Visual Poetry

Luigi Serafini

Codex Seraphinianus [PDF, 55.4mb] 1978.

Born in Rome in 1949, Luigi Serafini is best known for his visual tour-de-force the Codex Seraphinianus. Originally published in 1981 in a strictly limited edition, the Codex is an asemic encyclopedia of an alien world. Lushly illustrated, each of the Codex's 11 chapters explore what Douglas Hofstadter categorized as both "grotesque and disturbing" and "extreme beautiful and visionary" surreal images of a fictional world. Long considered to be written in an uncrackable code, Serafini admitted in 2009 that the Codex Seraphinianus is actually written asemically in order to echo the feeling that children have when first encountering the written word.