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Codex Seraphinianus Hardcover – 5 Nov 2013

14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications; Pck Har/Bk edition (5 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847842134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847842131
  • Product Dimensions: 23.7 x 4.7 x 34.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

the book really does live up to its reputation: The drawings are in turn hilarious, disturbing, bizarre and, sometimes, just flat-out incomprehensible, but all of them are annotated in Serafini s script. -"Dangerous Minds" It s not the sort of thing that easily lends itself to classification, but probably the most accurate way to describe it would be as an encyclopedia of an invented alien civilization the Codex is still a disorienting and provocative vision of inscrutable otherness. -"Slate.com" "Codex Seraphinianus" is an art book in the most direct sense there are big, beautiful drawings accompanied by indecipherable letterforms--andit is impossible to read in a literal way. The text has remained a mystery all these years, and perhaps that s part of its draw as an art object. -"FineBooks Magazine" Is the best art book of the year one that is not only impossible for me to review, but one that is probably equally impossible for you to understand? It s a handsome, hilarious and enduring puzzle that not only features wonderful art in it, but in its entirety captures another kind of human creativity the encyclopedia, the result of compiling and collecting, and an unlikely medium for artists. "-North Adams Transcript" ""Codex Seraphinianus" History s Most Bizarre and Beautiful Encyclopedia, Brought Back to Life...a weird and wonderful masterpiece of art and philosophical provocation on the precipice of the information age....Undoubtedly one of the most intricate and beautiful art books ever created." -"Brain Pickings" Wow. One of the strangest and most beautiful books ever published. " Faerie Tales"" "" Codex Seraphinianus" is in a sense the most elaborate book of doodles ever made. What makes it much more than that is not just the quality of Serafini s drawings and the superior book-making craft, but its brilliant structure. Part of the genius of the "Codex" is that there is enough information to be familiar but not enough to make any sense. " Spectrum Culture"" " The intense strangeness of "Codex Seraphinianus" belies the joyous feel of the artistry. Even the oddest, most unnerving images are rendered with pastel beauty, and a softness that makes them almost endearing. " KQED""

About the Author

Luigi Serafini is an architect, ceramist, glazier, painter, sculptor, designer, opera director, set designer, and critic who works in Italy and abroad. In 2007, the Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea in Milan dedicated a successful "mostra ontological" (ontological exhibition) to him. He has illustrated works by Franz Kafka and Michael Ende.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I really really wanted to buy this book, but was disappointed to find that since 2006 the author has added a "preface" to the piece that (in my opinion) rather spoils the whole thing.

The preface, while still written in the surreal alien language, seems to be made up of what appear to be *early* illustrations from the author - the illustration style and composition are much less refined, and the surrealism has no restraint at all. This ruins the book's entire effect, because the reader is not eased-into the surreal world. I much preferred the earlier editions (pre-2006, pre-Rizzoli's publication), that simply start with an unreadable table of contents, and let you gradually see how crazy things get.

On a positive note - seeing the book in person confirmed that the printing is very good. Enjoyable medium-thick paper with a light wrinkly texture. Substantial hardcover with gold trim.

If Rizzoli would publish a version without the preface, or even just place the preface at the end of the book, I'd but this book at a heartbeat. Right now, I'm considering buying it and taking a penknife to the offending first ~20 pages.
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By T. C. Cheetham on 4 May 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said 100 times over. It is a piece of art in book form. I feel privileged to have it in my possession, and having put off spending the £800 on an original for so long, I was delighted to find this re-print. None of the original quality or feel has been lost, and having seen and handled a first-edition, I can tell you that if anything the quality has improved with the new addition, particularly with the slightly heavier gauge paper.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Philip Newth on 6 Dec. 2010
Format: Hardcover
The illustrations are brilliant, weird and wonderful. The text - a code - is, as far as I can see, nonsense.
The same "words" are repeated much too often for it to make any sense, but the calligraphy is great! Even the paper
is special and at 96 dollars I consider it an absolute bargain. A book to have.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Legendary book. I pre ordered waaay back and paid like 58 pounts, which Im very happy about. Beautiful edition, very thick paper, it almost looks like original drawings. Love it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr Awesome on 2 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, this is a big book. Not for smaller bookshelves. It's bound in cream, with the details picked out in gold-look foil. Substantial, but not heavy. The paper is high quality, crenellated, and slightly see-through. I don't think I need to describe the contents, other than to say the print quality is very high.

As an entire work, it is an encyclopedia and a guide to an imagined world.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fynt on 12 Jun. 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amazing book and well worth getting a copy. The pictures and concepts are really interesting and as for the text - it looks great and seems consistent enough to actually be saying something - I just cant work out quite what it all means - much like the book itself.
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By Mr. D. A. Heathcote on 15 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bonkers! Frustrating that no-one has decoded the text yet; I do hope it isn't just gibberish!
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