Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili

I just finished reading the novel Rule of Four, a story about some Princeton students researching the mysterious book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. I have mixed feeling on the novel but the stuff on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was fascinating. MIT Press has the entire book online here. Unless you can read Italian and Latin you won’t be able to read it but the woodcuts and typography are interesting to see. You can also see the binding here.

As for the novel, it was OK but I didn’t think it was great. The story line seemed conflicted. It tried to be both suspense novel and a more literary study of youthful aspirations and expectations. If they had just stuck with the suspense novel theme and pacing and saved the details and emotions of leaving school and growing up to another book I think it would have been better.

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