; it has appeared in several reprinted edition since then. It is still a relatively rare book; however, thanks to ubuweb, you can peruse the Codex from the comfort of your laptop. This book is an extraordinary account of the botany, physics, cuisine, warfare, and architecture (among many other subjects) of an alien world composed entirely in indecipherable script and accompanied by elaborate illustrations. Someone has managed to decipher the numbering system in the text, but the script has so far eluded any kind of translation. The author has offered no assistance.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

Adam Dickinson

Adam Dickinson’s poems have appeared in literary journals in Canada and internationally. His first book of poetry, Cartography and Walking (Brick Books), was shortlisted for an Alberta Book Award. His second collection, Kingdom, Phylum (Brick Books), was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. His third collection of poetry, The Polymers is published by House of Anansi Press.

Go to Adam Dickinson’s Author Page