I had the very pleasurable experience last night of holding and examining the actual Codex. My girlfriend had managed to source a copy via ILL at her library. It’s even better in the flesh than it is online; it was fascinating to page through, noting textual similarities, the development of images, and simply appreciating the beauty of it. It’s a lovely work that dares you to decipher it. I’m looking forward all the more to when my own copy arrives in a few weeks (shipped this morning).
In a few days, in the middle of APEC weekend, I fly to NZ. For the first time in a couple of years I get to go to the NZ library conference, LIANZA. I’m looking forward to it for a whole bunch of reasons, partly I regard it as one of the best library conferences in this region, and this time one of my favourite technical folk, Roy Tennant, is giving a keynote. I’ve known of him primarily via his contributions and moderation of the elist, Web4Lib, which I’ve been on for many years now (I think I’ve only posted once :-). This year, the conference is in Rotorua, and the conference dinner theme requires:
- a grass skirt
- a tropical shirt
- coconut bra
I will do my best to hide any photos from public view.
Hmmmm…it appears the Codex Seraphinianus is no longer publically viewable on flickr. Unsurprising as that would have been a flagrant disregard for copyright.
One thing I hate about some online retailers is that it’s sometimes hard to find out the shipping cost until after you’ve entered your credit card information. Many sites will have shipping guides somewhere though it gets trickier when dealing in a language you don’t know. I did discover a place online that was selling the 2006 edition for 75 euros but on clicking through discovered they wanted to charge 44 euros for shipping for a total of around AUD$200. I think I managed to cancel that order in time, with lots of flicking back and forth between the site and babelfish. I’ve since found it via another retailer (with an english display) and looking forward to seeing the book arrive in a few weeks.
A sense of who I am remains submerged; personality buried. I am always surrounded by the books of others, rarely by my own. The house I inhabit, the place I call home, the place that is home, is full of my dad’s books, numbered around 3,000. My own books are mostly in boxes, the majority beneath my bed. I delve rarely as I know not what box has which books. Seeking desired titles can be a fruitless undertaking. Earlier this week I gave it another go ans struck gold. In every box I opened I found volumes that warmed my heart. Interestingly it was the nonfiction, mostly, that struck me. I found amongst other things:
- Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
- Encyclopedia of Fantasy
- Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase & Fable
- Documents in Renaissance and Reformation History
I even found both my copies of Solaris, at long last I may get to read it. I’d bought a second forgetting I had it already, then lost both of them in the packing. Finding books is sort of like finding memories and a little chunk of me has returned.
Perhaps the Voynich is actually a hoax, argues one writer, while another comments on the desire for mysteries. Provided you can read (or translate) Italian, it’s possible to purchase the Codex Seraphinianus (2006 edition) for a mere €75 (+pp). I suspect I’ll be ordering my own copy in the near future.
I have said on many an occasion that I would dearly love to own a full set of the printed OED, dear though it is. There is a CDROM version that, while expensive, is substantially cheaper than the print. But it must be said, that it is the print which I desire most. At MPOW I recently re-organised the shelf-space near the computer and bought in a couple of old books from home including an elderly edition (1976) of The concise Oxford dictionary of current English. I’m now using the print edition daily as it is at arm’s length, and seemingly quicker to use than online. I’d become increasingly frustrated using online dictionaries as the free access I have doesn’t include a browse option ie if I don’t get the spelling quite right, I get a “word not found” result and naught else. The print edition allows me to browse and explore. Of course, the full 20 volume OED would not be so easily accessible as the single volume I have at work. It is is however a boon to comfortable exploration. I have worked in libraries that have the full OED, including a law library that had them lined up on a shelf directly behind the reference desk. Interestingly, work on the next edition, the third, was due to be completed for publication in 2010; alas it’s now unlikely to appear on the shelves before 2037 and will expand to 40 volumes containing 980,000 words.