There is so much literature out there that would be classified as a good read. People go to book clubs to discuss hidden gems and popular New York Times best sellers. A lot can be said about a good book. However, some books are shrouded in secrecy and mystery. They are the type of novel that reads with suspense. They might be fiction or nonfiction. But one thing is for sure- they are not the type of book that a book club can encapsulate in a two hour discussion. Let’s delve into these mystery texts.
But first, you don’t need to be left in suspense as to when we post. Just hit the bell notification button to stay informed. Also, show us your support by liking and subscribing. The Yoynich Manuscript keeps coming up in lists as very cryptic. It was discovered by Wilfred Voynich from Poland in 1912. It has 240 pages, and is just written in a code. To this day, no one has been able to crack the code. It’s time to call the CIA. It is full of pictures, but they don’t really help. The illustrations are of wildlife and people, but they also integrate maps and astrology.
This book from the 15 century puzzles people as to its origins. They think that it might be written by ancient doctors or healers. Still, no one really knows. It sits in a museum at Yale University now. It’s not really doing anything there, but the university likes to collect rare books.
The Codex Seraphinus is another anomaly. It is 360 pages detailing everything that exists in fiction. It is sort of a fantasy book encyclopedia. The book was written by Luigi Serafini and came out onto the market in 1981. One can see the type of bizarre illustrations that it has and come to their own conclusions. For example, it has a picture of a tree that looks like a large avocado. Where the pit should be, there is another tree growing inside it. The “trees” are depicted as cross- sectioned growths. This is certainly a curious work of Serafini’s imagination.
Another book is the Book of Soyga. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. It was written by a 16th century mathematician named John Dee. He believes that he saw an angel, and simply later transcribed the conversation. This celestial discussion involved matters of science and also the supernatural. Then, he later discovered that the angel had actually revealed magic spells to him. Dee went on a quest to reach Archangel Michael to help to translate the gibberish looking material into some sort of sense. But he never could get a hold of him, curiously, so he died not really knowing the answers. No one since has been able to figure out what this angel that Dee met was quite getting at. It seems the older the book, the more that it has had time to build up intrigue. This is certainly true with The Smithfield Decretals. This book was more of a manuscript that was compiled in the 14th century. It contains many of the commands of Pope Gregory IX.
The pictures are very fascinating as well. They show stories of war and have elements of the supernatural in some of these battles. It seems that the English artists took some liberties to make the text that much more intriguing. Now back to modern times again with The Story of the Vivian Girls by Henry Darger. He wrote in the 20th century, and went through many of the world’s most fascinating events, such as World War I.
His book was incredibly long at 15,145 pages. It was a fantasy book about child slaves rebelling in a historic time period. No one knows where he found the time to write so feverously. We suppose that anything can be accomplished if one really puts one’s mind to it.
He also had the patience to illustrate his book. He made sketches and water colors to go with his content. One of his latter books, The History of My Life, included a 4,672 tale of a fictitious tornado that he dubbed “Sweetie Pie”. While all these books seem quite unreal, they actually were written by real authors, or angels as some claim. In the early centuries, they did not have the technology to mass produce books. So after the manuscripts were laboriously written out by hand, they had to be guarded carefully.
This is the reason that many of the books were put into museums later. They are rare treasures. Even if they are cryptic feats, they are still a part of the world’s history. The latter books could be reproduced, like “The Story of the Vivian Girls”, however, who would want to run that many pages through a copy machine? It is difficult to take anyone who called a tornado “Sweetie Pie” seriously, even if it wasn’t a real tornado. However, that is the magic of fiction. Anyone can devote thousands of pages to a story if they really have the creative inspiration to do so.
And what about that code- do you think it is worth investigating the mysteries of the text if we could uncover some worthwhile remedies in the pages? Or do you think that it is gibberish at it’s finest that belongs in a museum. Would you have the patience to transcribe a book that is 1000 pages, even with the modern abatement of a computer? Or do you believe that books this long cannot make a lot of sense or hold a person’s interest for very long? Do you consider these books the prelude to television and Netflix series where the scriptwriters keep a story going for years on end?