As part of this year’s week-long typography event at Lurs (August 2009), long-time Voynichologist François Almaleh will be giving a talk on “Le manuscrit Voynich” – but ignore the typo on the page which makes it look as if his session is something to do with HELMO (which is actually the joint name of two French graphic artists – here’s a nice example of their work), because it isn’t.

Incidentally, Almaleh’s website has plenty of interesting pearls for the reasonably determined diver to harvest, such as his discussion [in French] of American artist Timothy C Ely’s mysteriously beautiful book “The Flight into Egypt” (1985), which also tangentially notes points of comparison with Luigis Serafini’s Codex Seraphinianus.

Hmmm… what with Rene Zandbergen not so long ago and now François Almaleh as well, it does make me wonder whether I should give some talks on the Voynich Manuscript. Our much-appropriated manuscript has stoically endured such a lot of nonsense over the last century, so perhaps it is time to make some kind of public stand. Basically, I think we now know enough to start piecing together its real secret history – so really, if a satirical XKCD mention is enough to treble the VMs’ online visibility, we ought to be doing rather better at getting that essential story across.

But what would be the best format for a Voynich talk session? In some ways, a formally-structured lecture is of little use circa 2009 – does anybody need a Wikipedia-esque recap? Perhaps if people planning to attend the talk (or, in fact, anybody) were to email their own questions in beforehand (or even submit questions on the night), that might give more of a interactive taste of what Voynich research is all about.

What questions would you have me answer on a Voynich talk? What questions do you think would really put me on the spot? 🙂

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