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Thoughts on language and more

Voynich Manuscript

Next part of The Pocketwatch is up, Clues. I had wanted to do some stuff in the future before moving on, but I could not think of anything that wouldn't just drag the story down before we got to the real meat of what was happening, so I finally decided to just drop it. This is a short story, after all, not a novel in this case, so adding a bunch more than is really needed is just not something necessary.

Since I haven't talked about it before, I guess I'll talk about it a bit here. The Voynich Manuscript is a strange book discovered by a book dealer named Wilfrid Voynich, which is filled with undeciphered writing with strange linguistic properties, odd plant illustrations, odd astronomical appearing charts, and other things, believed to have been written somewhere in the 15th or 16th Centuries, carbon dated to between 1404 and 1438. It has never been deciphered, leading some to believe it is some sort of elaborate hoax. Regardless,  it is such an oddity, so out of place with everything else we know, that it was a perfect candidate to use as part of this story. 

Actually, I didn't know they had carbon dated it until reading the wiki just now, that was done recently. I had made the author of the book as part of this story and the greater storyline, I had better check my own dates for its authorship against the carbon dating and other events going on at the time and adjust it to match. I'll just go ahead and mention now, since the contents don't really play any more in the story, that the way I have written this story the manuscript is a hoax, made to look the way it does by the original author to hide what it actually is.

The design on the Pocketwatch face is more elaborate then the illustration in the book, but has as a base the leftmost illustration of the three-page foldout shown on Wikipedia. The other page our narrator refers to specifically, in Revealing, is the single six-page foldout in the book. The entire book is scanned and available for viewing on the Yale website. It is pretty interesting to look through.

Date posted: 28 April, 2010
Tags: linguistic spiral_island the_pocketwatch writing
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