For those of you interested in broader stories about the history of the enlightenment, there are two events next Monday to consider. The first is a lecture by Ayesha Ramachandran, associate professor of comparative literature at Yale, entitled “From Khusrau to Cristoforo: Poetry and Transformation in Early Modern Eurasia”. It is on Monday, February 4th, at 4:30, in the Alumni House.
At the same event, there will be a kind of introduction to a new addition to our library’s special collections. It’s a facsimile of a fascinating and somewhat mysterious work called “the Voynich manuscript”. Many people have regarded it as a magical work with codes to the secrets to immortality, or possibly a work spawned through communication with aliens, or some item planted by time travelers, or god knows what else. (My own view is that it was a clever forgery by a con-man who sold it to the gullible Emperor Rudolf II for a considerable pile of gold.) More about the Voynich manuscript here.