We left the conventional shelves of bookstores and took a look at the most crooked, strange and curious works of literature. In them you will find from invented languages to letters of the alphabet totally absent.
You may always be hungry for a good book, for you to know all the new talents of the Nordic novel at your fingertips, never get bored with a bestseller in your hand, you can not live without your favorite poetry authors, devour manuals of business to get your project afloat or simply, the books are the best friends that accompany you on trips, bags and backpacks and always wait for you on the bedside table. But do you know some of the rarest books in the world?
Next, you will find the imperfect works of misunderstood geniuses, follies captured on paper that are worth an eye of the face, new languages invented for fictional worlds and codices that not even the best cryptographers in the world have managed to decipher. You may not want to read them in full, but you’re probably curious about them. What the hell are they going? Where would the idea of its creation arise? These are eleven of the rarest books in the world.
11 of the strangest books ever written
Voynich manuscript: You can download this copy in digital format, written between 1450 and 1520, in a region of northern Italy. Its author is unknown and the book, one of the most mysterious works ever written. Its completely new language could not be deciphered and also, the plants that appear are not part of the known terrestrial vegetation, while the astrological or alchemical symbols have no equivalence either. The enigma remains unsolved to this day: it is speculated that it is an encrypted scientific text and even some speak of extraterrestrial origin. The book is divided into several sections: Herbarium / Astronomy / Biology / Cosmology / Pharmaceutical / Recipes.
Gadsby: Written by Ernest Vincent Wright Gadsby, this is a novel written in English of 50,000 words that does not use the letter “e”, except in the name of the writer on the cover. The peculiarity lies in the format while the plot is more conventional: a guy named John Gadsby organizes a group of young people to revitalize his hometown. The lack of “e” in everything creates some choices of truly strange words, like when Wright has to describe a wedding without using the words “wedding”, “married”, “girlfriend” or “marriage”. You can find it on platforms like Amazon.
The Ballad of the Hanged: This poetic work is one of the rarest books in the world and was created by François Villon, one of the most brilliant French poets of the 15th century, a fool, a gambler, a gambler, a thief and a murderer. His most famous work is this impressive poem that precedes a story that makes the hair stand on end. It was written in a Parisian prison the night before he was hanged. It is a beautiful and torn ode with epic dyes whose last sentence ends with this mythical verse: “Tomorrow at last I will know what my ass weighs”.
A pickle for the knowing or plain thruth in a homespun: If you are able to finish it, you will have achieved a feat. This work written by a British merchant named Timothy Dexter in 1802 consists of an autobiography, in which the author also reflects on politics, religion or marriage. The rarity comes next: the book has 8,847 words and 33,864 letters, written without any punctuation, and with capital letters inserted randomly. Distributed in the beginning as a gift, its growing popularity led to the publication of up to eight editions. Given the protest of several readers due to the difficulty of reading without punctuation marks, the second edition had an extra page with thirteen lines of punctuation marks for readers to season the text to their liking.
Codex Seraphinianus: Written by the Italian artist, architect and industrial designer Luigi Serafini between 1976 and 1978, this magnetic codex is the encyclopedia of an unknown planet, written by hand in a language completely invented by its author, whose purpose is to capture the curiosity of A child when he flips through an adult’s book. The work illustrates completely the unknown planet, showing all kinds of figures, gastronomy, technology, clothing or peoples. Their interpretations are endless and the satire towards our world, sharp.
Alphabetical Africa: This 1974 novel is signed by Walter Abish. The first chapter (“A”) contains only words that begin with the A, the second, (“B”), includes words that begin with the B and also the A. Each chapter adds a letter following the order of the alphabet and so on until chapter 27, (“Z”), where words that begin with any letter of the alphabet are allowed. Then, turn back. Words that begin with Z, Y, X, W, fade until you return to chapter “A”. You should read it in English so it does not lose its meaning.
Adventures of a Japanese atom: The title promises, huh? Written by Tobias Smollett, one of the most important masters of eighteenth-century British picaresque literature, immerses us in the adventures of an atom that travels from Japan to England in the body of a sailor, passing one guest to another. You will enter the most rugged part of the society of your time, visiting brothels, jails, taverns and psychiatric, providing a cocktail of eschatology, death, sex and laughter.
Smithfield Decretals: Right off the bat, it would look like a book of canon law commissioned by a pontiff. Nobody knows what kind of psychotropic substances or spirits could ingest the monks of the thirteenth century to illustrate the texts ordered by Pope Gregory IX in this way: murderous giant rabbits, a medieval Yoda, terrifying monsters and disturbing images populate this manuscript.
Dance Lessons for an Advanced Age: Bohumil Hrabal approaches in this strange novel several women who sunbathe to talk about his life and relate his adventures as a shoemaker and his romantic conquests. The peculiar thing is that the book does not make much sense and literally, the whole novel is a phrase. If you want to read it, you can find it in English at the following link.
Book of Soyga: This work of the sixteenth century that deals with magic and occultism is written in Latin and also in another code that could not be deciphered. In it you will find all the most effective methods to conjure demons and other practices of necromancy, a branch of black magic, consisting of the divination of the future by consulting the viscera of the dead and the invocation of their spirits, and whose origin It goes back to the mystical and supernatural tradition of cultures such as Egyptian, Mesopotamian or Persian. It was owned by the English occultist John Dee, one of the main consultants of Queen Elizabeth I. After years disappeared, was found in 1994 in the British Library.
Codex Gigas: Also known as the Devil’s Codex or Codex of Satan, is an ancient medieval manuscript in parchment created in the early thirteenth century and written in Latin by the monk German the Prisoner of the Podlažice monastery. In its time it was considered the eighth wonder of the world for its gigantic size of 92 × 50.5 × 22 centimeters that make it the largest known medieval manuscript. It has 624 pages, weighs 75 kilos and the legend says that its author, condemned to be walled alive, proposed in exchange for being pardoned to create a monumental work that contained the Bible among more knowledge. Satan helped the creator to write the work on condition that his image appeared.