Welcome to the whacky world of Wilfrid Voynich…

Not long ago, the writer of these lines, “in the mad pride of intellectuality”, underwent the enterprise of setting up this blog.

Shortly thereafter (obviously, else it would be an event of the future) Nick Pelling wrote a very kind review about my blog. He even went as far as calling me “a friend”, regardless of the fact that he still makes me pay for his books.

Anyway, in a side remark he suggested I might delve into a discussion of the Sagittarius’ archer’s crossbow. (Hope I got the apostrophe’s right.) I’m not sure what might qualify me for this topic, except for a certain tendency of rhetorically sniping other people’s ideas. But I recalled having colaborated some time ago in the translation of Jens Sensfelder’s article on this very subject. (Jens’ conclusion was, in a nutshell, that it’s probably a late medieval/early renaissance crossbow with few spectacular features.) So I dug into my digital cellars, came finally up with the scans of a crumpled printout of Jens’ manuscript (the original file long since having been lost), and without much ado posted it in this blog.

Four days later Nick himself announced that he has posted the original article himself in his blog. Power to the man, because back in 2003 he was involved in the translation of the article as well (which I had completely forgotten), so he has every right to do that. (And he even still has the original files, because he’s better organized than I am.) But what escapes me is why he asked me about the article in the first place.

Sometimes I feel the people attracted to the Voynich are as hard to understand as the Voynich itself…

Anyway, in a nutshell, read all about the Crossbow here!

P.S.: I will not call Nick a friend, unless he starts buying my books.

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One thought on “Welcome to the whacky world of Wilfrid Voynich…

  1. Hi Elmar,

    Seeing as I (effectively) subsidize every copy of “The Curse” 1:1 with the cover price, I don’t think I’m offering such a bad deal. :-o And of course, if you were to write your own Voynich book, I’d be more than delighted to buy a copy, so please don’t think for a minute I’m being exploitative. :-)

    I also (somewhat grudgingly) agree to stop calling you a friend… at whatever time you stop being friendly towards me. Hopefully not soon, though. :-)

    As far as the Sensfelder article goes, I simply thought I’d posted it on my website back in 2005: and so the moment I discovered (from your blog) that I hadn’t, I resolved to do something about it. :-)

    I think the moral of the story is that we’ve all forgotten far more about this stuff than we should. When I spoke to Rene Zandbergen a few days ago, he thanked me for digging up the old mailing list thread from 2000-2001, as he’d forgotten a lot of the relevant details too. Basically, we’re all in the same (rather leaky) boat. :-)

    Cheers, ….Nick Pelling….

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