codex seraphinianus

The Codex, the Hurders, and me: a new book, an old book, and two years of intermittent emailing

If I had to pick the single piece of my own writing that has generated the most reader responses, I would without hesitation name “The Codex Seraphinianus: A Fragment of the Complete History of an Unknown Planet,” an essay about Luigi Serafini’s hallucinatory faux-encyclopedia which The Believer published in May, 2007. (Aside: I’m hoping to meet or beat this record with “A Figure in the Distance Even to My Own Eye,” my new essay in the current issue of The Believer.) Two years out, the Codex essay continues to bring me new and interesting correspondence, to the tune of at least a letter or two per month. People write to say they enjoyed the piece, to thank me for turning them onto the Codex, or to share their own stories about when they first discovered it, or what they think it all means. Sometimes they want to know if the text has been “deciphered” yet, or if I personally think it can be deciphered at all. Often, they just want to know if I can send them the full text of Calvino’s introduction (it isn’t available in English, so I commissioned a translation from the French version, but it was only briefly quoted in the essay). Anyway, today I’m thrilled to share with you all news of a new Codex-related publication: Confronting and Collecting the Works of Luigi Serafini, available as a severely-limited edition (100 copies!) chapbook by Jordan and Justine Hurder.


Presses / 23 Comments
July 16th, 2009 / 7:54 am