Text, Image, Asemic
“Reading” Luigi Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus as Paratextual Metalepsis
The task of this article is to situate the Codex Seraphinianus in a series of multiple frames, not least of which being that of the teratological (following Italo Calvino), but also that of the pre-linguistic or post-writing frame of asemic text. This combination is less a convergence of disparate themes, but rather a disciplined parallel reading with some intriguing points of overlap and intersection. It is my hope that bringing the asemic and teratological together that it may generate insights germane to both. Ultimately, however, we still must ask if the Codex can be read as a cipher (concealed meaning), or if it is truly asemic and thus “unreadable” in any conventional or systematic sense.
Keywords: Luigi Serafini, Codex Seraphinianus, paratext, metalepsis