The man was beyond thrilled with his gift. He has been hankering after a hard copy of 'Codex Seraphinianus'. Wow. One of the strangest and most beautiful books ever published. An illustrated imaginary encyclopaedia. How rare is that. This book is simply 'un-readable'. The script is nothing like what we know. (About the Codex here, here, here and here.)
The man and I, and our closest friends- we're that last generation who began to understand the world with hard copy volumes of encyclopaedias, before the arrival of the Internet. Created by Luigi Serafini during the years of ahemmm our birth, this imaginary encyclopaedia puts surrealism into neat categories. This is a new print edition by Rizzoli Publications.
As usual, I want to steal the man's books. Not to own them, but to get my grubby hands on them to touch, flip, feel and think about the words on the pages. He's hanging on to this one for dear life. Okay, the birthday boy has priority to flip those pristine pages.
The 'Codex Seraphinianus' came along as a birthday gift, given by the D & I who know him well. They saw him through school, loaned him notes during missed lectures and sat with him through bar exams, cheering him on through every milestone. Best of all, they kept the friendship going strong all these years. They're amazing.